Bringing a First Puppy Home in the Car – Complete guide

Generally speaking, puppies 8 weeks old and younger should only ride in a car for 1-2 hours at most. Any longer than that may become uncomfortable or overwhelming for them, so make sure you have more pit stops.

By PetWah 13 Min Read
13 Min Read

Bringing your first puppy home is a time of excitement, your emotions are running high, and you are tense as to how you will grow and support a small puppy through its life cycle. The first experience your puppy will share with you is the car ride to its new home. This travel with a puppy to your home for the first time can be scary if not handled well; thankfully, you don’t have to worry as these tips will help you and your new puppy have the best experience possible.

Can puppies travel in the car?

Yes, puppies can travel in cars, however, different dogs will get different experiences out of it. For example, my German Shepherd puked in the car, that too for a short drive time of 20 mins. While some puppies are comfortable in cars, others can find car travel a little nerve-wracking. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to make your four-legged buddy feel comfortable.

Before you bring your puppy home, you’ll want to start getting things ready at the house. If possible, it is best to schedule a time when you will be able to be around the house for a few days to make sure your pup adjusts to the new environment. A long weekend can be utilized effectively for this. Make sure you can cater enough time for your pup during the initial stages, so he doesn’t feel alienated or out of place.

Picking up Your First Puppy

Bringing a First Puppy Home in the Car
Bringing a First Puppy Home in the Car

While you are heading to pick up your puppy, it is advisable you carry along some treats, something to chew, a blanket/towel, the leash & collar. Make sure you carry poop bags along with cleaning supplies (in case there is an accident) if you are able to, bring someone with you to keep the puppy occupied while you drive, or vice-versa. If you are bringing someone along, your pup would be able to take this ride out of his crate, if not, you can crate them.

When you pick them up, ensure all the paperwork is present and you understand the current feeding schedule and the type of food being used. You can get a sample of their current food to continue feeding them, if you kindly ask, you can also integrate it with the new food they will be eating. Keep in mind to not feed them right before you head out to help avoid any car sickness.

Before you board your pup in the car, it is suggested to take them for a walk to tire them out a bit for the ride and to let them attend nature’s calls. While you are putting on a new collar make sure it is tight enough so it does not slip over their head. If the collar seems tight at first, try fitting 2 fingers in when it’s around their neck to be sure of good measure.

That will help you get your puppy home. Then you’ll want to get them on a schedule, establish yourself as the pack leader, and begin your training.

What should I take in my car while bringing a puppy home for the first time?

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Bringing home a new Puppy can be a very exciting time, but it’s important to be prepared. Before you start your journey to the Puppy’s current home, be sure to gather any essentials you may need for their journey in the car. You’ll want to make sure that you have a comfortable bed or carrier for them to sleep in during the car ride, as well as some food and water if needed. Be sure to pack some extra blankets or towels just in case of an accident, and toys can help keep the Puppy distracted while they’re getting used to their new surroundings. Bringing your Puppy home should be an experience filled with comfort and joy, so make sure that you’re ready with all of these items before setting off on your adventure together!

How to keep your puppy calm in the car?

How to keep your puppy calm in the car?
How to keep your puppy calm in the car?

When you’re in a car with a puppy, the best way to keep them calm is by taking proactive steps to ensure the journey goes as smoothly as possible. Start by giving your puppy a comfortable and secure space inside the car, such as setting up a small travel bed or providing some blankets so they won’t be uncomfortable in their seat.

Puppies can often become anxious while driving due to several factors – ranging from fear of unknown noises or environments to motion sickness – so it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of stress, such as whining or licking their lips. Additionally, try using calming aids like music or carefully-curated playlists that are tailored toward relaxing pets. Finally, take frequent breaks in safe areas so your pup can relieve any stress that has built up along the journey. Keeping these tips in mind will help ensure that your puppy rides peacefully and arrive safely at your destination.

What to do if the puppy peed or pooped in the car?

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If your puppy has had an accident in the car, act fast! First and foremost, put on suitable safety gear like rubber gloves to protect yourself from any potential mess. Then, start cleaning up the urine or feces with a paper towel or some mildly-abrasive cleaner, making sure that you get into all the crevices of the car, especially if the liquid has been spilled. Once all of the mess is cleaned up, be sure to sanitize the area using disinfectant wipes or spray—a must-do to guard against any unwanted odors. Finally, reward your pup with lots of love and attention; they may have had an accident but weren’t doing it on purpose. Puppies learn best through positive reinforcement so let them know they did something good by offering a hug and their favorite treat!

How far can I drive with a new puppy?

How far can I drive with a new puppy?
How far can I drive with a new puppy?

Puppies make a great addition to any car journey, but it’s important that the trip doesn’t become too long or stressful for your pup. How far can you drive with a puppy in the car? Generally speaking, puppies 8 weeks old and younger should only ride in a car for 1-2 hours at most. Any longer than that may become uncomfortable or overwhelming for them, so make sure you have more pit stops. Puppies between 3-6 months old usually can go up to 6-9 hours, with periodic stops to get out and stretch their legs. Puppies over 6 months of age can usually handle trips of 8+ hours or more so long as they’re used to it, but be sure to still plan plenty of rest stops throughout your journey. Keeping your pup safe and comfortable is key!

Home Prep for the Pup

Clean – Before bringing your dog home, make sure you clean up. The doggo is going to want to explore everything in their new environment. And obviously, the natural approach to examining will be to smell, pick or chew objects that are sitting around. For all the puppy knows, everything is a toy. As it is the first day, hide your shoes and other things they might grab.

Get rid of Harmful materials – While you are cleaning make sure to store away any chemicals you might have. If you have oil or fertilizers in the garage, remember to put them in a place that can be reached only by you and not your puppy. Because anything that has a smell will be particularly interesting.

Check the yard (if you have one) – Don’t forget to check the yard for any possible hazards, toys, plants, or other things you wish to keep safe from your puppy’s chewing.

Shopping for the Puppy

Shopping for the Puppy
Shopping for the Puppy

You need to be able to head straight home with your puppy. To do so it’s better if you go out ahead of time and get the supplies at home, for example,

  • Food (dry puppy food usually, check to see what the puppies are currently eating)
  • A crate (You can look at crate tips below)
  • Food as well as water bowls
  • Toys to chew (while buying make sure they are puppies)
  • Rawhide treats, etc.
  • A collar & leash
  • Paper towels
  • Pet odor neutralizer/cleaner 
  • Poop bags 

After you have bought everything it’s advisable to take a quick walk through the house to make sure everything is made puppy-proof. In the majority of cases new pups can be chewers and if make sure they don’t get ahold of anything they shouldn’t, your experience will be smooth sailing.

Different Crate Options

There are two major options for a dog crate: Wire and Plastic. You can lean more toward a plastic crate if you are bringing a small dog and the wire crate would be a good option if you are bringing a large dog. Few features of each option. 


  • It can be folded flat (It becomes an essential feature if you buy a large crate and don’t have a truck)
  • Cheaper, especially for large sizes (Cost ranges from $20 – $60)
  • These have fast setup/takedown
  • Wire crate usually comes with an extra panel so you can size the crate to the dog instead of having to buy a new one if you continue using the crate while the dog is growing.


  • It is bulkier to transport
  • This is on the expensive side ($30-$200)
  • A plastic crate is easier to carry for small dogs
  • It has more darkness/Privacy
  • Better looking

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By PetWah
We at PetWah adore pets and want to give them the finest goodies they’ve ever had. We understand the significance of knowing what to feed your pets and what not to feed them.