How to Deal With a Homesick Puppy

Even a small house is a big, strange world to a new pup.

Even a small house is a big, strange world to a new pup.

The whimpering coming from your new puppy is enough to break your heart—she's missing her mama's teat and her litter mates' snuggles. Your baby will adjust quickly to her new home, but in the meantime, employ some tricks to help your youngster get over her newfound feelings of solitude.

Ask the breeder to give you a piece of cloth, towel or rag from the whelping box or puppy pen. Keep it close to your puppy the first night at home. The mother's scent on the cloth is familiar and comforting to your puppy. Absent that, put a piece of your clothing in with the pup.

Purchase a crate and keep your pup confined in it, especially for the first few nights, and regularly if you are going to crate-train her. Put warm bedding in the crate. Place a towel or light blanket over the top of the cave to give her the feeling of being in a den. If your puppy gets loose in your home and wanders, she may feel displaced, and she may get hurt as well.

Place a ticking clock next to your pup's crate. The rhythmic ticks simulate her mother's heart beat. A windup clock works best. Keep it out of reach of the puppy so she doesn't have the opportunity to chew on it.

Place soft plush toys in her bed. She's used to cuddling with her litter mates. Even adult dogs like to cuddle with their toys.

Keep the area warm, or place a heat lamp high above the crate. Your puppy has been sleeping her whole life in a bed or box made warm by her mother and siblings.

Tough it out when your pup whimpers. Refrain from comforting her—if she sees that whimpering brings you close, she will use that as a tool to get your attention in the future. Instead, give her attention or a treat when she is quietly resting or behaving.

Items you will need

  • Cloth from breeder
  • Owner's clothing
  • Crate
  • Blanket or towel
  • Bedding
  • Windup clock
  • Soft toys

Tip

  • Your new puppy should be taken out to potty whenever she wakes up from a nap. She cannot be expected to hold her bladder for more than two hours during the daytime or during the first few nights at home.

Warning

  • Do not put in your puppy's crate clothing with zippers, buttons or anything that your pup can chew and swallow. Bowel obstructions can be life-threatening.
 

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