Bringing Your New Puppy Home

Everything is new for you and especially for your new puppy! And it can be exciting and a little scary all at the same time.

In this post, we’d like to simply share our personal recommendations with you on what to do when you first bring your new puppy home with hopes to make this big transition a little less scary as possible, so that you can simply focus on relaxing and enjoying your newest little family member!

Before your puppy comes home with you, they will have had their first round of shots, microchipped, appropriate deworming, stuffed toy with mom and littermates scents, registration documents (provided after proof of spay/neuter upon request) and a clean bill of health from our veterinarian.

Now is a great time to get started on your pre-reading. Raising puppies is hard work, and to help support you in successfully transitioning your pup into your home, we recommend the following books as pre-reading.

1. All You Need is Love, by Jennifer Arnold

2. Raising Puppies and Kids Together

3. The Puppy Primer

4. Way To Go

5. Raising Rover

Recommend Food:

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy Dry Dog Food with Real Meat (Light Purple Bag)

Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate Chicken Recipe


Dog Crate with divider panel! VERY IMPORTANT WHILE POTTY AND CRATE TRAINING THEY ONLY NEED ENOUGH ROOM TO TURN AROUND. We recommend a medium size with divider so they can grow into it.

Crate Training Tips

Be sure not to put anything in the bottom of the crate, such as a towel or even paper, as this is counter-intuitive for potty training. The main goal of the crate is to provide a small space for the dog to learn to “hold their potty” until they can go outside. Absorbent material in a crate seems like a good place to go potty, so leave the hard plastic floor until they are nine months to a year old, no matter what your heart tells you, this is best for your new puppy for now. Be sure to give your puppy a small food treat every time they go into their crate to give positive reinforcement that their crate is a comforting place.

Food and Water Bowls: We use this one

Puppy Playpen

While your puppy is still young you may not want them to have full range of the house. To help keep them safe we recommend a playpen area where the family hangs out so they cant get into trouble ; )

Washable Pee Pee Mat

We like to use these while we are still potty training vs the paper pee pads (as they get older they start to chew them up) I have 2 or 3 on hand so I can just switch them out as needed.

Snuggle Pup


A vented hair brush or slicker brush- brushing weekly or every other day is great, depending on how long you want to keep your dog’s coat.

Dematting Comb

Nail File:

Dog Tags & Swagger: My sister in law owns “Salty Dog Shop” she is a small local business and will offer you 10% OFF with “Coupon Code” MERMAIDDOODLES

Calming Comfy Bed:

Groomer: We use Dapper Dog Groomers. 7419 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28411 Phone: (910) 319-7786

Veterinarian Care:

We use Atlantic Animal Hospital and Pet Care Resort

1808 Sir Tyler Drive Wilmington, NC 28405

Phone: (910) 256-2624

After Hours Emergency: (910) 791-7387


Please bring your puppy medical record with you to your 1st Vet appointment. Your puppy will need a series of shots until they are sixteen weeks old and they should not be exposed to other unvaccinated dogs or areas where other dogs might have gone potty until they’ve had all of their shots. Please do not allow your puppy to be in any public places until he/she has had all of his/her shots. Diseases like Parvo and distemper, which can be deadly, can remain in soil for years. Do not allow your puppy to go potty on the side of the road on the way home, DO NOT GO TO “puppy” training classes (until after 4 months old), DO NOT GO to dog parks, or pet stores, including Petsmart and Petco.

Lots of Love is the key!

Your puppy has endured a lot of changes getting to his/her new home. All of this is new for him/her, so be gentle and loving.  Puppies will need to potty and then have refreshments (food and water) as soon as he/she arrives home. Put him/her in the area where you would like for him/her to go potty and then praise him/her quietly. This will get him/her off to a great start.

Potty training is serious business.

Potty training is usually the most challenging part of having a new puppy. It is important that you are diligent with your puppy’s crate training. If you are not holding your puppy or playing with him/her, he/she should be in his/her crate. This way he/she can’t make any mistakes that you cannot correct immediately. Dogs have a 2.5 second span that they can connect the mistake to the discipline they receive, which should never be more than a harsh “NO. NO.” Because of this fact, it is important that you not give them the opportunity to make a mistake unless you are right there to teach them immediately. Your puppy wants most of all to make you happy and will learn quickly what makes you unhappy. It will seem difficult at times, but be patient, it won’t be long before you can hardly remember when you had to teach your dog to potty outside. Way To Go is a great little book to help with potty training.

When to eat, it’s important for potty training.

Do feed breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offer approximately one-half cup at each feeding. Feeding guidelines are on your dog food bag, too. He/she may or may not eat all of it. Don’t worry if your puppy doesn’t eat much the first day or two.

Recommend Schedule:

You want to get him/her up about 6 – 6:30 am, take him/her potty, feed and water him/her, potty again about 20 minutes later and then keep two eyes on him/her when he/she is running around the house, so if he/she has an accident, you can catch him/her. Then do the same thing for lunch and dinner time (with going potty outside 20 minutes after food). Take up all food and water around 7:00 pm and then take him/her outside to potty around 10:00 pm for his/her final nighttime potty, and put him/her in his/her crate. Try very hard not to respond to crying or whining once crated or you will train him/her to whine or cry in the crate. We had an Alexa right next to the puppy pen and would play smooth jazz to help soothe them. We played lullabies at night time.

Puppies make bad decisions.

  • Puppies chew things, including shoes and wires (very dangerous) so keeping your eyes on your puppy will keep him/her (and your shoes) safe when they are out of their crate. Chewing is not a bad behavior, it is necessary and a natural instinct for dogs.
  • Be cautious of poisonous household plants and plants in your yard, such as mushrooms and palm trees.
  • All people food is NOT okay for dogs. Feeding only dog food and treats will keep your puppy healthy and safe.

Family Tips:

  • While your family and home are familiar to you, it is new, unfamiliar, and possibly a bit frightening to a small puppy that hasn’t seen much of the world yet. Your puppy’s first few days would be best suited to having as much of your attention as possible and as calm of a schedule as you can manage.
  • Your puppy will adjust best if you keep company to a minimum for the first 3-4 days. Establishing a routine for feeding your puppy three times a day and a designated “crate training” time each initial day will serve both your family and your puppy well.
  • It is very scary for a puppy to come into a new home and be left alone for many hours at a time. While it is fine to leave the puppy for a little while each day, it needs to be done in a manner that will be conducive to helping your puppy adjust well.
  • If you have children, be sure to read books and watch videos about children and dogs. The puppy is not a new toy, and the children need to be very respectful of the new puppy’s space and sleep schedule.
  • Watch for signs that your puppy needs to use the restroom. Sniffing and circling are good indicators that he/she is looking for a spot to relieve him/herself.
  • Puppies have very little bladder control and will need to take frequent breaks to eliminate. The key times to be watchful and initiate potty breaks are: after eating, drinking, playing, or waking from sleep. Do not ever punish your pet for an accident. Just pick him/her up and redirect him/her. Then praise him/her each time he goes outside.
  • Never ever take a puppy that has not been fully vaccinated to a retail pet store. Vaccinations will usually be completed by 16 weeks and your vet can inform you of the timeframe that your pet will have the full coverage of the vaccinations. Pet stores and dog parks are frequently the culprits of a puppy being exposed to harmful diseases that are life threatening.
  • Be sure you have read a few books to understand what typical “puppy behaviors” look like. A few normal puppy behaviors include: nipping, chasing, chewing, and barking. Good pet owners will have a plan in place to address these issues in a manner that is positive and will redirect the behavior. Like children, puppies respond best to repetition. Australian Labradoodles are particularly sensitive in nature and do not usually require harsh discipline.

We hope this info was helpful and as always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions!

Much love from our family to yours,

Mermaid Doodles