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Becoming a pet parent to a new puppy is exciting and somewhat nerve-racking. Do you have everything you need to care for your puppy during their first few days and weeks living in a new environment? Puppies need toys, bedding, treats, and other basic supplies to help you be the best pet parent and begin forming a bond with your new pet.
Our downloadable puppy supply checklist ensures you have everything you need before bringing home your new pup. Keep reading to learn about all the puppy supplies you need within your pet's first few days in their new home.
- ID Tag + Microchip
- Basic Supplies
- Training Tools
- Household Supplies
- Housetraining Supplies
- Grooming Supplies
- Final Notes
ID Tag + Microchip
Every puppy needs an ID tag with their name and your contact information in case they get lost. Puppies are curious creatures and master escape artists prone to running out the door when they get scared or overly excited. So if your pup ever gets lost, you want to give them the best chance of finding their way home. Your pet’s ID tag should include your pet’s first and last name and your phone number.
A microchip is also a necessity for any puppy or dog. This small electronic chip contains a unique identification number and is implanted under the dog's skin.1 If your dog is ever lost and found by someone else, they can take it to a shelter or vet to read the microchip and look up their information in a database to find owner details.
When you bring your pet home, make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible to have them microchipped.
Every basic new puppy supply checklist should include the essentials you'll use immediately after bringing your new dog home. Basic items to include in your new puppy supplies checklist include the following:
- Food: All puppies need to eat! However, you should be conscious of the type of food you give them. All dogs need age-appropriate dog food, so you should look for puppy food labeled as such. If you have an adult dog in the house, it's not safe for you to feed your puppy adult dog food because it doesn't contain the proper balance and nutrients their growing body needs.
- Treats: Treats are an essential part of the training process and can help you begin building a bond with your puppy as soon as possible. Many (but not all) dogs are food-motivated, so treats can be effective training tools. And there's nothing wrong with rewarding your puppy for good behavior throughout the day. However, try to keep treats to a minimum; they should not make up more than 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake. Since puppies are so small, you can cut or break their treats into smaller pieces.
- Toys: Enrichment is crucial for dogs of all ages, especially puppies. Toys help fight boredom and prevent destructive chewing while comforting them if they feel anxious. Toys give puppies mental stimulation and can satisfy their natural urge to chew.
- Leash: Every dog needs a leash, and you should start leash-training your puppy as soon as possible to prevent pulling and undesirable behaviors while on walks. Getting your dog comfortable with a leash and harness and/or collar can help teach your dog how to walk on a leash properly during training so they're not pulling or crossing in front of you.
- Collar: Dog collars are absolutely necessary because they hold your dog's ID tag. Your dog should always wear their collar when they're outside in case they happen to run off.
- Bed and sanctuary space: Giving your dog a quiet place to rest can support their emotional well-being. Creating a sanctuary space for your dog gives them somewhere to go when they're feeling overwhelmed or stressed and can also serve as their favorite nap spot. You can use your puppy's crate or a quiet place in your home that's removed from regular foot traffic as a sanctuary space.
You can (and should) begin training your puppy at around eight weeks of age.2 During this time, your puppy will have lots of energy, so it may be unable to sit through an entire training session. Instead, around five minutes a day of training should be enough to help them learn. To begin puppy training, here are a few tools you can use:
- Crate: Dog crates have multiple purposes. Firstly, they can confine your dog to a certain area to prevent them from finding trouble, especially when you're away. Additionally, your dog's crate can eventually become their sanctuary space, where they feel most safe. Crate training takes time, and most puppies won't enjoy it at first. However, choosing the right size can make them more comfortable in their crate. As a general rule of thumb, your dog's crate should give them enough space to stand up and turn around, but it shouldn't be so large they feel comfortable urinating or defecating in it.
- Clicker: A clicker is a small, portable training tool that makes a "click" sound when you press a button. Clicker training is a reward-based training method that uses a clicker and treats to reward good behavior.3 The clicker allows you to mark good behavior to help dogs understand exactly what they did to earn a treat, facilitating their learning so they're more likely to repeat those behaviors.
Your puppy supplies checklist should consist of household supplies and the equipment or tools your dog needs daily, such as:
- Food and water bowls: You can find dog food and water bowls made from just about any material, including ceramic, metal, and plastic bowls. Depending on your dog's particular habits, you may also want to try a pet fountain or slow-feeder dog bowl.
- Cleaning supplies: Puppies make messes. They can knock items off tables, have accidents on the carpet, and play in the mud. Having household cleaning supplies that fight stains and odors is crucial for any pet parent, regardless of your dog's age.
- Bedding: Whether or not you let your dog sleep in bed with you at night, they may prefer a space they can call their own. Depending on your dog's sleeping habits, you can have one or more dog beds dispersed throughout your home. Since puppy sleep schedules typically consist of 18 to 20 hours of sleep,4 giving them multiple options can help them get comfortable.
- Puppy gate: Before your puppy is fully trained, it's a good idea to limit their access to some areas of the home, especially those that might be dangerous to them. Puppy gates can help prevent your dog from escaping through the front door when you come home, and they can keep your dog in certain areas of the house until you feel more comfortable letting them roam free.
- Emergency / first-aid kit: During the first few months of your puppy's life in their new home, they will be curious about everything. Like human children, puppies are prone to accidents because of their curiosity. An emergency kit with bandages, adhesive tape, hydrogen peroxide, and ointment ensures you're prepared for anything.
One of your main priorities after bringing home a new puppy is housetraining. Unfortunately, during the housetraining process, your puppy will have accidents in the house. You can limit the space where they're allowed to roam free to prevent messes around the home, but you'll still need cleaning supplies.
- Puppy pads: Puppy pads are training pads that absorb moisture and can be useful during house training, especially because puppies have smaller bladders and can't hold their urine. Of course, you'll have to train your puppy to use them, but they can be a good tool for first-time dog owners who can't be home to take their puppies outside every few hours.
- Pet-friendly floor cleaner: For puppy accidents, we recommend an enzymatic cleaner that breaks down the proteins in urine and feces to eliminate stains and odors.
Dog coats come in all lengths and textures, but regardless of your puppy's coat type, you'll need to invest in at least some grooming. A few grooming supplies you need include the following:
- Nail trimmers: All puppies need their nails trimmed regularly to prevent them from overgrowing. As a general rule of thumb, if you hear your dog's nails clicking on your floors, it's time for a trim! There are several types of nail trimmers available, and your vet can help determine the best one for your pup.
- Brush: Brushing your dog regularly can help remove loose fur and prevent them from shedding on your furniture, carpet, and clothing. Spring and fall are shedding seasons, so you should invest in a good brush to help them prepare for warmer or colder weather.
- Toothbrush: Vets recommend brushing your dog's teeth every day to prevent plaque and tartar buildup that contribute to periodontal disease. You should never use a human toothbrush on a dog because the bristles may be too harsh on their gums. Instead, shop for a dog toothbrush to keep your puppy's teeth and gums healthy and clean!
- Toothpaste: Human toothpaste can be dangerous for dogs because it may include ingredients like peppermint and xylitol, known toxins to pets. Dog toothpaste comes in a range of flavors, such as beef and chicken, making brushing their teeth more enjoyable for them.
- Shampoo: How often you bathe your dog depends on their activity level, skin and coat conditions, breed, and coat type. Most dogs only need to be bathed once every few months, but if your dog has skin allergies, your vet may suggest a different bathing routine.
Taking care of your dog means taking care of all aspects of their health and wellness, which will require pet services, such as:
- Insurance: Pet insurance protects your puppy if there's ever an emergency. Since emergency care can cost thousands of dollars, you need to know you'll be able to cover any costs to ensure your pet gets the best treatment possible.
- Vet care: Your puppy will be taking frequent trips to the vet until they're an adult. After that, they'll only need to see the vet once or twice per year for physical examinations and as needed for various health concerns. A vet will also act as support to help you make the best decision for your puppy's well-being. You can find a veterinarian online to help you through the process of caring for a new puppy.
- Training: Many experienced pet parents choose to train their puppies themselves. However, having a trainer can improve your puppy's learning by providing you with the knowledge and skills you need to make training more effective.
- Groomer: Finding a groomer is crucial if your dog has a coat that requires regular hair trims. Always make sure your groomer has experience with your dog's breed since different dogs have different grooming needs.
- Pet walker: Unfortunately, not all pet parents can stay home with their pets or come home on their lunch breaks to walk them. Depending on your dog's breed, they may need to go out every few hours. Having a dog walker will ensure your dog gets the opportunity to relieve themselves, and going for a walk can help ease any separation anxiety they have while you're away.
- Pet sitter: If you ever need to travel or spend more time away from your dog than usual, you may benefit from a pet sitter. You can ask family and friends who your dog knows to watch them or hire an experienced pet sitter with training and/or medical experience to ensure your dog's well-being when you're away. Depending on your dog's temperament, they may also benefit from doggy daycare and boarding that allows them to socialize with other pets.
What do I need for the first week after I get a puppy?
Ensuring you're prepared will prevent you from making extra trips to the store and leaving your puppy alone in a new environment. The items listed on our supplies for a new puppy checklist should ensure you have everything you need to welcome a new puppy into your home. A few essentials include food, leashes, collars, and treats for house training.
How long does it take for a puppy to get used to their new home?
How long it takes for a puppy to get used to their new home varies. Some puppies get comfortable within the first few days, while others can take weeks to get used to their home and family. However, it generally takes about three weeks for puppies to feel safe and secure.5
Our comprehensive new puppy supply checklist should help you gather all the necessary tools and items for bringing a new puppy into your home. Then, it's up to you to begin training and bonding with your pet. Puppies will require near-constant supervision and are prone to health issues because their immune systems are still developing.
Talk to a Dutch vet online if you're worried about your puppy's health or wellness. We can diagnose and treat various illnesses common in puppies, ranging from skin issues to allergies, and provide advice for new pet parents when they need it most. Try Dutch today.
Download Our Puppy Supplies Checklist
"'Every Day Is Tag Day™" - Is Your Pet Protected?" American Humane, 1 Apr. 2019, https://www.americanhumane.org/blog/every-day-is-tag-day-is-your-pet-protected/.
Paisley Lunchick, RVT KPA-CTP. "Teach Your Puppy These 5 Basic Cues." American Kennel Club, 3 Aug. 2022, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/teach-your-puppy-these-5-basic-commands/.
Stephanie Gibeault, MSc. "Clicker Training: Mark & Reward Dog Training Using Clickers." American Kennel Club, 15 Aug. 2022, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/clicker-training-your-dog-mark-and-reward/.
"How Much Sleep Do Puppies Need? Here's How to Make Sure." American Kennel Club, 29 Apr. 2021, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/how-much-do-puppies-sleep/.
The First Few Days – Set up for Success! - RSPCA Australia. https://www.rspca.org.au/sites/default/files/website/Adopt-a-pet/Your-new-dog/FOR%20ACT%20Your%20new%20dog%20tips.pdf.