New Puppy Checklist

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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!

new puppy checklist - dogs in boxes

The New Puppy Checklist: Essential Products

Food

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 whoever 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 you pup, it’s a good idea to research the best options for your dog’s age, size and breed. A veterinarian can help, too.

Treats

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.

Collar

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 of the collar. It may seem tight but 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. How cute are these ones? When you go to the vet you’ll also get a vaccination tag that should be added to your dog’s collar.

Leash

For the leash you can get a retractable leash or a standard one. Retractables are great for adaptability, but standard ones better for training and control.

Our pup was a chewer and destroyed a couple 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.

Poop Bags

The unfortunate part of dog ownership is having to clean up after them. But it’s your dog parent 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.

Comfort Products

Kennel

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 their current size. Many will even come with an extra wire divider.

Bedding

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.

Home Products

Cleaner

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.

Paper Towels

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.

Food Container

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.

Food Bowls

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 steal dog dishes. Our dog is a bit sloppy with his drinking so I also got a mat to put his bowls on.

Gates

If you want to control where your puppy can go in the house, baby gates are incredibly handy.

Fun & Training Products

Toys

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.

Training

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 (this one also includes the clicker). 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.

Download the PDF checklist

The next step is prepping your home for your puppy and bringing them home!

Other Puppy Guide Articles

  1. 1Intro
  2. 5What to Feed a Puppy
  3. 2Choosing a Dog Breed
  4. 6Puppy Care Tips
  5. 3New Puppy Checklist
  6. 7Training & Socialization
  7. 4Bringing Puppy Home

Thanks for reading!

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8 Comments

  1. Carol

    Thank you for the information. Haven’t had a puppy in 15 years, so looking forward to this! and looking forward to your upcoming info, since I will be getting a puppy possibly by the end of December.

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