It is so exciting to be getting a new puppy!!! But what do they need? Every good dog owner wants to make sure they are prepared and ready to welcome the newest member of the family.  Balance that with all the things you DON’T need! Here is a list of the basics I recommend and then you can have fun with anything extra! 

1.       Crate

A good crate is important for you new puppy.  It will help them in potty training and in getting them on a normal sleeping schedule.  It is also good for them to have their own cozy place.  A good crate is one that leaves enough room for your puppy to turn around in but not enough room for them to go potty.  What I like about this crate is that is has a moveable wall so you can adjust it as your puppy grows. Even with the movable wall, there are different sizes. Buy your crate to fit the size your dog will be when they are full grown.

Your puppy is used to sleeping in a pile with their brothers and sisters and mama so it is also helpful to drape the sides of the crate with a towel or blanket.  It is also helpful to put a doggie bed down along with their “puppy lovey,” if you have one.
*A puppy lovey is a blanket or soft toy that is rubbed on their mama before they go home.  That way the scent of her goes home with your puppy and helps them to feel safe.  If your breeder doesn’t offer this themselves, ask if you can mail one to them or bring one on puppy pick-up day.

not barkingHere we’ve draped a blanket on the sides and added a blanket on the bottom.  Wallace here looks content and isn’t barking or crying.

Here is more info about crate training and potty training!

2.       Dog food4483272

Your new puppy is going to need that good food! The best option is to ask your breeder  what food they were feeding your puppy and get the same stuff.  WARNING!  A lot of dog food has been recalled or is not very good quality.  If you breeder wasn’t using good quality dog food, I would try to switch them to Life’s Abundance after the first week of having them.  This is an amazing company and they only have real ingredients! They have never had any products recalled. It is a little bit more expensive but we end up feeding our dogs less because it is full of real food.  Also, the more expensive dog food is still cheaper than vet bills later on because of lack of nutrition! You can read more about them on our post: Our Favorite Dog Food.

Don’t forget food and water bowls! I love this stainless steal model with the rubber bottom.  They don’t slide around when your pup is eating and are durable plus easy to clean!


unnamed13.       Vitamins

Just like people, puppies need their vitamins! This helps them to grow up healthy and strong! It is recommended that they stay on them for the first two years of life but we recommend at least three years, but I have my dogs take them for their whole lifespan.  I’ve noticed a much higher quality of life for my dogs since getting them on vitamins: better coats, more engagement, more contentment, healthier, and because of these things—happier!

“I love my human…”

4.       Collar and leash

My favorite are the leather and rope combo! They are classy and durable.  Along with their leash and collar, you may want to get your dog an ID tag.  Many puppy parents are deciding to get the chip instead but many are getting both. 

Padded Leather Dog Collar


BINGPET Adjustable Durable Running Dog Slip Lead Tough Braided Climbing Collars and Rope Leashes


But, another great collection are the Blueberry Brand collars, harnesses, and leashes.  They have everything from classic/simple to creative and trendy!

Don’t forget to bring some poop bags for those walks! poop bags

5.       Treatswholesome-hearts-400

Important for training and rewarding your new puppy! As with dog food, many treats are full of nasty ingredients.  We again go with Life’s Abundance for dog treats.   With obedience training, my favorite is the Tasty Rewards Training Treats made with New Zealand lamb and chicken. You can also fill up the Kong toy with them as a fun game and entertainment for your puppy.

6.       Toys

Toys are a great tool for bonding and engaging with your puppy. This helps them develop a good relationship with you and helps prevent other unwanted behaviors from occurring because of boredom (i.e. digging, chewing everything, barking, etc.).  The most classic dog toy is the Kong.  You can put treats in it and they will play with it and get the treats out. They love the texture and the challenge! We also like the stuffingless dog toy because it doesn’t have stuffing—which dogs love to tear apart! It is great for playing fetch and tug-of-war.  To help them not chew up your house, be sure to provide good quality chewables.  We like these elk antlers because they last and our dogs love them.

Sweetie chewing on an antler.

7.       Grooming Supplies

Depending on what breed you get, you may need different materials for their grooming.  Getting a shedding brush is important if you are getting a dog that sheds.  If you get a dog with hair, a brush is important to help keep it from getting tangled.  All dogs will need to have their nails clipped and have baths.  These nail clippers have a lifetime warrantee and will replace them if they break.  This shampoo helps protect your dog against flees but will still need flea treatments. Most dogs will need to also need their ears cleaned. For cleaning their ears, my go-to is Zymox. Check with your breeder about their recommendations for the breed you are getting.


8.       Books

Learning about puppy training can help you have a good relationship with your new fur ball.  There is so much misleading information out there about potty training and crate training.  Check out our posts on those and/or read up on some books.  The Monks of New Skete is my favorite and we have used it as a reference for years!

In helping your pup transition to your home there are some additional items you may want to consider. Read our post about 5 things to help your puppy transition home.  Some will be a repeat but we also talk about how to use them as a tool for transition.

Have fun with your new puppy!!!!



20 thoughts on “New Puppy Check List

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  1. Any advice we are getting a goldendoodle puppy in a couple weeks we have a 2 year old goldendoodle on introducing them?


    1. Hi Deanna,

      So fun your golden doodle will be getting a playmate! Some things on introducing them is to first let them meet in a “neutral” area. Since your home/yard is your current doodle’s domain, it is best to bring them to a place that is neutral to avoid any defensiveness for the territory. If your breeder will let you, see if you can bring them to pick the puppy up. Also, it is helpful if you can get a fabric square of the puppy to put in your house before puppy comes home. Once your puppy is home, make sure each dog has their own food dish. And when feeding them, feed your older dog first. Same thing with going outside–let your older dog go out the door first. This may mean carrying your puppy or holding them until your dog goes through. Once your older dog sees it still has it’s place in the “pack” and doesn’t feel threatened by the puppy, they will likely be the best of friends! Be prepared for some competition over your attention and affection! Hope that helps!


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