The first day with a new puppy is one of the best - you're full of joy and excited to introduce this new furry babe into your family and start bonding. Puppies are a lot easier than human babies, but they do require quite a few puppy supplies to make this transition as easy as possible.
From dog food and a dog bed, to chew toys, grooming tools, and cleaning supplies, there are many essentials for a puppy that you might not have around the home, especially if this is your first dog.
We've created a puppy checklist with new puppy essentials, so you know exactly what to buy for a new puppy. This list will help you get prepared so you can minimize last-minute shopping runs while wrangling your little one.
Comforts of Home
Some of the essential supplies for a new puppy are the ones that make them feel comfortable, give them a place to sleep, and help them navigate your home so that it feels like their home too.
A crate for a puppy is not a place for punishment - it's an artificial den that gives them a secure space to sleep and relax.
Get a crate with three solid walls and a wired front so that they can see out. If you have a fully wired crate, you can drape a dark towel or blanket over the top for a similar effect.
Place a towel or soft bedding in the crate for comfort, but keep an eye as some pups love to chew on anything they can get their teeth into.
Pick a crate as small as possible, while still allowing your puppy to stand and turn around inside it.
Baby Gates or a Dog Pen
These aren't a necessary supply, but they will make your life easier while house training is in full swing. A puppy can go from napping to tearing your shoes apart or peeing on the floor in seconds flat.
Depending on your space, put some baby gates up to keep them in a smaller area, or build a wire playpen with adjustable sizes.
For little pups and small-sized breeds that can't jump high, a dog ramp will help your dog up onto the couch or bed as they please.
Use a doggo ramp to keep your puppy safe from injury and to help prevent joint conditions in their later years from the repetitive stress of jumping.
Puppies love to chew to relieve the discomfort of teething. For toys, you'll want to stay away from:
- rawhide, as your dog can become ill from swallowing pieces
- bones, which can fracture puppy teeth
- stuffed toys, which your dog can tear apart and swallow
Stick to heavy-duty rubber, like dental bones and toys that can be frozen to relieve teething pain.
Eating and Drinking
Puppies are hungry. All the time. Getting the right dog food for your puppy is essential to keep them healthy and to grow as they should.
Food and Water Bowls
Buy some non-slip bowls so they don't slip and slide around the floor while your puppy eats and drinks.
Pick a heavier bowl that your puppy isn't tempted to pick up. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
Good Quality Puppy Food
One of the essentials for puppies is a diet full of proper nutrients. Ask your vet for their recommendations on food. There are a variety of formulas based on age, breed, and specific individual needs.
You'll want to get a big bag - puppies eat 3x/day, so they'll eat their way through the pack pretty quickly.
Bitter Apple Spray
These non-toxic sprays are handy supplies for puppies. Spray them on furniture the puppy tries to chew, and the taste will deter them from chomping your precious belongings without harming them.
These puppy necessities are going to help your doggie learn to walk with you and stay safe while they're out in the world.
Good-Quality Adjustable Collar
Your puppy will be sprouting up and out rapidly in the first year of their life. Get an adjustable collar so that you won't need to replace it every few months, and save yourself some money.
Your puppy's collar should have room for you to fit two fingers underneath, but not loose enough to slip off their neck.
Buy nylon, leather, or a rope leash that suits the size of your dog. A chain leash works well if your puppy likes to chew the leash. Have a spare leash for training or puppy-sitting.
Avoid retractable leashes, which teach your dog that pulling is acceptable and can injure both owner and pet.
If your puppy struggles with walking, you can get a front-attach harness to help train better walking habits.
A puppy must-have is an ID tag. We don't like to think about our puppy getting lost, but you want to be prepared if your puppy breaks away from home in his excitement to smell the nearest squirrel.
Get a personalized collar with their name on one side and your name and contact information on the other, so someone can quickly return them to you in these stressful situations.
Smell like Roses
Dogs, adorable by nature, do not always smell and look like their rosy personalities. Use these cleaning and grooming supplies so that you won't mind receiving your pup's sloppy kisses.
Biodegradable Poop Bags
The gross but inevitable part of puppy parenthood. You'll need a ton of these, so do the environment a favor and splurge on the biodegradable version.
They have bag dispensers that can clip right on to your leash. Nothing is worse than not having a bag at an inopportune time.
Pick a natural product without chemical fragrances to keep your puppy fresh as a daisy without the extra toxins.
Invest in a stainless steel pair of puppy clippers so you can trim your dog's nails every 3-4 weeks.
There is so much dental stuff for puppies on the market that it can be a little overwhelming. Inspect your new pup's mouth once a week to ensure its teeth and gums are healthy.
You can buy dental bones if you like, but the best way to care for your puppy's mouth is with a toothbrushing kit for dogs. You can use canine toothpaste or baking soda and water to create a paste. Brushing 2x/day is best.
You can use an enzyme cleaner for any puppy accidents in carpeted areas.
An Apple a Day
Check in with your vet and pre-book appointments to ensure your puppy gets all of his shots right on time.
Breeders should start puppies on heartworm medication before you take them home, no later than 8 weeks of age. Make sure your breeder or adoption agency is doing their due diligence, and get your puppy started on a heartworm prevention program.
Fleas and Ticks
Most flea and tick medicine can’t be used on puppies under 8 weeks of age. Check with your vet to get started on a flea and tick prevention program when the puppy comes of age.
This checklist will help you start caring for your sweet puppy as soon as you get them home. It will give you a strong baseline for your pup's needs, and you can play around with different toys, foods, and beds to see what works best for your new little one!