If you are about to welcome a new puppy into your family, congratulations! We have created the ultimate puppy checklist detailing all the supplies that you will need to keep your new puppy happy and comfortable.
What do I need for a new puppy checklist?
Check out the essentials that you need to provide before bringing your puppy home:
1. Dog bed
Whilst some dog owners like to let their dogs sleep in their beds, some prefer to designate a sleeping area. If you are like the latter, start shopping for a soft bed that will make your new puppy comfortable.
Before your puppy is potty-trained, it is a good idea to let him sleep in the dog crate. Get a dog bed that is ½ to ¾ the size of the crate. The extra space is meant for the training pads.
If your puppy is already potty-trained, consider what size he will grow into for his breed. The bed should be big enough for him even when he is fully grown.
If you plan to crate-train your puppy, have one ready before he arrives. Using a crate is a quick and effective way to toilet-train your puppy. He will learn to control his bowels and understand that he needs to go somewhere else to potty.
Your pup will also have a safe zone where he can enjoy privacy and comfort when he needs it. Another use for the crate is to keep your dog safely confined whilst you are away.
How long can a puppy be left alone during the day? Puppies can only be left alone for 2 hours each day. They need constant supervision as they may feel jittery in their new home. Moreover, they are prone to potty accidents.
Where should a puppy sleep the first night? Let your puppy sleep in a dog crate beside your bed. Living in a new home makes him feel lonely, and sleeping near you will make him feel secure.
To make him more comfortable, give him a cloth or stuffed toy with the scent of his littermates on it.
Tip: You can reduce distractions and make the crate a more private and secure haven for your puppy. Simply cover 3 sides of the crate with a piece of cloth.
As a general rule, the collar should be 2–3 inches wider than a dog’s neck circumference. Since you have a growing furry buddy, a lightweight adjustable collar is recommended. Choose a collar with clips that are quick and easy to use.
You would not want to distress your pup with complicated contraptions. Also, a wide, flat type will be more comfortable for your pup’s neck. It should be as light and comfortable as possible so your pup will get used to it quickly.
The average lead length is 4–6 feet. The most important aspect of a puppy’s lead is its weight. Choose the lightest one that you can find so that it is not stressful for your pup to work with.
Nylon leads are the best lightweight options suitable for puppies. Check out this guide on dog lead types to know more about them and choose appropriately.
Next up on our new puppy checklist is a dog harness. If your new puppy is a ball of energy and often lunges against the leash, then opt for a harness.
As your puppy is still growing, pick an adjustable harness, so it would be easy to adjust. To help you weigh your options better, learn about these 3 considerations in choosing a harness.
6. ID Tag
When bringing a puppy home, he will need an ID tag in case he accidentally escapes or gets lost. It should have your number, address, essential medication requirement, or allergies (if any).
ID tags are also useful in ownership disputes if your new pup happens to resemble a neighbour’s lost dog.
Traditional dog ID tags get lost easily, as the ring often gets broken over time. You can get an alternative ID tag, which is flat and the information is engraved on a plate.
This type of ID tag is much more durable. It might cause a little more initially; however, over the long run, it is more cost-effective and more secure.
7. Food and Water Bowls
The most recommended bowl is the stainless steel type because it is easy to clean. It is also the most durable compared to the plastic or ceramic types. You can also buy stainless bowls with rubber coating to prevent slipping.
If you have a very energetic or clumsy puppy, a heavy ceramic or weighted bowl is a more suitable choice. If your pup has long ears, pick a bowl with a smaller opening and a wide base. This type of bowl will keep his ears from dipping into the bowl whilst he eats.
Tip: If you live in a very cold area or if your dog has a sensitive stomach or certain medical conditions, a heated water bowl might be a good choice.
8. Puppy Food
Usually, breeders will give you a small amount of food that they have been feeding your puppy. As such, get the same type of puppy food so that your canine buddy will not have stomach issues.
If you wish to transition your pup to a new type of puppy food or dog food, you need to do so gradually. Never abruptly feed your puppy something that he has never eaten before. Sudden changes in his diet will likely cause diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal issues.
You can, for example, begin the transition by mixing the usual food that he eats with the new one. Do this for the first 5–6 days. Start with a ratio of 90% old food with 10% new food.
The next day, you can change the ratio to about 75% old food and 25% new food. On the third day, shift to 60% old food and 40% new food. Then, move to 40:60, 25:75, and finally 10:90. On the seventh day, he should be eating the new food without mixing the old one.
Treats are must-haves during puppy training classes. Get treats that are appropriate for puppies. Giving treats as a reward not only provides positive reinforcement but also a bonding opportunity for you and your new dog.
Even if they are not in training, dogs love to get treats for no special reason. Just be careful not to overdo the treat giving.
Always follow the recommended amount on the feeding guide. Moreover, make sure your friends and family are also in the know about feeding treats to your new puppy in moderation.
10. Baby Gate and Exercise Pen
Included in our new puppy checklist are baby gates. This is one of the ways to puppy-proof your home. Baby gates help keep your new pup from entering restricted areas. Use one that is high enough to prevent your pet from jumping or climbing over it.
An exercise pen or X-pen is a small enclosure that is like a playpen but for canine pets. The X-pen allows the dog to be in a specific area and still be a part of the family activities. It also helps train your dog to be comfortable being alone within a certain space.
11. Dog Toys
Puppies love to play as they are bursting with energy. Toys are a great way to not only ease your new dog’s boredom but also help you build a relationship.
Make sure to choose toys that are specifically made for dogs as they are more durable. Choose sizes that are suited to your pup’s breed to avoid choking.
12. Grooming Supplies
Regardless of your new pet’s coat type, it will likely need grooming. What grooming supplies should be on your list?
- Puppy shampoo or dog shampoo
- Brush or comb
- Nail clippers
- Canine toothbrush
- Canine (vet-approved) toothpaste
- Sponge (or chamois wipes)
- Scrub brush
The things you need to prepare will largely depend on the type of dog you are getting. Some dogs will require a regular visit to the groomer.
13. Absorbent House Training Pads
Your new puppy requires a lot of supervision since he cannot control his bladder well yet. The so-called dog potty pads will help house-train your new puppy and reduce potty accidents.
It is ideal for those living in highly urbanised cities without an outdoor space. Potty pads are also a suitable choice for pet owners with mobility issues.
Make sure to always put the pad in the same area every time, and change it as soon as you find that your puppy has done his business.
14. Pet Stain Remover and Deodoriser
Your new 4-legged housemate is bound to make accidents whilst he is still being house-trained. To help you clean up after him, have cleaning products specially designed for pet stains ready.
You can use DIY pet odour removers, such as vinegar and baking soda solution. You can mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a bucket or a spray bottle.
Pour or spray the solution on the soiled bedding, litter tray, or carpet. Add the baking soda and let it dry on the affected spots. Vacuum it after it has dried.
To deal with pet odour quickly and efficiently, use ready-made pet deodorising products to makes your job easier.
15. Poo Bags
Every responsible dog owner should carry doggie poo bags when out for a walk. There are various types available in the pet store. There are flushable types, whilst some are biodegradable.
Scented poop bags that help mask the odour of the droppings are also available. Some have handles to make it easier for owners to use.
16. Non-Toxic Cleanser
Your new puppy loves to explore the world with his mouth. He will try to lick and chew things around him in the house.
Due to this, it would be wise to use cleaning products that are not toxic so your puppy does not get sick in case he puts something in his mouth that he is not supposed to.
There are lots of pet-safe enzyme cleaners available in the market. Just make sure to check the ingredient list to confirm.
17. First Aid Supplies
You will never know when your new dog gets in trouble or gets injured. So keeping a first aid kit in the house and everywhere you take your dog is a must. It should contain the following:
- Dog cone (Adjustable, so you can use it even when your pup grows)
- Adhesive tape
- Eye and ear wash
- Wound spray
- Disposable gloves
- Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting in case your pup ingests poison)
- Medical records
- Essential phone numbers (veterinarian, poison control centre, vet clinic)
18. Dog Carrier
Canine pets must be restrained or kept in a dog carrier when travelling. Puppies also need to be in one when they frequently travel for pet care, especially if they are still untrained.
The law also requires you to keep your puppy restrained during car rides. If caught unrestrained inside a car, the owner could be fined up to £2,500. Dog carriers also prevent dogs from escaping and give them a sense of security whilst out in an unfamiliar place.
19. Pet Insurance
Getting pet insurance is not mandatory; however, it can save you a lot of money when it comes to vet costs. For this reason, we included it in our new puppy checklist.
The expenses for vet care can become costly as your dog grows older. Having pet insurance helps cover the costs of sudden emergency treatments.
When choosing pet insurance, mind that the price will rely on several factors such as the health of your puppy, his age, your choice of coverage, and the area you live in.
20. Puppy Vaccines and Boosters
Puppies are fragile as their immune system has not fully developed yet. Thus, they are highly vulnerable to dangerous contagious canine diseases such as canine influenza, canine distemper, and parvovirus.
Protect your new puppy from such illnesses by getting him fully vaccinated. Generally, vaccination schedules for puppies when they are 6–8 weeks old and continue as puppies grow older.
You might want to book an appointment with your vet as soon as you take on the ownership of the puppy.
Getting a puppy is like embarking on a new and rewarding journey with lots of changes for both you and your pup. We hope that this new puppy checklist will give you more confidence in caring for your new pup.