New Puppy Checklist: What to Expect When You Bring Home a Puppy

What Do I Need for a New Puppy?

what do i need for a new puppy

When you bring home a new puppy for the first time, you are ready for all of your furry dreams to come true. But are you prepared for the responsibility required to raise a happy and healthy pup? You might be wondering, what do I need for a new puppy? I wondered the same thing. After wanting a dog of my own for years, I finally decided (on somewhat of a whim) to pick up the last pup from a litter. I grew up with our family dogs, so how different would it be to have my own?

It is very different. The moment I got home my new German Shepherd puppy I realized how sorely unprepared I was. After speaking with other pet parents and puppy owners about how overwhelmed I was feeling, I was met with a lot of understanding and unsurprised responses.

“Owning a dog is truly a lifestyle.”

“I was overwhelmed at first, too. Puppies are a lot of work!”

So, how should you prepare yourself and your home for the arrival of your new furry friend? Here are some things you should consider, and a new puppy checklist.

Everything You Need Finance-Wise

Although sometimes this can be the last thing we want to think about, this should be the first thing you go over before bringing home a new dog. Puppies can be an expensive investment. An investment in your happiness, that is. So, how much should you budget for this new investment?

Here are some of the expected (and unexpected) things you will need to prepare to pay for: starter items (see the “New Puppy Checklist” below for items such as a collar, bed, and toys), ongoing expenses (such as high-quality food, treats, and chew toys – for teething puppies or if your dog is a chewer!), obedience training, vet visits, pet insurance, and emergency situations.

Puppy Training

person training their dog

It is very important to make sure you have a well-trained puppy so they can grow up into a well-behaved adult dog. Housetraining and setting boundaries for your new puppy should begin the moment that you bring them home.

Get started by teaching them these 5 basic commands: sit, stay, heel, down, and leave it. You should be teaching your puppy these commands alongside a consistent potty training schedule. 

If you are having trouble with training your puppy, it may be a good idea to register them for an obedience training class or to seek out help from a dog trainer. Group puppy training classes are also great for socialization. Consistency is key, but be sure not to work with your puppy on training for more than 20 minutes a day since they do not yet have a strong attention span.

Health & Wellness

dog at the vet

Another very important thing to consider is your new puppy’s health. Your furry family member will have several vaccinations that they will need throughout their life in addition to regular teeth cleanings, spay/neuter, and wellness checks.

Many veterinary hospitals offer puppy plans, or you can purchase pet insurance for your pup. Many puppy plans include vaccines, spay/neuter, a microchip, and free or reduced-cost vet visits. As a first-time dog owner, this option can be very appealing. Not only will this reduce the up-front costs of bringing your dog to the vet, but it can bring peace of mind. 

Since puppies explore the world with their mouths, it is best to expect the unexpected and be prepared for if/when your puppy gets into something they shouldn’t. Accidents can happen, even if you think you did a thorough puppy-proofing of the house!

What do I need for a new puppy? Stock up on basic puppy supplies.


Stainless steel bowls, leashes, puppy toys, chew toys, a dog bed, mat, dog shampoo, nail clippers, dog toothpaste, and doggie toothbrush are just some of the things you will need to get before bringing a new puppy home. Not to mention puppy food, treats, water bowls, and an ID tag.

Bring a list to the pet store to make sure you get everything you need before your puppy arrives at their new home. If you have any rooms that should be off-limits to your puppy, add a baby gate to that list too.



Be Patient 

As mentioned, accidents will happen. Crate training takes time! Your new puppy is going to pee and poop in the house while you potty train. And no matter how much you puppy proof the house, they will always find a way to get into trouble and leave something for you to clean up.

Adjusting to your new life together will be overwhelming for both you and your puppy. Make sure you give your puppy plenty of alone time in its dog crate, kennel, or playpen, and use the opportunity to take some time for yourself. Try to maintain your lifestyle as closely as possible, while integrating activities around the needs of your new furry friend.

Finally, make sure you soak up every moment with your new puppy. This will be an incredible time in both you and your puppy’s life as you both get to know each other and grow to be each other’s best friends.

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