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How to Carry a Puppy?

How to carry a puppy? It's simple, really. All it needs is a bit of know-how.

For example, before picking up your puppy, just let him know what you’re about to do. It’ll help avoid startling him and give him time to prepare.

Then, slowly pick him up as you support his back and front body. Then, once he’s settled into your arms, keep him close as you soothe and praise him.

Interested in finding out more? Let’s dive in.

8 Simple Steps to Carry Your Puppy Correctly

1.   Prepare Your Pup before Carrying Him

Before carrying your pup for the first time, let him get used to you and your touch. That way, you avoid scaring him when picking him up, as we mentioned above.

To do this, give him time to sniff you and come up close. Then, once he’s familiarized himself with your scent, he’ll be more comfortable when it’s time for you to pick him up.

dog sniffing

Here are a couple of tips to accelerate this process:

  • Sit down and encourage the puppy to come up on your lap
  • Speak to the pup in a soft, soothing voice

2.   Approach the Puppy From the Side

When it’s time to pick the pup up, slowly bend down to the puppy's side. Stay in this position for a few seconds so the puppy can sniff you.

If, at first, he tries to growl or nip at you, wait a few minutes before trying again.

Don’t approach the pup head-on or from behind. That will only cause him to be wary of you, which is the opposite of what we want.

3.   Offer the Right Support

First, slide one hand around the bottom area underneath the tail of the pup. Then, place the other hand across the puppy’s rib cage, right behind the front legs.

The hand on the bottom will prevent him from slipping out or wiggling off your hold. Also, it allows your puppy to rest comfortably on your forearm.

Additionally, the hand around his chest will support the puppy’s back and front body.

It’s better to hold the front part of the pup using your dominant arm because this gives you more control over the head area.

Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when picking up your pup:

  • Don’t lift the puppy up by his front or back legs
  • Don’t pick the pup up by their armpits
  • Don’t raise the puppy by the scruff.

4.   Lift Up the Puppy

While holding the pup, push up slowly with your knees to get back to the standing position. It's essential to consider two things as you’re standing:

  • Don’t move fast or make any sudden movement to avoid startling the puppy
  • Tuck the pup into your body to make him feel secure and comfortable

5.   Hold Him Close

The important thing is to constantly check that you're supporting your pup’s chest and rump. Furthermore, keep him upright to ensure the pup doesn’t twist over or turn over and hurt himself.

Don’t carry him far away from your body. This might cause him to jump out of your arms and get injured. Instead, keep the pup close to your body.

6.   Soothe and Praise

Like our own babies, speaking to puppies in a soothing tone while snuggling makes them feel calm and relaxed.

Once you establish that connection, your puppy will always react in a positive way every time he hears your voice.

7.   Be Gentle

Remember, pups still haven’t mastered being resilient like their parents. So, you need to be extra careful when placing them on the floor.

The best thing to avoid dropping them is to bend down slowly and gently place your pup on the floor. Then, keep supporting his chest and rump till he’s ready to let go and run off.

8.   Going Outside

When going outdoors with your puppy, you generally have two options.

The first one is that you can hold him in your arms.

Photo of a beautiful woman carrying a dog

The second option is placing him in his crate, which we recommend you do for the first couple of outings.

Yet, before you do that, try a few practice runs with your pup at home first to get your pup used to the noise and being around strangers.

Choosing a suitable bag or crate to carry your puppy can be intimidating, especially for new-time dog owners. So, we rounded up a few safe, comfortable ideas you can use.

Take a look.


You can carry your pup on your back outside using a backpack.

Alternatively, if you want to keep your eyes on your pet consistently while outside, flip the bag around and wear it on your chest to keep the pup in front of you.

In both cases, choose the best-sized bag to ensure your pup is safe and comfortable. Also, make sure you choose a machine-washable bag so you can easily wash it afterward.


You can carry your pup in a basket while on a walk. Yet, use a basket with a suitable size that allows the dog to breathe well, look around, and sit comfortably.

Even better, use a basket made especially for dogs.

Dog Sling

A dog sling is a piece of fabric you can wrap across your body and place the pup inside. It provides total support for your puppy, while keeping him in front. That way, you keep the dog close to you while on a walk.

As an alternative, you can use an old baby sling to carry your pup. Though, you need to be careful when using these models, as their size might not fit the pup. Then, ensure the size is suitable so that you can correctly position the puppy’s head.

Travel Carrier

If you want to take your pup for a car ride or trip, place him in a travel carrier. These carriers are designed to give puppies comfortable space while keeping them secure for the duration of the trip.

You can use a travel carrier for any trip, whether on a train or a plane. However, contact the travel company to get all the details about traveling animals.