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Your New Puppy The First Few Days At Home

When a puppy leaves his first family, and heads off to his new, forever home, he's still very young. Around 8 weeks if he's a medium/large breed pup, more likely 10 - 12 weeks old if he's a tiny or toy breed puppy.

At this age, a puppy is a baby, and all the stress of leaving his momma, traveling to his new home, meeting lots of new people, and maybe even eating a new puppy food, is a lot for him to deal with.

When you first met your new pup, he was probably feeling safe and secure with his momma and siblings. He may have been the boldest in the litter then, but once you get him home he's likely to act much more like a anxious and homesick baby - and that's okay, because that's what he is!

It's natural for that confident, happy little pup you first met to be affected by the stress of these big changes in his life. Anxiety, sadness and withdrawal are not surprising, but they can be worrying and upsetting for his new parents.

What to expect during the first few days

Your new pup may seem happy and lively when you first get him home, running around and greeting everyone with that little tail wagging nineteen-to-the-dozen. However, most puppies tend to gradually become quieter and more subdued. You may notice one, two or several of these...

A loss of appetite

He seems 'lazy' or extra sleepy


A lessening of interest in toys/treats/attention

Apparent 'depression' or sadness

General anxiety

Your puppy's little body is trying to adjust to many new things, and he may react to this by 'shutting it all out' - simply withdrawing from activity and going to sleep.

Like babies, puppies need to sleep a lot anyway, but for the first few days they may seem to be taking one marathon nap! He's feeling anxious and a bit lonely, and that often means he doesn't feel like eating or playing either.

As the days pass though, and he starts to feel more 'at home' with his new family and surroundings, he will start to 'perk up', his appetite will come back (often with a vengeance!and he will suddenly be the bright, active little pup you first met. When that starts to happen, you know he's settled in.

How to tell if your new puppy is just homesick.... or really is SICK

Although in most cases, the above symptoms last only a couple of days and are nothing to worry about, it's important to know that the same symptoms CAN SOMETIMES INDICATE TRUE ILLNESS.

There are many serious, contagious canine diseases that cause loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy (excessive sleepiness) and so on. One of the difficult things for new puppy owners is knowing when there's nothing to worry about - and when to seek veterinary help.

Although it's not possible for me to tell you how to know for sure whether your puppy is homesick or really sick, there are some tips that can help you figure it out.

Your puppy may be suffering from an illness if -

His diarrhea is frequent, and is getting worse. Or if it is watery or contains blood/mucus

He is vomiting repeatedly and is unable to keep food/water down

He seems totally exhausted - too tired to lift his head or care about toys/treats

A puppy who is just homesick may seem sleepy and sad, but can generally be enticed with a game of fetch or a tasty treat. Most times there will be short periods of happy activity during the day, even though he isn't quite 'himself'. However, if your puppy is truly sick, he will usually be unwilling/unable to run around and play - even for short periods. He will look and act as if he feels terrible.

What to do if you're worried

Young puppies are very vulnerable, and can get sick very fast. It's always better to be safe than sorry, and if you are at all concerned about your little guy, ALWAYS take him to see your veterinarian.

Whenever you bring a new puppy home it's a good idea to have him checked over by your veterinarian within a day or two anyway. This way you can be certain that he's current on all his puppy shots, de-worming and other routine care. It also gives you a chance to make sure there are no underlying health issues that you need to be aware of.

If you're not certain whether your puppy's behavior means he's just going through the normal 'adjustment period', or whether he's not feeling well, take him to your vet just as soon as you can. That way you can put your mind at rest, and be certain that you are doing the very best you can for your new puppy.


Author is a life long dog-lover and has many years of experience in breeding, raising and training puppies.

Read the full article 'Bringing Home A New Puppy' and get all the free tips, advice and info you need to take the very best care of your new puppy by visiting ://www.the-puppy-dog-place Puppies are our passion!