How to Hold a Puppy: Dos & Don’ts
How do you hold a new puppy? The answer to this question is not as simple as it might seem. Because they’re so delicate, puppies need to be handled with care at all times to ensure they stay healthy and happy. In this post, we’ll go over the dos and don’ts of holding a puppy for dog owners, so you don’t end up hurting your new furry friend!
Dos: The Proper Way to Hold a Puppy
Follow these steps to keep your young puppy safe and ensure they have a pleasant experience when being held:
✅ Take things slowly
Before picking up your puppy for the first time, you’ll want to make sure they’re comfortable with your touch. Let them sniff you and allow them to get used to being around you before you pick them up. This will help them feel less anxious in your presence and make holding them much easier.
✅ Place a hand under the puppy’s chest
When you’re ready to pick up your puppy, place one hand under their chest just behind their front legs. This will support their body and keep them stable. Make sure your hand is wrapped around their chest and your fingers are spread apart evenly to prevent the puppy from slipping.
✅ Support their rear end with your other hand
Next, use your other hand to support the puppy’s back end. This will prevent them from wiggling and slipping out of your hold, which could result in accidental injuries. Supporting the puppy’s rear end will also help them feel more comfortable and secure while you’re holding them.
✅ Pick the puppy up gently and hold them close to your body
Puppies, like babies, are fragile creatures. You want to make sure you don’t pick them up too hastily or handle them roughly. Doing so could leave your pup scared, injured, or both. Pick the puppy up slowly while supporting their chest and back end. Handle your little friend with care and hold them close to your body so they feel safe and protected.
✅ Keep the puppy in an upright position
To ensure the puppy’s safety, make sure you keep them in an upright position when holding them in your arms. This will help them feel secure and prevent them from twisting or turning around and potentially injuring themselves.
✅ Hold a puppy firmly at all times
When holding a puppy, it’s important to make sure that they’re secure without squeezing or crushing their little bodies. Be sure to avoid pinning their legs against the side of your body and always keep them in a comfortable position. Hold the puppy firmly but gently at all times. You don’t want them wiggling out of your hands and accidentally hurting themselves or escaping from the situation altogether.
Don’ts: The Wrong Way to Hold a Puppy
Keep your puppy safe by avoiding these common mistakes:
❌ Hold a puppy up by their legs
It’s never a good idea to lift your pup by their front or back legs. Not only can this result in physical injuries, but it may also lead to emotional distress. As we mentioned earlier, it’s best to support your puppy by placing one hand under the dog’s chest and the other at their back end to keep them safe and secure.
❌ Lift them up by their tail
Lifting a puppy up by their tail should always be avoided, as it can result in physical injuries to their spine, nerves, and muscles. Another reason not to pick your pup up by the tail is that it may leave emotional scars. Puppies need to feel protected and secure in order to develop emotionally, and if you handle them roughly it can lead to anxiety issues later in life.
❌ Pick them up by the scruff of the neck
You may have seen mother dogs pick their pups up by the scruff of the neck to carry them around. However, this method of holding a puppy isn’t recommended for humans. Picking up a puppy by the scruff of their neck can lead to muscle and tissue damage. It can also cause emotional issues in developing puppies.
❌ Use their collar to pick them up
You should never lift a puppy up by their collar. When you do this, you are compressing the air in their lungs and restricting blood flow. This can cause extreme pain and lead to loss of consciousness, coma, or even death. Lifting a puppy by their collar can also cause neck and spine injuries that may have long-term effects on your pup.
❌ Cradle your puppy like a baby
Cradling your puppy like a baby may seem like a good idea, but it can actually lead to a multitude of injuries. When you do this, your puppy is unsupported and at risk of falling, which can lead to serious injuries like broken bones. Instead, follow the guidelines above to support your pup’s whole body and prevent dangerous slips and falls.
❌ Allow children to pick up the puppy unsupervised
Puppies can be a lot of fun for young children, but it’s vital to make sure that they’re taught how to pick up a small dog safely. Spend time with your kids and show them how to handle a puppy in the correct way. Make sure they understand how important it is not to hold them by their tail, legs, collar, or the scruff of their neck when lifting them up. Avoid allowing children to pick up their pet unsupervised, as this can lead to accidental injuries.
Puppies are a lot of fun and they’re easy to love, but it’s important that you know how to handle them safely so that they can grow up happy, healthy, and strong! By following the guidelines in this article, you’ll be able to enjoy the company of your new furry family member without accidentally injuring or scaring them.