Taking care of a new dog or puppy can be a difficult and extremely stressful task. When first adopting or rescuing a puppy you have to consider the magnitude of what you are taking on.
Although puppies can be cuddly and cute, they also need a lot of attention, care and patience.
At the end of the day, puppies are essentially babies and they need a similar level of care, especially when they are first introduced to a new and strange environment.
During this trying process, the puppy may begin to exhibit strange behaviours which in turn could be the symptoms of stress.
Although stress is not uncommon among new puppies it can be dangerous for their health if not treated properly.
This guide will cover all the information you need to know regarding the well-being of your puppy and the effects stress can have on its development and well-being.
Can puppies have stress?
As has been previously mentioned stress among puppies is not a rarity, and is actually quite common among young canines. This is particularly true when it comes to puppies who have been introduced to a new home.
Essentially the puppy does not recognize their surroundings and will therefore seek comfort in you as their owner. Often times this will result in the puppy needing constant attention and reassurance.
When introducing a puppy to a new home, it is important that you do not leave them alone for long periods of time.
For at such a young age, puppies are still very much a risk to themselves and prolonged hours of separation will only help to heighten their stress levels.
Stress is often visible through the behaviour of the puppy and in most cases, you will know when the puppy is not happy or comfortable in its situation.
For example crying, shaking and shedding can all be indicators of stress. However, there are other less noticeable signs that you should be mindful of.
Such as the puppy losing control of its bodily functions and going to the toilet in the house. Although this may not be ideal, you need to understand that the puppy is still adapting and may have accidents when it is scared.
Can a puppy cry itself to death?
Although this is a heart-breaking question the answer is even worse. Yes, sadly puppies can cry themselves to death.
If a puppy is left alone for hours on end it will begin to cry for attention, this will only worsen if the puppy’s needs are not met.
And this can lead to the puppy essentially exhausting themselves to the point where their body can not recover.
Puppies are only small after all and they are far more fragile than more mature dogs.
However, this does not mean that full-grown dogs are immune to the same fate. Although it is much rarer among adult canines, there have been instances where a stressed or anxious dog has cried themselves to death.
If you do not want your new puppy to suffer in such a way, then there are numerous practices and training techniques that can be used to relieve and lessen their stress.
Make sure the puppy is comfortable
The first night with a new puppy is often the hardest and you may find the puppy to be very upset during the night.
Instead of leaving them downstairs or in their own dog bed, it is recommended that you allow the puppy to sleep in the same bed as you.
If you follow this practice for the first few nights then the puppy will begin to adapt to its new home and will eventually be ready to sleep on its own.
Alternatively, you can allow the puppy to sleep in a crate by the side of your bed. This will help the puppy to register your presence during the night, which will comfort them enough to sleep.
Again the first few days are going to be a rocky road and it is advisable that you spend those first few days helping the puppy get acclimated to its new environment.
When training the dog it is important that you remain positive and patient.
Give the puppy treats when it has done something right and it begins to understand what is good behaviour and what is bad.
Not only does this establish a natural routine for the dog but it will help it to adapt to its new domestic life.
Give the puppy its own space
Crate training is often favoured among dog lovers and veterinarians because it is a safe and caring practice that helps to reduce the puppy’s stress and anxiety. Essentially the training involves introducing the puppy or dog to an indoor kennel or crate.
By introducing a puppy to a space that is wholly its own, it begins to associate the crate with a sense of safety and security.
This allows the dog to have a safe space of its very own, a place it can go to if it is feeling anxious or uncomfortable.
This also helps the dog to adapt to a new environment and can be very beneficial when toilet training a young pup.