Tips & Training
Puppy Must-Haves: The Ultimate Checklist for Puppies
Getting a new puppy? Here's everything you need.
Katy and Shell are two style-savvy dog mums celebrating the best in pet-friendly living. A professional pet photographer and dog lifestyle writer, together they share dog-friendly inspiration, pet product reviews, dog treat recipes, expert pet advice and on-trend dog brands with discerning pet parents around the world.
Having a checklist for puppies was a lifesaver for us when we welcomed home our new puppy, Sunny.
Yes, getting a new puppy is a very exciting time for pet parents. We were giddy with excitement for weeks!
Alongside his big brother, Ziggy, Sunny quickly became the second love of our life. His puppyhood days were a precious and rewarding time, with special memories we’ll forever cherish.
However…raising a new puppy can be extremely hard work. We’re talking sleepless nights, potty accidents, persistent training…and don’t get us started on the dreaded teething phase!
Moral of the story? When your new puppy comes home, you’ll need to be prepared.
And that’s where our free-to-download list of puppy must-haves comes in handy. It will help you get organised, minus all the hassle and stress!
From dog beds to dog toys, puppy training essentials and everything in between, our printable new puppy shopping list covers everything you need for your new fluffy bundle of joy. Simply download the puppy checklist pdf at the end of this post!
Here you’ll also find pet product recommendations for every category in our checklist, to help you out with choosing the best puppy products to buy.
Puppy Must-Haves: The Ultimate Checklist for Puppies
Basics: Puppy Essentials
COLLAR, HARNESS & LEAD
Every checklist for a new puppy should start with the most basic puppy must-haves: a collar, harness and lead!
As puppies have soft skin, it’s best to get a gentle fabric collar and harness that doesn’t rub. A perfectly fitted puppy collar and harness should fit snugly around your pup’s neck or body, with space enough to place two fingers in between your puppy’s coat and the collar or harness.
As your puppy grows, ensure you consistently check both their collar and harness to ensure they remain the right fit. For more tips on choosing and caring for a dog collar, visit our Dog Collar 101 Tutorial.
When choosing your puppy’s lead, opt for a short leash. This will ensure you maintain full control while training them to walk on the lead.
PUPPY ID TAG
A new puppy shopping list would not be complete without a pet ID tag – an absolute must! Ditto for getting your new dog micro-chipped too.
Your puppy’s ID tag should have your details and contact phone number clearly engraved to ensure you can be contacted if they stray from home.
You can see our favourite pet ID tags below, but do also check out Blanket ID Tags – these tags link to a database, allowing local vets and rescues to be notified if your dog goes missing.
Grooming: Brushes, Puppy Shampoo and Conditioner
BRUSH, DOG SHAMPOO & NAIL CLIPPERS
The earlier you can get your puppy used to being groomed the better!
Invest in a good quality, natural dog shampoo and conditioner designed for sensitive skin and puppy coats, and a soft bristle brush that is gentle on your new pup’s skin.
If you plan on trimming your pup’s nails at home, ensure you are trained by your vet or groomer on how to do it safely. Be sure to introduce the experience to your puppy slowly, with lots of treats!
Training: Puppy Crate, Treats & Puppy Pads
PUPPY TRAINING PADS
Puppy training pads are a god send for any new puppy owner. They will literally save your floors and carpet from accidents while your new puppy masters toilet training!
Puppy pads are recommended over newspaper as they are absorbent like nappies, and scented to encourage your dog to toilet near them.
Puppy pads can be used to help toilet train your pup as well. Start by placing the pads near your dog’s bed or where they are currently relieving themselves in the house.
As time goes on, slowly inch each new pad towards the door or designated toileting area. Your puppy will soon find themselves instinctually toileting in the correct spot.
TIP: These Puppy Potty Training Grass Mats are also a clever design that mimic the look and feel of grass, and are great for puppy toilet training.
THE ULTIMATE PUPPY TRAINING GUIDE
The Puppy Playbook by Joanna Russell
From housetraining to crate training, socialisation to basic commands, The Puppy Playbook is the only puppy training guide you’ll ever need.
Learn how to implement the perfect daily routine for you and your puppy with easy-to-follow weekly plans, visual progress trackers and a structured curriculum – you can even document your puppy’s special milestones!
Make puppy training fun, easy and rewarding. Find out more at thepuppyplaybook.com.
Play: Toys & Enrichment Puzzles
Fun and functional, good quality puppy toys are a MUST for any new dog owner.
Reason #1? If you don’t give your new pup something to chew on or play with, they will undoubtedly find your most expensive pair of shoes to destroy!
We recommend purchasing sturdy rubber teething toys to keep those puppy teeth occupied.
Without doubt, the Puppy Kong is a must have – it’s designed to be a chewing toy, can be filled with treats and used as a ball to teach your pup to fetch.
Plush toys with squeakers are also a fun way to play and bond with your new pup, so it’s ideal to have a couple of these on hand so your dog doesn’t get bored.
TIP: Know what to look for when shopping for good quality dog toys by following these tips.
Sleep: Puppy Beds & Blankets
A comfy and snuggly puppy bed is an absolute must!
Whether you’re crate training or want your pup’s bed to stay in a designated spot, giving your new puppy a bed to call their own, from day one, helps ease your puppy into their new surroundings – letting them feel safe and secure.
There are literally thousands of puppy beds to choose from. So, our tip would be to go for a soft, plush bed that your new puppy can curl up in. Our recommended dog bed below is versatile, cosy and perfect for placing inside a puppy crate.
Always choose a bed that is machine washable – this makes life much easier for any new puppy parent!
TIP: We highly recommend the Snuggle Puppy we purchased for Sunny – it comes with a heat pack and heartbeat to comfort your puppy during the transition phase. It’s the sweetest, most soothing toy for puppies out there.
Health: Puppy Supplements and Flea & Tick Meds
Your puppy’s health comes first and foremost, so it’s important to be informed and prepared.
Make sure you’re setting your puppy up for a happy and healthy life with flea and tick prevention, as well as all required puppy vaccinations. Consult your vet for the recommended course of care for your puppy.
Puppy supplements are also an excellent choice for supporting your puppy’s development and immune system, and promoting healthy gut bacteria.
TIP: Be prepared for any pet-related emergencies or accidents at home with your own DIY Pet First Aid Kit.
Travel: Poop Bags & Dog Travel Carriers
One of the least-glamourous things about being a new pet parent? Picking up after your dog.
However, you can make walks a breeze with a stylish pet pouch that can hold poop bags, your phone (in case of emergency) and treats whilst you and your puppy are on the go.
These dog poop bags by Earth Rated are eco-friendly, lavender scented, and one of Amazon’s best selling products!
DOG TRAVEL CARRIER
Speaking of things on the move, whether you want to take your puppy to visit a friend or your local dog-friendly cafe (after their full vaccinations of course!) or you just need a safe way to take them to the vet, a good dog travel carrier is essential.
Investing in a quality travel harness (make sure it fits to local regulations) and dog travel carrier means you are ready to hit the road with your new pup at a moment’s notice.
And don’t forget these…
In addition to the above essentials, it’s handy to stock up on:
+ Household cleaners and deodorisers for little accidents (for more tips see our article on 11 Cleaning Tips Every Dog Owner Should Know).
+ Prepare your home for your pup’s arrival by checking out our 10 Ways to Puppy Proof Your Home.
FREE DOWNLOAD: NEW PUPPY CHECKLIST
Download and print our free pdf checklist for puppies below:
Enjoy your new puppy!
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Pretty Fluffy is the ultimate lifestyle destination for dog lovers.
Thank you for being part of our dog-loving community!