Congrats on deciding to get a new puppy! Do you have everything you need? This new puppy checklist will help you on your way to getting ready.
There are some things you’ll need to have for your puppy to take care of them and keep them fed. We’ll first cover those essentials you’ll want right away.
From there, we’ll go through some things that will make life easier for you and your puppy. We may even cover some things that you haven’t thought of!
The New Puppy Checklist: Essential Products
You’ll need to feed your new pup 3-4 times per day. (You’ll cut back to two feedings when they are 6-12 months old.)
The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out what food they are currently eating. (Ask the breeder, rescue organization, foster parent, or whomever you’re getting your dog from.) Get that type of food to start if you can since it’ll be easier on their stomachs.
Then you can decide if you want to switch their food and blend it with their old food for an easy introduction.
To figure out what dog food is right for your pup, it’s a good idea to research the best options for your dog’s age, size, and breed. A veterinarian can help, too.
There are so many treat options for dogs it’s unbelievable! Treats are a great way to reward good behavior and get your dog’s attention. Just don’t give them too many, or they could have issues with their weight.
Be very careful with bones or rawhides (especially with a puppy) as they can break into pieces and choke. It’s better to start out with things that are easier to eat.
You can buy simple dog biscuits or some fancier flavored treats. It’s a good idea to have a standard treat and an ‘extra special’ treat to use when training.
First things first, your new canine needs a collar. But how do you know if a collar fits your dog?
Vets say you should be able to slip two fingers comfortably underneath the collar. It may seem tight, but it will keep them from slipping out. 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.
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.
And don’t forget to get a name tag with your phone number in case your pup decides to explore the neighborhood alone. Pet stores are a great place to get these. When you go to the vet, you’ll also get a vaccination tag that should be added to your dog’s collar.
For the leash, you can get a retractable leash or a standard one. Retractables are great for adaptability, but standard ones are better for training and control.
Our pup was a chewer and destroyed a couple of leashes, so it might be a good idea to get a thicker standard one. You could even get one of each.
If you’ve got a high-energy dog, try a standard one with an extra loop on it to give even more control.
The unfortunate part of dog ownership is having to clean up after them. But it’s your dog parent’s duty (pun intended) to make sure to keep the neighborhood or park tidy.
We like these bags that are bio-degradable and have a scent in them.
If you’re getting a small pup, a plastic kennel is great for transporting them or keeping them safe while you’re away.
You can also get a wire kennel, which is cheaper and better suited for large dogs. It may seem weird to put your dog in a cage, but keep in mind they feel very safe in an enclosed space. They may even choose to be in there at times.
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 its current size. Many will even come with an extra wire divider.
You’ll want to make their kennel even more comfortable. You can get some old blankets and put them in there (make sure there’s nothing bad inside if they get into it) or buy a dog bed.
If you have a chewer, they may destroy it as a puppy, so I wouldn’t invest too much at first.
Your new pup will have some accidents before they’re housebroken. Dogs often will return to the same spot to go again so you’ll want a product that cleans and eliminates odor. Nature’s Miracle makes a great product for this.
It’s always a good idea to have paper towels on hand. Pups can be messy! You may also want some old towels or beach towels for when your dog gets muddy or wet.
It’s a good idea to get a container for dog food. Your pup will try to get into it if it’s not protected. And if you keep it outside, you could risk pests getting into it.
Get some containers that are the appropriate size for your dog. These don’t matter too much as long as they are the right size.
You can’t go wrong with stainless steel dog dishes. Our dog is a bit sloppy with his drinking, so I also got a mat to put his bowls on.
If you want to control where your puppy can go in the house, baby gates are incredibly handy.
Fun & Training Products
There are tons of toy options. The best toy for any dog is a Kong. You can fill them with treats or peanut butter and keep your pup occupied.
Then consider your pup and how much they like to destroy things. Stuffed animals are fun, but our dog will destroy them in 2 minutes (or less)!
With a chewer, try and get more durable toys like ropes and Nylabones. With a more careful pup, you can buy some fun stuffed animals (make sure they don’t eat the stuffing) or squeaky toys.
There are also fun puzzle toys you can get to occupy your pup and engage their mind. Check out a list of dog puzzle toys here.
Once you’re ready for some training, it’s a good idea to have treats. Also, consider using a clicker. These are cheap, and they provide a signal to use when your pup does something good.
A treat bag is also helpful. Then your pup knows you have the treats but isn’t distracted by staring at your handful of goodies.
Hopefully, this new puppy checklist has been helpful! You won’t need all these things immediately, but they’ll be helpful to keep in mind for the future.
New Puppy Checklist PDF
Other Puppy Guide Articles
The next step is prepping your home for your puppy and bringing them home!