New Puppy Checklist

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Before you bring your new puppy home for the first time, you’ll want to make sure your home is stocked with all the essentials they’ll need to make the adjustment to their new life and become part of the family. It’s important not to rush the process; your puppy will adapt to their new surroundings and the new people in the puppy’s home. It’s only natural for your new puppy to need a bit of an adjustment period. This is your puppy’s first time away from their home, mother, and littermates. The puppy will likely feel sad and afraid of what’s going to happen, even if this is a very happy day for you. Give your puppy plenty of time and attention, and bring your puppy home free of distractions or obligations, as you’ll need them to be “puppy days.”  

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Essential Puppy Supplies

Welcoming a puppy into your home can be both an extremely exciting and highly stressful experience. It’s a good idea to expect the first few days to be a little rough, especially if it’s your first time as a pet parent. Before bringing your new puppy into the house, make sure they have the opportunity to sniff around the area a bit, and to use the bathroom outside. Otherwise the anxiety of the situation is likely to cause your puppy to make an immediate mess. Also, make sure all other pets are kept out of the room when you bring your new puppy in and wait until the puppy has been in your home for a little while before introducing them to children. Children love puppies, but their natural affection and enthusiasm can be overwhelming to a frightened little puppy away from home for the very first time.

New Puppy Checklist

Being a first-time pet parent is likely to be a little overwhelming at first! Here’s a checklist of items that will help both you and your puppy make the transition to life at his new home as obstacle-free as possible:
  • Premium pet food—formulated specifically for your puppy’s needs. If you’re not sure what kind of pet food is best, ask your veterinarian for suggestions.
  • Food and water bowls—preferably those that sit directly on the floor and will not tip over. Stainless steel bowls are the best choice because they are virtually indestructible.
  • Identification tags—include pertinent information such as your puppy’s name, your name, your contact phone number and your veterinarian’s name and phone number. More modern products, such as QR-coded pet tags from companies such as PetHub, allow you to link to an online profile for your pet that contains all this information and more. 97% of pets lost with a PetHub tag get returned home within the first 24 hours.
  • Collar and a leash—the leash should be nylon, leather, or rubber, and be somewhat chew-proof.
  • Home and travel crate—pick one that’s airline approved and includes blankets, toys, and food/water dishes. This crate will serve as your puppy’s room; their escape from the world, a safe place for them to sleep or hang out while you’re out of the house. It will also be used as a way to transport your dog to new places.
  • Stain remover and carpet cleaner—to be used for erasing the evidence of “accidents.” You’re definitely going to need this.
  • Brushes and combs—select based on your puppy’s breed and coat. If you don’t know what type of brushes and combs to use, ask your vet or a knowledgeable person at the pet supply store for suggestions.
  • Dog shampoo, toothbrush and paste—It is important never to use the human versions of these products for your dog as they may be toxic and harmful.
  • High-quality, safe chew toys—avoid those that are shaped like objects you don’t want your puppy to chew, like a shoe, a remote, or a telephone. Also avoid those shaped like mice, cats, or birds during the first part of your puppy’s life, unless you’d like him to chase these things.
  • Medicines and implements for flea, tick and parasite controls—not all products are created equal, so consult your vet before purchasing these items.
  • Nail clippers or pedi-paws—eventually, you may choose to have your pet professionally groomed, but for the first few weeks, you should introduce your puppy to the idea yourself.
  • Treats—lots of them.
Stocking up on these items, even those you’re not likely to need at first, will help you be a better-organized, well-prepared pet parent. Don’t be surprised if things come up and you need to take more than a few trips to the vet or the pet supply store. This list, however, is a good place to start and covers many of the basics you need. Happy pet parenting!