New Puppy Checklist: Everything You Need to Welcome Your New Puppy
Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting adventure filled with joy and new responsibilities. To ensure a smooth transition for both you and your new furry family member, it’s crucial to have all the essentials ready. Here’s a comprehensive checklist to prepare for the arrival of your new puppy.
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1. Food and Water Supplies
Quality Puppy Food:
Research and invest in high-quality puppy food that is appropriate for your puppy’s breed and size.
Here are some of our top picks:
RedBarn: We love Redbarn because of their top quality ingredients and the variety of choices. Whether you choose to feed air dried, canned, kibble or a little of each, Redbarn has you covered. You can check prices at RedBarn’s website.
Food and Water Bowls:
Purchase sturdy, easy-to-clean bowls. Consider non-tip designs or elevated feeders for larger breeds. Bacteria can hide in plastic food and water bowls. Plastic also contains harmful chemicals, so it is best to stay away from the plastic bowls. There are some really cute ceramic pet bowls, but use caution, because they can break and can also harbor bacteria. We recommend using stainless steel bowls.
Here are our favorite bowls for puppies:
Gorilla Grip 100% Waterproof BPA Free Dog Bowls Silicone Feeding Mat Set, Stainless Steel Bowl Slip Resistant Raised Edges. We like these bowls not only because they are stainless steel, but because they come with a silicone mat to catch the messes that puppies can make. The mats come in several colors to match your decor, and the bowls range in sizes from 1 cup to 4 cups, perfect for any sized puppy. You can check the price on Amazon.
2. Bedding and Comfort
A Comfortable Bed:
Choose a cozy, appropriately-sized bed to give your puppy a comfortable place to rest. You may want to consider something water proof and chew proof, such as the K9 Ballistics dog bed. These beds come in 5 sizes and 7 colors. You can check the prices on Amazon.
Crate for Training and Safety
A crate can serve as a safe haven for your puppy and is an invaluable tool for house training. There are several crate options on the market. We do recommend that you get a crate that will be suitable for your puppy when they are fully grown. This will save you money in the long run. Find a crate that comes with a divider, so that you can adjust the size as your puppy grows. Here are some great options on Amazon.
3. Health and Grooming
First Vet Visit:
Schedule a health check-up with a veterinarian shortly after bringing your puppy home. If you are getting your puppy from a breeder you will want to get your puppy into the vet sooner rather than later. A lot of breeders have a time requirement in their contract. For example, 72 hours.
Include a brush or comb suitable for your puppy’s coat type, puppy-safe shampoo, nail clippers, and dental care supplies.
4. Training and Cleanup Supplies
Potty Training Essentials:
Stock up on potty pads, a pooper scooper, and waste bags for house and outdoor training.
Have a supply of small, easy-to-eat treats to use for training rewards. We love Hoss and Dukes treats because they are easy to break up into puppy size and they are all natural, so no added filler, just meat or cheese. Best of all, we have found that puppies and dogs alike love them too. Click here to get 10% off your order.
5. Chew Toys and Playtime
Safe Chew Toys:
Provide a variety of chew toys to keep your puppy entertained and to encourage appropriate chewing habits. One of our favorites is the Benebone chew for puppies. There are two long-lasting chews in the package, and we find that puppies usually love them. Check the price on Amazon.
Enrichment toys that stimulate your puppy’s mind can help expend energy and develop cognitive skills. We recommend that you feed at least some of your puppy’s meals in enrichment toys, such as the West Paw Toppl. You can find them on Amazon. We also recommend puzzle toys. We really like the Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Plush Dog Toy Puzzle. It comes in several sizes, and it is a great brain game for your puppy. You can check the price on Amazon.
6. Leashes and Collars
Choose a comfortable, adjustable, buckle collar with a tag that includes your contact information. Never use a collar that tightens, and always remove your puppy’s collar when you put them in their crate. Your puppy’s collar is just for their tags. Never attach a leash to your puppy’s collar. Use a harness for walking.
Leash for Walks:
A sturdy leash is essential for walks and training. Consider a 6-8 foot leash leash, so you can give your puppy opportunities to sniff and explore.
7. Identification and Safety
Discuss microchipping options with your vet for added security and peace of mind. We also recommend that you have an identification tag for your puppy when you are out and about.
Safe Spaces in the Home:
Puppy-proof your home, removing hazardous items and creating a safe, enclosed space for your puppy. We highly recommend having a playpen for your puppy. Playpens are great for long-term confinement. Place your puppy’s bed and water bowl in the playpen with them. If you are pad training your puppy, you can put one of those in as well. You can find some great puppy playpens on Amazon.
8. Socialization and Education
Consider enrolling in puppy classes for socialization and basic training. Be sure you find a force-free trainer who is independently certified. You want a trainer who does not use any punishment, yelling or intimidation. Your puppy should be taught what to do, not scared when they do something you don’t like.
Books and Resources:
Educate yourself with books or online resources about puppy care and training. There are some great books out there. One of our favorites is Pat Miller’s The Power of Positive Dog Training. It is available on Amazon in several formats, including audio book and Kindle.
Welcoming a new puppy into your home is a wonderful experience that brings a lot of happiness and some challenges. By preparing with this checklist, you’re setting the stage for a loving, rewarding relationship with your new puppy. Remember, patience and consistent training in the early days will lead to a well-adjusted and happy dog.
If you would like more information about our puppy training, please contact us today!