New Puppy Checklist: 14 Essentials for Your Furry Friend

Suzie Cyrenne
Authored by Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie is a Certified Homeopath and Co-Founder of Zumalka
, specializing in natural and holistic remedies for pets.
New Puppy Checklist - A chocolate Labrador puppy lying on the floor next to an open dog cage, with water and food bowls placed nearby

Bringing a new puppy home is the start of a very big commitment.

Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly think, it isn't just ensuring that your new furry family member has enough dog food and a sleeping area. Having this mindset will only lead to a lot of "accidents" coming from your new pup—not to mention the frustration and disappointment coming from your end.

Additionally, not acquiring the right puppy essentials early on can negatively impact your pet's wellness and quality of life. Besides the increased risk of disease and illness, your pet may also develop behavioral and developmental problems.

Why the need for a new puppy checklist anyway?

I've put together this blog post for seasoned and new puppy parents. As a pet homeopathic expert and dog mom, I’d like to highlight essential items to have before bringing a new puppy home. This ensures your pet will be happy, healthy, and easily adjust to their new environment.

Follow along to ensure your new puppy feels at home. You'll discover many useful tips that both you and your pup will love. This will cover everything from essential items to must-know tips and tricks. So without further ado, let's get right to it!

Why Having a Checklist is Crucial for Establishing a Puppy Home

Have you ever tried making a dish without closely following the right recipe? Chances are it ended up in disaster, right? Similarly, having a new puppy checklist is essential. It ensures you won't encounter unexpected problems when bringing your new puppy home.

These problems primarily involve two key things: house training your puppy and vet bills. As with any pet, failing to plan ahead when getting a new dog can lead to heartbreak. Some people even end up surrendering their pups to rescues or shelters.

Planning ahead with a new puppy checklist can help avoid these situations.

Making a new puppy checklist isn't that tricky.

The idea of making a checklist of puppy essentials can sound rather complicated, especially for new pet parents. However, it's actually quite simple! It involves shopping for essential items like puppy food, water bowls, toys, and dog beds. Don't worry. I’ll be with you every step of the way.

Is Expensive Always Better for Puppy Products?

The short answer is no.

In my experience as a dog mom, I've come to realize that higher price tags don't usually mean better quality. For example, some chew toys are more than twice as expensive as others due to the brand, not because of better material or durability.

It's always a good idea to be thorough when shopping for new puppy supplies.

Consider this scenario: with online shopping, you can buy puppy supplies anytime and anywhere. However, this convenience has both benefits and drawbacks for creating your new puppy checklist.

While browsing for puppy gates or dog bowls online and checking reviews is convenient, you can't be sure if a product meets both your and your pet's standards. To ensure you're getting the best quality, visiting your local pet store is the best option.

To be clear, I'm not saying that shopping online for puppy supplies is bad. I'm just stressing the importance of being thorough when getting essentials for your pup.

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

Getting supplies for new puppies is more than just choosing the most popular brand. Here are two practical strategies to help you get started. Let's go over them one by one.

Don't forget to ask for recommendations.

First, asking for recommendations from your local pet store or other dog parents can make a big difference. You'll be amazed at the helpful insights you'll receive. They can also refer you to options that offer the best value for your money.

Inspect the products yourself.

Second, remember that we all have different preferences, which can affect how we choose puppy supplies. To ensure safety and quality, always personally examine products, whether it's a leash or a chew toy.

Check for any sharp edges that could hurt your puppy's teeth. Feel the material to see if it's rough or smooth. Is it brittle? Does it bend more than it should? Paying attention to these small details can help ensure your puppy's health and wellness won't be compromised.

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

The short answer is no.

However, it's crucial to ensure your checklist is complete before bringing a puppy home. Some people get so excited that they don't realize they might inadvertently harm their new pet. This can prevent your young dog from seeing your home as a positive environment.

While it's okay to buy puppy supplies in "installments," remember that bringing your new pet home before completing your checklist can lead to problems.

The Important Things You Should Have in Your New Puppy Shopping Checklist

New Puppy Checklist - A black French Bulldog puppy wearing an orange collar and leash is standing on the grass

Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting adventure. To ensure they thrive, it's important to have all the necessary items ready.

In this part of our article, we'll cover the essential supplies your new puppy will need and offer tips for creating a happy and healthy environment. From feeding bowls to cozy beds, we'll help you prepare for your furry friend's arrival.

Remember, thorough preparation is key to providing the best start for your new companion.

#1. Puppy crate

Including a puppy crate on your checklist provides comfort and security for your new pet. Did you know it can also help with your puppy's behavioral management? Dogs generally avoid soiling their sleeping area, which is why this method is called "crate training."

There are two key factors to consider when choosing a puppy crate: size and material. The crate should be large enough to comfortably accommodate your pet. Additionally, it should be made of sturdy, "puppy-proof" material to prevent your pet from escaping.

You can choose from three types of puppy crates: wire, plastic, and soft-sided. Wire crates are the most durable. Plastic crates are ideal for travel due to their convenience. Soft-sided crates are lightweight and portable but can be flimsy and easily damaged by puppy teeth. Additionally, they can be used alongside baby gates.

#2. Food bowl

While the primary reason for your new puppy to have a food bowl is to provide a place for its meals, designating one also aids in portion control and helps establish a consistent feeding schedule.

Sharing a food bowl with other pets, particularly adult dogs and cats, can expose your puppy to illness and disease due to lingering bacteria and parasites. Since a puppy's immune system is still developing, this exposure could lead to life-threatening consequences.

When choosing a food bowl for your puppy, you have three main options: stainless steel, ceramic, and plastic. Each type comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let's explore the pros and cons of each one:

  • Stainless steel is very durable and easy to clean. It is rust-resistant and can even be cleaned using the dishwasher. Its non-porous surface prevents the growth and accumulation of bacteria. However, it can also be very noisy and some puppies may not like the "metallic" taste and smell that a stainless steel food bowl has.
  • Ceramic is sturdy and not easily tipped over, reducing the risk of spillage. It comes in various sizes and designs, offering plenty of choices. Additionally, its cool surface doesn’t warm up quickly, making it comfortable to handle. However, ceramic can be quite heavy and is prone to cracking or breaking, especially if dropped at an angle.
  • Plastic is very lightweight and the most affordable of all choices. However, it can cause allergic reactions in some puppies and is prone to bacterial growth. One significant disadvantage of plastic food bowls is their tendency to develop sharp edges with continued use, which can hurt your pup. Despite its affordability and light weight, the potential health risks make plastic a less desirable option for pet food bowls.

#3. Collar

Did you know that aside from identification, ensuring your new puppy has a collar can also help prevent flea and tick infestations? In addition, there are places where it is legally required for dogs, regardless of age, to wear a collar. This ensures that they will be returned to the right owner should they get lost.

While there are several options to choose from when it comes to collars—such as the flat collar, the breakaway collar, and the Martingale collar—I recommend the flat collar. It is the most comfortable and easiest for puppies to adjust to.

#4. Toys

The most important reason to include toys in your new puppy checklist is for mental stimulation. Toys help burn off your puppy's excess energy, which can become problematic if not properly managed. Without consistent mental engagement, puppies—especially those from high-energy breeds—may exhibit destructive behaviors.

Ensuring your puppy has access to a variety of stimulating toys can prevent such issues and promote a healthier, happier pet.

When it comes to selecting toys for your puppy, you have several excellent options, including interactive, chew, plush, fetch, and tug toys. Each type can significantly aid in your puppy's social and behavioral development. Given their young age and playful antics, I highly recommend starting with teething or chew toys.

These are especially beneficial in addressing your puppy's natural urge to chew while soothing their teething discomfort. Just like human babies, most puppies love to chew on things when their teeth are coming in.

It’s important to choose toys that are not too hard, which can damage their developing teeth, or too soft, which they can quickly destroy or can be a choking hazard. Finding the right balance ensures the toys are durable and safe, providing relief for their teething discomfort without wasting money.

#5. Puppy brush

Many people mistakenly think that having a puppy brush is just about removing bits of debris and dirt from pet hair. However, it also helps you detect health problems such as lumps, cuts, rashes, and wounds while bonding with your pet.

Although there are many puppy brushes to choose from, each type serves a particular purpose. Rubbery curry and bristle brushes are ideal for short-haired breeds, while undercoat rakes are designed for double-coated breeds. Pin brushes are best for long-haired breeds, and slicker brushes are perfect for curly-haired breeds.

#6. Name tag

While identification is the primary reason for giving new puppies a name tag, these tags also serve several other crucial functions. They can include essential information such as the puppy's address, medical details, and other important data. Additionally, modern name tags, along with collars and leashes, can be customized to suit the preferences of pet parents.

#7. Wet wipes

Just like teething toys, wet wipes should be a priority on your new puppy checklist. They are incredibly convenient for handling the frequent accidents that come with having a puppy. Additionally, wet wipes can be used for quick grooming sessions, keeping your puppy clean and fresh between baths.

In my experience as a dog mom, I highly recommend using wet wipes that are free of fragrances, alcohol, and similar chemicals, as these can irritate a puppy's sensitive nose. Interestingly, puppies seem to prefer non-scented wet wipes, which are just as effective as their scented counterparts.

#8. Leash

The most significant functions of providing your new puppy with a leash are safety and control. Allowing them to move unrestrained, especially in public areas, can lead to disaster. Additionally, using a leash helps ensure that socialization with people and other dogs is a pleasant experience.

While there are many leash material options to choose from, such as chain, leather, and nylon, select the one that best suits your puppy's size and chewing habits. Pro-tip: always prioritize durability over aesthetics when it comes to leashes.

#9. Puppy food

Choosing the right puppy food is a vital part of your new puppy checklist. It doesn't just nourish your pet—it also supports his physiological development. However, contrary to popular belief, not all puppy foods are created equal. Understanding these differences ensures your puppy gets the best start in life.

While I’m not endorsing any particular brand, it's essential to select puppy food that is rich in protein, balanced in nutrients, and packed with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Be sure to carefully review the ingredients list and seek advice from fellow dog owners.

These nutrients are crucial for your puppy’s growth and overall health. Protein aids in muscle development, essential fatty acids promote a healthy coat and skin, and vitamins and minerals support comprehensive well-being.

#10. Puppy chews and treats

While treats and chews are similar to regular dog food, they are more like "guilty pleasures" for your pet. They can be given as desserts after a meal or as rewards for positive behavior."

I highly recommend using the same standards when choosing puppy chews and treats. Look for options with beneficial ingredients rather than those high in salt or sugar. Interestingly, some treats support dental health, while others are perfect for training classes.

#12. Poop bags

Aside from maintaining cleanliness and training your new puppy with a consistent bathroom schedule, it's crucial to include poop bags in your checklist. In some areas, carrying poop bags is a legal requirement. Without them, you cannot take your dog—regardless of age—outside. Ensuring you have poop bags on hand not only helps in keeping public spaces clean but also avoids potential legal issues.

Another important reason to carry poop bags is to show respect for others. While accidents can happen anytime, being prepared is essential. Always have poop bags on hand and use them alongside other cleaning products like wet wipes. This preparation ensures you can quickly and efficiently clean up after your puppy, keeping public spaces pleasant for everyone.

#13. Water bowl

Building on the same standards highlighted earlier for choosing a water bowl for your new puppy, it's crucial to ensure that your young dog has access to fresh, clean water. Besides preventing dehydration and ensuring the delivery of nutrients to where they are needed, providing clean water plays a key role in maintaining ideal cell function and joint lubrication.

#14. Puppy toothbrush and toothpaste

Neglecting your puppy's oral care can quickly lead to serious gum problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease. Therefore, including a good toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for puppies is crucial when assembling your puppy supplies checklist.

Did you know that aside from the usual chicken, beef, and fish varieties, puppy toothpastes also come in interesting flavors like herbs and spices, sweet potato, and peppermint?

Puppies Also Need to Have An Immune Health Boost

Let’s face it: a puppy's immune system is not as developed as that of an adult dog. That’s why adding a natural product like IMMUNOPET to your puppy shopping list is a smart move. IMMUNOPET is designed to boost white blood cell count, equipping your puppy’s body to combat various bacterial and viral infections.

Having IMMUNOPET in your pet care arsenal ensures that your new puppy won’t be vulnerable to unexpected diseases and illnesses."


From the very beginning, bringing a new puppy into your home is a significant commitment. Shopping for the right supplies is just the start. Equally important is consulting with your vet or pet wellness expert to ensure your puppy stays happy and healthy.


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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