Getting a new puppy can be exciting and stressful. What is running through a lot of new puppy owners' minds is what to buy for their new dog. What puppy products are necessary? What can't your puppy live without? And what can wait a few months? Here is a new puppy checklist complete with all the essential supplies you'll need for your new puppy.
What Do I Need for a New Puppy?
1. Puppy Food
Pick up (or request from your breeder) some of the food your puppy is currently eating. Regardless whether your puppy stays on this food or not, you should feed your puppy food that it is used to for at least a week before switching. A new home is stressful enough on a puppy. Staying on the same food can decrease the likelihood of digestive upset.
You may want to research puppy foods to find out which one would be best for your puppy and your lifestyle. Look at our Dog Food Comparison Chart for ideas.
If you want to change your puppy's food, gradually mix with and replace your puppy's current diet over the course of a week.
2. Dog Food Dishes
There are many types of dog dishes to choose from: plastic, ceramic, steel, weighted, elevated, or automatic.
Whatever dog bowl you choose for your new puppy, remember that free-feeding, or not restricting food, is a good practice for puppies. Since puppies have high metabolisms and go through unexpected growth spurts, you should have food available for your puppy at all times.
3. Dog Water Dishes and Fountains
Dog water dishes are the old stand-by, but water fountains have certain benefits as well.
Water fountains are an excellent choice to keep your puppy's water cool and clean. Dog water fountains only need to be topped off daily or every other day and changed completely at least once a week.
If you choose to use a dog water dish or bowl, make sure your puppy always has access to clean water. This may mean changing your puppy's water completely multiple times per day.
4. Dog Brush
You should be brushing your puppy at least once a week, no matter your dog's breed. Long-haired puppies may need even more frequent brushing. Brushing reduces shed hair and prevents painful mats from developing.
5. Collar and Harness
Get a collar with enough room to grow. Aind the largest collar your puppy will fit properly, without being too loose).
Outfit your puppy's collar with a dog ID tag as soon as possible.
Harnesses are a safe way to walk your puppy with lots of control for you and little stress on the neck for your puppy.
6. Tearless Puppy Shampoo
Choose a tearless puppy shampoo for painless baths. You don't want a bad experience to affect your puppy's view of baths into adulthood.
Always choose a shampoo designed for dogs - human shampoos are made to suit a different skin pH. The wrong shampoo can dry out your dog's skin and coat or even cause an allergic response.
7. Puppy Chew Toys
Teething puppies need something to chew. Choose tough toys meant for chewing that your puppy will not be able to swallow. Select quality dog toys of many different textures to get your puppy used to them.
Never give a baby toy or other toy not designed for dogs to your puppy. For safety, avoid rawhide chews until your puppy is at least 6 months of age.
8. Dog Kennel
Choose a dog crate or kennel that fits your puppy properly - he should be able to stand up in it and turn around. Your puppy's kennel should be roomy, but an oversize kennel can make house training difficult.
Only want to buy one kennel throughout your puppy's life? Many kennels come with divider panels, so your kennel can grow with your puppy.
Look for a washable kennel mat that fits in your dog crate for your puppy's comfort.
9. Dog Bed
Dog beds are more than just comfort. Great dog beds for puppies are stain-repellent, durable, tear resistant, and washable. Look for these features in a quality dog bed for your puppy.
10. Puppy Treats
Treats can make training easier and faster for your puppy. Choose one special treat just for training to motivate your puppy.
Look for dog treats with healthy, whole food ingredients. Make sure the treats are small enough and low-calorie so that you can feed many throughout the day as you train.
11. Natural Pet Cleaners
Cleaners are essential puppy items. Your puppy will have accidents - cleaning them completely and effectively decreases the chance your puppy will return to the same spot.
12. Puppy Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Get your puppy used to proper oral care from a young age. Try to get in the habit of brushing your puppy's teeth every day. Good brushing habits mean lower vet bills over the course of your dog's life. See 7 Pet Health Tips to Lower Vet Bills.
Small finger toothbrushes, like Petrodex Finger Toothbrush, are good for small mouths, and can be easier for your puppy to get used to. You can gradually switch to a standard toothbrush over time.
Puppy just won't take a toothbrush? While nothing beats the brush, there are many products out there that work as a suitable alternative to brushing. See 7 Revolutionary Products to Clean Dogs' Teeth (Video Blog).
13. Puppy Training Pads
Training pads are perfect for underdeveloped puppy bladders. Often scented with pheromones to attract your puppy, puppy training pads can be a great aid no matter how you plan to house-train your dog.
A good species-specific book can be a valuable resource throughout your pet's life. While the internet can be a good resource, it can be hard to sift the good information from the bad. Look for a book that covers all aspects of your puppy and dog's care.
You may need to add a few more seasonal items - such as boots and possibly a jacket or sweater for fall and winter, or a tie-out for summer, but these choices are dependent upon weather conditions and dog breed. You will find that a dog's needs are individual, but this new puppy checklist should cover all the basics of any puppy's care.
Best of luck with your new puppy!