What’s more fun than shopping for new puppy supplies? Well, maybe puppy kisses!
There are so many options to choose from when stocking up on all your new puppy essentials. It’s sometimes hard to decide what are the best brands, and what do you really need for that little ball of fur?
What brand of dog food is best? Do I really need special puppy food? What bones are safe for a puppy? I will answer all these and more…
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Creating a checklist will help make sure you don’t forget anything before bringing your pup home. So let’s start with the basics:
I personally purchase most of our dog food, toys, and supplies online. My top recommendations are Chewy.com and Amazon.
MUST have BEFORE bringing home a new puppy:
There are many types of leashes to choose from, including the leather leash, nylon leash, retractable leash, and designer leashes. I recommend investing in a nice leather leash.
Learn more by reading: How to Choose the Best Dog Leash
If you adopted a young puppy, you will most likely end up buying multiple collars until he is full grown. For his first collar, make sure it is adjustable so you can resize it over the next several months.
You never want to think your puppy will run away, but it happens. He could get scared or just excited and start running the opposite direction. Bring the collar with an ID tag already attached to it on adoption day.
Don’t be surprised if your new puppy doesn’t want to eat the first day, it’s totally normal. But make sure he drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated.
I recommend stainless steel bowls because they are easy to keep clean. And if you have a large breed puppy, you may want to consider getting a raised bowl feeder.
Yes, your puppy needs special puppy food. Most adult dog food does not have all the special nutrients puppies need to grow healthy. The brand and proteins are up to you. But I recommend opting for high-quality food. Read the ingredient labels… make sure the first ingredient is the protein.
Ask the shelter or rescue what the puppy is currently eating and if they will be giving you a few days of his food on adoption day. You’ll want to slowly transition to any new food.
You are going to need treats for training. Again, make sure they are healthy and not filled with color dyes and ingredients you can’t read.
Treats make potty training easy and also can help in basic training. How to Potty Train a Puppy Fast & Easy
RECOMMENDED to have before adoption day:
Picking up poop is the not-so-fun part of owning a dog, but necessary. I like the tray and rake type of scooper. We’ve tried the claw scoopers and with big dogs, I could never pick up the entire pile in one scoop.
You’ll need to carry poop bags with you when taking your puppy for walks. Learn the 5 Rules of Walking your Dog Etiquette
A crate is going to be your best friend when adopting a puppy. The crate can not only create a safe place for him during the transition to his new home but will also help with potty training. I recommend buying a crate with a divider at a size that will fit your puppy when he is full grown. Use the divider to adjust the space as your puppy grows. This way you aren’t buying multiple crates.
Recommended just for you: How and Why Crate Train Your Dog in 3 Easy Steps
If you have stairs and an area you do not want your puppy to explore just yet, a baby gate is a great tool. We use baby gates every time we bring in a new foster dog.
Puppies are going to chew something, so it’s best to get them some toys that are good for their teeth. Chewy has a great variety of puppy toys to choose from. I recommend always a puppy Kong, along with a few different bones and toys.
No need to go crazy in the toy department. Pick a few options and see what he likes. Supervise your puppy with any chew toy, you don’t want him to destroy a stuffed toy and swallow something dangerous.
You love your dog, he is your family and you'd do anything for him, right? Then you owe it to him to learn his language.
Quickly learn your dog's body language, and understand why he does what he does... all with our Dog Body Language Cheat Sheet....
OPTIONAL products to have for your puppy:
At first, your puppy should sleep in his crate so he stays safe. You’ll have to test the waters by putting a bed in his crate. Some puppies will chew anything to pieces, others prefer to sleep on something soft and warm.
Your puppy will eventually need a bath. Unless he smells from being in a shelter or rolled in some poop, there is no need to bathe your puppy anytime soon. Read How Often to Bathe a Puppy
Grooming your dog is important. You’ll need to brush your dog, how often is going to depend on if he has long or short hair. Long hair dogs require daily brushings, while a short hair dog may only need an occasional brush.
Get your puppy used to having his paws touched and nails clipped. Trust me on this one, do not pass this advice up. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is extremely important but can be very difficult if the dog does not as his paws touched.
I recommend the scissor looking trimmers, not the guillotine style. Make sure to get a decent quality, they need to be sharp and easy to use.
Some people prefer the Dremel for trimming their dogs’ nails. I personally could never get my dogs okay with the sound of it. But with little patients and counterconditioning, many dogs don’t mind it.
Keeping your puppy’s teeth clean is an important part of keeping him healthy. To my surprise, I learned that brushing your dog’s teeth once a month is not enough. You need to brush your dog’s teeth daily!
Yikes, I know that seems like a lot of work, and honestly, I don’t have time to brush my dog’s teeth every day! So I recently have been using a water additive that is supposed to keep our dog’s teeth clean.
Puppy potty accidents are going to happen. Unless you are lucky and the foster family already potty trained him, you are going to be cleaning up pee and poop accidents. And even potty trained dogs can regress during the adoption transition.
We could not live without our little carpet cleaner. New foster dogs are notorious for having accidents in the house. And enzyme cleaners help to ensure you get the entire smell out of your carpet.
Deciding where to buy all the items on your new puppy shopping list is up to you. You can head over to your local pet shop and stock up on everything. Sometimes the stores will have member benefits that will help you save money.
Like I mentioned above, I prefer to shop for all our dog’s supplies online. My top choices are Chewy and Amazon.
It’s easy to get carried away with all the bright colored toys and accessories. So stick with the above shop New Puppy Shopping List. Once you get to know your puppy’s personality then purchase what he really needs and likes to play with!
Remember, if you prefer to shop in a store, download and print a PDF of this list for your convenience, it’s available in our free resource library.
Debi McKee is the mom of Ginger and Bear (and three human kids too), lifetime dog lover and a volunteer for a rescue as foster home. She is the creator of Rescue Dogs 101, were she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. Sign up for the free resource library! It is jam-packed with valuable resources that you will use throughout your journey.... all for FREE!