Bringing home your puppy

The day you bring your puppy home is exciting, but it can be unsettling for them as they leave their mother and litter mates. Here are some things to remember to ensure you’re ready to take care of them.

Dachshund puppies in black and white
Labrador Retriever puppy lying down on a white bed

What’s the right age to bring your puppy home?

The best age to bring a puppy home is between 8 and 10 weeks old. By then, they should be weaned and have learned early canine social skills by being with their mother and litter mates.

If you bring them home too soon, they’ll miss this important learning period, which could impact their future physical and emotional wellbeing. But if you separate them from their mother and littermates much later than 10 weeks, you will have missed out on a large portion of their socialization phase.

When is the best time to bring a puppy home?

It's important to pick up your puppy when you have a few days free to be at home and take care of them. It’s also best if the house is quiet with very few visitors during the early days so your puppy can settle in without too much going on. If you can, pick them up in the morning so they can get used to their new surroundings before bedtime.

Dachshund puppy being held by owner
Labrador Retriever puppy in black and white with a red ball

Are you ready to pick up your puppy?

Make sure that you’re well prepared, and you'll help your puppy settle happily and safely into their new home and family. Not quite ready? Find out more about how to prepare for your puppy's arrival.

Getting prepared

Questions to ask your puppy’s breeder

Your puppy’s breeder will have a lot of information that you can use to help your puppy settle more quickly in your home and stay healthy. Remember to ask your breeder the following questions and any others relevant to your individual puppy.

  • What food are they being fed and what’s their feeding schedule?
  • Have they begun house broken, and to what level?
  • What are their current daytime and night time routines?
  • Have they been checked by a veterinarian?
  • Have they had any health issues?
  • Have they had any vaccinations and, if so, when is the next injection due?
  • When have they been given de-worming treatments?
  • Do they have a microchip? How to switch ownership?
  • What social experiences have they had so far?
  • What are their parents’ temperaments and personalities like and are health certificates available for them? Can you meet them?

Golden Retriever puppies lying together on a white blanket next to a window

What to take when picking up your puppy

There are a few important things to take with you when you pick up your puppy to help them stay safe and feel more comfortable on the trip home. These include:

Keep your puppy safe when walking them to and from the car.

Give a blanket or toy to your puppy's mother for a while to collect their scent. This should help keep your puppy calm on the way home.

Make sure your puppy is hydrated on the journey home.

It's good to reward your puppy for being well-behaved early on so bring treats and keep them occupied with something to chew on.

When you pick up your puppy they're unlikely to be house broken, so be prepared for potential accidents. 

This is an important item, especially if you're picking them up in a car on your own.

Bringing a puppy home – how to handle the trip

The trip home may be your puppy’s first time in a car. It’s important they feel comfortable so they’re not anxious about future car rides. If possible, it’s best to take someone to comfort them while you’re driving.

How to handle the early days with your puppy

Your puppy's first few days and weeks with you have a huge influence on how well they settle into their new home and their future development and happiness.

First days and weeks
English Cocker Spaniel puppy black and white
Puppy pack shot

Our Puppy Ranges

Royal Canin Puppy formulas supports healthy growth and development by providing all the nutrients essential to their needs in the first year of life.

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