life, Puppy Parents

Puppy Essentials: Picking Up Your Puppy

This is the first installment of our new series: Puppy Essentials.  We are going to give insight and tips regarding our first year as puppy parents! *note:  We are by no means dog experts.  Please consult your veterinarian or dog professional if needed. This is just based on our experience as puppy parents.
I remember when we were in the process of adopting Macie, I was so overwhelmed. Neither of us grew up with a dog, so beyond a leash, some food, and a few toys we weren’t sure what supplies were needed.   I researched ENDLESSLY and still felt like it wasn’t enough.  What if I forgot something? Well, I’ve learned puppies are resilient. They will be fine if you forget something (except food and water, just don’t forget food and water 😉 ).
A ‘what if’ was what to bring when picking up your puppy.  There are endless lists for what you need at home. But what did I need when picking her up?  We were getting her from about 45 minutes from the house, so it wasn’t just a mile drive down the road. Thankfully, the rescue did advise on a few standard items.  However after our personal experience, I have compiled a list of everything I wish we had when we picked her up.

Harness & Leash

This one should be obvious. The rescue recommended a harness as opposed to collar, so we went that route and brought both with us, although I did hold Macie the whole time.


Bring towels and not a blanket. Towels are good to have because accidents happen. There is a chance that the puppy will accidentally go to the bathroom or get sick (Macie did!).  So towels will hopefully help avoid getting anything on your car seats.  And if it is cold, you can wrap it around the puppy for extra warmth.
I actually brought both, but should’ve ditched the blanket.
Plan:  rub the blanket on the other puppies in her litter to ease with the separation.
Reality: rub the blanket on the litter, then have dog throw up… on the blanket… that she is wrapped in during the car ride… so we had to wash it (and the litter scent off).


If it is a long car ride, your puppy might get bored or start biting. Puppies love biting!  A toy could help occupy or comfort the puppy.  Not 100% needed, but why not?

Cleaning Supplies: cleaner, paper towels, garbage bag

*see towel example above 😃  I wish we had something to actually clean up after Macie got sick.  Thankfully (? or ironically)  she got sick a few blocks from our house, so we didn’t have much farther to go. Had she gotten sick farther from home, it would’ve been a lot worse without anything to clean it up.

Crate: optional

I held Macie the whole car ride, however if this isn’t an option bring a crate for the puppy!

One thing to also add is: I know it is tempting, but the best option is to go straight home. Young puppies usually aren’t up to date on shots, so they really shouldn’t be out in public. So avoid the pet store and head straight home!   I’m not an expert but I like to think us going straight home helped build a bond that showed Macie it was her home/den.   And, it gave us more time for puppy snuggles ❤

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