You’ve done your research, chosen your breed, and found your new best friend. Now you’re ready to pick up your new puppy and bring them home. But are you prepared for this big day?  

Picking up a new puppy is not as simple as it sounds. You need to make sure that you have everything ready to make the transition smooth and stress-free for both you and your pup. Here are some tips and advice to make sure you’re prepared when you pick up your new puppy. 

Things to consider before the big day 

Some questions you should ask yourself when you’re planning the pick up include: 

  • How will you transport your puppy? Are you driving in a car, or do you need to take an Uber?  
  • How long is the trip? Do you need to make regular stops for toilet breaks? If so, where are you going to stop? 
  • Is it your puppy’s first time in a car? Does their old owner have any tips or suggestions? 

 

What to pack when you go to pick up your puppy 

If you’re organised, you’ve probably bought everything you need for your puppy and will own most of these items already. You just need to remember to pack them! 

Car restraints 

Part of driving safely with dogs in the car is ensuring they’re properly restrained. Check the road rules and animal welfare laws regarding transporting dogs in your area and make sure you comply with them: 

 

There are a number of different ways you can safely restrain your puppy in the car: 

 

 

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A collar, lead or harness 

A collar and/or harness are required for some of the car restraints listed above. They’re also needed to help take your puppy for toilet breaks if you take rest stops on the way home. Make sure you choose a leash and a harness that are suitable for your puppy’s size and strength, and that you know how to put them on and take them off. 

Buying a harness before you get your puppy and not sure what size you need? Speak to the friendly team members at your local Petbarn store. They’re very experienced harness fitters and will be able to guide you in the right direction. 

Puppy pads and poo bags 

Puppies need to go to the toilet regularly, and they won’t care that a car isn’t an appropriate toilet spot. It’s best to be prepared to clean up accidents with puppy pads lining the car seat the puppy is sitting on. 
If your drive is long enough to need regular toilet stops, pack some poo bags too. It’s poor etiquette and unhygienic to leave your dog’s poo behind because it could spread disease and parasites to other dogs, animals, and humans.  

Clean, old towels or blankets 

An old towel or blanket will come in handy for a couple of reasons: 

  • They can help protect your car seats if your puppy gets carsick or has a toilet accident and misses the puppy pad. 
  • They provide a clean surface to place your puppy on when you make rest stops (chances are your puppy is still too young to be allowed to walk on the ground in public areas). 

 

Water and a transportable bowl 

Your puppy can’t drink from a water bottle like we can, so make sure you pack something they can drink out of. This is especially important if you’re travelling a long way to pick up your puppy. 

You can get water bottles and collapsible bowls specifically designed to give water on the go.  

Treats and toys 

When you pick up your new puppy, it’s likely they’ve only been in the car once or twice before. It can be a scary experience, which is why you should try and make it as pleasant as possible. Bring some yummy treats to reward them and make it a positive experience. Pack some toys to keep them occupied on the drive.  

Calming pheromones and treats 

Something else you can incorporate into your pick up plans to make travel more positive for your puppy are calming tools.  

One simple calming tool is a blanket or toy that smells like their mother. If you don’t have access to that, you can spray calming pheromones like Adaptil around your car to help your puppy settle during the ride. Adaptil is a synthetic pheromone that mimics a calming pheromone produced by the puppy’s mother.  

There are also treats designed to have a calming effect; however, many of them take time to work and are best given in the days leading up to the scary event. 

Picking up a new puppy is a big and exciting day, but it also requires a lot of preparation and care. By following this advice, you can make sure that you and your puppy have a smooth and stress-free transition, and that you start your new life together on the right paw.