New Puppy Checklist
Getting a new puppy is so exciting, but when it is your 1st pup, it can be confusing as to what you really need before you bring you pup home and the mayhem begins!
Here is our guide to what you really need:
1. Dog bed
Whilst some dog owners like to let their dogs sleep in their beds, some prefer to designate a sleeping area. If you are like the latter, start shopping for a soft bed that will make your new puppy comfortable.
Before your puppy is potty-trained, it is a good idea to let him sleep in the dog crate. Get a dog bed that is ½ to ¾ the size of the crate. The extra space is meant for the training pads.
If your puppy is already potty-trained, consider what size he will grow into for his breed. The bed should be big enough for him even when he is fully grown.
We love the calm fluffy dog beds as they pop in the wash easily to keep them fresh.
If you plan to crate-train your puppy, have one ready before he arrives. Using a crate is a quick and effective way to toilet-train your puppy. He will learn to control his bowels and understand that he needs to go somewhere else to potty.
Your pup will also have a safe zone where he can enjoy privacy and comfort when he needs it. Another use for the crate is to keep your dog safely confined whilst you are away.
How long can a puppy be left alone during the day?
Puppies can only be left alone for 2 hours each day. They need constant supervision as they may feel jittery in their new home. Moreover, they are prone to potty accidents.
Where should a puppy sleep the first night? Let your puppy sleep in a dog crate beside your bed. Living in a new home makes him feel lonely, and sleeping near you will make him feel secure.
To make him more comfortable, give him a cloth or stuffed toy with the scent of his littermates on it.
Tip: You can reduce distractions and make the crate a more private and secure haven for your puppy. Simply cover 3 sides of the crate with a piece of cloth.
As a general rule, the collar should be 2–3 inches wider than a dog’s neck circumference. Since you have a growing furry buddy, a lightweight adjustable collar is recommended. Choose a collar with clips that are quick and easy to use.
You would not want to distress your pup with complicated contraptions. Also, a wide, flat type will be more comfortable for your pup’s neck. It should be as light and comfortable as possible so your pup will get used to it quickly.
The average lead length is 4–6 feet. The most important aspect of a puppy’s lead is its weight. Choose the lightest one that you can find so that it is not stressful for your pup to work with.
Nylon leads are the best lightweight options suitable for puppies.
Next up on our new puppy checklist is a dog harness. If your new puppy is a ball of energy and often lunges against the leash, then opt for a harness.
The same is the case if your pup is very small and has a delicate neck. The harness is also recommended if you have a Pug or a Boston Terrier, which are dog breeds that prone to throat problems.
As your puppy is still growing, pick an adjustable harness, so it would be easy to adjust.
6. ID Tag
When bringing a puppy home, it is a legal requirement to have an ID tag in case he accidentally escapes or gets lost. It should have your number, address, essential medication requirement, or allergies (if any). Engraved tags are available at places such as Pets at Home easily.
7. Food and Water Bowls
The most recommended bowl is the stainless steel type because it is easy to clean. It is also the most durable compared to the plastic or ceramic types. You can also buy stainless bowls with rubber coating to prevent slipping.
If you have a very energetic or clumsy puppy, a heavy ceramic or weighted bowl is a more suitable choice. If your pup has long ears, pick a bowl with a smaller opening and a wide base. This type of bowl will keep his ears from dipping into the bowl whilst he eats.
8. Puppy Food
Usually, breeders will give you a small amount of food that they have been feeding your puppy. As such, get the same type of puppy food so that your canine buddy will not have stomach issues.
If you wish to transition your pup to a new type of puppy food or dog food, you need to do so gradually. Never abruptly feed your puppy something that he has never eaten before. Sudden changes in his diet will likely cause diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal issues.
You can, for example, begin the transition by mixing the usual food that he eats with the new one. Do this for the first 5–6 days. Start with a ratio of 90% old food with 10% new food.
The next day, you can change the ratio to about 75% old food and 25% new food. On the third day, shift to 60% old food and 40% new food. Then, move to 40:60, 25:75, and finally 10:90. On the seventh day, he should be eating the new food without mixing the old one.
Treats are must-haves during puppy training classes. Get treats that are appropriate for puppies. Giving treats as a reward not only provides positive reinforcement but also a bonding opportunity for you and your new dog.
Even if they are not in training, dogs love to get treats for no special reason. Just be careful not to overdo the treat giving.
Always follow the recommended amount on the feeding guide. Moreover, make sure your friends and family are also in the know about feeding treats to your new puppy in moderation. Choose treats specifically for pups. We love Wagg Puppy treats, and use them in our Puppy Gift Boxes.
11. Dog Toys
Puppies love to play as they are bursting with energy. Toys are a great way to not only ease your new dog’s boredom but also help you build a relationship.
Toys, like a ball, rope, or chew toy, also keep your dog busy and out of trouble. Chew toys will help prevent your puppy from chewing everything in the house.
Make sure to choose toys that are specifically made for dogs as they are more durable. Choose sizes that are suited to your pup’s breed to avoid choking.
Click here to view our rage of puppy toys such as mini tennis balls for little mouths, or teething rubber toys for when they are teething.
12. Grooming Supplies
Regardless of your new pet’s coat type, it will likely need grooming. What grooming supplies should be on your list?
- Puppy shampoo or dog shampoo - gentle on little pups.
- Brush or comb - research the best type for your breed - it took us some time to find the right one for Poppy and will make life so much easier.
It is also a good idea to book your pup in for a puppy groom - a gentle introduction to being groomed and washed to make it less daunting when they are older.
The things you need to prepare will largely depend on the type of dog you are getting. Some dogs will require a regular visit to the groomer.
13. Absorbent Puppy Training Pads
Your new puppy requires a lot of supervision since he cannot control his bladder well yet. The so-called dog potty pads will help house-train your new puppy and reduce potty accidents.
It is ideal for those living in highly urbanised cities without an outdoor space. Potty pads are also a suitable choice for pet owners with mobility issues.
Make sure to always put the pad in the same area every time, and change it as soon as you find that your puppy has done his business.
14. Pet Stain Remover and Deodoriser
Your new 4-legged housemate is bound to make accidents whilst he is still being house-trained. To help you clean up after him, have cleaning products specially designed for pet stains ready.
You can use DIY pet odour removers, such as vinegar and baking soda solution. You can mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a bucket or a spray bottle. Pour or spray the solution on the soiled bedding, litter tray, or carpet. Add the baking soda and let it dry on the affected spots. Vacuum it after it has dried.
To deal with pet odour quickly and efficiently, use ready-made pet deodorising products to makes your job easier. Other brands are available bur we personally love Dr Beckmans - they brush makes it so easy to scrub the affected area and this stuff is magic to remove stains from dog & kids!
15. Poo Bags
Every responsible dog owner should carry doggie poo bags when out for a walk. There are various types available in the pet store. There are flushable types, whilst many are now biodegradable.
Scented poop bags that help mask the odour of the droppings are also available. Some have handles to make it easier for owners to use.
17. First Aid Supplies
You will never know when your new dog gets in trouble or gets injured. So keeping a first aid kit in the house and everywhere you take your dog is a must. Also have emergency vet numbers, including out of hours handy should you ever need them quickly.
18. Pet Insurance
Getting pet insurance is not mandatory; however, it can save you a lot of money when it comes to vet costs. For this reason, we included it in our new puppy checklist.
The expenses for vet care can become costly as your dog grows older. Having pet insurance helps cover the costs of sudden emergency treatments, and now can also include flea and worming treatments (with useful reminders when to dispense) & annual check ups.
19. Puppy Vaccines and Boosters
Puppies are fragile as their immune system has not fully developed yet. Thus, they are highly vulnerable to dangerous contagious canine diseases such as canine influenza, canine distemper, and parvovirus.
Protect your new puppy from such illnesses by getting him fully vaccinated. Generally, vaccination schedules for puppies when they are 6–8 weeks old and continue as puppies grow older.
You might want to book an appointment with your vet as soon as you take on the ownership of the puppy who will advise what is needed when.
Getting a puppy is like embarking on a new and rewarding journey with lots of changes for both you and your pup. We hope that this new puppy checklist will give you more confidence in caring for your new pup.
20. Puppy Gift Boxes
If you are getting a new pup and want to welcome them home, or want to send a thoughtful gift to someone who is getting a pup, our gift boxes are thoughtfully put together with useful items to help them settle in their 1st days and keep them entertained.
We hope this has been useful. You will be surprised how much they sleep in the early days (18-20 hours per day at 8 weeks!). Be sure they get chance to sleep, especially if you have excited children who want to play with their new pup.
Be careful not to over walk them as their bones are not developed in the early days - a guide is 5 minutes for every month of their age (at 2 months 10 minutes per day). See x-ray to show how a pups bone look.
Finally the thing you new pup will love the most is cuddles. They will follow you round the house and settle wherever you are. Be sure to shower them with love and they will return it in abundance.
And if at 1st you wander what you have let yourself in for, the puppy phase soon passes, and it will get sooo much easier :)