There are some affiliate links in this blog post as we are recommending some products to use for your puppy.


Making the decision to get a puppy can be life changing. The wait for the puppy, what should you do before the puppy comes, the excitement when you bring your puppy comes, the excitement when you bring your puppy home, and reality of doubt that comes over when trying to raise a well rounded puppy.

That can be a lot to think about or as well as an emotional roller coaster all at once. Therefore, I  wanted to create a puppy checklist to help new puppy parents have the essential items to make this transition as smooth as possible.

This special time should be about your new bond with your puppy and not wasting time or stress with the wrong items that will make it harder.

1.) Home

Making sure you have a place for your puppy to be safe and call his/her own place is important. Two great options are a crate and playpen. You can have them separately or together. You want to choose a place that is quite for your puppy to help them get use to it. Here are some options below:




2.) Outdoor

Whether you are going out in your backyard or on a walk having a Poop Bag Dispenser, Poop Bags, and a Treat Bag will be helpful to reward and clean up when your puppy goes the bathroom.

You could even have a stand in your backyard to make picking up poop easier as well. I know with my mother-in-law that having another option to grab a poop bag when her puppy pooped in the backyard was a lifesaver for her.

Too often as a new puppy parent you will get distracted especially when trying to get your puppy to go the bathroom. Therefore,  being prepared as you can will help to make the poop easier to manage and keep your backyard a lot cleaner.

You can never have enough poop bags in your house, even in your pocket, or a poop bag dispenser might help in the backyard.  It sure beats trying to find poop later on and accidentally stepping in it which I have done myself as I am sure others have too.


3.) Food

Choosing the right type of food for your puppy is important. Wet or dry food, brand, size of kibble, the list can go on. Depending on where you get your puppy and what they are being fed plus a chat with your veterinarian will help make a great choice.

Make sure to not buy a lot of the food in the beginning as you may be transitioning your puppy to a new brand. If you do decide to change the food for your puppy remember it can give them an upset stomach, so going slow with a little of  the new kibble mixed with the old kibble for five days will hopefully lessen that from happening.


4.) Treat

Treats will be very helpful when training your puppy inside or outside the house. I like to use a variety of treats and especially ones that are easy to break up especially if you have a small puppy. We do not want to fill your puppy up with treats but use them to reward great behaviors from them.

I like these treats:

Pet Botanics Training Reward

Merrick Power Bites

Redbarn Natural Dog Food Roll


These treats above are some of the ones I use with my own clients. Make sure to use small portions of the treats to not overfill your puppy too quickly when rewarding good behavior.

You might save yourself a little time by breaking up or chopping up the treats ( depending on your preference)  and putting them in a dog treat container or ziploc bag with a slider that makes it easier to  access the treats.


Bonus Tip: I found another option that is less wasteful then a ziploc bag. This reusable food container I started using is called ZipTop Reusable Silicone Containers. They come in different sizes which is great as you can find one that fits your needs.


Related Post: How to Choose and Use Treats in Training Your Dog


5.) Dog Toys:

  Play Toys

Play is important with your puppy. You may want your puppy to learn to fetch a ball or another tug of war. Choose a couple Play Toys and see which one your puppy will love. Remember with Play Toys to supervise your puppy and when you are done with them to put them away.

Moreover, there is a learning curve by way of your puppy destroying the toy or it stays together. Also, what you might think is cute could be not practical for your puppy.

EETOYS IQ Dog Treat Ball   this ball gives you a way to use kibble or small treats and teach your puppy how to get it out. It will take time but it will be fun and you will learn how clever your puppy is with this ball.

AWOOF Pet Snuffle Mat for Dogs   I like this mat because it gives your puppy a way to use his/her nose, body, and mentally stimulate which will help your puppy get some of that energy out in a positive way.

Chew Toys

When you have your puppy they are going to want to put everything in their mouth because it is new as well as their baby teeth and gums may be hurting. Therefore, having something that is safe to chew can help this phase of being a puppy.

Moreover, when you are gone at work or busy in your house and need your puppy to be okay alone and mentally stimulated then Chew Toys are your best friend. I have been trying a couple ones out on my mother-in-law’s new puppy.

Nylabone Puppy Starter Packs Puppy Chew Toys

Youngever 8 Durable Dog Chew Toys



6.) Leash/Collar/Harness

Having the right leash, collar, and harness will help make your walks outside together be safe and better with your new puppy. I like colors that are bright so you can find them and are comfortable for you to put on your puppy. The Whole Dog Journal has an article on finding the best harness for your puppy.

Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash 6ft Long

Martingale Heavy Duty Nylon Dog Collar

Easy Walk PetSafe Harness

Balance Harness

7.) Beds/Mat/Carrier

As a new puppy parent you want to make your puppy comfortable with a nice bed or wanting to train them to go on a mat.  Also, if you are taking your puppy in the car having a carrier may be another great option.

JEMA Rectangle Dog Bed – Lounger for Dogs

Furrybaby Dog Bed Mat Soft Crate Mat with Anti-Slip Bottom Machine

Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel  – this one may come in handy and is a nice size to fit your puppy’s needs.


8.) Potty Training

When potty training your puppy I think having supplies in a container near where your puppy will be in the house will help to clean up any messes. Also having a leash ready to get your puppy out fast is essential too.

Finally, having a potty schedule to know when to get your puppy out is essential. I have told my clients to use a white board, a notepad, or use your phone to keep track of when your puppy:

  • Eating meals
  • Drinks water
  • Pee
  • Poop
  • Walks (depending on the age of your puppy)


Another option is to use an app on your phone. I heard about one that may be helpful. It is called Puppy Potty Log by Canine Scholars.

9.) Cleaning Supplies

Puppies can be sweet and cute but they can be messy. Having the right cleaning supplies on hand will lessen the frustration of  cleaning up the messes you will have with your puppy.

Cleaning supplies to have on hand are:

Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator Dog for Severe Dog Messes

Paper towels

Dustpan and Brush Set, Pack of 2 Set, Blue & Grey a set is great because you can keep them in different locations and hopefully reduces the time to find your supplies.

Black Trash bags

10.) Grooming

Getting a puppy use to being brushed, trimming your their nails, checking the ears, or even learning to brush the teeth of your puppy is important to start doing from day one.

Here are some grooming tools to have for your puppy:

A brush:  I have been using the furminator with some of my dog/puppy clients.

Wipes: I know that may not seem like an obvious one, but they are useful in wiping your puppy’s face, paws, or anything else that may get dirty in a safe way. Nature’s Miracle Deodorizing Bath Wipes could be great choice for you to buy for your puppy.


Toothbrush: I think RosyLife Pet Dog Soft Toothbrush Dog Toothbrush Finger Toothbrush Small to Large Dog is great to give you two types of toothbrushes to try  with your puppy.


Toothpaste: I like Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs and Cats, Beef Flavor, 2.5 oz and they have different flavors to find which one your puppy will like them.

Tissue: Is another thing you can use to wipe your puppy’s ears inside to keep them clean.

Nail trimmers: Having nail trimmers will help to get you and your puppy use to  nail trims and make them easier from the start. BOSHEL DOG Nail Clippers and Trimmer with Safety Guard to Avoid Over-Cutting Nails & Free Nail File could be very helpful for you and your puppy.


Related Post: Four Ways to Have a Better Bond With Your Dog


Whether you are about to welcome your puppy or have your new puppy I hope this blog post is helpful. It does not have to be everything right away as well as complicated. Start with the basics and you will learn as you go what things will work for your puppy and what will not.

I want you to save time and money when you go to the pet store because it can be overwhelming trying to go without any information as a new puppy parent. Use the items I recommend in this post to take the guess work and gain more time with new puppy and building that special bond together.

If you are needing more help with learning puppy care and training then book a free discovery call with us and let’s see how we can work together to set you and your puppy up for success together.