New Puppy Checklist: The Essentials

New Puppy Checklist: The Essentials

Bringing a new puppy into your family is exciting — but you may feel a bit overwhelmed by all the things you need to do to prepare your home and make sure you pet settles in. Use this new puppy checklist to ensure you don’t overlook anything important.

1. Preparing for Your New Puppy

The first thing to do is make your home safe and comfortable for your puppy. You should also acquire everything you need at least several days in advance.

Setting Up Your Home

Decide which rooms of your home your puppy will be allowed to enter and puppy-proof them, putting dangerous items and anything you don’t want chewed out of reach. Prevent your puppy from entering rooms where he may damage items or hurt himself either by keeping the doors closed or setting up puppy gates. If you have a garden, make sure the boundaries are secure to prevent him from escaping and find out if all your plants are safe for dogs.

Next, choose the spots where he’ll have his dog bed as well as his food and water bowls. If you already have pets and need to move their beds, bowls, or litter boxes, make sure you do this ahead of time to give them time to adjust.

Essential Supplies to Pick Up

Purchase all the essentials your puppy will need to sleep, go on walks, and stay entertained. If he’ll be home alone sometimes, it will be worth having a crate.

We’ll talk more about what puppy essentials you need from each category below.

2. First Days with Your New Puppy

The first month or so you have with your new puppy is an important time for setting boundaries, keeping him healthy, and developing a bond. Use this checklist to make sure you cover everything.

The Initial 48 Hours

The first 48 hours with a new puppy are all about showing him his new home. Allow him to explore (watching where he goes) and make sure he knows where his water and bed are. All your family members should spend plenty of time with him, but you’ll also need to be ready to give him his space.

The First Week

Use your first week with your puppy to establish a routine. Set times for meals, playing, and going to bed. You should also be teaching him house rules, making sure all your family members are on the same page.

First 30 Days

Over the first 30 days, you should see your puppy’s confidence increase. Engage in a variety of activities with him to make him feel comfortable visiting new places and meeting new people.

3. Essential Items

You’ll likely find you’re constantly picking up new items for your puppy, as you’ll want to spoil him. In addition to all these extras, there are some essentials he’ll need.


The best way to make sure your puppy feels comfortable in his new home is to give him a bed he can call his own. This will help him sleep deeply (which is crucial for his health) and reduce the stress of being in a new environment. Purchase a sleep set to protect his joints as he grows — even though he’s young now, it’s important to take steps to prevent arthritis in the future.


You won’t be able to walk your puppy until he’s had all his vaccinations, but it’s a good idea to buy the equipment you’ll need early. Get him used to wearing a collar (which he’ll need for his identification tag) and teach him to walk on a leash. A comfortable harness and bungee leash is ideal because these will give you control and avoid injury to your puppy’s neck.


Even if you already have a dog, it’s worth purchasing your puppy his own toys, as puppies have some distinct needs when it comes to toys. Consider picking up a play pack to purchase all the toys you need in one.

Most important are toys your puppy can chew. Otherwise, he’ll turn to furniture, cables, and anything else he finds satisfying to bite while he’s teething. You should also have some toys he can chase — this will keep him engaged and help him use up his energy. Finally, you may like some puzzle toys to keep him entertained.

4. Health and Nutrition

Focusing on your puppy’s health and nutrition will prevent disease and other problems now and later in his life.

Choosing the Right Food

Pick high-quality food designed just for puppies. This will contain all the nutrients your puppy needs to support his growth and development.

Schedule for Vaccinations and Wellness Checks

Contact your local vet to schedule your puppy’s first checkup. He’ll also need his first or booster vaccinations and a microchip.

5. Training and Socialisation

Training should start from the moment your puppy moves into your house.

Potty Training

It will be easier to potty train your dog if you have some puppy pads for him to use whenever you’re unable to take him outside. If possible, you should also try to take him out every two hours. Praise him whenever he goes to the toilet outside or on the puppy pad.

Basic Commands

Other key training involves teaching your puppy basic commands. Teach him to come when you call him and to sit to wait patiently. He’ll learn fast if you offer plenty of praise and treats.

Socialising with Other Animals and People

Once your puppy is fully vaccinated, he can start meeting other dogs. A safe way for him to socialise is at puppy school, where he’ll meet other dogs of a similar age. It’s also ideal if you invite visitors over to your home — it shouldn’t be difficult to convince family and friends to come over to meet your new pet.

6. Grooming and Care

Depending on your puppy’s breed, he may only need occasional grooming or he may need brushing every day. Make sure you have appropriate items for him.

Brushing and Bathing

Choose a brush suitable for the length of your puppy’s fur. Give him plenty of praise as you gently brush him. You’ll also need a shampoo designed for puppies’ sensitive skin. It’s useful to have this on hand from the start in case your puppy finds a way to get dirty — which is likely to happen!

Pick up everything you need to welcome your new puppy to your home from Dog Friendly Co. You’ll spend less when you take advantage of our bundle and save. Shop now.

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