New Dog Shopping Checklist: 17 Essential Items You Need

How exciting is getting a new dog? It’s such a fun, nerve-wracking, exhilarating time. Before you know it, your dog will be here, so to help the transition, we recommend having these 17 essential supplies on hand.

You may have some of these already from previous pups. Or maybe a friend or family member has some items they don’t need. Wherever they come from, you should definitely have these on hand before your new dog arrives:

  1. Collar

    First things first, your new canine needs a collar. If your dog isn’t full grown just yet, keep in mind that the collar will likely need to be replaced in the near future.

    How do you know if the collar fits? Vets say you should be able to slip two fingers comfortably underneath of the collar.

    And how do you pick the right one when there are so many different styles and colors? It’s up to you! See what looks good with your dog’s coloring and reflects your style.

    We love these reflective, colorful collars from Blueberry.

  2. ID tag with your info

    Attached to that collar should be an ID tag with your dog’s name and your contact info in case your pup gets lost.

    How cute are these?

  3. Leash

    Your new pup will need exercise asap, so be ready with a leash! Vets recommend leashes that are 4-6 feet long, like this one.

  4. Food and water bowls

    And we expect the pup will be very hungry and thirsty. You can’t go wrong with stainless steal dog dishes.

  5. Food

    Before you buy a gigantic bag of random dog food, check with your vet and see what they recommend. If you got your dog from a breeder or shelter, see what they were feeding your pup beforehand.

  6. A variety of treats

    While you’re asking about food, bring up treats as well. Try a couple different kinds to see what your dog likes and sits well with their stomach.

  7. Kennel

    This is a tricky one. You need to find a kennel that is big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in comfortably, but small enough so that they feel safe and secure. Sure, this is easy if your dog is full grown, but it’s tough if your dog is a puppy and expected to get much bigger. After all, kennels aren’t cheap. What size do you get?

    One thing you can do is get a kennel you know will fit your dog at full size, and add padding or a wood divider to make it smaller (and cozier!) for your dog at their current size.

    You can’t go wrong with a basic metal crate that’s easy to transport.

  8. Dog bed

    Your pup also needs a comfy doggy bed, like this Memory Foam orthopedic bed.

  9. Brush

    No one wants a mangy-looking pup. Find a dog brush or comb that fits your dog’s size and fur type to get them looking nice right off the bat.

  10. A small variety of toys

    Don’t go out and get a ton of toys (at least not yet). Just start with the basics until you know your dog’s play personality and abilities.

    We recommend: a sturdy ball like the ones from ChuckIT!, a Kong classic dog toy, a Nylabone, a sturdy rope toy and a stuffed toy of some sort.

  11. Canine toothbrush and toothpaste

    Start off on the right foot (or paw?) by taking care of your canine’s chompers right away. It’s important to keep up their oral hygiene and have a toothbrush and toothpaste from the start.

  12. Doggy shampoo

    Before you know it, your new dog will roll around in something unsavory, so it’s best to have dog shampoo (and conditioner in some cases) in the house right away.

  13. Towels just for your dog

    Dogs need frequent baths or wipe downs, and owners need to decide if they want their pup to use the regular bath towels in the house. Most people say no and either give their dog old towels lying around or buy cheapy, durable towels just for their pet’s use.

  14. A pet gate

    Dogs love to sniff around and play and go into areas they’re not supposed to. Pet gates keep areas off limits, at least temporarily, for prying pups.

  15. Poop bags

    Your new dog will want to go on a walk right away, so be prepared and stuff some poop bags in your pockets.

  16. Carpet cleaning supplies

    The good news: You’re getting an adorable new furball. The bad news: They’re likely to have accidents. Several types. It’s much easier to stay ahead of the mess when you have cleaning supplies on hand right away.

    Nature’s Miracle Stain Eliminator is…well, a miracle.

  17. Lots and lots of paper towels!

    Going back to #16, you’ll need lots of absorbent towels in the house ASAP to help clean up the fun surprises.

If you have any thoughts or ideas on essential items for new dogs, we want to hear it! Let us know in the comments below.

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