It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or an adult, getting a new puppy is always a moment that’s filled with joy and excitement.
And with all that joy and excitement and it can be easy to overlook a few things, things that your new puppy will need.
I’ve put together this 16-point checklist with stuff you need to buy and do before you bring the puppy home.
- What you need to buy – New puppy shopping list
- 1. Dog food
- 2. Bowls
- 3. Collar and Leash
- 4. ID Tags
- 5. Harness
- 6. Dog bed
- 7. Dog crate
- 8. Grooming and bathing supplies
- 9. Poop bags
- 10. Puppy pads
- 11. Treats
- 12. Chew toys
- 13. Puppy-proofing the house
- 14. Puppy shots – what, when and how much
- Puppy vaccination schedule
- Vaccination costs
- 15. Puppy socialization
- 16. Learning how to train your puppy
What you need to buy – New puppy shopping list
Getting a new puppy is actually cheap. Said no one ever.
Although puppy supplies aren’t very expensive, there’s a lot of stuff you need to get and it can slowly add up. This post is meant to help you get the best bang for your buck and not waste money on things that aren’t necessary.
Below is a complete shopping list that contains essential items your puppy will need.
1. Dog food
Obviously, your puppy needs food. A puppy needs to eat 3-4 times a day. You want to make sure that the food you feed your pup has the right balance of nutrients. At first, buy the food your puppy is already used to. If you want to change brands do it slowly.
You bought the food, now you’ll need a bowl to put it in. Get 2 bowls. One for food and one for water. Your puppy needs to have a bowl of fresh water nearby.
Don’t waste your money on anything fancy because your puppy will outgrow the small size bowls quickly. Instead of plastic bowls, I suggest you go with stainless steel or ceramic ones. They’re weighted so your puppy won’t be able to knock them around easily spilling the food/water on the floor.
3. Collar and Leash
I strongly recommend putting a collar on your puppy from the day you bring him home. You’ll also want to get a leash. Even you if you don’t take your puppy on walks yet it’s good to get him used to it early.
4. ID Tags
Besides the collar and leash make sure you also get your puppy ID tags. They should have your dog’s name and your address, phone number and name.
If your pup pulls on the leash, it’s better if you put him in a harness so as not to hurt himself. A collar might hurt your puppy’s neck if he constantly pulls on the leash. Puppy harnesses are inexpensive so it’s a good idea to get one either way.
6. Dog bed
When he’s just a puppy it’s fun to let your dog sleep in your bed but that all changes when he’s an adult dog. The best thing is to get him used to his own bed right from the beginning.
When you’re choosing a bed for your puppy take into consideration the size of your dog as an adult and buy a bed that he will still be able to use when he’s fully grown.
If I were you I’d go for an orthopedic, memory foam mattress dog bed. They’re a bit more expensive but they’re worth it if you value your dog’s health. If you want to check out my list of the best quality orthopedic dog beds click here.
7. Dog crate
A dog crate comes in handy if you want to housebreak your puppy or keep him contained during the first few weeks.
A dog crate should not by any means be considered something cruel. In fact, it will act as a safe place for him to go to, providing a feeling of safety and security.
Go with the classic metal wire crate. It’s durable, it’s easy to clean, it ensures maximum airflow and great visibility of the surrounding area for your puppy.
8. Grooming and bathing supplies
Basic grooming and bathing supplies like a brush, a nail clipper, and a shampoo are enough in the beginning. Getting your puppy used to bathe right from the start will save you a lot of headaches later on when he’s an adult dog.
9. Poop bags
10. Puppy pads
In the long run, it’s better to teach your puppy to pee and poop outside all the time. But until your puppy is fully potty trained, pee pads are indeed very helpful. Although a smarter alternative to training pads are portable dog potties with either artificial or real grass which have the added bonus of better preparing your pup for peeing and pooping outdoors.
Treats make a great reward for your puppy and are essential for obedience training. Your puppy will appreciate your praises but the ultimate reward will always be his tasty, healthy little treat. When buying treats, one rule of thumb is to stay away from anything that’s highly colored or artificially flavored.
12. Chew toys
Chew toys are very important, especially during your puppy’s teething period. They help soothe your pup’s gum pain and keep him away from things you don’t want to be chewed. The best chew toys will grab your pup’s interest and keep him entertained. Of course, they also need to be safe for him and not fall apart after a couple of days.
13. Puppy-proofing the house
It’s in your puppy’s nature to be curious about everything around him and his favorite way of exploring his new home is by pulling on stuff and chewing everything in his path.
So if you don’t want all your shoes, remote controls, curtains, etc. destroyed it’s important to puppy proof your house.
Puppy-proofing your home is also about keeping your pup safe when you’re not around.
Here are a couple of basic things you should consider doing:
- Remove any plants that are known to be toxic to dogs from both your house and your garden.
- Make sure your puppy doesn’t have access to chewable things like shoes, belts or anything that’s small enough to fit in his mouth that could cause choking.
- Don’t leave electrical cords out in the open where your puppy can reach them. If the cord is plugged, one bite could prove fatal for your puppy.
- If you have curtains that touch the floor it would be a good idea to lift them so that your puppy can’t get to them and start pulling on them with his teeth and claws.
- Keep your toilet seat lid closed.
- If you plan on letting your puppy run around in the garden make sure there aren’t any gaps or holes through which he can get out into the street.
- Make sure your puppy can’t get to any cleaning supplies or medicine around the house. Both can be toxic to puppies if swallowed.
14. Puppy shots – what, when and how much
Vaccines are an important part of your puppy’s health care routine. Without them, your pup is vulnerable to all kinds of infections and diseases.
If you’re worried that getting vaccinated is painful for your pup, don’t be. The procedure takes just a couple of seconds and the pain is minimal.
Puppy vaccination schedule
Your dog’s veterinarian can recommend different vaccination schedules and vaccines depending on your puppy’s specific risk factors or what part of the country you live in.
|Puppy’s Age||Recommended Vaccinations||Optional Vaccinations|
|6 – 8 weeks||Distemper, measles, parainfluenza||Bordetella|
|10 – 12 weeks||DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus)||Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease|
|12 – 24 weeks||Rabies||none|
|14 – 16 weeks||DHPP||Coronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis|
|12 – 16 months||Rabies, DHPP||Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease|
|Every 1 – 2 years||DHPP||Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease|
|Every 1 – 3 years||Rabies (as required by law)||none|
How much vaccinations for your pup will cost mostly depends on the area you live in and at which vet clinic you’re taking your puppy.
For instance, Petco’s veterinary clinic, Vetco, offers puppy core vaccination packages that range between $60 and $80. See their prices here.
If you’re taking your puppy to a Banfield clinic which can be found in Petsmart stores, prices for the core vaccine package start from $100 and can go up to $230. You can use Banfield’s pricing widget to see how much dog vaccines cost in your area.
Socialization is an important part of your puppy’s life and yet is very often overlooked by the owner.
Until your puppy has finished his vaccination schedule you should only start a socialization routine that involves meeting other people and not other dogs.
It’s important for your puppy to meet lots of new people right from the start. Most likely it will be very easy for you to convince your friend to come visit and play with your new puppy.
Once your puppy has had all his shots put him on a leash and take him to a dog park where he can meet other dogs. If you have the time you should do this on a daily basis.
Socialization helps your puppy mature into an adult dog who will interact well with both dogs and other people.
16. Learning how to train your puppy
When it comes to obedience training you have 2 options: you can find a dog trainer to train your puppy the basic commands or you can learn how to train him yourself.
Personally, I suggest you learn how to train him yourself. First of all, it’s a fun and rewarding activity for both you and your puppy and it strengthens the bond between the two of you.
Now, when it comes to dog training there are thousands of articles online the teach you how to do it, but from my experience, I’ve found that video tutorials are a lot easier to follow.
I’m not gonna talk about it too much here, but I wrote a detailed review of a dog training program that I personally recommend and vouch for, Doggy Dan’s Online Dog Trainer.
One of your first jobs as a dog owner is to potty train your puppy. This will go easier if you schedule a routine from the first day and stick with it. Regular meal times and walks.
I guess that’s about it. Hopefully, this list will come in handy as you and your new puppy will get settled.
Ticking every check on this list will take some effort but it will be well worth it, trust me on that.