Congratulations on getting a pet! You’re in for a journey. 

Puppers need a lot of attention, and it’s easy to forget some essential pet items. But have no fear. Our new puppy checklist is here to help. 

Here’s everything you need to know to look after your furry bestie: 

Before You Get the Puppy — Tips & Preparation

We’ll get to the fun stuff soon. But first, your home needs to be ready for its new furry member.

1. Puppy Proofing Your House 

Unless you don’t care much about the damage, preparing your home for destruction is crucial. Here’s my puppy proofing checklist:

  • Rearrange the Furniture — You don’t have to do a complete makeover. Just ensure that there’s enough extra space for the puppy to run around.
  • Take Care of Electrical Cords — Try to hide them away to avoid the risk of your puppy chewing them and getting hurt. If you can’t find a solution that works, consider adding a cord cover to your puppy essentials list.
  • Move Your House Plants — Put them out of reach and consider getting rid of any poisonous plants for dogs.
  • Put Away Any Dangerous Objects — That includes anything sharp (scissors, knives) and small (coins, jewelry). Also, hide any medications or cleaning supplies. 
  • Hide Your Socks & Shoes — They’re irresistible to puppies. 
  • Secure the Trash — The “fascinating” trash smell can spark your puppy’s curiosity, and you don’t want it eating anything toxic or swallowing a dangerous object. 
  • Set Boundaries — If you don’t want your puppy to explore every house corner, put up a pet gate. 
  • Get a Spray Against Chewing — No matter how much you prepare, you can’t know what your puppy will destroy in advance. You can get a bitter spray like the one from Rocco & Roxie on Amazon to quickly correct your dog’s behavior.

If you’re a first-time pet owner, you’ll feel more confident in taking care of your puppy when you ensure your home offers a safe environment for it.

2. Finding a Good Vet

A vet should be among the top priorities in any checklist for new puppy owners. 

You must get your puppy checked right before welcoming it home. I recommend looking for a vet in your area beforehand, so you’re prepared for the happy day. If you have friends with pets, ask them for recommendations or read reviews online to decide on a caring professional that will look after your dog for years to come.

Try to find a professional you’re comfortable with, so you can freely discuss everything you need for a puppy. Clear communication is a must. Before you visit the vet, it’s also good to have a list of questions in mind. You can ask them about food recommendations, vaccines, and tick and flea treatments. Make sure to save their phone number for more questions or emergencies.

3. Dog Tag

Lowering the risk of losing your pet is crucial, especially when it’s still small and easily distracted. 

Buy a tag that displays your dog’s name, your name, and phone number. That way, when your pup gets lost and someone finds it, they can call you immediately.

Microchipping is just as essential, but it comes later. Your pup’s collar might get misplaced, so this is the only way a vet can identify your pup. It costs approximately $45

Now let’s explore more fun things needed for a puppy.

two Rottweiler puppies waiting for food

Essential Dog Supplies — Food

Here’s what you should know about feeding your furry friend.

4. Bowls

Picking the right puppy food can be overwhelming, so I suggest starting with something simpler, like food bowls. 

If you’re on a budget, plastic ones are the cheapest, but your dog can scratch them, making room for bacteria. Personally, I’m a fan of stainless steel dog bowls. They’re just as inexpensive, durable, and dishwasher safe. For instance, the GPET ones on Amazon are high-quality and have a non-slip rubber rim to protect your floor. The only con is that they don’t come in cute designs. 

Once you find the perfect bowls, it’s time to get food supplies for a new puppy.

5. Puppy Food

Food is vital for raising a healthy pet. If you’re not sure what to get, ask your vet for recommendations. 

I’d go for Purina’s Natural puppy food on Amazon. It’s vet-recommended, and unlike many popular brands, it has chicken as the first ingredient. The high protein content will ensure your puppy grows strong, and the added calcium and glucosamine will strengthen its bones and joints. 

But you should always buy food for your dog’s needs. For instance, if you’ve chosen a large breed, research the best large breed puppy foods instead. Big dogs have different requirements, and you should consider that right from the start.

6. Puppy Treats

These will come in handy when training your puppy, as they’re a great incentive. Besides, they’ll help build the bond between you two.

While many don’t consider treats as part of the puppy necessities, you should start training your pet as early as you can.

Pick treats that are soft, easy to chew, and low in calories. Talk to your vet about recommendations, as it depends on your dog’s breed and size. One option I prefer is Wellness puppy training treats on Amazon. They’re grain-free and come in two delicious flavors — soft lamb with salmon and crunchy chicken with carrots.

Remember — treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet. 

Bedding 

Prepare a comfortable space for your puppy to sleep in.

7. A Bed Fit for a Puppy

Don’t fall for a cute bed that’s exactly the size of your puppy. Chances are, your furry pal will outgrow or chew it up quickly, and you’ll be sorry for spending your money. Instead, add a bed mat to your new puppy supplies checklist. 

Pick one that’s somewhat bigger than your pet, so it can have some room to grow, and ensure it’s comfortable. Alternatively, you can use a blanket or get a crate.

8. Blanket

While this seems like a non-essential, it’s a must-have. Puppies have trouble producing enough body heat on their own, so they need some extra warmth at night. That’s especially true during winter or in a colder climate. You don’t want to risk your pup catching a cold. 

You can dedicate one of your old blankets or buy a new one for your furry pal.

Toys

Now we get to the fun part. Playtime is an essential part of your dog’s daily routine. 

But don’t go overboard with buying cute toys before your puppy enters your home. Chances are, your favorite dog won’t like all the toys you’ve picked for it. It’s better to get a few different ones as part of your initial puppy supplies and see which types your pup likes best before spending a small fortune on fun. Also, you can check out some of our favorite pup toys.

That said, let’s explore a few options.

adorable white puppy with floppy ears

9. Chew Toys

Here’s what you should avoid

  • Hard plastics
  • Wool
  • Rubber
  • Sponge
  • Anything with hard edges

All of these are choking hazards. 

Most importantly — don’t offer any old shoes or house items as toys. It’ll cause a lifelong issue of getting your prized possession out of Buster’s mouth.

Look for toys that are the right size. For instance, you wouldn’t give your chihuahua a volleyball. 

Getting the proper toy supplies for a new puppy takes some time. Don’t be disheartened if some of them don’t spark interest.

Consider getting a mix of playthings, like the BUIBIIU teething toys on Amazon, so you can quickly find out the type your pet loves the most.

10. Puzzle Toys

Don’t let your pup get bored when you’re not there to keep it company. Otherwise, you risk coming home to a mess.

Get some puzzle toys to stimulate your dog intellectually and physically. Most of them are semi-difficult, meaning your pupper will have to work to get that treat. 

It’s not good to leave your dog alone with toys, but you can keep an eye from a distance while they figure it out the first time. For one thing, the Nina Ottosson interactive puzzle on Amazon will safely entertain your pupper for hours.

Cleaning Supplies

Like everything in life, having a new puppy comes with its downsides. Cleaning after your four-legged friend is one of them.

 11. Puppy Pads, Puppy Pads, and More Puppy Pads!

In our book, this is one of the puppy must-haves. 

You’ll need puppy pads until your pet grows a little. They soak up everything and are easily disposable. What’s more, they help fight the smell that comes with potty training, especially if you have carpets. 

The whole process takes time, so arm yourself with patience. Remember that puppies can start holding their bladder when they’re three months old. 

The pad will help you move the training from the inside to the outside. Place the pad on the grass or by a tree to show your little furball where they should do their business.

 12. Poop Bags & Pooper Scooper

A week after you vaccine your puppy, you can take your first walk together. And you should be prepared to clean after your furball. 

For starters, pick up some poop bags along with the other essential puppy items. I’d recommend a compostable or biodegradable option, but ignore that if it’s out of your budget. As for the pooper scooper, DogBuddy on Amazon offers a fantastic portable option that comes with a bag dispenser and a leash clip.

 13. Dog Wipes 

They can be a lifesaver for pet owners. And, in case you’re wondering, experts don’t recommend using baby wipes on dogs. They might contain chemicals that will harm your puppy if used regularly.

 14. Puppy Mess Cleaner

Accidents are bound to happen, and your regular cleaning might not be enough to eliminate all the odors and bacteria. 

That’s why cleaning products for dogs can be a helpful addition to your new puppy checklist. Besides, they’re guaranteed to lack ingredients that might harm your pet. We’re talking all-natural, eco-friendly pup mess products, like the popular Rocco & Roxie professional stain and odor eliminator on Amazon. It has natural enzymes to get rid of the mess, and it’s been certified safe for puppers, children, and carpets.

Grooming Puppy Starter Kit

Grooming is usually one of our last thoughts when getting a furry pal, but it’s still a necessity. 

 15. Bath Time Supplies

Getting your puppy used to bathing is essential. But don’t bathe your dog before it’s eight weeks old, as its immune system is still developing.

Bath time can be a fun bonding experience for you and your pupper. Here are the puppy items you’ll need the most:

  • Shampoo: I recommend trying out Burt’s Bees on Amazon.
  • Brush: The Bodhi dog rubber comb on Amazon is a good choice.
  • Towels: You can either get a microfiber highly-absorbent dog towel from Chewy or lots and lots of regular towels!
  • Hairdryer: Use it on a low setting.
pit bull puppy on the beach

 16. Nail Pet Care

Get some nail grooming products on your puppy essentials list, too. Our lovable four-legged friends are on their paws all day, so looking after them is a must.

Clipping toenails and inspecting for signs of damage, infection, or injuries can help you catch an issue early enough and prevent it from becoming an emergency.

It could also be a relaxing bonding experience for you and your pup, but starting early is critical. 

There are many ways to handle this task — guillotine-style nail clippers, grinders, or scissors. Check with your vet to see what they recommend and ask them to show you how it’s done.

 17. Teeth Care

It’s crucial to look after your dog’s teeth. And the earlier you start, the easier it will be for both of you. That way, your dog will get used to the experience. 

Get a toothbrush and paste for dogs, like the Arm & Hammer kit on Amazon. It comes with everything you need to start, and the paste has only natural ingredients. 

New Puppy Supplies Checklist — Exercise & Walks

Before you take your puppy on its first exciting adventure, you’ll need to prepare. 

 18. Exercise Pen

These aren’t just for kids. Exercise pens are an excellent way to protect your pup and provide enough space for it to play, eat, and sleep. 

They’re especially good if you have a yard but aren’t ready to let your dog run free. For instance, if your dog likes to destroy your flowers, you can keep it in the playpen where your dog can still get some much-needed exercise. That way, you can still enjoy the yard together.

It might not be on the top of your new puppy checklist, but it’s good for keeping your furry bestie safe.

The playpen can also come in handy if you need to isolate your dog during an event or from the kids. The MidWest exercise pen on Amazon is a popular choice.

19. Adjustable Collar

It’s great for helping your new pup get used to a collar, and you can easily change the length until you find the perfect fit. Besides, puppies grow incredibly quickly.

My top choice is the Blueberry classic dog collar on Amazon, as it’s made from eco-friendly plastic. Plus, it comes in 20 colors, so you can find the ideal match for your pup’s personality and style. Be sure to measure your dog using the guide before buying. 

 20. Leash

Just as essential as the collar, a leash is the pet owner’s right-hand man when it comes to training, and it should be high up your puppy supply list. 

Slowly introduce the leash while you’re still in the house before heading out. Remember that everything’s very exciting for your furry pal. They’ll likely rush off, so be on the lookout for hazards.

Most importantly, have fun. If you’re happy and positive around the leash, your pup will follow.

If you’re not sure what to pick, check out the TUG 360° on Amazon. This retractable leash is excellent for puppies that run off at the first sign of fun. 

 21. Flea & Tick Treatment

If your pup is ready to explore the world, you should be ready for the world to explore it, too. Unfortunately, I’m talking about fleas and ticks. It’s a good idea to include treatment in your puppy supply list, so you can prevent a nasty infestation.

Training Supplies

You should get your puppy on its best behavior as early as possible. The following items aren’t as essential, but they can make training easier and help for quicker results. 

 22. Crate

The crate will provide shelter when your pet seeks out a small space out of anxiety. Besides, crate training could quite literally be the difference between life and death.

In emergencies, your pup will need to be comfortable enough to stay calm and not panic. It’ll also come in handy if you decide to fly with your dog. That’s why the crate is on our bringing home a new puppy checklist. 

Finding the right one takes some research. You’ll need the right size and type for your breed.   

23. Treat Pouch

A treat pouch gives you more convenience than you might think. Besides storing training treats, you can also use it for pet toys and even poop bags. I use the one from Paw Lifestyles on Amazon. It’s durable and versatile.

 24. Clicker 

A clicker is among the must-haves of your training puppy checklist. If you don’t want to train your dog with treats, using a clicker is just as good and will cost you less in the long run.

Other Nice-to-Have Items

While these aren’t the most important things needed for a puppy, they can improve your life as a pet parent.

 25. Dog Food Container

If you’re planning on buying food in bulk, I highly recommend getting a good container for it. And even if you’re not, it’s a much better option than struggling to seal a bag of kibble.

Dog food containers help keep the food fresh and maintain its quality for longer

aussiepoo puppy on a table

 26. Pet Insurance

Did you know that only 1% of US pet owners have insurance? Along with the essential vet visits, it’s worth looking into pup insurance while your dog is still young.

Additionally, most of these companies will supply you with a list of puppy essentials and remind you when the next round of dog vaccines is coming up. 

Vets across the US believe pup insurance is the best way to keep your furry pal healthy and avoid economic euthanasia. 

 27. Pet Camera

If you have extra money to spend, why not set up a camera for your puppy? That way, you can ensure everything’s fine when you’re not at home to supervise it. Plus, you can check on that cute face throughout the day.

Pet Services to Consider

Depending on how much time and money you have, these services can help you raise your dog and organize your time better.

 28. Pet Groomer 

If you have a long-haired dog, you’ll need one. Bathing can get really messy.

It’s best to ask your vet about grooming recommendations. Same as bathing at home, you want to start this process early, so your puppy can get used to the groomer.

Add this to your new puppy owner checklist if you can afford it. If you can’t, you can still learn how to do it yourself. 

29. Dog Sitter/Walker

If you can’t spend much time with your pup on weekdays, consider hiring a dog sitter or walker. You can try asking your friends to come over and help you out.

That said, if your dog is challenging to handle, you’ll need a professional. Luckily, there are many apps like Rover or Wag that can do the job for you.

 30. Dog Trainer

While we can’t wait to get our new puppy home, we often forget that it needs much training. Your pet’s new teeth equal destroyed furniture.

Puppy pads won’t be on the new puppy supply checklist forever, so don’t worry. To help you out, specialists can potty train your pup and teach it basic commands. Or you could do it yourself.

Asking other pup owners is also a great way to find a reliable trainer, as some specialize in specific breeds. Do some research to find the perfect person for the job. 

Your Puppy Is Home — What’s Next? 

Well, you’re in for an adventure, but you already know that. Here are the first steps to do and consider:

  • Introduce the House Gradually — A big place can be overwhelming for a small pup. So, instead of confusing your pup, let it explore a designated area first. 
  • Don’t Throw a Pawty on the First Day — Give your pup some time to adjust to house and other family members. While puppy socialization is a must, you’ll have plenty of time for that later.
  • Be Ready for Puppy Teething — You should know the symptoms and different ways to help a teething pup. That will help you determine what else to get for a new puppy checklist.
  • Get the Rules Straight — You should let your puppy know what is allowed and what’s not from day one.
  • Establish a Feeding Schedule — I recommend you stick to a puppy feeding schedule and don’t experiment with the food much to avoid an upset stomach.
  • Set up a Training Routine — As soon as your dog feels at home, you can start training sessions. Make sure to stick to a schedule.

What to Do and Expect the First Night

First-time pet owners often worry about the first night, but it’ll go better than you think. Just follow these tips:

  • Let your pup sleep in the dog crate and put it near your bed. Keep it there during the first few weeks.
  • If your puppy cries during the night, don’t ignore it. You might cry too if you have to sleep in an unknown place. Try to comfort your pup. Also, you can add that blanket from your puppy essentials to the crate for extra warmth.
  • Add a plush toy to the crate. Your puppy can snuggle with it to fall asleep easier.

After the first night, try to establish a nighttime routine and stick to it.

Wrap Up

The list of items needed for a new puppy can get overwhelming. But take things slow, and soon you’ll know what you need the most.

Before you welcome your pet, you must puppy-proof your house and get a dog tag for it. Also, the absolute beginner essentials on your new puppy checklist should be finding a good vet and getting vaccines. 

Then, you can start thinking about food, bed, toys, and everything else on your list of supplies. 

We wish you and your pet a lifetime of cuddles, unconditional love, and health.

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