How to Help a Puppy Through Their First Night

Bringing home a puppy is an exciting time for you; however it can be a stressful and scary time for the puppy. They have been with their mom and littermates in a familiar place and then all of a sudden new people are taking them, going on a scary car ride and then to a completely new environment. No siblings, no mom and nothing familiar.  That first night can be frightening especially being alone in their crate for the first time. I have been through this process twice before, for my first dog Cletus and then again with my second dog Gretchen. With Cletus his first night was rough, he cried in his crate all night, I ended up sleeping on the floor outside his crate with my hand in it. I figured it would help comfort him without giving in and taking him out. For the second night there was some crying, but I was able to sleep in my own bed, and then by the third night he only cried a very small amount. When it came time to getting my second dog I decided to do some research first to help her with transition.

I found Adaptil. Adaptil is a synthetic copy of the natural comforting pheromone released by a mother dog to reassure her puppies. It comes in 3 forms one is a diffuser that can be plugged into the wall and is effective for that room, the second is a spray that can be used for more targeted areas and the third is a collar, that gives off that pheromone for 4 weeks. I decided to try the collar with Gretchen, so it could be with her all the time. I purchased the collar and brought it with me when I went to the breeder to pick her up. I immediately put it on her so it would start to release the pheromones before the scary drive home. She was good on the car ride home and I was hoping this calmness would last when she had to go into her crate.  Her first night was perfect, she cried one small cry when she first went in her crate, and then to my surprise she went to sleep and I didn’t have to sleep on the floor with her! We set our alarm to take her out to the washroom, woke her up, she went out, and then back to sleep with no crying.

I truly believe the adaptil collar is what comforted her through her first night; I recommend it to anyone getting a new puppy. It helped her through her first scary night and continued to help her for 4 weeks, helping with her training so she could be confident puppy.

For more information on Adaptil, please feel free to ask any of our team members at North Hill Animal Hospital.

Written by: Beverly Riley RVT