On arrival, your puppy may or may not be hungry. As a result of the long drive and/or flight, the puppy may have a feeling of nervousness or even feel a bit loopy at first. This is completely normal and there is no need to take it personally.
As new puppy owners, we advise that you take your puppy to a quiet place so that it feels safe and secure. In most cases, a puppy pen with potty pads is a great place to start. You can place a puppy’s kennel in there and leave the door open for the puppy to step out once he feels comfortable enough. While food and water may be left out for the puppy during this time, the first day should be taken slowly and it is okay for him/her to decide whether he/she would like to eat, drink, or just rest during this time.
After about an hour of being in their new home, some of our outgoing, confident puppies are already ready to rock and roll and are ready to play with their new family. Their appetite never leaves, and they are full of energy, excitement and lots of curiosity.
However, sometimes our mellow pups who have a more shy demeanor need a little quietness and softness. These puppies may be somewhat reserved and may not want to eat on the first day. This process will pass, and their appetite will return! Lots of love and gentle coaxing is okay to help the puppy feel safe.
As soon as our family received our puppies Shila and Zina, it only took a short period of time (no more than an hour) for them to shake off their sluggish feeling, and become playful and confident. We introduced food and water right away, but it took Shila and Zina about an hour after playing and exploring to feel relaxed and finally eat. Despite the fact that they were traveling, they did not seem to be phased in any way by their journey.
Nevertheless, when we first received our puppy Mickey, she ate right away. However, she seemed very nervous and anxious throughout the first day and a half after she joined our family. It was very helpful for her to become more confident and relaxed in our backyard, as we could walk around and spend quality time with her. Soon we would take walks in a quiet park, and give her lots of treats and gentle pats to help her become more relaxed.
Therefore, even though every dog is different and they will have a slightly different reaction to their changedenvironment, the correct thing to do is to always be gentle when handling them, while they adjust to their first transition. Your puppy may be more like Shila and Zina, which is great! You can begin getting to know them, and making basic training and enjoyable experiences a part of everyday life. In any case, if your new puppy’s personality is more like Mickey, you should know that even giving her space and allowing her to explore on her own without forcing her to cooperate makes a huge difference. As important as it is to play with your new puppy, it is equally important to allow him or her to have space!
Generally speaking, dogs can go without water for about two to three days at most. It is critical to note, however, that if you are traveling by car over long distances over which your dog will be with you, we will always provide you with a kennel along with a small attached bowl that will be filled with fresh water (or ice to minimize spills). And if your pup is traveling by air, flight attendants always make sure the puppy has water available! We have never had a situation wherethe puppies have refused to drink water! If your newly adopted pup is not drinking water, you need to look for signs of dehydration!
Dehydration shows itself in many ways. Here’s a few: a dry little nose, sticky and dry gums, lethargy, and loss of elasticity in their skin. (We’ve never experienced this happening to any of our puppies, but it is always goodknowledge to have just in case!) If you feel that your puppy is dehydrated and not interested in water, contact your vet as soon as possible! Dehydration can be treated quickly with an IV drip. Your vet can help find the problem and provide solutions to avoid dehydration in the future!
Dogs can go without food for 3 to 5 days. In spite of that, we have never sent our puppies on a trip for longer than two days. If pups are driven for two days via car, their new owners always stop at a hotel to rest with their puppy that is traveling with them. At this point the puppy is able to eat and drink, and he can even become more comfortable with his new parents during this period. Likewise, if the puppy must travel more than one flight to reach his or her new home, the flight attendants will offer food and potty breaks to the puppy during layovers. As a result, if your puppy takes a day to regain his or her appetite, it is not dangerous, and perfectly normal to do so.
There is something resilient about puppies, and they always live in the moment. Because of this, the transition from one home to another is usually a very short one. There is no doubt that a large majority of our puppies take no more than a couple of hours to get curious and explore their surroundings. They feel relieved, excited and happy, as proven by their prancing and tail wags. There are very few cases in which a puppy needs a day or more to relax and feel at ease to eat and play with its new family!
It is imperative to know what anxiety looks like in dogs and puppies. Long term anxiety can be harmful in more ways than you can imagine! Anxiety and stress can cause difficulty in their learning, mood swings and physical health ailments like stomach ulcers, diarrhea, infections, excessive self-grooming, and a weakened immune system. You can educate yourself on what to look for when assessing your puppy. You can ensure that the anxiety is short term and fixed, and ensure that your dog never experiences chronic stress or long term anxiety.
Here are some signs to look out for:
- Excessive drooling
- Compulsive behavior
- Pacing and panting even when the temperature is not too warm
- Shaking or shivering
There are plenty of ways to relieve your puppy’s anxiety though. If your puppy is howling, barking, pacing, and being restless, exercise and playtime can help get rid of that built-up energy. This will stimulate their minds and tire out their bodies, hopefully allowing them to rest. In some cases, just some physical contact or even a massage will help the puppy exit from that harmful state of mind. If these fail or don’t seem to be the right thing to do, another alternative is to place your puppy in a quiet room (within a puppy pen to ensure their safety) with water, a bed, maybe a couple of toysand play some meditation or calming music. Most puppies with anxiety need peace and rest or to release their excessenergy.
If you ever feel confused in any way, or need support and/or help finding answers, our team is always available to call or text! We have worked with dogs and puppies for a long time, and are eager to help our new puppy parents in any way they need!