A New Puppy Checklist for First Time Pet Parents

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new puppy checklist adorable bulldog puppy

If you have decided to adopt a puppy, you will want to know what should be on your new puppy checklist. We’ve got you sorted! Read on for our tips and advice before welcoming your new puppy into their new home.

Remember: Puppies are forever, not just for Christmas! It may be the season of giving, but before you buy or rescue a new furbaby, be sure that you are ready to make a lifetime commitment to that little soul. Too many pets are given to people as gifts, and end up being abandoned or surrendered to shelters because the owner couldn’t face up to the responsibility of taking care of them!

Whether You Rescue or Buy a Puppy: You Need to Be Prepared

It doesn’t matter what breed of dog you have chosen. Whether you are adopting a puppy from a rescue shelter or buying one from a responsible breeder. You will want their first few weeks in their new home to go as smoothly as possible. Ticking everything off your new puppy checklist before bringing your fluff ball home will certainly help take the pressure off.

6 Essential Puppy Supplies Your New Puppy Needs

Some items are obvious, while others might be less so. Whether this is your first time as a pet owner, or you simply need a quick refresher, here is our list of things that you should buy from the pet store before you bring your new puppy home.

Food for Puppies Needs to Be on Your New Puppy Checklist!

You’ve decided which dog to adopt! The next most important decision is that of which dog food you will get for your new canine companion. For your puppy to grow healthy and strong, you will want to select high-quality dog food.

There are so many awesome dog food brands out there to choose from. Some dog owners choose premium pet foods, while others opt for holistic or natural diets. Raw food diets and homemade pet food are also gaining popularity amongst pet parents.

Your Pup Will Need a Leash, Collar or Harness

Before you go and collect your new fluff ball, you will need to buy a collar and leash. The first collar that you buy for your fur-ever friend will not last forever. Certainly, buying an adjustable collar will help it last a little longer. However, you will most likely need to invest in a larger collar further down the road.

A good, strong dog leash with a nice soft grip handle is first prize. Retractable leashes are great for walks in areas where you know your dog will have space to roam.

Very important for your new puppy checklist: a custom dog tag. A dog tag with your contact details and your puppy’s name will help people to reunite you should your puppy get lost.

cute dachshund on rock needing puppy essentials

Water and Food Bowls

Going to all the trouble of choosing the best food for your dog is of no use if you don’t have a dog food bowl to put it in! Ceramic and stainless-steel bowls are a great option because they are long-wearing and more hygienic. You might want to investigate buying a slow-feeder bowl if you have chosen a breed of dog that is very food-driven. For example, a Golden Retriever or a Labrador.

Create a Safe Space with a Blanket or Bed

Everyone needs their own little safe zone in the home. Your puppy does too. A very important item on your new puppy checklist is a dog bed and/or blanket for your pooch. You will want to buy something soft, cozy, and comfortable. Your dog’s bed must be a place where they feel safe.

A Poop Scooper

It doesn’t matter how or where your puppy poops. You will need a poop scooper to clean up after your furry friend. More than likely, you will be taking your doggo out for walks in public spaces too. So, you will want to stock up on some poo bags to carry with you on outings.

What about night times and other times when your puppy cannot get to their potty area? Puppy pads, training pads, or potty pads are a great way to keep your pup’s mess to a minimum and prevent it from staining floor surfaces. For those times when you don’t get your puppy’s cue to go outside, paper towels and an ammonium free stain remover will help you to clean up the mess quickly and easily.

Grooming Supplies for Your New Furry Friend

You might have a low shedding pup that only needs to be groomed once a week. Or, you might get a Komondor that requires daily grooming. Regardless, your list of puppy supplies will include a dog brush or two, and some dog shampoo. Chat to your puppy’s breeder to find out what the best grooming tools are for your pooch. For bath times, you will want to buy a gentle puppy shampoo, perhaps with an added flea and tick preventive.

Your dog’s nails might need to be clipped quite often. You can take them to a groomer or your vet to have this done. If you would prefer to do it yourself, invest in a pair of dog nail clippers.

Puppy Care: How to Take Care of a Puppy

An important part of taking care of a puppy is to train your puppy. Look for a dog trainer that specializes in positive reinforcement methods. Puppy socialization classes should start as early as 16 weeks. Further obedience training is also important in raising a well-balanced, happy hound.

two people in pet store buying puppy supplies

Start Potty Training Immediately

Potty training your puppy starts the moment you bring your new furry friend home. Literally. You might have taken a long journey to fetch your new puppy. In that case, the first port of call is taking your new puppy to the pre-selected puppy potty area. From then on, you will need to take your puppy to their toilet area several times a day. We recommend the following schedule:

  • First thing in the morning.
  • After meals (for the first six months at least, your puppy should be eating three meals a day).
  • After naps.
  • Before bedtime.
  • For the stretches of time in between, at 30 – 60-minute intervals throughout the day.

Water and Food Bowls

Make sure to wash your dog’s food bowl between each meal. Your puppy should always have access to fresh water. Freshen the water at least twice a day, cleaning the bowl each time.

Limit Exercise

The amount of exercise that your puppy needs will depend on your dog’s breed. Young puppies should not exercise too much. Over-exercising, especially for large breed dogs, can cause joint issues and hamper bone development.

Let Them Sleep: They Have a Lot of Growing to Do!

Puppies, especially large dogs, have a lot of growing to do. Allow them plenty of time to rest and sleep peacefully.

Get Them Vaccinated

Your four-legged friend will have to make several trips to the vet in their lifetime. As far as possible, you will want these to be stress-free, pleasant occasions. Start off by taking your new puppy in the first few weeks after bringing them home.

Even if it is just for a quick check of your new dog’s health and to meet your veterinarian. Pack in lots of training treats! At your first consultation, you can chat with your vet about a suitable vaccination schedule for your doggo.

Puppy Proof Your House and Yard

For the sake of your puppy’s safety, as well as that of your belongings, puppy proof your home and yard before you bring your new dog home. Look out for dangerous items that might be within your puppy’s reach. For example, loose electrical cords, poisonous substances, and breakable items.

Check the perimeter of your yard. You will want to be sure that there are no gaps in the fence where your doggo could get out.

For those moments when you can’t watch your puppy, a puppy playpen is great to have. Alternatively, you can put up baby gates to limit your puppy’s access to certain rooms of the house.

adorable baby puppy lying on bed

There are Other Products You’ll Need but Essentials are a Must

  • If you are considering crate training your puppy, you will want to investigate buying a dog crate.
  • Your pooch will need some fun chew toys, especially when they are teething.
  • Chewable treats, such as bully sticks are great for keeping boredom at bay, as well as for doggo dental health.

Pet parents can get carried away buying cool new things for their new pet. There are some clever, cute, and quirky products out there. However, the best thing is to just start with the essentials. From there you can build up an inventory of pet products as you get to know your new hound and what they need and like.

Common Questions About Your New Puppy Checklist

How soon can I start to potty train a puppy? 

What does puppy proofing mean?

What do I need for potty training my puppy?

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