The New Puppy Checklist
Essential ProductsFood – You’ll need to feed your new pup 3-4 times per day (you’ll cut back to two feedings when they are 6-12 months old). The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out what food they are currently eating. Get that to start if you can (it’ll be easier on their stomachs). Then you can decide if you want to switch their food and blend it with their old food for an easy introduction. Treats – There are so many treat options for dogs it’s unbelievable! Treats are a great way to reward good behavior and get your dog’s attention. Just don’t give them too many or they’ll be overweight. Be very careful with bones or rawhides (especially with a puppy) as they can break into pieces and choke. It’s better to start out with things that are easier to eat. You can buy simple dog biscuits or some fancier flavored treats. It’s a good idea to have a standard treat and an ‘extra special’ treat to use when training.
Comfort ProductsKennel – If you’re getting a small pup, a plastic kennel is great for transporting them or keeping them safe while you’re away. You can also get a wire kennel, which is cheaper and better suited for large dogs. It may seem weird to put your dog in a cage, but keep in mind they feel very safe in an enclosed space. They may even choose to be in there at times. What size do you get? One thing you can do is get a kennel you know will fit your dog at full size, and add padding or a wood divider to make it smaller (and cozier!) for your dog at their current size. Many will even come with an extra wire divider. Bedding – You’ll want to make their kennel even more comfortable. You can get some old blankets and put them in there (make sure there’s nothing bad inside if they get into it) or buy a dog bed. If you have a chewer they may destroy it as a puppy so I wouldn’t invest too much at first.
Home ProductsCleaner – Your new pup will have some accidents before they’re housebroken. Dogs often will return to the same spot to go again so you’ll want a product that cleans & eliminates odor. Nature’s Miracle makes a great product for this.
Fun & Training ProductsToys – There are tons of toy options. The best toy for any dog is a Kong. You can fill them with treats or peanut butter and keep your pup occupied. Then consider your pup & how much they like to destroy things. Stuffed animals are fun but our dog will destroy them in 2 minutes (or less)! With a chewer try and get more durable toys like ropes & Nylabones. With a more careful pup you can buy some fun stuffed animals (make sure they don’t eat the stuffing) or squeaky toys. There are also fun puzzle toys you can get to occupy your pup & engage their mind. Check out a list of dog puzzle toys here. Training – Once you’re ready for some training it’s a good idea to have treats. Also consider using a clicker. These are cheap and they provide a signal to use when your pup does something good. A treat bag is also helpful (this one also includes the clicker). Then your pup knows you have the treats, but isn’t distracted by staring at your handful of goodies. Hopefully this new puppy checklist has been helpful! You won’t need all these things immediately, but they’ll be helpful to keep in mind for the future. Download the PDF checklist The next step is prepping your home for your puppy & brining them home!
Other Puppy Guide Articles
- 5What to Feed a Puppy
- 2Choosing a Dog Breed
- 6Puppy Care Tips
- 3New Puppy Checklist
- 7Training & Socialization
- 4Bringing Puppy Home