The Most Helpful New Puppy Checklist! Don’t Be Scared! Be Prepared!

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Bringing a puppy home for the first time is special. It can also be a challenging time, especially if you are not prepared.  I couldn’t even image if I didn’t have some of these things on the first night.

That is why we created this new puppy checklist. Be sure that you have all the puppy supplies that you need.  I’ve provided links where most of this stuff can be bought at Amazon.  But in case you go to your local pet store, be sure to download and print the list at the bottom.

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Little Puppy Cali 8 weeks old

Checklist for New Puppy

  • Crate
  • Gates
  • Water and food bowls
  • Bedding
  • Puppy Food
  • Treats for training
  • Identification
  • Leash, harness, and collar
  • Puppy Toys
  • Grooming brush
  • Toothbrush kit
  • Puppy shampoo
  • Cleaner
  • Poop Retrieval System

What to Buy for a New Puppy?

Puppy Crate

The crate is one of the most important things you need.  You have to make sure that you get the right size.  You might be tempted to get a bigger one assuming that your pup will grow into it.  Don’t!

The crate should be big enough for the pup to stand up, lay down, strength and turn around.  If the crate is too big, the pup might use the crate as a bathroom.

Getting a small crate is a good idea because you will need it to drive to the vet.  Before you go out and buy one, check with your friends.  A lot of people usually throw them in the basement or the garage when their done with them.

MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate | iCrate Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crates | Fully Equipped

puppy crate

Once they outgrow their crate, you might consider getting a bigger crate with a divider.  The divider can be adjusted with the growth of the dog.  This is the one I have and it works great.   It is the same kind as the one above, but a different size.

MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate | iCrate Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crates | Fully Equipped

bigger crate for new dogs

Crate training pups is pretty simple, you just have to be consistent.

Gates & Play Yards

In order to prevent your new pup from wondering into off limit areas, play yards are ideal.  In regards to safety, gates should be used near stairs or room entrances.

Keeping your pup confined helps prevent accidents and destruction.

I used this play yard with our Labrador.  It worked good before she figured out that she could jump over it.

Evenflo Versatile Play Space

playpen for puppies

Regalo Easy Step 38.5-Inch Extra Wide Baby Gate

safety door for pups

Water Bowls and Food Bowls

There are so many options for bowls.  The best bet is to spend more and go get the stainless steel.  These bowls are easier to clean and they don’t break.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about the pup playing with their bowls.  Stainless Steel tends to outlast the other options by a mile, so in the end you will actually save money.

When looking for bowls, make sure there is a solid base.  This will help from the bowl tipping over.

AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Dog Bowl

water and food bowls


There are tons of dog beds out there.  Whatever you buy the bed will be useless in 3-6 months.  The pup will either outgrow it or eat it.  I used old towels when I first brought my pup home.

This gives them a warm area to lay on.  When there is an accident, it’s easy to clean up.  Cleaning towels is easier than memory foam.

If you do want to get them a bed, here is a good option.

FurHaven Pet Dog Bed | Orthopedic Ultra Plush Sofa-Style Couch Pet Bed for Dogs & Cats, Clay, Small

dog bed

Puppy Food

I’m not even going to suggest a brand.  You need to make sure it was created for a pup and not manufactured in less than desirable locations.  These foods should be developed to aid in growth and development.  So no Dog Food!

Treats for Training

Treats are much like food.  Make sure it is created for puppies.


Identification is also a good idea.  The microchip is the best idea.  You should talk to your vet about when it can be done.  A tag is also a good idea.  However, you need to be selective with what information you get on the tag.

The minimum amount of information should be your cell phone number.  If you have your pup’s name on the tag, it could be used to lure them away.  Also, if your pup is micro-chipped, it would be a good idea to include, “I’m micro-chipped” on the tag.

You can get these tags made at your local pet or hardware store.  If you want to get one on line.
dog tags

Collar and Harness and Leash

Your Pup will be small.  So, anything that you buy them now, won’t last.  Most dog collars and leashes are way too heavy for a pup.  Therefore, you will need to purchase items that are puppy size.

For a collar and a harness, you will need measurements.  This can be actual or estimated.  Make sure the item is adjustable.   That way your pup can use it for a few months.

Copatchy No Pull Reflective Adjustable Dog Harness with Handle

pup harness

PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash

pup leash

Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Dog Collar 

dog collar

Puppy Toys

Your pooch will need some toys to keep them busy.  When searching for toys, you want to make sure it’s not too small.  Also, you want to make sure, that they won’t eat the pieces.  If you leave them alone with anything, it will be destroyed.    It is strongly recommended that they are supervised when they are playing with their toys.

You also want to make sure that toys are made within the country.   This is a personal option, but I prefer to play it safe.

A good option are West Paw products.  My Lab still has most of her West Paw toys.  A fox stole a few but that’s a long story.  Regardless, they hold up pretty good.

West Paw Zogoflex Hurley Durable Dog Bone Chew Toy

west paw toy

Another option is Kong toys.  However, at one point a few of their toys were still made oversees.  If they are made in the US, it will be one of their main points in the toy description.  We still have this chew toy after 3 years.  So, it’s pretty durable.  However, I only let her play with for a set amount of time.  I also, don’t let her chew on it for hours.

KONG – Puppy Goodie Bone 

Kong toy

Grooming brush

You will need to get some grooming brushes.  These brushes help with shedding and de-tangling.  I’d much rather brush a dog a few times a week than vacuum.  It’s better to start now then wait for a few reasons.  Puppies shed a lot while they are growing.  Also, starting now gets them use to the routine.

I use the following on my Lab twice a week.  In the fall and spring, I up it to four times a week.  Dogs grow in their winter coat in the fall.  They then shed it, in early spring.

Pet Grooming Brush

dog hair brush

I also use this one for getting dirt off her legs.  Additionally, I find that brushing her first with this one helps with the other one.

Pet Grooming Comb

dog comb

Toothbrush Kit

Did you know that by 80% of dogs by age 3 will have a form of periodontal disease? Brushing your dog’s teeth is a good habit with lasting effects. It’s been said that brushing your pup’s teeth could add 2-4 years to their life.

This is a perfect time to introduce them to this habit.  The sooner they get use to it the easier it will be in the future.

Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Dental Kit

puppy dental kit

Puppy Shampoo

You will need some shampoo to keep your pup clean.  As with other suggestions, we recommend that you get shampoo that is made for puppies.  Additionally, you probably want it made in the country.

Cleaner and 1000 Paper Towels

You will probably want to get some of this because you will need it.  Accidents happen and the quicker you can clean it the better.   You will want something with enzymes to break the urine down.

This one is one of the best.

Amaziing Solutions Pet Odor Eliminator

potty cleaner for puppy

Pooper Scooper & Bags

There is no way to get around this one.  Unless you want to use old grocery bags, you need these items.  There are many options out there.  The one below comes with some bags, but you probably want to order some refills. Also, this scooper is 2 feet long, so you will have to bend over a lot.

New Complete Poo Pack | Pooper Scooper, Poop Bags, and Pet Dog Waste Bag Holder

poop scoop kit

If you hate bending down, this one is 28″ long.

Pooper Scooper for Large Dogs

pooper scooper

New Puppy Supply List Printable

Here is a downloadable and printable, New Puppy Shopping List.

New Puppy Shopping List

New Puppy shopping list


Most of these items can wait for a few days.  However, some are needed on night one.  With most things, it’s better to be prepared.  You don’t want to waste a minute with your new best friend.

Good Luck, enjoy it because they grow up fast.  If your nervous, don’t be, just be prepared.

3 cute GSD puppies

Some people recommend that you get nail clippers.  I’m not one of them.  Yes, your dog will need their nails trimmed.  However, if you don’t know what you are doing, you can seriously hurt them.  I suggest you spring for a professional to trim them first and show you how to do it.  Plus, they can recommend a good set of clippers.


Have you chosen a name yet?  If not, we have a complete section on Dog Names.  Not only do we have names, we have meanings.  Additionally, we provide a couple of rules for dog naming.


If you or you know of someone getting a new pup, then grab an awesome paw t-shirt!

We also have breed specific shirts, as well!

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Remember, life can be hectic, so chill out and let your paws do the clicking!

Cute German Shepherd puppy picture. New Puppy Checklist with a printable shopping list.
Funny Dog picture of an Australian Shepherd pushing a shopping cart. New Puppy Checklist with a printable shopping list.
Funny Dog picture of an Australian Shepherd pushing a shopping cart. New Puppy shopping list
Cute puppy picture. New Puppy Checklist with a printable shopping list.
Cute puppy picture. New Puppy Checklist with a printable shopping list.