14 Must-Have Items in Your New Puppy Checklist 2023

May 2, 2023by Suzie Cyrenne

Making sure that you've got all the stuff in your new puppy checklist is no doubt one of the very first steps in giving your young dog the quality of life he truly deserves. Besides seeing to it that your pup has everything he needs to stay comfy and happy, doing so also helps take care of any “accidents” that may happen along the way.

This is why I've listed down all the must-have items to get your hands on if you're planning to take in a new canine family member in the near future. You can think of this blog post as the "ultimate new puppy checklist" to help every pet parent needing a hand when they've got a new pup.

But before we jump right into them, let's start things off with some important factors to keep in mind...


Why It's Important to Have a Puppy Supplies Checklist

owner writing checklist with dog

It's very important to check off all the essentials in your new puppy checklist before you can take your new furry family member home. This isn't just for new puppy owners, but also for experienced puppy parents. It's basically a good idea you shouldn't overlook.

And regardless of where you got your pup, whether it's from your local shelter or some other honest source, having a go-to checklist for puppies is a must since it can have a very big impact on your pet as he grows up into an older dog.

Apart from being a good idea to help ensure that your pup will find it easy to make himself at home in his new surroundings, having the right puppy supplies at the ready will also keep "accidents" and similar negative situations at bay.

Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly think, putting together a reliable puppy checklist isn't that complicated. You just have to focus on all the puppy supplies that your furry friend needs to have a safe, healthy and happy dog's life.

And the best thing about it is that you can easily get your hands on all these puppy essentials at your local pet store. You can grab them online as well. I'd just like to emphasize that a wisely assembled puppy supplies checklist not just helps bring up a well-behaved dog, but also gives your puppy the quality of life he truly deserves.


The Dangers of NOT Having a New Puppy Checklist

Dog pee spot

There are basically two (2) possible outcomes if you don't have a checklist for your new dog: first, you will have a tricky time house training your puppy, and second, you're going to run into a lot of vet bills sooner or later due to health issues.

As a crucial reminder for new puppy parents, having a pup involves a lot of work and commitment. Taking a puppy in your home isn't just about making sure that you've got the right dog food and some plush toys.

Having a new puppy means a number of things to take care of. Apart from getting your hands on the actual supplies, putting in a lot of elbow grease also plays a key role. There are even dog parents who sign up for pet insurance when they get a new puppy.

Moreover, reading this blog post all the way to the end will help you provide your furry friend the happiness and comfort he deserves, while also taking into consideration the activities and similar key factors that puppies love.


Is Expensive Always the Best When It Comes to Puppy Supplies?

While we'd want our four-legged friend to have the best of the best, I'd just like to point out that "expensive" and "better quality" do not necessarily mean the same. Put in a different way, the price of tag of a certain item, say dog toys or puppy potty pads, is not always related to their quality.

When shopping for puppy supplies, make sure you check and compare thoroughly—and not just go for the priciest item thinking that it's already the best for your dog. This applies to all the supplies in your puppy checklist, from nail clippers all the way to crate training essentials and everything in between.



How Do You Choose the Right Supplies for Your New Puppy?

Pulling this off isn't that complicated as you may have previously thought. One no-fuss way of choosing supplies for your new puppy is by asking for recommendations at your local pet store. Inquiring what the bestseller is for a particular item can help you get on the right track.

Additionally, don't forget to examine the item yourself. Besides giving it a careful visual once-over, physically checking the same will also significantly help you make an informed decision as you go along.

Another approach you can go for is by looking up a specific item online and reading the puppy parent reviews. You can get a lot of insight from these reviews because they're coming from people who have already tried these items for themselves.

Just remember to focus on objective reviews and not those heavily influenced by personal bias. There can be a number of reviews for new puppy items that are just there to unnecessarily rant and vent. They won't be helpful at all.

Is It Required to Get All the Items in Your Puppy Supplies Checklist at Once?

Ideally, it is important that you've got all of your new puppy essentials right before you take your young dog home. This is to ensure that he will be as happy and comfortable once he arrives.

On the other hand, you can also gradually get the items for your new dog before you take him in. I recommend this strategy if you're still prepping up your puppy's own space or in the process of saving up enough cash. And once you've managed to complete all of them, you can already take your puppy home.

And now that we've covered all of the important reminders you should take note of, here are the items you should include your new puppy checklist...


The 14 Items you Need to Have in your New Puppy Checklist

Item #1: Puppy crate

Cute puppy dog is looking out from a pet crate

Did you know that having a puppy crate serves two key purposes?

First, a dog crate helps train your new canine family member's bladder so he will be slowly eased into having a regular schedule of answering the call of nature. Second, having one also helps prevent your very young dog from randomly chewing on household items like the furniture, the carpet, as well as appliances.

You can even simultaneously use a crate as a dog bed/rest area when having potty training classes, especially for puppies that still need work with their bathroom routines. Alternatively, you can also a dog crate to separate a puppy displaying signs of transmissible illness from other puppies.

Moreover, your young dog has puppy teeth that are growing fast. Getting a sturdy crate for puppies also helps prevent unwanted bite marks on pieces of household furniture like the couch and dining table. You'll be surprised how these small dogs can take quick nips!

You can also combine a pup crate with baby gates to help your young dog quickly familiarize with his personal space. This is really useful during potty training and in instilling habits that can affect overall behavior in adult dogs.


Item #2: Food bowl

puppy eating from a metal bowl

Giving your puppy an exclusive food bowl gives him the notion that he is fed at set times every day. You can already consider this as a part of his puppy training, which can influence his habits as an adult dog in the near future.

Apart from fostering peace of mind in your new dog at a very young age, this also helps train him to finish all of his food. What's even more interesting is that the wrong amount of food and feeding frequency can potentially trigger anxiety in dogs.

Shallow, stainless-steel food bowls work best for puppies since they are very durable and really easy to clean. A new puppy will also tend to dig in as soon as possible so make sure you avoid food bowls that have edges since they can cause unwanted nicks and cuts.


Item #3: Collar

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Head shot

A collar provides security and training for your new puppy. Since you can put a name tag and contact details on it, this device can help you locate your pup should he unexpectedly wander off and also act as a guide when you eventually have leash training with him.

In a similar note, collars for new puppies can also be equipped with microchipped ID tags to really make sure your dog won't become lost. This is very helpful since dogs instinctively like to check out things that interest them.

While there are a number of puppy collar options to choose from, it's a good idea to go for the softest material that you can find. This is to keep unwanted skin issues like rashes and irritation at bay. An abrasive collar can also possibly cause hair loss if not immediately taken care of.


Item #4: Toys

Dachshund puppy playing orange toy

Puppy toys not just provide entertainment for your young dog. They also help your small dog to learn new things and take his mind off inappropriate behavior like chewing stuff around the house.

Just make sure you go for durable varieties that do not break or splinter easily to avoid potentially dangerous situations like choking and intestinal blockage. This is especially crucial for teething puppies that need extra durable chew toys.

In case you have several puppies in your home, it is a good idea to give each one an individual chew toy. Besides curbing envy among your puppies, doing so can also help keep contagious pup health issues at bay. This also applies to dog treats that can serve as a chew toy like bully sticks.


Item #5: Puppy brush

Brush grooming on a young Shetland sheepdog

Using a puppy brush helps distribute natural oils in your pet's coat. Apart from keeping it looking shiny and full, regular brushing also gets rid of unwanted dirt and gunk that can cause matting and clumping of hair.

Moreover, it is crucial to choose a brush that complements the length and thickness of your puppy's coat. While a new puppy will need daily brushing sessions, remember to keep them as gentle as possible. Your young dog will usually look forward to this experience and you can use this as a time for bonding.

Your pup will also tend to leave a bit of hair in his dog bed, so it's recommended to give it a quick brush daily for easy clean-up. Just a quick heads up, though. Keep in mind to choose your puppy shampoo carefully since this can have a positive or negative effect on your young dog's hair health in the long run.


Item #6: Name tag

puppy wearing a name tag

The main purpose of a name tag is to inform others who to get in touch with and where to return your puppy in case he gets lost. You can even put additional information on it like your complete address (if the space allows), your pup's possible medical needs, as well as a personal message.

A name tag is indispensable for your young dog since it plays a crucial role in helping others identify your pup in case he wanders off and becomes lost. Just make sure you attach it in a puppy-proof way so it won't unfasten without a warning.

You can even put details like your pet insurance or some other information that can be used during an emergency in the name tag of your fur baby.


Item #7: Wet wipes

vet wipes puppy's face

Welcoming a new puppy means going through lots of “accidents” here and there. Since your young dog is still learning how to properly control his bladder and bowel movement, wet wipes offer a convenient solution when these situations take place. I highly recommend going for the unscented variety to stave off the possibility of skin irritation.

Apart from potty training, it is also important to have wet wipes with you during playtime and agility training sessions since it's inevitable that your pup will be in contact with dust, grime and mud, among others. They're also handy in cleaning puppy toys.


Item #8: Leash

puppy walking on leash

Having a leash in your new puppy checklist is not just a helpful tool when guiding your young dog navigating his way around. It also encourages him to learn the value of discipline and respect during his most crucial development stages.

Besides teaching your young dog to always follow your lead during training sessions, having a good leash also helps your pup steer clear from unwanted neck strains. The width and length are also important factors to consider when choosing a leash for your new dog.

Additionally, pet insurance details can also be put in your pup's leash.


Item #9: Puppy food

puppy eating on bowl

When it comes to shopping for puppy food, simply getting your hands on the first thing you see is not the way to go. It is crucial to look into the ingredients, the nutritional value, and the overall amount of calories to make sure that your young dog is getting the most out of every bite.

Pro-tip: Make sure you vary your puppy's meals from time to time. You can either alternately give him moist food and dry kibble, or occasionally combine the two in one meal. This is to prevent your pup from having the idea that mealtimes are boring, which could make him a picky eater in the long run.

And remember that healthy food for puppies isn't necessarily costly and the ones having steep price tags are not automatically ideal for your young dog. This "reminder" on dog food also applies to training treats and snacks.

By the way, if you’re looking to learn more about the foods a dog can and cannot eat, just click here.


Item #10: Puppy chews and treats

feeding puppy with treats

Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly think, puppy treats and chews are more than just goodies you give to your dog when he learns how to successfully pull off a trick. A study published in Frontiers reveals that giving treats on a regular basis actually strengthens your bond with your pup.

Moreover, these things also contain added nutrients to help boost the growth and development of your young dog. Like I pointed out earlier, a thorough check of the ingredients list is a must when it comes to dog food, treats and snacks. There are even chew toys that have a space for these tasty tidbits nowadays!

Just remember to keep clear from chews and treats that contain artificial flavorings, as well as those that have too much salt or sugar since these can have a negative effect on the overall health of your pup sooner or later.


Item #11: Blanket

puppy sleeping under a blanket with stuffed toy

Since his body is still growing and developing, your puppy needs a bit of help when it comes to regulating his temperature, especially during colder seasons. This is where a handy blanket comes in. Regardless of pedigree, the dog bed of puppies should always have a blanket for comfort and safety.

While any blanket made from soft material will already suffice, keep in mind that it should also be lightweight to prevent the possibility of suffocation or some other untoward incidents. They should also be clear from dog poop and puppy pee always to stave off health problems.


Item #12: Poop bags

puppy holding a poop bag

As I have emphasized earlier, your puppy is still at the point of learning how to control his bladder and bowel movement. Having poop bags at the ready can help you deal with any unwanted “accidents” inside or outside.

Besides staving off the spread of harmful bacteria in your pup's waste that can lead to sickness, using a poop bag is also very easy and convenient. There are even varieties available these days that are made from environment-friendly materials.

Believe it or not, poop bags are one of the things that you will always find in the kit of a dog trainer because puppies can have a smelly accident at any time. And I just can't stress this enough, too: always pick up after your dog no matter what.


Item #13: Water bowl

puppy drinking water from a metal bowl at home

Having a water bowl in your new puppy checklist helps ensure that your canine family member will stay hydrated throughout the day. Sufficient hydration is not just required for his overall growth and development, but also plays a key role in maintaining the ideal functions of his muscles, kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain.

I recommend going for a shallow, stainless steel water bowl since it is easy to clean and can take a lot of beating before breaking down.


Item #14: Dog toothbrush and toothpaste combo

Hand brushing dog's tooth for dental care

Not giving your pup the oral care he really needs can lead to serious gum problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease before you know it. This is the reason why having a good toothbrush and toothpaste for puppies is crucial when putting together a puppy supplies checklist.


Other Important Details to Remember

How Often Should You Brush Your Puppy's Teeth?

The basic rule is to brush your pup's teeth at least twice a day. While this should be done thoroughly, keep in mind to be very careful and gentle while you're at it since your pet's teeth and gums are still quite fragile.


Can Puppies Use Mouthwash?

The short answer is no. Apart from being too harsh on your puppy's mouth, tongue and throat tissues, mouthwash can also contain certain ingredients that can be toxic to your pet like the artificial sweetener called xylitol.


Is It Okay to Use Human Toothpaste on New Puppies?

No, it is unsafe to use human toothpaste on your puppy. Same as the reason above, it can contain ingredients that can be toxic and deadly to your young dog. Only use a pup-specific toothpaste always.


How Often Should You Bathe Your Puppy?

You should give your puppy no more than one bath per month—unless it is really, really needed. Besides stripping away natural oils in your pet's fur, you can also inadvertently make his skin dry in the process.


Can You Use Human Shampoo on Your New Furry Friend?

The short answer is no. Your puppy's skin has a more neutral pH level while human shampoo is formulated with higher acidity in mind. Using human shampoo on your young dog will only have an abrasive effect on his skin.


Where Should a Puppy Sleep During the First Night?

Your puppy should sleep very close to your bed on the first night. This is so you can monitor him properly and attend to his needs straight away. It's not uncommon that puppies will feel a bit scared and confused during this time, so be extra patient.


Should You Ignore Your Puppy Crying at Night?

Definitely not! Doing this can result to long-term anxiety issues and behavioral problems for your pup. It's possible that your pet is experiencing comfort issues, hunger or some other matter. Always offer reassurance, but not to the point of giving your pup hugs and cuddles whenever he's at it.


Should You Bathe Your Puppy When You Bring Him Home?

Keep in mind that a puppy should be at least eight (8) weeks old for a bath. A bit of gentle brushing and a wipe down with unscented wet wipes will already do the trick.


How Many Times Should a Puppy Eat?

Ideally, puppies around four (4) months old should eat three (3) times a day. Their intake can be lessened to a couple of meals daily when they reach six (6) months. Regardless of breed, though, always make sure to have a complete grasp of what your dog can and cannot eat to avoid unexpected health issues along the way.


Do Puppies Poop After Every Meal?

Due to their still developing bodies, it's not uncommon that puppies will need to move their bowels and urinate after each meal. The younger your dog is, the more frequent he'll "take care of business." Remember to take your pup outside after every meal for potty. This also serves as training, too.

And now that we've covered all the things you need in your new puppy checklist, let's discuss the importance of boosting your pet's immunity as early as now…


The Importance of Boosting your Puppy’s Immune System Health


Zumalka Immunopet
Helping your pet build a strong and resilient immune system at an early age plays a very important role when it comes to keeping him as healthy and happy as can be. And Zumalka’s IMMUNOPET is designed to help you do just that through natural means.

IMMUNOPET is formulated to support your young dog’s immune system by not just improving his overall white blood cell count but enhancing his hemoglobin levels as well. Additionally, this natural product also acts as a purifier of blood and lymph nodes to stave off any potential health issues.


Helping your puppy achieve a sturdy immune system when he’s still very young can mean the difference between giving him the best quality of life and the contrary. Having IMMUNOPET in your home pet care checklist will help make the whole thing more manageable.



Keeping in mind to have all the stuff in your new puppy checklist is essential to ensure that your canine family member will not just be happy, but also on his way to the quality of life you’ve always wanted.

And just to be extra sure that your new furbaby won’t be in for any unexpected health issues anytime soon, don’t forget to contact us immediately when you notice any indications of illness.


About the author

Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie Cyrenne


Suzie Cyrenne has dedicated more than 20 years of her life in making and improving natural animal health solutions in the global setting.

Being the co-founder of Zumalka, Suzie is a forerunner in enhancing the lives of pets through natural and homeopathic options using the knowledge she has gained from the Classical Homeopathy School in Quebec.

Through the guidance of her mother-in-law and fellow natural health expert, Denyse Lessard, Suzie constantly devotes herself to create premium pet products that are aimed at dealing with the root causes of wellness problems and not just their symptoms.

Besides immersing herself in books, personal development and visiting new places, Suzie also enjoys keeping herself in tiptop shape by snowboarding and taking daily hikes with her husband and Zumalka co-founder, Matt Lessard, and their Golden-Doodle, Westin.

Find out more about Suzie when you click HERE.

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