Your New Puppy Checklist

A new puppy brings a lot of love, fun, tail wagging and slobbery kisses, but..... that adorable little bundle of fur is going to need a lot from you if he is to grow up to be a happy, healthy dog.

Preparation is the key, and if you buy the essentials, know the basics of puppy-care, and have a rough idea of your planned daily routine, those first few weeks will be much easier for everyone!

This page will help you do all of that, and more.

New Puppy Shopping Checklist

When you're adding a new pup to your family it's very tempting to run out and buy up half your local Pet Emporium... I know this is true, because it's something I tend to do every single time!

TIP: Your little guy has some very important veterinary needs that have to be taken care of and these cost money too.... so don't blow all your $$$'s on stuff!

BUT pet supplies can be expensive and puppies grow surprisingly fast, so to make sure you don't waste money on stuff that isn't necessary, or that your baby will outgrow in a matter of weeks.

So, at the beginning it's a good idea to stick to the basics, with a couple of extra 'goodies' thrown in for fun.

After all, you can add to your collection of stuff whenever you feel like it - and/or your wallet can handle it :)

Here's a checklist of the basic puppy supplies you'll need to start off with:

Supplies Checklist - The Essentials

  • A Crate
    Choosing the right type of crate and the right size is important. Check out my Puppy Crate Training page for tips & advice on this housebreaking method.

  • Urine Clean-Up Products
    No matter how careful and meticulous you are about housebreaking, accidents WILL happen now and then. Using the right odor-removing products is important.

  • Puppy Food
    What you feed your new pup has a huge impact on his health, so take the time to choose a premium puppy food with the right balance of nutrients. See the best choices here then check out reviews here.

  • ID Tags
    Fixing dog ID tags to your pup's collar is very important. It's surprisingly easy for a tiny newcomer to slip out of your yard/front door/arms.... and a pup with no identification will end up in the local pound, or worse.

  • Food Bowls
    These don't have to be fancy at first, as he'll outgrow the small sizes quickly. But stainless steel or ceramic bowls are better than plastic. Weighted spill-proof designs and those with a non-slip base prevent extra mess.

  • Toys
    Puppies love to play, and they love to chew..... so good, sturdy chew toys are a must. Choose puppy toys according to the size and breed of your new addition, bigger is better if you're in doubt. Don't skimp here as well-made, durable toys are more expensive than cheaply made ones, but they last much longer and more importantly are much safer. Check out this page to find the toys I'd recommend... Teething Toys For Puppies.

  • Training Treats
    You'll want to start teaching your pup his name and some basic manners and obedience commands right away. Using positive, rewards-based methods is the only way to help your little one learn quickly, and enjoy his lessons. The rewards don't have to be edible ones (praise, a game, or a favorite toy can also work well) but for most young puppies a food reward is best. Click here to find the best, healthy dog treats.

  • Grooming Tools
    Even if your puppy has a very short, smooth coat (these can shed a LOT more than you might expect) he will need regular grooming to keep it looking neat and the occasional bath to make sure he's clean and sweet-smelling. Check out this page for the best products to use... Dog Grooming Aids

Supplies Checklist - Optional Extras

  • Puppy Pee Pads
    I'm starting this section of the checklist with these because although often 'optional', in some situations they might be considered essential (eg. for owners who live in a high-rise apartment, have limited mobility or are unable to get their pup outdoors to eliminate for some other reason). I'd ALWAYS recommend crate training as the best potty training method, but puppy training pads can be a workable alternative if necessary.

  • Dog Bed or Crate Pad
    Personally I wouldn't advise putting a soft crate pad/bed, or any other type of soft bedding in your puppy's crate at first. The reason for this is two-fold.... firstly, your pup will most likely chew it up, and secondly he'll also be very likely to pee on it! If you DO want to get a bed, don't put it in his crate, and choose a chew-proof design if at all possible.

  • Clothes/Outfits
    Most puppies don't need anything other than their fur to keep them warm (unless the weather is extremely cold/wet)... and outfits are for their owner's enjoyment, not theirs! BUT there's nothing wrong with getting your little pup a nice coat, sweater, dress or whatever takes your fancy. Shoes can protect small paws when the weather's bad, collars can be way more than just practical, and hair accessories or collar 'bling' are adorable. In this area you can buy whatever your taste and/or budget allows :)

New Puppy Care Checklist

Having a clear idea of what your new pup needs from you, and knowing how to make sure he stays happy and healthy, makes those first few weeks a lot less worrying.

A well-cared for puppy, bred from healthy parents, and who has had his first vaccinations and deworming treatments is off to a flying start.

After that it's your responsibility to make sure that he gets all the remaining vaccines and parasite treatments he needs.

Plus ensuring he eats a nutritious diet and gets the right training and socialization.

Here's a handy checklist of the things you NEED to do for your precious new bundle of joy:

Puppy Care Checklist - The Essentials

  • Puppy Shots
    Getting the right canine vaccinations, at the right time, is an absolutely non-negotiable part of your puppy care responsibilities.

  • Parasite Prevention & Treatment
    Internal and external parasites like worms, fleas and ticks can make your pup very uncomfortable, they can also make him sick. Preventing & treating infestation is important.

  • A Healthy Diet
    Feeding your bundle of joy properly is much too important an area to leave to chance, check out this page for all the help and advice you need to get it right... All About Puppy Kibble.

  • Puppy Proofing Your Home
    Puppies are naturally inquisitive, and they operate on the assumption that just about anything is edible until proven otherwise! 

  • Obedience Training
    Your little guy, or gal, will grow up quickly and you will need to make sure that he learns how you expect him to behave, and to respect and obey you, as soon as possible. My Training Tips page will get you started off on the right foot - and paw!

  • Correct Behavior 'Mistakes
    Puppies are just babies - baby dogs that is - and they operate mostly on canine instinct to begin with. Learning about normal puppy behavior and how to deal with problems is something you need to do.

  • Exercise & Sleep
    Puppies need room to run and play and enough exercise to keep them healthy, they also need lots of sleep. The old saying 'a tired puppy is a good puppy' is very true, but don't overdo it. Your tiny pup needs lots of naps in order to grow and develop properly.

I hope that the checklist details on this page have helped you set up for your new arrival and pointed you in the right direction.

My website has all the tips and advice you need to raise your puppy properly, so please enjoy browsing and come back often. Good luck!

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