New Puppy Checklist: Ultimate List to Welcome Your Canine Companion
Are you looking for a new puppy checklist? If yes, thank your lucky star because we got you fully covered.
Are you getting your new puppy soon? Of course, you are. Congratulations! This is one of the best decisions in your life!
The question should be, how are you preparing to welcome your new puppy home?
You do understand that getting your new puppy is more than just picking it up, having it in the car and driving it home. In a way its almost the same as bringing a baby home.
If you have already settled on the puppy breed you want and maybe found the puppy already, you need to prepare before picking it up. You want to have everything ready to ensure comfort and a smoother welcome.
How are you ensuring you get everything you need? This comprehensive new puppy checklist will save you last-minute rushes and forgetting of some essentials.
There is no need to waste time on too much talk, so we'll get right into the ultimate new puppy checklist.
New Puppy Checklist Essentials: Basics
These are the must-haves that you should buy before the arrival of your puppy.
You want the first moments in your house to be smooth and comfortable. And it's not just about the puppy's comfort. Alright, your puppy is the center of attraction, but you need to be comfortable after the arrival too.
Before arrival, it's a good idea to get the following:
New Puppy Checklist: Safety and Management
When you get home, you want to ensure your dog is safe. No avoidable accidents happening. And, the last thing you want is, the puppy escaping. You don’t want to nurse the heartbreak of knowing your puppy is out there, and you cannot just find it (1).
For better safety and management of your new puppy, get these:
Your dog tag will help people identify your puppy in case it escapes. Puppies are playful, and their chances of escaping are even higher when they are new.
Do not wait for days to have the dog ID tag on.
Make sure the ID tag clearly shows where you live. It must include your phone number and names.
A lot of people procrastinate getting puppy tags. Sometimes maybe trying to find appropriate and cute dog tags. Or while trying to decide the official puppy's name.
Don't take any risks; you can always renew tags in case anything changes.
Before arrival, you need to get a collar for your dog. A collar is a must-have for safer and enjoyable walks. Puppies love walks and training sessions to keep active.
It is a good idea to get:
- An adjustable collar to accommodate your growing puppy
- A soft collar; ensure its gentle against your puppy
- A brightly colored collar for visibility
These three factors will help you get the best collar for your puppy.
A Dog Leash
Not all dog leashes are created similarly.
Some dogs pull, chew, and others may need to be watched over to avoid any troubles.
Dog leashes come in different materials, styles and lengths. A 6 feet long leash is a good start to take your puppy for a walk or training. A 15 feet leash is good for dog training.
A puppy harness will help you manage your dog.
'Well, I have a leash, and my puppy is perfect with it.'
It would be ideal if you still had a harness too, and here is why:
- Harnesses are a good training tool, especially if your puppy has not learned to walk on the lead. Besides, the harness prevents your puppy from tangling in the leash. You don't want to hurt your puppy in the leash entanglement.
- A harness offers a better control option for you. If you walk your puppy in crowds or busy streets, get a leash.
- If you have a solid and playful puppy, a leash alone can be hurtful on your back and arm. A harness will get you better and easier control.
- Puppies hurt themselves when they are pulling on the leash. A harness disperses the pressure over a large surface area. This, therefore, reduces the strain on the neck and back.
Ensure you get a harness; it is excellent for both you and the new puppy.
Some dog rescue homes or breeders provide already micro-chipped puppies. In this case, ensure that the information has been changed to yours. Also, ensure the information is correct.
What if your puppy comes without a microchip? Talk to your vet about getting one for your puppy. It will help you track your dog just in case it goes on the loose.
New Puppy Checklist: Food and Nutrition
Well, this looks like something basic, but people do make mistakes.
What do you search for while shopping for a food bowl for your puppy?
- Size of the puppy
- Eating style of the puppy
- Material of the bowl
Don't just pick a bowl made of any material.
Consider the following when selecting material for the food bowl:
- Dishwasher-safe material such as ceramic and stainless steel
- Material that holds up the longest
- Lead-free materials (ceramics are dishwasher safe, but the glaze used on them sometimes contains lead. Read the label carefully before purchasing a ceramic dish)
Maybe you are wondering, what material should I avoid? Avoid plastic bowls. Plastics are not as antimicrobial as ceramics and stainless steel. Therefore, they retain germs and bacteria that may make your puppy sick.
Besides, plastic may contain chemicals that can cause irritation and acne.
Food and water bowls shopping go hand in hand.
However, while shopping for a puppy water bowl, the most critical question is how much water does your dog need? Your puppy's needs will help you decide how big your bowl should be.
Besides, your puppy's behavior will help you determine the material. Plastic water bowls will be better than ceramic bowls for clumsy puppies. If your puppy loves to chew, get a metallic bowl over a plastic one.
Healthy Puppy Food
Finding the right food for your new puppy can be challenging. You want to find healthy and nutritious food. You also want to avoid food that could cause complications such as obesity.
Your puppy needs proper nutrition to flourish into a healthy adult companion.
Trick: Have a supply of food they ate in their previous home. Changing the puppy's diet too soon could because stomach upsets.
Once the puppy has settled and started adapting, consult your veterinarian about the puppy diet. Your vet will help you settle for the best foods depending on your puppy's specific needs.
Puppy Food Storage
A lot of people overlook this as they compile their puppy checklist. It is essential. First, dog food can become stale if they remain in the original package.
Secondly, puppies will snoop everywhere, and they may get into the food bag. It is essential to feed your puppy with the correct quantity of food. Get puppy food storage to get help with sticking to the correct quantities.
New Puppy Checklist: Hygiene and Cleaning
In this segment, we will have items you need for cleaning your environment and house, thanks to your new addition to the family. Besides, you will have items necessary for the puppy's hygiene.
A dog brush should be on your new puppy checklist even if your puppy breed is a lower shedder.
A brush will help you groom the coat of your new companion. You don't want the fur to get tangled. Get a brush to release the loose hair and to have the coat neat.
It will help keep your puppy neat before grooming appointments.
With a new puppy in the house, there will be all sorts of messes.
There will be messes that are too big to ignore and too small for a puppy bath.
This is where grooming wipes will come in. These will come in handy when you don't have enough time to clean messes.
Dog Toothbrush + Dog Toothpaste
Your puppy's dog dental healthcare is essential.
Pet owners often dismiss this to buy the combination at a later stage. When shopping for puppy supplies, get this from the very first days. It helps the pup adapt to it.
What makes a dog toothpaste suitable? It has to:
- Have no preservatives
- Have no chemicals, pesticides or dyes
- Be BPA- free
Most dog owners brush their dog's teeth once to thrice a week.
Puppy shampoo is one of the essential grooming supplies for your puppy.
A bath with your dog shampoo will make sure your puppy smells fresh.
Most pet owners buy their dog shampoo. However, some pet owners choose to make their dog shampoo at home. Whatever works well for you.
No, don't even think about it...never use human shampoo on your dog.
There are a lot of cheaply made nail clippers that can be hurtful to your pup. Getting the appropriate nail clippers will make nail trimming sessions safer for you and less hurtful for your dog. Going deep into the claws hurts the puppy, and it will end up irritated.
With a new canine companion in your family, accidents are prone to happen.
When accidents happen, your puppies can destroy carpets and furniture. Urine on the floors and carpets can be challenging to handle.
An enzyme cleaner will help you neutralize urine, other fluids, and odor from your carpet or furniture.
Did you know that failing to neutralize a urine spot will make your puppy associate it as an acceptable potty space?
Sometimes, a regular cleaning agent will not get off the odors. Well, the odors may be faint for humans, but your pup can smell it, and it will repeat that. See how vital enzyme sprays are for potty training?
Carpet Cleaner and Vacuums
Dogs will be dogs...they will shed fur on the carpet. They will stain the carpet despite house training.
You may need to change your cleaning routine, to live comfortably with the new guy in the family. Get carpet cleaners and vacuums to clear the mess and hair fur.
Dog Car Seat Covers
First of all, dog car seat covers mean safety and comfort for your new family member.
Also, dog fur and sometimes drool may spill to your car seat. Traveling with pups can be fun and all. But cleaning after...ew.
Cleaning dog fur and sometimes drool is something you can avoid. No, don't leave your puppy behind. That's not the solution. Pup may not like it too.
The solution is getting a dog cover for the car. This will protect your car seats from staining. Besides, you will have an easier cleaning time.
Dog car seat covers means less cleaning work.
Less and easy cleaning work means happy pet owners.
Happy pet owners equals happy pet family.
Poop Bag and Holder
This is a necessity from day one.
It doesn't matter...with this; it is constant.
Many people use regular grocery bags, which is fine. But, some pet stores sell bags specifically for this.
Most of the time, your puppy will come before any puppy training. And without training and first days' Anxiety, your new puppy may even poop in the house. You will need a pooper scooper for this. If you have a yard, you will need to add a pooper scooper to your new puppy checklist.
New Puppy Checklist: Comfortable Home Stay
Every puppy needs a comfortable sleeping space.
Ensure the dog bed you get is:
- Cozy and soft
- Durable and robust ( something your pup won't chew)
- Big enough for your growing dog
Many people put a dog bed under a 'not-so-essential' when compiling the new puppy checklist. Why? Items such as blankets, towels, crates, bedsheets, and sometimes pillows work well as dog beds. We, however, recommend that you get a bed specifically for the purpose.
Anxiety- relieving Piece of Cloth
Your puppy will most probably be restless and anxious when you arrive at home.
How do you help it adapt to the new home? Many puppy owners rub a piece of cloth on the pup's mother, littermates, or their previous home. When Anxiety or restlessness kicks in, the scent of this piece of cloth can work like a magic wand.
New Puppy Checklist: Pup's Warm Reception
Are you wondering what to get your puppy on their arrival? This segment is dedicated to precisely that.
The items on this segment are considered non-essential by a lot of puppy owners.
This is because they are major entertainment and cleaning supplies. But, we assure you that these are essentials. Your puppy needs to be well-entertained and engaged. It is essential for the well-being of your puppy and you too.
All dogs and puppies need mental stimulation. One of the most incredible ways to mentally stimulate your puppy is playing with toys.
One thing, you need to look for toys appropriate for puppies. Puppy toys are usually smaller and softer. They need to work better with puppy teeth.
Here are some toys to engage and stimulate your puppy.
Puzzle toys are great for entertaining a curious and playful puppy. They are also ideal for minimizing separation anxiety. Therefore, puzzle toys will enrich your puppy's day even in your absence.Chew Toys
Puppies love to chew. If you don't give them chew toys, they may chew your furniture and other things they get in the house. You don't want them chewing on their bed or your carpet, so get them chew toys.Chase Toys
Puppies are generally playful and full of energy. The question of how energetic will depend on the breed of your puppy. Your puppy will need to release excess energy.
Have an energetic pup that needs a lot of exercises? Chase toys can help your canine companion get all that excess energy out.
Some puppy breeds will have energy that will overwhelm you. Interactive toys will help you keep your puppy engaged when you can no longer keep up. Interactive toys are also ideal for when you are not around; add them to your checklist.
Some puppies enjoy cuddling. Get plush toys to act as a cuddle partner for your dog. An appropriate plush toy will serve as great comfort and play companion to your puppy. Plush toys may even end up being your puppy's first companion; it is not used to you as their companion yet.
New Puppy Checklist: Puppy Training
A crate is essential while living with puppies (2). A dog crate is suitable for:
- Crate training ( if you choose to)
- Travel, especially vet appointments. You may need the crate for the first trip home.
Crate training is also suitable for potty training.
Besides, it gives your puppy an option to retreat before going to bed.
Many pet owners ‘crate’ their puppies at night or when they are not around. Crating prevents the puppy from chewing when you are not around. It is good that you introduce a crate in the earlier stages.
This will help your puppy get used to it.
However, your puppy may be anxious when it's crated for the first time.
Tip: The crate should be the correct size. Your puppy should be able to stand, lie down, move a bit, and sit. If it's too big, it can cause accidents.
Disclaimer: Never crate your puppy as a punishment. Furthermore, never leave your dog in the crate for more than a few hours.
Playpen, Baby Gate or Fencing System
If you have areas you don't want your puppy to access, then you need a fencing system. You don't want your puppy in your home office that may have many wires; this can cause accidents. Besides, you may want your pup out of your human child's bedroom; not all breeds are so good with kids, remember.
A playpen, baby gate, or fencing system can confine your puppy out of the restricted areas in such cases.
Want to train the new guy at home? You need lots of puppy treats. The treats are good for positive reinforcement during training. Besides, they help build a positive bond during house training.
What makes a dog treat good?
- Low in calories and fats
Disclaimer: Puppy treats should never make more than 10% of your puppy's overall diet.
Tip: Have several dog treat options in different flavors. This will help you learn what your pet loves for treats.
Bitter Apple Spray
Puppy proof house...check.
But, you cannot just put everything away from your puppy. For example, your puppy can almost ever access the house furniture.
This is where bitter apple spray comes in.
You know puppies love to chew, and they will chew on anything when they need to. Bitter apple spray is unappealing to dogs and will keep your puppy from chewing on surfaces.
The best part? Humans cannot smell bitter apple spray, but it's unappealing to dogs.
Puppy pads are another essential for potty training.
The puppy pads are spread on the floor. During house training, the new puppy learns to pee on the puppy pads if they cannot make it outside. They can use the puppy pads to pee at night or if it's raining.
This will make cleaning a lot easier for you.
New Puppy Checklist: Essential Services
A lot of new pet parents focus on puppy supplies and overlook essential services.
You don't want any last-minute rush when the services are needed.
Therefore, ensure all the essential services below are within reach before the arrival of your puppy. Anything can happen even from day one.
Don't wait for an emergency to knock to start looking for a vet.
Have a vet's phone number even before the arrival of the puppy.
Furthermore, Consult with your vet about your puppy's health and dog food regularly.
Puppy training can be challenging, especially for first-timers.
This is the reason you need to get a certified dog trainer to help in the training. A dog trainer will help make the training comprehensive yet more straightforward for the puppy.
Let's be honest, no matter how much we want to bring our puppy with us everywhere, we just cannot. And this will not hit you until you have to be away, and you cannot find a pet sitter.
Don't wait for a trip to come up to start looking for a pet sitter. Have a phone number of a pet sitter you trust beforehand.
Getting pet insurance often looks like a lot of work for many pet owners.
Let's face it; vet charges can be overwhelming during your pup's first years. Get your puppy insurance to unburden from the costs. Besides, pet insurance may help cover vet costs even throughout your dog's life.
Picture this, your puppy is just a puppy, and then an accident occurs. You are already covering too much for vet visits. Pet insurance will be a savior in such a situation.
Dog walks are suitable for:
- Your puppy's potty break
- Exercise and mental stimulation
Sometimes, life can be hectic, and you lack the time to walk your puppy. Have a dog walker you can trust to walk your puppy.
For some breeds, home grooming won't just be enough. It is a fantastic idea to have a dog groomer occasionally.
Are you wondering when to bring a dog groomer into the picture? The earlier, the better. Your pup needs to get used to professional grooming from an early stage.
Vaccinations and Licenses
Talk to your veterinarian about the vaccinations and licenses your dog needs. Often, your state or municipality will require you to get specific vaccinations and licenses. You will most probably need a rabies vaccine.
Other vaccines your vet may recommend may include:
- Bordetella bronchieseptica
- Canine distemper
- Canine hepatitis
- Canine influenza
- Leptospirosis vaccines
- Vaccine against Lyme disease
Besides, remember to consult your vet about flea and tick medicine. Be sure to get professional approval before applying any flea and tick medication on your dog.
Puppy supplements are not compulsory. However, a lot of pet owners give their puppies supplements to help with:
- Bone strengthening
- Brain function
- General body health and functioning
The most sought-after puppy supplements contain digestive aids, fatty acids, proteins and minerals.
Again, talk to your vet before using any supplements on your new puppy.
We know the excitement of welcoming your new puppy home.
Puppy proofing your house...done already.
One thing for sure is you will forget some essentials while shopping for your puppy. Pretty understandable, though; there may be a lot of stuff to buy. Lucky for you, this comprehensive new puppy checklist will help you get everything you need for the welcome. Tick everything you acquire from this new puppy checklist; it will prevent you from forgetting any essentials.
Voila! Welcome home, pup!