The day you’ve been looking forward to is right around the corner. Your new puppy will join your family and you definitely want to be prepared for that.
Bringing a new puppy home can be a financial burden and you can quickly become overwhelmed by all the options available online.
This exciting part of your life shouldn’t be clouded by headaches on whether or not to buy this new fancy collar.
You will have enough on your mind already and when the puppy sets its first paw into your home, it needs to be prepped and proofed.
That’s why you will want to stick to the essentials and this ultimate puppy checklist includes all the things you will need for your new companion.
This checklist applies to potential dog adopters as well so go and check out that article if you’re interested in giving a rescue a home.
Before we get into any essential products, it’s best to thoroughly clean and puppy proof your house.
This way, all the important stuff will be within reach and you will set yourself up for success.
1. Clean Up
Before the puppy arrives at your home make sure to clean everything with a vacuum and remove any tiny objects that could be swallowed by the dog.
Puppies are like toddlers, they want to experience everything with their mouth so supervision will always be necessary. Also, look behind cabinets and drawers.
Tiny objects can easily get stuck there and a puppy will work like a trained tracking dog if he wants to retrieve something, even though it probably shouldn’t be retrieved.
2. Remove Chewable Objects
Pick up everything that shouldn’t be on the floor like laundry, shoes, and cardboard boxes. Remove any destructible objects like expensive rugs or cushions.
Check every plant in your home and make sure that it is not toxic to a dog.
Many dogs die every year from poisonous plants that are common in yards or homes like oleander, daffodil, day lilies or tulips.
If you suspect that your puppy has swallowed anything he shouldn’t have or experiences signs of illness, take him to the vet immediately. Quick actions can save lives.
Make sure to check out my article on puppy biting once you encounter any issues (or better yet – to prevent any issues from occurring).
3. Store Wires & Cords
No puppy should be able to chew on cords and wires. Store them behind furniture or out of reach.
You can hook cords to the back of your furniture or you could buy cable wrap to bundle them together.
4. Secure Cleaners
Secure any chemical cleaners, paint, or any other dangerous liquid that could be swallowed by your puppy.
I like to store them in my lower cabinet under the sink in the kitchen (where my dog isn’t allowed to go anyway).
If you cannot close the kitchen when you leave your dog alone then rather place them on a high shelf or stow them away where he won’t be able to reach them.
Also, check the package instructions and do your research online before using certain cleaners on the floor or when washing his bedding.
Cleaners can easily irritate their sensitive skin and many leave a strong chemical scent that shouldn’t be breathed in by anyone.
When I am cleaning areas where my dog frequently stays, I like to use a 1:1 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water.
Even if she accidentally licks the floor after cleaning, I won’t have to worry about any consequences.
When washing your puppy’s stuff, you can use a few drops of pet shampoo as a safe detergent.
5. Properly Store Medication
What shouldn’t be near children, shouldn’t be near puppies or other pets.
Properly store your medication in their original containers and with the intact label.
Organize and separate pet pills from human prescriptions. There are actually many cases in which owners have accidentally taken their pet’s medication or vice versa.
Pet pills often times carry a strong and tasty scent that encourages the dog to consume it with his meal.
But this scent can also lure them to the medication cabinet, so every pill should be air sealed and out of reach.
If you don’t find a place that would be safe you can also buy a small drug cabinet with a lock or any other lockable box.
6. Close Trash Cans
All dogs love food, so raiding the trash isn’t unusual.
Learn how I trained my pup at home to make sure that habits like this don’t occur in the first place.
If possible, close the door to the kitchen if it’s located in a separate room. Baby gates can be used in an open kitchen.
You could also hide the bin inside a low pantry with an optional child-safe lock.
7. Spraying Furniture (Optional)
You can hinder your dog from chewing on the furniture by spraying the legs with a taste deterrent.
Dogs, in general, hate spicy beverages like hot sauce or pepper. Citrus or vinegar are other options that many dogs despise.
Some dogs are actually attracted to some of these tastes, so you will have to test if they actually act as repellants to your dog.
Download Your Essential New Puppy Checklist
I have created a downloadable and printable checklist for you to get perfectly prepared for your new puppy.
Just check off the stuff you already have and go out and buy what’s left to make sure your puppy will have a great start.
The following list includes all my recommendations for a new puppy:
- Poop bags
- Food & Water Bowl
- Yummy Treats
- Puppy Pads
- Chew Treats
- Chew Toy
- Fetch Toy
- Dog Bed
- Foldable Bowls
- Dog Toothbrush
- Dog Brush
- Nail Clippers
- Dog Shampoo
- Enzyme Spray
Now that you have bought all the basic puppy essentials, you can relax and make sure your puppy arrives safely in his new forever home.
This is where the fun part begins, namely bonding. Remember to not slack with your pup’s socialization though.
If you’re anything like me, you probably want to prepare for the first night too since you won’t have the time or nerve to deal with this when it’s already going downhill.
And that’s why I also wrote an article on your puppy’s first night at home (with a great secret on how to deal with whining in your dog’s crate at night).
If you’re not even sure about basic stuff like which type of harness to pick, I’ve got you covered with my linked article.
Make sure to leave a comment below if you’re about to get a new pup or if you want to share experiences from back in the day when your canine member joined the family!
Monday 15th of March 2021
Danielle....... despite having owned several dogs, it's been 7 years since I lost my most-loved-Schnauzer-ever. I will be bringing a new Schnauzer baby home in a few weeks and greatly appreciate the info you offer. I consider your many articles to be a refresher course in "Puppies:101". Thanks!
Tuesday 16th of March 2021
Hi Nancy, losing a beloved dog is always hard but glad to hear you're soon introducing one into your life again!
I'm so glad my articles help you, let me know if you have any questions!
Wish you the best with your new pup, Danielle
Thursday 11th of June 2020
Just wondering, why a collar and a harness?
Thursday 11th of June 2020
collar to teach leash-walking and harness for things like outside play/training sessions where you need to secure your dog with a long leash (or puppy classes when you don't have a release & recall yet to restrain your pup).
Also, it's good to get your dog used to both in case he has a sensitive neck after a surgery, illness or whatever.
Tuesday 25th of June 2019
Interesting, will come back here more often.
Tuesday 9th of April 2019
After going over a handful of the blog posts on your site, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future.
Thursday 30th of May 2019
I am glad that you like it!