There’s nothing quite like bringing a new, adorable puppy home! Always an exciting time having that little bundle of fur and joy to introduce to your home. But in that whirlwind of excitement, it can be easy to forget some important things you’ll need to take care of your puppy. Perhaps you forgot to get a leash or collar, or you didn’t get dishes for their food and water. But that’s where a new puppy checklist comes in handy to help you be prepared for the new addition to your home.
If you’re looking to bring home a new family member and need help figuring out what you’ll need, here’s Bone & Biscuit’s new puppy checklist to help you prepare for your puppy.
☐ 1. Puppy Food
One of the more obvious, and most important items, is puppy food. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, which is why it’s important to get puppy-specified food. Even different breeds and sizes of dogs will have different needs, too. Generally, puppy food will be higher in protein and fat than regular adult dog food to help them grow. We recommend choosing as natural a diet as possible to limit unnecessary additives and fillers in your puppy’s diet. There are so many excellent options available for dry dog food, dehydrated and freeze-dried dog food and raw dog food. Want to try the raw dog food diet for your puppy? Check out our Raw Food Guide for information on how much to feed your puppy. Still need help? Talk to your veterinarian and local Bone & Biscuit store to find the right puppy food for your pet.
☐ 2. Pet Food Dishes and Water Dishes
To go with the food, you’ll of course need something to put your puppy food in! Most puppies can use any type of dish, but some dogs can have allergies to certain materials like plastic. Some puppies will also eat their food way too fast, which can lead to bloating and upset stomachs, and may need a slow feeder dish. Take into account your puppy’s eating habits and if they have any reactions to the dish (like hives, scratching their mouths, or canine acne) to see what kind of dish they may need or if you need to try a different type of dog food dish. Whether it’s a slow feeder, ceramic, steel or plastic bowl, always make sure their dishes are clean and have fresh water and food.
☐ 3. Leash and Collar
When you bring your puppy home, you’ll need a collar and leash. Make sure you pick a collar that can be adjusted as they grow and that’s comfortable for them. When they’re older and have slowed down in their growth, we recommend using a harness for better comfort for your dog. Bring them with you next time you shop at the Bone & Biscuit so you try them on and get the right fit for your new puppy.
☐ 4. Puppy Toys
Puppy toys are essential for your puppy. Puppies are active and will need things to play with, stimulate their minds, and help tire them out. Choose a variety of toys, too, as some puppies are picky and a variety of toys can help keep them engaged. Plus, some toys have different purposes, such as toys for teething versus a toy for comfort. Here are some different types of dog toys to pick up for your puppy:
- Chew toys (make sure they’re designed for soft puppy teeth)
- Plushie toys for cuddling and comfort
- Tug-of-war toys and rope toys
- Balls or toys for fetch and throwing
- Durable squeaky toys
- Puzzle toys
☐ 5. Puppy Treats
Puppy treats and dog treats aren’t just for spoiling your dog – they’re also an important tool for training and rewarding good behaviour. Make sure to get some tasty pet treats that your puppy will work for and enjoy.
☐ 6. Comfortable Dog Bed
Dogs and puppies need somewhere to sleep. Even if you plan on having them sleep with you or in their crate, they must have something comfortable for their own space. Puppies tend to prefer plushie, soft beds that would mimic laying with their mother and littermates.
☐ 7. Pee Mats and Training Pads
Even though the goal is to get them to go outside to pee or defecate, it can be a long journey of training. Using pee mats and training pads can help you keep your home tidier and get your puppy on the right track.
☐ 8. Puppy Car Seat or Travel Crate
Just like a baby, making sure your puppy has a safe place in your car while travelling in case of an accident is crucial. A travel crate may also be more comfortable for your puppy and useful for going to the veterinarian, a groomer, or travelling in general with your pet. Depending on your pup’s size and your car, invest in a dog car seat or a travel crate for the back of your vehicle.
☐ 9. Dog Kennel or Dog Crates
A dog kennel or dog crate is also a key item for your pet. They can be useful tools for training, but also provides your pet with a den-like, safe space for themselves. If you don’t plan on sleeping with your pet, providing them with their own space for nighttime is crucial for their comfort, too.
☐ 10. Dog Grooming Tools and Products
Dogs and puppies need to be groomed, depending on their needs, to maintain their coat and their overall health. Depending on the breed, your puppy’s coat and their routine, they’ll need different styles of grooming tools and products. Plus, having puppy-safe shampoo on hand will mean you’re better prepared for typical mishaps puppies will do, like rolling in mud. Getting your puppy used to baths, brushings, nail trimmings and other grooming activities early on will help you better take care of your pet. Even if you plan on using a groomer, having these items on hand in case of emergency or you can’t get access to your dog’s groomer is necessary. Here are some grooming products you may need to groom your puppy:
- Puppy-safe shampoo
- Dog brush or comb (consult with your local Bone & Biscuit to see which type of brush suits your puppy’s coat the best)
- Dog nail clippers and nail file
- Styptic powder (this is used to stop bleeding if you’ve accidentally cut their quick while trimming their nails)
- Non-slip rubber mat (put this in your tub or shower to make it less slippery for your puppy)
- Dog toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste (Read our blog on pet dental health for more information and tips on caring for a dog’s teeth)
☐ 11. Dog ID Tags and Dog License
Make sure you have a license for your puppy: many provinces require that you have a license for your dog. It’s also important to have a dog ID tag with your dog’s name, your name and phone number in case your puppy escapes. They can also be fun, cute accessories for your puppy.
☐ 12. Dog Poop Bags
A small thing that many new owners forget is dog poop bags. No one wants to be stuck on a walk with no way to pick up after their dog! If possible, pick up biodegradable or compostable dog poop bags to lower your environmental footprint, and be sure to dispose of your puppy’s poop properly.
☐ 13. Dog Waterbottle
Keep your dog hydrated while on walks and carry a dog water bottle with you. There are plenty of water bottles designed for dogs, but you can also use a regular bottle and container instead.
☐ 14. Puppy Gates and Puppy-Proof Your Home and Yard
Like any adventurous toddler, puppies are bound to explore and get into things they shouldn’t. Use puppy gates to block off areas you don’t want them in, such as stairs. You’ll also want to puppy proof your house and remove or move items out of their reach and sight that they shouldn’t have access to, like electrical cords, toxic house plants, household cleaners, toxic dryer sheets, or other items or food your don’t want them to have access to. Be sure to also check your yard for mushrooms and poisonous plants, and fence in your yard if needed.
☐ 15. Enzyme Cleaners and Pet Cleaners
Puppies are bound to have accidents. Make sure you’re prepared with pet cleaners and enzymatic cleaners to tidy up after any messes.
☐ 16. Line Their Bed With Something From Their Mother or Litter
If you can, take either a blanket, toy or something soft that the puppy had while with their mom and litter. The smell of their mom and littermates will help comfort them during the sometimes stressful transition to their new home.
☐ 17. Include An Old T-Shirt In Their Bed
Along with their mom’s scent, adding your used old clothing to their bed will help them to associate your smell with comfort and security.
There are so many things to consider when bringing a new puppy into your home. If you need more advice on products to use or get, be sure to consult with your local Bone & Biscuit store to help you find the right products for your puppy.
*Disclaimer: The contents of this blog post, such as any graphics, images, text and other material contained on this site are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is at your own risk. If you have medical concerns or need advice for your dog or cat, please seek out your closest holistic or integrative veterinarian.