New Puppy Checklist: Everything You Need for Your New Family Member

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Adopting—and fostering—a new puppy is such an exciting event. It’s the start of a fresh, totally different chapter in your life. Puppies are work, yes, but the rewards are 100 percent worth the effort. One way to make life easier is to invest in great gear. We’re talking high-quality, puppy- and planet-friendly, cute-as-heck supplies. Here, your new puppy checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your four-legged family member.

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dog crate

1. crate

Crate-training is a proven method for teaching your pup independence, responsibility and obedience. Start with a crate that is large enough so the puppy can stand up, turn around in a circle and lay down comfortably. This Paws and Pals crate is a good place to start.

2. crate Mat

Your dog should enjoy being in her crate, so you’ll want it to be as cozy as possible. A mat like this best-seller on Chewy is durable, machine-washable and super soft.

3. bed

Outside the crate, your pup will likely want a place to curl up and nap after walks and playtime. Spoil that puppy with a bed like this calming donut bed which keeps your pup warm and cozy.

4. food And Water Bowls

No need to get fancy here, though stainless steel is the preferred material since it doesn’t rust or gather mold and is easy to clean. It’s also recommended to select a pair with rubber bases like these Frisco bowls so your pup doesn’t push food everywhere as she eats.

5. poop Bags

Buy biodegradable poop bags, like the bags Wild One sells, because you’re going to be using these a lot. Fun!

6. a Gate

Set boundaries early on with a gate. Before giving your new puppy freedom to roam wherever she wants, she’s got to learn what’s on or off limits. Depending on size, it may be wise to invest in a gate to prevent jumping over barriers.


7. brush

Depending on your new pup’s breed, dogs will need ample brushing to prevent coats from matting and to remove dirt and dust. At the very least, a good brushing once per week is necessary. This FURminator deShedding brush comes in two variations—for long hair and short hair—and promises to reduce loose hair from shedding up to 90 percent with regular use.

8. shampoo

Puppies may require frequent bathing, depending on what they like to get into. Over-shampooing can cause skin disease, but you can’t let a muddy puppy waltz around willy-nilly. Burt’s Bees makes a coconut oil shampoo specifically for puppies that won’t dry out coats and skin.

9. wipes

You’ll be amazed how often a fast cleansing wipe comes in handy with a puppy in the house. Use Wild One’s hypoallergenic grooming wipes to clean paws, fur and skin as needed.

10. nail Clippers

Again, the breed and size of your dog will determine the best nail clippers to purchase, but every puppy parent needs them. Have your vet show you how to do it if you’re nervous. High quality clippers like a professional-grade set from Gonicc is ideal.

11. play Toys

Buy a few toys to test the waters before really stocking up. Some dogs love a good bouncy ball while others need a soft, plush companion. When in doubt, grab an interactive toy like this PetZone IQ treat ball. It’s like an exercise class, babysitter and brain teaser all in one.

12. chew Toys

Puppies chew. Everything. They do it to explore the world around them and ease discomfort during teething. Instead of getting mad they’ve chosen your sneakers, give them ample toys made to be chewed. Start with a Kong and go from there. (Kongs are also great for training and easing separation anxiety!)

13. collar

Collars can be chic and comfortable for your puppy. Take the Soft Touch Collars leather two-tone style, for instance. It’s durable, hand-stitched, complete with brass details and cute as heck.

14. tags

As soon as you’re able, have your name and contact information printed on dog tags for your puppy’s collar. Once she’s been vaccinated, add those tags too. Stainless steel is an ideal material, especially when it comes with a silencer that glows in the dark like GoTags’ Personalized ID Tags do.

15. leash

A leash with reflective fibers (for nighttime walks), a padded handle (for your comfort) and a length of five feet (for a balance between control and freedom) is ideal. BAAPET’s Strong Dog Leash checks off all boxes (and comes in lots of colors).

16. harness

For smaller pups and those with a history of leash aggression, a harness might be a better bet than a collar during walks. Wild One’s walk set comes with a matching harness, leash and poop bag carrier. It’s cute, convenient and colorful.

17. treats

Focus on treats that are good for your puppy so she doesn’t develop health problems. Snacks like Wild One’s Sweet Potato treats are full of fiber, non-GMO and delish.

18. food

Start with food made with puppies in mind, like Hill’s Science Diet Dry Food: Puppy Paws. A word to the wise: Many dog food companies offer grain-free options, which are not ideal for dogs. Yes, pups need protein, but healthy grains also provide canines with good carbohydrates.

19. flea And Tick Prevention

Definitely discuss with your vet what the ideal flea and tick prevention is for your puppy. There are collars, spot treatments and oral supplements. Most require pups to be a certain age or weight. K9 Advantix II is a spot treatment that offers protection for a full month and comes in a variety of size classifications.

20. toothbrush And Paste

Brushing pet teeth prevents lots of dental and health problems. The earlier you start brushing your dog’s teeth, the easier the habit will be later on. A kit like Virbac C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Dog Kit comes with everything you need to get started. Plus, it's poultry flavored—take that, cool mint.