New Puppy Checklist

puppy care 101Nothing is quite as exciting as bringing home a new puppy. Adorable, playful, and completely loveable, you can expect plenty of enjoyment as soon as your latest addition the family is brought home.

However, it’s important to be properly prepared for your new puppy arriving. These supplies won’t just make your life much easier, but they will help your pup get comfortable with their surroundings much quicker.

Be sure you have as many of these supplies before the puppy arrives, otherwise you may end up making several trips to the pet supply store to grab the things you need!

Take a look at the complete new puppy checklist below for everything you need to get for your newest addition:

Bedding

You want a comfortable bed for your pup to sleep in and there are a quite a few options available. Dog beds typically come with comfy fabrics that puppies love, such as sheepskin or fleece, and there are various size options too.

A good idea is to get a bed that they will eventually grow into, but be mindful that puppies are prone to excessive chewing so you may want to hold off getting an expensive option until they have gotten over the worst of their chewing phase.

Other bedding options include large cushions, dog mattresses, and even dog couches. Whatever you decide on, make sure it’s machine washable or at least has removable covers that are.

You will probably want to have your puppy’s bed in their crate initially as it gives you the chance to properly house-train them.

A Good Crate for Puppies

A must-have for new pups, a crate gives your furry friend a safe and secure place to rest, while also allowing you to adequately train them. Crates are also essential for keeping your pup safe and secure and they will likely sleep inside them for their first few weeks at home.

Some pups will need to be trained into using their crate without becoming distressed. To do this, always ensure the crate is spacious enough for them to stretch and move around without being too large, and always be nearby when placing them inside during the day.

Avoid keeping them in a crate for too long during the day and don’t close the door on them until they are relaxed and happy. They should be fine being left inside to sleep overnight, and it helps to initially leave treats inside to get them to enjoy going inside.

Dogs do not like to go to the toilet near their bed, so keeping their bed inside the crate initially is a great way to toilet train them. Remember that you need to let them out a few times to go to the toilet, and while it can be a hassle it’s the best way to get them quickly toilet trained.

Travel crates are good for early use, as you will need it to take them home and for trips to the vet. Puppy crates are a great place to start as they are suitable for indoor use too, and you can always upgrade to larger size once they outgrow it.

Always immediately wash their bedding inside the crate should they go to the toilet, otherwise they will generally dislike being there.

Containment Devices

While a crate is usually a fine containment device for most pups, there will be many require further containment around the house. Basically, if there’s any part of your house you want to restrict their access too you need some form of containment device.

Wire-pens or child gates are popular choice as they can be easily installed and should still make it easy for you to get around. Playpens are great because they can be placed in any room to create a mini play area for them while also keeping some areas off-limits.

Puppy Food and Bowls

Food and water bowls are a must for any new puppy, and there is plenty of great choices out there. Plastic bowls are the cheapest but not the most durable, while glass and ceramic options are great because the wash well but they are more susceptible to breaking.

The choice for bowls are stainless steel. While the costlier option, they are highly durable, very hygienic and easily washable, and your dog will struggle to carry it around anywhere.

As for their food, you have many options available. It is often advised that you get your puppy food it’s familiar with to help ease them into their new surroundings, after which you can choose what type of diet you want to give them.

Any dog food designed for puppies should be provided, as young dogs have specific dietary needs to help them grow and develop. For those unsure about what food to buy, speak with your vet, a breeder, or staff at pet retail stores for recommendations.

Puppy Treats

There are few better ways to get a pup excited than a tasty treat, but these can also be used to help train good behavior through positive reinforcement. Pick treats that are a suitable size for you puppy, and remember not to overdo or risk them becoming overweight.

Small biscuit treats are probably the most suitable choice for a young puppy as they are easiest to eat. Rawhides and bones are good treats for older pups, although always be mindful of them breaking into small pieces that can be a choking hazard.

Getting a selection of different treats is often advised, especially with regards to training. Use a standard treat for everyday rewards, while saving something fancier – like meat flavoured biscuits – for training.

Dog Collar and Leash

You need a collar that is a suitable size for the size and breed of your pup, and be sure to check daily to see if it needs loosened as they grow – enough space to fit two fingers is usually fine. Make sure it’s not too loose mind you, otherwise they can slip right out of it!

If your dog doesn’t have the necessary shots to go outside, it is still a great idea to get them a collar, as it helps them get use to wearing one. Not only that, it holds their ID tag and any contact info should they get lost.

Similarly, familiarizing them with a leash early on is a good idea. The leash should be a suitable length, typically much shorter than for adult dogs, which is why many go for adjustable leashes to suit growing puppies.

ID Tags and Microchipping

It is very important that your dog has a form of identification should they get lost or there be an emergency of some sort. ID tags fit around the collar and are a great way to provide important info such as their name, address, and a phone number to contact.

However, as collars often fall off and get lost, it’s recommended you get your puppy microchipped. Completely harmless, they process is quick and easy, offering a permanent form of identification. This is especially important in the event of them going missing, as it allows vets to easily identify a dog’s owner.

Dog Grooming Supplies

Who doesn’t want their pup to look gorgeous and well kept? Grooming supplies aren’t just for this of course, they’re necessary for maintaining the puppy’s coat, removing any tangles and stray hairs around the face.

Short-hair breeds require frequent grooming, while those with long or thick coats need them to be detangled. While professional groomers are ideal for getting coats trimmed and maintained, you will have to do much of the grooming at home too.

More importantly, grooming your dog is a strong bonding experience. You want to brush and comb them daily, while washing them every few months too. Remember that puppies have sensitive skin, so buy suitable grooming supplies.

Important grooming supplies you need include:

  • Brushes (short toothed or rubber bristles are great)
  • Combs
  • Round tip scissors
  • Shampoo and conditioner (puppy-friendly versions)
  • Nail clippers
  • Toothbrush and dog toothpaste
  • Sun lotion (mostly for those living in warm climates)

Puppy Toys

Toys are a must for any puppy, and there are some that are especially important for young pups. For instance, you need plenty of chew toys to help them with their teething – not to mention to stop them chewing on anything they can get their paws on!

Furthermore, toys are necessary for stimulating your puppy and keeping them entertained. Pups have lots of energy so you will be playing with them each day, and it never hurts to have too many toys!

There are various categories for puppy toys, with each one helping to stimulate them in a different way. For instance, chew toys remove the need to chew everything they can, plush toys offer a comfort, fetch toys are great for exercise, rope toys help maintain their teeth, and treat dispensing puzzle toys keep their mind engaged.

Also, be sure that the toys are made from suitable materials and are strong enough to last. Puppies are very playful so expect cheaper toys to fall apart eventually, and always ensure you throw out any broken toys immediately to avoid choking hazards.

It’s good to have a mixture of everything initially – before long you will have an idea of the toys your puppy enjoys playing with the most. Always have some toys ready for their arrival, as you will want to play with them as soon as you can!

Dog Training Pads

While not essential for every new puppy, dog pads are ideal for certain situations, namely those living in apartments or homes where outside toilet training is difficult. Pads allow your puppy to relieve themselves in a pinch, and it may be necessary for puppies without shots that aren’t allowed outside yet.

Poop Bags

One of the few downsides of owning a dog is cleaning up their poo. However, it becomes a non-issue once you fall in love with your four-legged friend, just as long as you have appropriate ways to dispose of their waste!

As dog-owner, you have a duty to clean up after them in public, as no one deserves to stand in a mess that you were too lazy to pick up. For this, poop bags are essential and something you will be buying long-term, so it’s good have them on hand from the get go.

Anti-Pulling Aids

As soon as your puppy begins the leash training process, it’s a great idea to have an anti-pulling aid to teach them how to walk properly on a leash. Pulling at the leash is a bad habit for dogs of any age, so you want to train this out of your pet from as young an age as possible.

Buy a suitable anti-pulling aid, such as the specially designed harnesses or collars that give your pup a gentle squeeze or pinch when they pull at the leash. Make sure it’s a comfortable device and let your puppy get use to wearing it – this helps any training aid be more effective.

With adequate training you puppy won’t need to wear such a device for long – if at all – but sometimes it’s necessary to train negative habits out of them.

Anti-Chew Spray

Certain puppies will be more susceptible to chewing than others, although virtually every young puppy wants to chew anything it can. While suitable chew toys can help prevent your shoes, socks, and furniture from getting gnawed into oblivion, some puppies will continue to chew everything.

A suitable anti-chew spray is massive help in these situations. These products are completely safe to use, they just taste horrible so pups avoid chewing anything they’re sprayed onto. A couple of squirts on furniture and anything else they chew should prevent them from touching it again.

The sprays – such as bitter apple spray -are scentless to people, so don’t worry about it creating unpleasant odors in your home.

As you can see, there is certainly no shortage of supplies needed for a new puppy checklist! It may seem overwhelming to see how much you need to buy, but most of these can be found at pet supply specialists, while some of the more vital items are found at supermarkets.

Plus, once your puppy arrives home you know taking the time to properly play will be totally worth it!