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The Ultimate New Puppy Checklist: Everything You Need to Know

New Puppy Checklist: Essential Supplies and Resources (2023)
Published Tuesday, April 4, 2023 by Madeline I

Are you eagerly anticipating the arrival of your adorable new fur baby? Preparing for a new puppy can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience. That's why we've put together the ultimate new puppy checklist to help you get started on the right paw! In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover all the essentials - from training tools and toys to nutrition and grooming supplies. With these expert tips and must-have items, you'll be well-equipped to welcome your furry friend into their forever home. 

New Puppy Checklist: Puppy-Proofing Your Home and Essential Items 

brown dog chewing a rope

Just like baby-proofing, puppy-proofing your home is a crucial step in ensuring the safety and comfort of your new four-legged family member. Puppies are naturally curious and love to explore, so it's important to create a safe environment where they can learn and grow. Here's a handy list of tips and items to help you puppy-proof your home: 

  • Secure electrical cords and outlets: Puppies love to chew, and electrical cords can pose a significant hazard. Use cord protectors or conceal cords behind furniture to keep them out of reach. Consider investing in outlet covers to prevent curious pups from poking their noses into dangerous places. 
  • Remove toxic plants and substances: Many common houseplants and outdoor plants can be toxic to dogs. Do some research and remove any hazardous plants from your home and garden. Additionally, ensure all cleaning supplies, medications, and chemicals are stored safely out of your puppy's reach. 
  • Install baby gates: Baby gates are a great way to create designated spaces for your pup to explore while keeping them safely contained. Place gates at the top and bottom of stairs or use them to block off rooms with potential hazards. 
  • Create a designated puppy zone: Designate a specific area in your home for your puppy to eat, sleep, and play. This space should include a comfortable bed, food and water bowls, and a variety of age-appropriate toys. Providing a dedicated area will help your puppy feel secure and help you establish boundaries. 
  • Invest in a sturdy trash can: Puppies can be little garbage detectives, so invest in a trash can with a secure lid to keep them from getting into things they shouldn't. 
  • Remove small objects and choking hazards: Scan your home for small items that could pose a choking risk, such as coins, jewelry, and children's toys. Keep these items stored safely out of your puppy's reach. 
  • Protect your furniture: Puppies are notorious for chewing on furniture, so consider using furniture covers or applying a pet-safe deterrent spray to discourage this behavior. 
  • Adjust your home's temperature: Puppies are more sensitive to temperature changes than adult dogs, so make sure your home is a comfortable temperature for your new companion. You may want to invest in a pet-friendly thermostat or add a cozy blanket to their designated area. 

RELATED: New Puppy Owner Guide 

New Puppy Checklist: Preparing for Your Puppy's Arrival and Essential Items 

food and water bowls for dogs in a pink background

Before your new furry friend arrives, it's essential to gather all the necessary items and make arrangements to ensure a smooth transition for both you and your puppy. Here's a list of key preparations and supplies to have on hand before welcoming your pup into their new home: 

  • Choose a veterinarian: Research local veterinarians and select one that best suits your needs and preferences. It's a good idea to schedule your puppy's first appointment shortly after they arrive to ensure they're in good health and to discuss vaccinations and other preventative care. 
  • Purchase pet insurance: Consider investing in pet insurance to help cover unexpected medical expenses. Research different plans and providers to find the best coverage for your needs and budget. 
  • Stock up on food and treats: Consult with your breeder, veterinarian, or adoption agency to determine the most appropriate food for your puppy's breed, age, and nutritional needs. Purchase a supply of high-quality puppy food and treats to have on hand when your puppy arrives. 
  • Puppy potty pads: Stock up on puppy potty pads or training pads to ensure a seamless potty-training experience when your puppy is too young to take potty breaks outdoors. Potty pads will help contain any mess in a designated area. 
  • Gather essential supplies: Make sure you have all the necessary items before your puppy arrives, including a collar and leash, ID tag, food and water bowls, toys, grooming supplies, and a crate or playpen for training purposes. 
  • Prepare a travel carrier: If you're picking up your puppy from a breeder or shelter, you'll need a safe and comfortable travel carrier for the ride home. Make sure it's appropriately sized and well-ventilated. 
  • Arrange for time off work: If possible, arrange to take some time off work when your puppy first arrives. This will help you establish a bond, monitor their adjustment, and begin essential training. 
  • Enroll in puppy training classes: Training classes are a great way to socialize your puppy and learn positive training techniques. Research local trainers or sign up for online classes to find the best fit for you and your pup. 
  • Have cleaning supplies on hand: Accidents are bound to happen, so stock up on pet-friendly cleaning supplies like enzymatic cleaners, stain removers, and paper towels. These will help you address any messes quickly and effectively. 
  • Prepare family members or housemates: If you live with other people, it's important to discuss the expectations and responsibilities surrounding the new puppy. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding training, feeding, and care routines. 

RELATED: Week One with A New Puppy: See What to Expect 

New Puppy Checklist for When Your Puppy Arrives Home: Essential Items for a Happy, Healthy Pup

small dog playing with plush toys

  • Chew toys: Teething puppies love to chew on things, so provide them with a variety of durable chew toys to satisfy this natural urge and protect your belongings. 
  • Puzzle toys: Stimulate your puppy's mind and encourage problem-solving skills with interactive puzzle toys designed to challenge and engage them mentally. 
  • Fetch toys: Keep your puppy active and entertained with chase toys, such as balls or flying discs, that encourage them to run and play. 
  • Dog crate: A crate can serve as a safe and secure den for your puppy during training, as well as a comfortable spot for them to rest and relax. 
  • Puppy bed: Provide a cozy and supportive dog bed in your puppy's designated area to ensure they have a comfortable place to sleep. 
  • Harness: A well-fitting harness can offer more control and comfort for your puppy during walks, especially for breeds prone to pulling or those with delicate necks. 
  • Leash: Choose a sturdy and comfortable leash that's appropriate for your puppy's size and breed. Consider a retractable leash for more freedom during walks or a short, fixed-length leash for leash training purposes. 
  • Training treat pouch: A handy treat pouch makes it easy to reward your puppy with treats during training sessions, helping to reinforce positive behaviors. 
  • Puppy treats: Stock up on healthy and delicious dog treats to use as rewards during training or as occasional snacks for your pup. 
  • Playpen: An exercise pen or playpen can help contain your puppy in a designated area while still providing them with space to play and explore. 
  • Pooper scooper: A durable and easy-to-use pooper scooper is essential for keeping your yard clean and maintaining a healthy environment for your puppy. 
  • Grooming wipes: Keep your puppy clean and fresh between baths with pet-friendly grooming wipes, perfect for wiping away dirt and debris from their coat. 
  • Dog toothpaste and toothbrush: Maintain your puppy's oral health with dog-specific toothpaste and a toothbrush designed for their unique dental needs. 
  • Dog shampoo: Choose a gentle, pet-safe shampoo formulated for your puppy's specific coat type to keep their fur clean and healthy. 
  • Spray for accidents: An enzymatic cleaner is a must-have for neutralizing and removing odors and stains from accidents, ensuring your home stays clean and fresh. 
  • Carpet cleaner: Invest in a high-quality carpet cleaner to address any messes or stains that may occur as your puppy adjusts to their new environment. 

RELATED: Navigating the World of Puppy Teething: A Guide for Owners 

New Puppy Checklist: Additional Resources for a Well-Rounded Puppy Experience 

small dog at the groomer

In addition to the essential items and supplies, there are several additional resources and services that can come in handy as you raise your new furry companion. These resources can help ensure your puppy has a well-rounded upbringing and receives the best possible care: 

  • Veterinarian: Establishing a relationship with a trusted veterinarian is crucial for your puppy's ongoing health and well-being. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care will keep your pup in tip-top shape. 
  • Trainer: A professional dog trainer can help you and your puppy learn effective communication and training techniques. They can also address any behavioral issues that may arise, ensuring your pup becomes a well-mannered member of your family. 
  • Insurance: Pet insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case of unexpected medical expenses. Research and compare different providers and plans to find the best coverage for your puppy's needs. 
  • Pet sitter: A reliable pet sitter can be invaluable when you need someone to care for your puppy during vacations or work-related trips. Look for a sitter with experience caring for puppies and a genuine love for animals. 
  • Dog walker: A professional dog walker can provide your puppy with regular exercise and socialization, especially if your schedule doesn't always allow for daily walks. This service can be particularly helpful for high-energy breeds that require more physical activity. 
  • Dog groomer: Regular grooming is essential for maintaining your puppy's coat and overall hygiene. A professional groomer can help keep your pup looking and feeling their best, while also checking for any skin or coat issues that may require attention. 
  • Puppy kindergarten: Enrolling your puppy in a kindergarten class is an excellent opportunity for early socialization and basic training. These classes expose your pup to a variety of new experiences, helping them become more confident and well-adjusted. 

RELATED: How Often Should I Take My Dog To The Vet? 

New Puppy Checklist: Setting Your Puppy Up for Success 

Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting and rewarding journey. By following our comprehensive new puppy checklist and considering the additional resources and services mentioned, you'll be well-prepared to welcome your furry friend into their forever home. From puppy-proofing your home to stocking up on essential items and enlisting the help of professionals, these steps will set the foundation for a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted pup. 

Remember, patience and consistency are key as you and your puppy navigate this new chapter together. With love, care, and dedication, you'll create an unbreakable bond with your new companion, embarking on a lifelong adventure filled with tail wags, wet kisses, and endless joy. 

Madeline I

About The Author

Madeline, a remarkable wordsmith and canine connoisseur at Premier Pups, possesses an exceptional understanding of dogs, setting her apart in the world of pet journalism. Her meticulous research skills and genuine affinity for her furry subjects culminate in articles that are both informative and captivating. Madeline's distinctive writing style brings the canine experience to life, making complex topics accessible and engaging for readers. As a trusted source of wisdom for dog enthusiasts, Madeline's unique contributions have become an essential component of the Premier Pups community, where her passion and expertise continue to inspire a deeper appreciation for the world of dogs.
Madeline I - Author Photo

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for a puppy checklist? To prepare for a puppy checklist, consider the various aspects of puppy care, including puppy-proofing your home, gathering essential items, and researching additional resources and services. Make a list of all the necessary tasks and supplies and ensure everything is in place before your new furry friend arrives.

What should I include in a new puppy checklist? A new puppy checklist should include essential items such as food, toys, bedding, crate, leash, collar, grooming supplies, and cleaning products. Additionally, consider services like veterinarians, trainers, insurance, pet sitters, dog walkers, groomers, and puppy kindergarten classes.

Can a new puppy be around other dogs? New puppies can be around other dogs once they have received their initial vaccinations and have been cleared by your veterinarian. Early socialization with other dogs is crucial for your puppy's development, but always prioritize their safety and health.

Should I take my new puppy to the vet? Yes, you should schedule a visit to the vet shortly after your puppy arrives home. This will help ensure they're in good health and allow you to discuss vaccinations and other preventative care with your veterinarian.

Should I leave my new puppy alone? While it's important to gradually teach your puppy to be comfortable when left alone, avoid leaving them for extended periods during their initial adjustment to your home. Slowly increase the time they spend alone to help them become more independent and confident.

Should I wash new puppy toys? Yes, it's a good idea to wash new puppy toys before giving them to your pup. This helps remove any manufacturing residue and ensures the toys are clean and safe for your puppy to enjoy.

Should I feed my new puppy in their crate? Feeding your puppy in their crate can help create a positive association with the crate and encourage them to view it as a safe and comfortable space. However, be sure to remove any uneaten food after mealtime to maintain cleanliness.

Should my new puppy sleep in their crate? Crate training your puppy can help establish a consistent sleep routine and provide them with a secure place to rest. Make the crate comfortable with bedding and consider placing it near your bedroom to help your puppy feel more at ease.

What does a new puppy need? A new puppy needs a safe and comfortable environment, essential supplies like food, toys, and bedding, and proper care from their owner, including training, socialization, and regular veterinary visits.

What do new puppy owners need to know? New puppy owners should be prepared for the time, commitment, and patience required to raise a happy, healthy pup. Familiarize yourself with basic training techniques, breed-specific needs, and proper puppy care to ensure a successful transition into your home.

When should I introduce my new puppy to my cat? Introduce your new puppy to your cat after your puppy has had some time to adjust to their new home. Ensure the initial introductions are supervised and gradually increase the time they spend together, while always prioritizing the safety and comfort of both animals.

When does a new puppy need shots? Your new puppy will typically need their first round of vaccinations at 6-8 weeks of age, followed by additional vaccinations every 3-4 weeks until they are 16-20 weeks old. Consult with your veterinarian for a specific vaccination schedule tailored to your puppy's needs.

When can my new puppy go outside? Your new puppy can go outside for short, supervised outings in your yard as soon as they arrive home. However, limit their exposure to public places and other dogs until they have received their initial vaccinations and your veterinarian has given you the go-ahead.

What should I do if my new puppy won't eat? If your new puppy is refusing to eat, try offering a different type of food or mixing in some wet food with their dry kibble. If they continue to refuse food or show signs of illness, consult your veterinarian for further guidance.