So you’ve decided to get a new puppy – congratulations! By preparing in advance for your furry friend’s arrival, you’ll have more time to play and snuggle with your new puppy right away! Get ready for your new canine family member by going through the following new puppy checklist: essential things you’ll need when caring for a puppy.
Table of contents
- Becoming a puppy parent
- Select a veterinarian for your new puppy
- Prepare your home for your new pup’s arrival when they are 8-10 weeks old
- A good leash, collar, harness, and dog ID tags
- Healthy puppy food
- Easy-to-clean stainless steel food and water bowls
- A dog bed for sleeping
- Dog crate for your puppy
- Dog gates keep your puppy out of trouble
- GPS dog tracker + activity monitor
- Potty pads help with house training your puppy
- Be prepared for occasional accidents when you have a new puppy
- Don’t forget the poop bags!
- Healthy puppy treats for training
- Dog training accessories
- Puppy training options
- Dog chew toys, dog toys, and playtime
- Grooming wipes
- Brushes for your new puppy
- Puppy shampoo
- New puppy nail care
- Consider a microchip to ID your new puppy
- Invest in pet insurance
- New puppy checklist complete? Then enjoy every minute with your new puppy!
Becoming a puppy parent
While you wait for your puppy to arrive, do a final assessment to make sure you are ready for this new addition to your family. Being a puppy owner is a big responsibility. Your new pup may cause you to modify your routines, spend money on veterinary care, and sacrifice a little sleep! But in the end, it’s worth it to build a lifelong bond with your furry bundle of joy.
Select a veterinarian for your new puppy
Choose a veterinarian before your pup arrives home so you can schedule a well-puppy check right away. Your pup will need regular vaccinations and exams to stay healthy as it grows. The veterinary team will be an important part of monitoring your pup’s health throughout its life.
Prepare your home for your new pup’s arrival when they are 8-10 weeks old
Leaving its mother and littermates to live in your home is a big moment for your new puppy. The best age to bring a new puppy into your home is 8 to 10 weeks, when the puppy is fully weaned and ready to meet its new family.
Welcome your puppy to your home with all the right essential puppy gear. Having puppy supplies in place before your pup arrives home will reduce anxiety on the big day and allow you and your puppy to get to know each other. Review this puppy checklist to have everything ready.
A good leash, collar, harness, and dog ID tags
A comfortable collar is a must for your pup, because it provides a place to hang ID tags and attach a leash. An adjustable collar can grow with your pup.
Put the collar on your puppy as soon as you pick up your new friend from the breeder or adoption center. Attach the leash before you head to the car and hold onto the leash securely. You don’t want your new puppy to dash off on your first day together!
The collar should be worn by your puppy at all times. Don’t worry if your pup scratches at the new collar – in a few days, your puppy will be used to this new accessory.
Place a padded harness on your puppy when you take walks together, and attach the leash to the harness instead of the collar. This is more comfortable if your puppy pulls against the leash as he learns proper walking behavior. For help with leash training, check out our Guide to Leash Training a Puppy or Dog.
Healthy puppy food
Puppies love to eat – a lot! Puppies eat more pet food per pound of body weight than adult dogs. You can find out how much you should feed your dog and how often here on the Tractive blog.
Choose a dog food specially formulated for puppies. Puppy food has the right nutrients to support healthy bone growth and organ development. Plan on serving puppy food to your little dog for the first year of life.
Easy-to-clean stainless steel food and water bowls
Puppies get very excited at meal time, so choose food and water bowls that won’t easily tip over. A pair of stainless steel bowls in a holder works well. Start with small bowls and swap them for larger bowls as your puppy grows. Wash the bowls every day.
A dog bed for sleeping
Puppies play hard, and they sleep even harder! A comfy bed will keep your new puppy cozy at night. Deciding whether to use a dog bed, have your pup sleep in a dog crate, or welcome your furry friend into your own bed is a matter of personal preference. Make sure that you are able to get a good night’s sleep no matter where your puppy snoozes at night.
Dog crate for your puppy
A dog crate can serve as a nighttime den for your puppy. Or, a dog create can be a secure place for your puppy to stay when you are away from home. A dog crate can also be an ideal spot for your pup to get some alone time during the day. A few blankets or old towels can create a soft place for your puppy to rest inside the dog crate.
Place the crate near a space where the family gathers, such as the kitchen or TV room. It’s a good idea to put the crate on an easy-to-clean surface such as tile or linoleum.