PuppyLife: Bringing Home a New Puppy

PuppyLife: Bringing Home a New Puppy

I remember my first ride home with Carl when he was a puppy like it was yesterday.

Our first trip together took us through miles of country dirt road, a little highway, and almost constant crying.

After two hours we arrived home, but the crying didn’t stop.

I tried playing with him, petting him, holding him, but nothing seemed to work. After an hour or two Carl started to respond to me better. Then, finally he stopped crying, started playing, and he hasn’t stopped since.

Looking back on that day I’ve often wondered what made him act that way.

Could I have better prepared for the experience, or was Carl just nervous to leave his old home behind?

The first real opportunity dog owners have to truly bond with their new puppy is during the ride home.

I learned a lot from that initial experience, and I’ve come up with these three tips to help transition your puppy into its new home.

Hopefully, this will make the process as simple and pain-free as possible.

I’ve seen these methods work wonders for friends and family, and I only wish that I had found out about them sooner.

3 Tips For Bringing a New Puppy Home

Have Someone Drive You

This is important for multiple reasons.

To start, you can’t safely bond with your puppy while you’re driving. I suggest you ask a dog loving friend to join, so you’re fully able to take advantage of these first few moments of your relationship.

Your new puppy will be excited to be with you, but they’re leaving their old home behind. In that moment, you’re pulling them away from everything they’ve ever known, and they’ll likely be a little nervous.

With someone else at the wheel, your full attention can be devoted to making your new companion feel as comfortable as possible.

Bringing a new puppy home

Image by: John Liu

Blanket & Toys

A soft blanket goes a long way in making your new puppy feel comfortable during the ride. Don’t be afraid to snuggle them up in a blanket and keep them close.

I suggest bringing one of the blankets you have set aside for their crate. This will help them get used to their new environment.

Depending on how long your trip home is, you’re going to want to keep your new puppy as occupied as possible. This is where a plush squeaky toy comes in handy. A Kong toy worked wonders with Carl.

You can find the Kong toy here.

On my first trip home with Carl I couldn’t stop worrying that he would have an accident on my lap. Keeping your new puppy busy can go a long way to prevent this.

Puppy Pads, Patience & Cleaning Products

If you’ve read our Puppy Starter Kit guide then, you’ll know how important having an ample supply of patience & cleaning products can be.

As much as we do our best to plan, and attempt to limit accidents. The fact is that at this point neither of us any control in their lives. We need to be prepared to clean any mess that might pop up because of this lack of control.

To assist in the cleanup of these unexpected messes I always keep a stack of puppy pads close by. Initially, I put a puppy pad under Carl’s water bowl so he wouldn’t make a mess in his crate. I also packed a few puppy pads in his travel bag just incase. Luckily they never got used but it’s good to have them as a back up.

The Amazon Basic Puppy Pads work great!

Another thing that works great for clean up is the simple combination of paper towels or a damp cloth, and Bissell Pretreat Pet Cleaner. For me it works great on all surfaces of the house not just carpet. When Carl makes a mess I simply spray the area, wait 5 minutes, and then wipe the area clean.

It’s safe, removes urine stains, and odors. You can purchase it from Amazon here.

Follow these 3 guidelines with your new puppy, and get home safe to start the fun!

Catch you next time.


PuppyLife is a multipart series designed to give new, and experienced dog owners a step-by-step guide to eliminating some of the challenges that come with having a new puppy.

Feature Image by: Anathea Utley

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