Must Have Puppy Essentials + Free Download Checklist
Copy: Serena Faber Nelson
Photography: As Listed
When bringing home a new puppy or older rescue dog, the task of caring for your new furry friend can be daunting – yet with our Puppy Essentials Checklist you can ensure you have everything you need before you bring your new puppy home…
1. DOG BED
A comfy dog bed for your new puppy is a must.
Whether you are crate training or have your pup’s bed in a designated spot, giving your new puppy a bed to call their own from day one helps them ease into their new surroundings while feeling safe and secure.
There are literally thousands of beds to choose from, yet my tip would be to go for a soft, plush bed that your new pup can curl up in as beds made of wicker or hard material can be too irresistible for a new puppy to chew on!
Always choose a bed that is machine washable – this makes life much easier for any new puppy owner.
2. PUPPY TRAINING PADS
Puppy training pads are a god send for any new puppy owner.
They will literally save your floors and carpet from accidents while your new puppy masters toilet training.
Puppy pads are recommended rather than newspaper as they are absorbent like nappies and scented to encourage your dog to toilet near them.
Puppy pads can be used to help toilet train your pup as well. Start by placing the pads near your dog’s bed or where they are currently relieving themselves in the house. As time goes on, slowly inch each new pad towards the door or designated toileting area. Your puppy will soon find themselves instinctually toileting in the correct spot.
3. COLLAR & LEAD
Every new puppy needs a collar and lead to go on walks and be taken on outings to the vet.
As puppies have soft skin, it’s best to get a gentle fabric collar that doesn’t rub.
A perfectly fitted puppy collar should fit snugly around the pup’s neck, with space enough for the owner to insert two fingers in between the collar and skin. As your puppy grows ensure you consistently check their collar to ensure it remains the right fit.
For more tips on choosing and caring for a dog collar visit our Dog Collar 101 Tutorial.
When choosing your puppy’s lead, opt for a short leash to ensure whilst you are training them to walk on the lead you maintain full control.
4. GROOMING: BRUSH, SHAMPOO & NAIL CLIPPERS
The earlier you can get your puppy used to being groomed the better!
Invest in a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for the sensitive puppy coat, and a soft bristle brush that is gentle on your new pup’s skin.
If you plan on filing or clipping your pup’s nails at home ensure you are trained by your vet or groomer on how to do it safely and introduce the experience to your puppy slowly with lots of treats.
5. POOP BAGS & DOG WALK CARRIER
Part of being a new pet parent is unfortunately picking up after your dog.
Make walks a breeze with a stylish pet pouch that can hold poop bags, your phone (in case of emergency) and treats.
6. FOOD & WATER BOWLS
Your new pup needs at least two dog bowls – one for food and one for water.
I prefer ceramic bowls – not only are they durable and stylish, they are too heavy for a puppy to slide around the floor. They are also easy to wash and can’t be chewed like plastic bowls.
Remember to clean your new puppy’s bowls daily and always keep fresh water available.
7. ID TAG
A ID Tag is a must for any new dog. Ditto for getting your new pet microchipped.
Your pup’s ID Tag should have your details and contact phone number clearly engraved to ensure you can be contacted if they stray from home.
Here at Pretty Fluffy we also love the Blanket ID Tags – these tags link to a database, allowing local vets and rescues to be notified if your dog goes missing.
8. PUPPY TOYS
Fun and functional, puppy toys are a MUST for any new dog owner.
Reason #1? If you don’t give your new pup something to chew on or play with, they will undoubtedly choose you most expensive pair of shoes to do so.
Purchase sturdy rubber teething toys to keep those puppy teeth occupied. Without doubt, the Puppy Kong is a must have – it’s designed to be a chewing toy, can be filled with treats and used as a ball to teach your pup to fetch.
Plush toys with squeakers are also a fun way to play and bond with your new pup, so it’s ideal to have a couple of these on hand so your dog doesn’t get bored.
9. TRAVEL CARRIER & SAFETY HARNESS
From that first car trip of taking them home, you want to ensure travel is a safe and pleasant experience for your new furry friend.
Investing in a quality travel harness (make sure it fits to local regulations) and travel carrier means you are ready to hit the road with your new pup at a moment’s notice.
10. HEALTHY FOOD & PUPPY TREATS
Last but definitely not least, now is the time to establish the habit of always having healthy dog food and treats in stock for your new pup.
Not all dog foods are created equally, so it’s important to do your research and discuss with your dog’s vet, breeder and/or shelter as to what foods are best for them as they grow.
Don’t forget to stock up on healthy treats as they will be in demand as you train your new puppy in everything from sitting to walking. Remember, treats such as fresh chicken or home made biscuits can be just as popular as the store bought variety.
In addition to the above essentials, it’s handy to stock up on:
+ Household cleaners and deodorisers for little accidents (for more tips see our article on 11 Cleaning Tips Every Dog Owner Should Know).
+ Any medications, flea or worming treatments your new pup needs.
+ A dedicated file for all your pup’s records – such as vaccination and microchip certificates.
+ To prepare your home for your pup’s arrival. Check out our 10 Ways to Puppy Proof Your Home.
Download and print your Pretty Fluffy Puppy Essentials Checklist here.
Enjoy your new puppy!
Main Slide Photography Credits (Clockwise from Top Left):
Copy: Serena Faber Nelson
Photography: As Listed