Last Updated on 8 months by Mike Ramsey
So you are getting a puppy, or thinking about getting one?
We know how exciting that is!
And a bit nerve-wracking isn’t it?
Wrapping your head around all of those puppy things you need to buy, how to make sure your puppy is comfortable, safe, and healthy – it’s a lot of preparation. To start off, make sure you go over some essential tips for getting your first puppy to make sure you get this right from the get-go.
Next, let’s dive into the must-have new puppy checklist. Promise, we won’t overwhelm you!
Complete New Puppy Checklist
- Flea and tick protection
- Pet stain remover
- Carpet stain remover (if you have carpets)
All right, so it doesn’t look too bad does it?
Let’s take those puppy things one by one.
One of the most important things to buy for a new puppy. Nutrition is key and for a puppy, it’s super important that you pick high-quality food specially formulated for his age, size, and development.
Puppies need special nutrients, so look for a brand that has a dedicated puppy formula. Check to make sure that proteins are listed as the main ingredients in the formula. I always went for organic brands for my pup and would recommend that to anyone as long as your budget allows it.
Your pup might have gotten used to a certain type of food the breeder was feeding him. Pick up a bag or two of that brand and make sure your transition off of that food slowly.
Add a little bit of new formula into the food your puppy is used to until you can fully replace his old formula with the new one.
This is done so that your puppy doesn’t get any digestion issues and…well accidents in the house.
Always take your pup’s preferences into account as well! If you see that some types of food don’t sit well with him – switch it up!
Leash/harness and collar
This is probably one of the most obvious things needed for a new puppy – a leash.
Actually, I learned the hard way with my puppy that a leash might not be that big of a no-brainer…when he started crying like mad on our first walk.
Yep, since then I’ve learned from countless professionals that a harness actually works better since it doesn’t pull on your puppy’s neck all the time.
So if your pup does not seem excited about the whole leash idea – get a harness! It’s a little trickier to put on but totally worth the effort.
With so many collars out there, it’s really a matter of personal preference which one to go for. Just make sure the size fits your pooch since some of them don’t size down enough and your puppy might slip out of it… at the worst time possible. Yes, I speak from experience, unfortunately.
Which is another + of a harness. No slip-outs!
Again, one of the basic things needed for a puppy. After having tried a bunch of bowls, and collected dog food from all over the place, I settled down on joint food/water bowls with a silicone mat base.
They stay in place – which is a big plus when your puppy is pushing that bowl around the whole house – and keep any spillovers (of which you’ll get quite a few) off the floor.
Brilliant invention if you ask me!
When it comes to size, I would go for a smaller bowl for a puppy and invest in a new one when he grows up. The reason is that you won’t overfill the smaller bowl and will have fewer chances of overfeeding your pooch. And c’mon we all love to do that!
There’s a lot of debate around crate training, so we won’t go into the details here. Consult your vet or a pet trainer you trust on the topic to make an informed decision.
From personal experience, a crate has been an indispensable tool for me – it helped with transportation down the road and gave me peace of mind whenever I stepped out of the house. My puppy will be ok, he won’t get hurt and won’t eat my baseboards either… Yep, that also happens.
My pup loved his crate. Whenever we were at a friend’s house or in an unfamiliar place, the crate gave him that feeling of safety and comfort away from home. Not to mention that once we taught him to use the crate – he would go into the travel crate without any issues.
As far as the size of the crate goes, we did get a smaller one initially and then upgraded to a larger one.
You could technically go for a big crate right away so you won’t need to upgrade later if you have a larger breed. But to us, the huge crate didn’t seem cozy enough when our pup was small. Just a personal preference really.
Check online for dog crate sizing to make sure you pick the right size for your breed.
Most of the hygienic things you need for a new puppy are pretty self-explanatory. Get a puppy shampoo formula. I always went for the one with tea tree oil in it – repels ticks and smells amazing!
If your dog sheds a lot, make sure you get a good brush and brush him out regularly – will take some treats to keep him still so be ready!
Baths can be tricky sometimes, so if your pup is not a big fan of bubbles, make sure to have treats handy and reinforce bath time. Also, don’t get shampoo into your pup’s eyes, be very careful!
The same goes for nail clippers – likely not going to be your pup’s favorite activity.
Come prepared with treats, try to time it after your pup had a good walk or run in the park and feels a little tired. I personally found that nail fillers work better than clippers. Try both and see for yourself!
Dental chews! You always have the option to use a puppy toothbrush and brush your pooch’s teeth yourself…I personally couldn’t do that.
My pup absolutely hated brushing. So I opted for dental chews instead. They are nice and chewy, so my pup never had any issues with those and they kept his teeth healthy. Win-win! Highly recommend checking those out!
Yes, it’s time for those! These are essential for potty training times. While your pup is still adjusting to the new home, accidents are bound to happen. If you have expensive carpets – roll them up until after your pooch is potty trained!
Keep a few pads in the same area, so your pup knows to go there and not on the couch.
Initially, you can keep the soiled pad in place for a while so your puppy can smell it and go potty to the same spot again. Of course, lots and lots of reinforcement! But even more so when he poops outside! Best of luck!
Treats and toys
Whenever you think of what to get for a new puppy – toys come to mind immediately. Luckily, here things are much simpler – go for a wide variety of different toys. Plush, squeaky, rubbery, teething, a tug of war rope, development toys – the choice is all yours.
Make sure to grab a ball! And grab a dog ball launcher if you have a larger active breed – invaluable!
When it comes to treats, choose smaller chunk-sized ones and those that tend to be on the lower calorie side. This helps ensure that your pup wont is full and…well lazy after 10 min of training.
Take into account your pup’s preferences, mine was really into peanut butter. For that, he really would do anything. As with the food, I would go for an organic high-quality brand that uses real ingredients.
Check with your local vet for advice, sometimes they also have promo deals on certain insurance packages that come in handy.
Whichever insurance you go for, check for premiums, see if it covers your dog when he gets older and whether or not it works in other countries in case you travel a lot.
Flea and tick protection
Another heated topic with some owners opting to use puppy flea and tick medications, while others opting out.
Usually, those medications come in a pill form and are safe for puppies over a certain age and weight (typically at least 8 weeks old and 2 pounds).
There are plenty of highly reputable options out there if you choose to use those. I personally used a good quality tea tree oil on my pup after every bath and never had any problems. Ask your vet if in doubt.
Accidents do happen. Just be prepared with some special pet odor and pet stain remover.
If you have carpets, I would strongly encourage a carpet remover as well. And I had to use a pet stain remover on the couch as well a few times, so I would recommend getting one of those.
Most importantly, when accidents happen, keep your cool and don’t shout. That will just scare the pup. Use positive reinforcement for teaching your pup where to go and be patient – he’s still learning!
Hope this list of puppy things wasn’t too overwhelming for you.
Always consult the vet or a trustworthy dog trainer for help if in doubt. We trust that now you have a good idea of what to get for a new puppy and feel more confident and prepared!