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New Puppy Checklist – COMPLETE New Dog Shopping List!

June 13th, 2019. Last Updated April 2nd, 2020

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A dog looking super happy splashing around at the beach.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for various pet products. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Expecting a new puppy soon? Congratulations on your decision–a dog will bring you years of fun and companionship.

You’ll also be taking on new responsibilities and honing new skills you’ve probably never had to use before. Like picking up poop.

Whether this is your first dog or your fifth, you’re ready for this new adventure.

Before all that though, there’s one huge thing on your to-do list: a shopping trip.

What exactly do you need to buy to succeed when it comes to caring for a new dog or puppy?

In this article, we’ll share our complete new puppy shopping checklist. Regardless of whether you’re adopting a dog or bringing a new puppy home from a breeder, make sure your shopping list includes everything you need from this master checklist!

Me carrying Yuna in front of an interesting looking sculpture!
Yuna and I present... the ultimate new puppy checklist!!!

Organization Of This Post

There are a LOT of dog-related products you could add to your cart. Simply listing them out in laundry list fashion wouldn’t do you justice.

Different items on the list have different levels of necessity. Also, some items, like treats, you could buy well in advance. Others on the checklist, like a well-fitting collar, should probably wait until after you get your new dog.

We’ll organize this list in the following ways:

  • Essentials vs. Non-Essentials
  • Buy Before vs. Buy After getting your dog
  • For Non-Essentials only: 3 levels of recommendation, from Highly Recommended, to Recommended, to Optional.

We’ll define each of these in more detail.

Essentials vs. Non-Essentials

Out of the myriad of things you could consider putting on your shopping list, some are more essential than others.

This post will make the distinction between “essentials” and “non-essentials.”

What are essentials? Well, I see them as items you’ll need to use repeatedly throughout your dog’s life, as often as every month, week, or day.

Basically, if you’ve got a dog in the house, I better find these “essentials” lying around somewhere!

What are non-essentials? These are items that, depending on your dog and your situation, may or may not make sense for you. These items can make life with your dog a heck of a lot easier, or they might be completely inapplicable.

My suggestion is to have all the items on the essential checklist on hand before your new puppy arrives. You’ll need them from the get go.

For the non-essentials, you can choose to wait on them. If you know the specific circumstances of the dog you’re bringing home, you should pick up the items that make sense. For example, if you’re adopting a dog that isn’t yet housebroken, pee pads and carpet cleaner become super essentials.

Buy Before vs. Buy After Getting Your Dog

For each item, we’ll also throw in a suggestion as to whether you should buy it before getting your dog, or wait until after.

This is such an important detail that many other new puppy checklists out there omit.

For example, if you buy a huge bag of dog food before knowing what food your dog is currently on, you’re almost guaranteed diarrhea in the first few days.

A caveat: certain items don’t really have this time aspect. You could buy them either before or after. Since we assume here that you’ll be keeping your dog, and that we really emphasize being prepared, we’ll recommend that these items be bought beforehand.

For Non-Essentials Only: 3 Levels of Recommendation

Just because we consider an item a general “non-essential,” doesn’t mean that they’re all “optional.”

We’ll give each non-essential one of three levels of recommendation:

Highly Recommended: As the name suggests, we highly recommend these items, though there’s a chance they may not work for everyone.

Recommended: We prefer having these items on hand to make our lives easier, and to handle any unexpected accidents or events.

Optional: We would consider these not a requirement in general.

Online Shopping

An aside on shopping online for these items: we certainly do recommend going to a store for most of these items.

But sometimes, you just need to quickly order items last-minute. That’s where online retailers come in handy.

For each item we introduce, we’ll have direct links to these products at online retailers.

That being said, while we do highly recommend pet product retailers like Petco and Chewy, we realized that most readers of this post are first-time dog owners. In light of that, we’ve preferred Amazon links for each of the items below, as more users will already have an Amazon account set up.

New Puppy "Essentials" Checklist

We’re going to go over the essentials first. These apply to everyone adopting any dog, from puppyhood to seniorhood!

An infographic showing a checklist of essential items to buy when welcoming a new dog.

1. Food

Timing: Buy After

It's useful to speak to your breeder or shelter to figure out what food the dog is on first, so you don't upset their stomach.

There’s a reason food tops the list of dog things to buy. Dogs love food. And they’ll waste no time communicating that to you.

But it’s more than just having food readily available.

What food you buy matters! Choosing a good diet for your dog could add years to their life. You’ve got many options here–kibble? Wet food?

Within each option, there’s a lot more to delve into. How do you know if the ingredients are top notch? How do you navigate around all the jargon printed on those packages (“beef” vs. “beef meal”)?

It can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we wrote this Guide On How To Feed Your Dog–it answers everything from “so what is kibble anyway?” to how to fluently read an ingredient list.

Note: we recommend picking a good kibble or canned wet food to start, especially if this is your first dog. Considerations on moving your dog to a more advanced diet, like feeding home-cooked or raw, are best done under the guidance of a vet or other professional.

Quantity

How much dog food should you buy to start out? I would recommend starting out with a smaller bag, something that would last your dog around two weeks maximum.

This makes sense because you can’t be sure what your new dog’s stomach is sensitive to. Before committing your entire cupboard to one type of dog food, test the waters first.

Our Recommendations

We like Taste of the Wild. It’s high-protein, grain-free, and affordable.

Taste of the Wild uses real ingredients. The flavor Yuna likes, Pacific Stream, contains salmon as the number one ingredient. Salmon is great for omega fatty acids and maintaining a healthy coat!

We supplement Taste of the Wild with some boiled veggies or meat. I highly recommend this to treat your dog and further improve the quality of their diet. We have some recipes to enhance kibble in the post below!

READ: 4 Easy Dog Food Recipes ANYONE Can Make!

Purchase Links

2. Bowls

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. As long as you know what size your future dog is, you can get appropriately-sized bowls.

Now that you’ve got the food, you’re going to need bowls. This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Note that you might want a bowl holder. Check out number 25 below; the holder we recommend comes with two bowls.

Quantity

To start off, I’d recommend getting at least one food bowl, and one water bowl.

Both bowls should ideally have a non-skid rubber base so your dog doesn’t end up moving the food bowl everywhere as they eat.

Our Recommendations

We’ll stick with something you can’t go wrong with: the AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Bowl. Cheap and gets the job done. And it has that rubber base to stop your dog from moving it all over the place as they eat and drink.

It comes in a two-pack on Amazon, so that’ll work for food and water.

Some dogs eat too fast for their own good. For that, we have a special recommendation: try out Outward Hound’s Slo-Feeder Bowls. They’ve really helped Yuna and her sensitive stomach!

READ: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slow-Bowl Product Review

Purchase Links

3. Collar

Timing: Buy After

It's best to wait until you can take precise measurements of your dog's neck first.

Every dog needs a collar! Since you’ll be using this everyday, make sure it’s one that fits well.

There are a couple types of collars to choose from, but if you’re just starting out, we recommend getting a regular adjustable flat collar. For puppies, you’ll have many chances to get new collars as they outgrow them.

For more details, we cover everything you need to know in our full guide on Choosing A Dog Collar!

Quantity

Practically, one collar is all you need. However, we are well aware that some dog owners have practically created a separate wardrobe just for their dogs.

A collar really is the only main way you get to dress up your dog everyday, so it’s totally up to you to get as many collars as you like!

Our Recommendations

Being a huge Disney fan, our daily leashes are obviously Disney themed. Our Disney x Yuna content shows this off–read all about it below.

READ: Disney x Yuna: Mickey Mouse Checkerboard Dog Collar & Bandana by Disney Tails

Purchase Links

4. ID Tag

Timing: Buy After

We thought it only fitting to buy the ID Tag after the collar, and after you've settled on a name for the dog. Kinda hard to do without having the dog first.

Attached to your dog’s collar should be an ID tag. It has your pet’s name and your contact information on it, should they ever wander and get lost.

Quantity

Again, one is enough. But to save the hassle of switching over the tag every time you switch collars, it’s more accurate to say one per collar!

Our Recommendations

This will come down to your own preference. We like ones that allow you to put multiple lines of text on a side, so you have the flexibility of including multiple phone numbers or email addresses.

For example, this customizable ID Tag by io tags is cheap, cute, and allows four lines of text on the back side.

Purchase Links

5. Leash

Timing: Buy After

You could get a leash beforehand, but since we're getting the collar (and optional harness) later, it wouldn't really make sense.

As part of getting a dog, you promise to take them out to exercise every single day, right? Right?!

Since you’ll be using that leash everyday, it’s another reason to make sure you get a good one.

For leashes, there are a couple variables to consider–material, length, and thickness. These three factors will determine its overall durability and ease of use!

Want to pick the most reliable leash with the best features for you and your dog? We’ve written a complete Guide To Picking A Dog Leash designed to help you out with just that.

Quantity

One is enough, but as many as it takes to make you and your dog happy.

Our Recommendations

As with collars, we’re again pretty skewed towards Disney. We featured the Mickey Mouse set by Disney Tails earlier, so below is the Minnie Mouse counterpart.

READ: Minnie Mouse Dog Bandana and Leash by Disney Tails

We’ve also used regular nylon leashes and they get the job done. To complement the Blueberry Pet collar we recommended earlier, try out Blueberry Pet’s leashes! They’re also made of nylon and are affordable and durable.

Purchase Links

6. Bed

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, we are huge proponents of preparing your house for a dog the moment they step through the door. That means having their bedroom ready.

Before getting Yuna, I really didn’t expect her to sleep as much as she does.

I had this mental image of a rambunctious dog running around the house, always causing trouble. Yuna completely shattered that expectation.

She, like many other dogs, spends a good chunk of her day lying around. It’s important that you find them a good bed that’s big enough and thick enough to support their entire weight. Bonus points if they’re waterproof in case your dog has any accidents!

Quantity

Just one bed is usually enough, though you may want to set up more depending on the size of your house.

Even though your dog may convert all sofas, Lovesacs, La-Z-Boys to dog beds, they still need one to call their own.

Our Recommendations

Yuna’s comfort is paramount so we splurged on a bed here. She loves resting her head against various objects as if needing a pillow, so we got this bed with a raised “frame” from PetFusion.

We recommend getting one size up than what you need. The bed may appear very large, but that’s due to the raised frame. A larger size allows them to curl up or sprawl out if they want.

Put simply, Yuna loves this bed (we got the Extra Large). She can rest her head on it however she wants, or completely stretch out on it. The bed isn’t cheap, but it is definitely one of the better investments we’ve made in making sure Yuna has a nice place to rest.

Yuna’s first bed was actually a much cheaper option we picked up at Costco. It was also a memory foam bed, extremely similar to this one by Barkbox.

That bed is 3’’ thick and can fully support most size dogs–and the extra large option adds another inch of thickness.

Purchase Links

7. Shampoo

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. There's reason to wait on this… and also, you might want to give your dog a bath right after they get home.

Some dog owners argue that shampoo is a non-essential because they take their pets to professional groomers for baths.

It makes sense–we take Yuna to a groomer too. Professionals know what they’re doing, and you spare your shower drain from getting clogged with fur.

Even so, I guarantee you there will be times where your dog just wants to get dirty, and you’ll be forced to bathe your dog yourself.

Trust me, you want to always have a bottle of dog shampoo no matter what. And besides, it can be fun to bathe your dog.

Quantity

A bottle of dog shampoo can last a long time–likely much longer than you think. Especially if you plan on taking your dog to the groomer for baths as well.

Just getting one bottle is probably more than enough.

Our Recommendations

Right after adopting Yuna, I was recommended Earthbath’s all natural pet shampoo and we have loved it ever since. They are 100% biodegradable and hypo-allergenic. And different flavors and versions of the shampoo can help relieve various issues, like dry or itchy skin.

Currently, we love the Mango Tango shampoo flavor by Earthbath. I love me some mango scent and this 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo helps soften, smoothen, and detangle Yuna’s coat.

By default, we would probably recommend Earthbath’s Fragrance Free version. It’s for those who want a clean dog without coating them with extra unnatural fragrances.

Purchase Links

8. Brush

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. No reason to wait on this. After your dog’s first bath, you should give them a nice brushing.

Soon, you are going to start wondering why everything in your house is growing fur.

To reduce random shedding, a general recommendation is to brush your dog’s fur once a week, and maybe more depending on breed.

Getting a quality brush and developing the habit of frequent brushing will make cleaning your house less of a hassle!

Quantity

Always have at least one brush at the ready.

Our Recommendations

Yuna’s first brush was this Well & Good Pink Brush. She must have been groomed before because she immediately allowed me to brush her without fidgeting. I think she even enjoys it.

We’ve also used this pair of Kennels & Kats Grooming Gloves. Its primary advantage is that it allows me to brush anywhere without worrying about irritating Yuna’s skin, and makes brushing sessions just like petting sessions.

READ: Kennels & Kats Pet Grooming Glove Review

Purchase Links

9. Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. There's definitely no need to wait for good dental hygiene!

Your dog’s dental health is of the utmost importance. We’ll let this Lab Report do the talking!

An infographic showing the importance of brushing your dog's teeth.

Quantity

Please make sure you’ve got one toothbrush per dog in the house. Dogs, like humans, should not share toothbrushes!

Now, we know that some dogs out there may be extremely unwilling to have their teeth brushed. However, if you don’t at least try within the first week of your dog coming home, that’s on you.

If you find that you still can’t brush your dog’s teeth without getting bitten, make sure you’re stocked on dental chews. You have to get the plaque off your dog’s teeth one way or another.

Our Recommendations

We use this super simple and affordable toothbrush and toothpaste set from Arm & Hammer. It features a double-sided toothbrush for large or small dogs, as well as a good amount of toothpaste–we get the Banana Mint flavor.

Remember to change a dog’s toothbrush every 3-6 months, just as humans do. If you purchase the Arm & Hammer set, you should be able to finish the toothpaste in that timeframe if you brush daily. Then simply get a new set!

Purchase Links

10. Toys & Chews

Timing: Buy Before

It’ll be good to have a couple of toys ready to occupy your dog from the very start.

If you asked dogs what they need, they’d surely say toys.

Before you fill that shopping cart, make sure you check out our Complete Guide To Dog Toys to pick out the best variety for your pup.

The toys you select can have a profound impact on your dog’s development. Crafting a diverse toy box for your dog and spending time everyday playing with your dog promotes activity and a stronger bond.

A dog with her paws up on her human.

Quantity

Honestly, it’s hard to say. Many dog owners have too many toys to count. They’re just scattered all over the house.

Having too many toys isn’t ideal for your dog or your wallet. Realistically, your dog probably has a handful of favorites to play with–there’s no way a dog will give equal attention to a hundred toys.

We recommend starting with around ten, maybe fifteen toys of different shapes and sizes to see what your dog is interested in.

Our Recommendations

Yuna is really into plushes. I would be remiss to not forward her highest recommendation: the classic porcupine (or is it a hedgehog?!) squeak toy from Outward Hound. Inside, it has both a squeaker and a grunter. From our experience, this is one of the more durable plushes out there.

Apart from that, she also has this more interactive Squirrel Toy from Outward Hound. It’s a creative toy that adds an extra layer of mental stimulation to playtime.

We’re also slowly getting more into tennis balls and even frisbees, but Yuna is a true softie. She’ll stick with plushies no matter what.

Finally, bully sticks! Some may consider them a snack more than a toy, but Yuna loves them so much that this was the only object I could use in the beginning to get her to do a fetch.

Bully sticks have become the one of the highest forms of currency I use for training and playing with Yuna.

Specifically, we love Jack & Pup’s 12-inch bully sticks. For small dogs, I’d recommend their 6-inch version instead.

READ: jack & pup 12’’ Bully Sticks Review

Purchase Links

11. Treats

Timing: Buy Before

And consider bringing some to the day you meet your dog.

Treats. A.K.A. how to get your dog to love you fast.

I find it a little surprising that not all dog owners choose to feed their dog treats. If it’s due to health issues, then I can understand–we’ve had to stop Yuna’s treat intake at one point due to her acute pancreatitis.

But health issues aside, if your dog is able to take treats, I think you should let him have the good stuff! They’ve got a short life. Treat them!

A dog posing cutely in front of a beautiful doggy birthday cake.

Just be sure not to allow your pup to overindulge. The general rule is to not let treats take up more than 10% of your dog’s diet.

We’ve written up a whole Guide to Picking And Feeding Your Dog Treats. Check it out for all our tips.

Quantity

As with food, I think going for a smaller bag will suit you well, just in case your dog doesn’t like any of the treats you buy.

Smaller bags will also allow you to change up your treats, so your dog doesn’t get bored of the same currency during training sessions.

We also highly recommend some dental chews, which can serve as a nice alternative to regular tooth brushing.

Our Recommendations

I swear, once Yuna saw and smelled these Farmland Traditions Chicken Jerky Treats, there was no getting her attention off of them. It is pure chicken breast with no filler, so it’s super healthy and delicious for your dog.

The only downside was that it was really tough to break into small pieces. We just boil chicken breast now and use those as occasional treats.

Yuna’s first bag of treats ever was this bag of P-Nuttier biscuits by Old Mother Hubbard. It was an instant hit.

Currently, we’re working on a bag of classic Milk Bone biscuits, featuring lamb and spring vegetables. You really can’t go wrong with anything Milk Bone.

And one more necessity to introduce: Yuna’s favorite dental chews. Not only can this 3 pack of Dentastix by Pedigree (51 count total) clean plaque and tartar, but it’s also incredibly entertaining to watch your dog chew.

Purchase Links

12. Poop Bags

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. Stock up! Always be ready to scoop the poop.

Last, but definitely not least, you’ve got to have poop bags.

It’s no fun picking up after your dog, but it’s your full responsibility. Dog poop can spread dangerous bacteria and parasites such as Salmonella, Tapeworms, E.Coli, and Parvo which can make dogs and humans alike very sick.

Quantity

Invest in a good amount of poop bag rolls, perhaps more than you think you’ll need. You’ll be needing them for a while.

Our Recommendations

I never thought I’d see the day where I could recommend poop bags to my audience, but alas! Check out these Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags.

At the time of this post, those poop bags are ranked #1 in all Dog Products on Amazon. Kudos to Earth Rated!

Purchase Links

New Puppy "Non-Essentials" Checklist

Now that we’ve shared the 12 essentials you must have, we’re ready to see the second half of this new puppy checklist.

As we previously mentioned, each item here will get a rating of “highly recommended,” “recommended,” or “optional” to help you prioritize what you might need.

13. Crate

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. This goes along with setting up the bedroom and general home space for your dog before they arrive.

Recommendation Level: Highly Recommended

This will depend on how well your dog is housebroken.

If your dog isn’t crate trained, we really recommend getting one. Teaching your dog to treat his crate like its own private den has many potential benefits, and is not cruel in any way.

A dog laying in her crate, observing a Christmas stocking hanging from her crate door.

For example, leaving your dog in a crate with a stuffed Kong toy or chew toy can teach them to occupy themselves when you’re not around. It also keeps them safe and away from gnawing on other things in the house… such as your furniture.

Crate training can also help accelerate the housebreaking process.

Quantity

In general, you only need one crate. One possible exception would be if you plan on dedicating one crate for the car for future road trips.

Just be mindful of sizing. The perfect size crate is one that allows your dog to stand and lay down comfortably, but should not be oversized.

Our Recommendations

We feel that a wire crate, such as this Folding Metal Dog Crate from MidWest, gives you the best of both worlds. It is quick to assemble and also quick to fold up for transport.

The only downside is some dogs prefer a solid, plastic crate to feel more secure. That’s why MidWest also produces crate covers, but you may choose to just get a plastic crate anyway.

Purchase Links

14. Dog Playpen

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. Along with setting up a crate, you may want to wall off an area using a playpen to mark your dog’s full home space.

Recommendation Level: Optional

Recommended for those of you getting puppies.

Playpens are useful for restricting your dog’s movement around your house. As we mentioned before, this can help greatly with potty training.

A playpen can also provide a larger area for your dog to move around while you’re unable to attend to them, i.e. if you’re at work.

Quantity

Just one playpen is sufficient.

Our Recommendations

While we’ve never had a playpen for Yuna herself, we’ve had doggy friends who have found great success with this simple foldable metal playpen by AmazonBasics.

Make sure you buy one with a suitable height for your dog. Needless to say, a playpen is totally useless if your dog can easily escape it.

Purchase Links

15. Flea Medication

Timing: Buy After

Probably after seeing a vet first, and confirming your dog should be on a flea preventative.

Recommendation Level: Highly Recommended

We were torn between whether we should've included this in the new puppy essentials checklist. Honestly, for most dogs this is an essential.

City dogs may or may not need this. But it’s still highly recommended, as fleas can very easily jump from dog to dog.

If you plan on going on any dog-friendly hikes, this is a must!

READ: Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs

Quantity

If you pick a topical flea treatment such as Revolution, which is what we currently use for Yuna, you’ll just need one box to start. It typically contains six doses, each of which lasts one month.

Our Recommendations

As mentioned above, we use Revolution. We apply one of the small vials to Yuna’s skin once a month and it prevents her from getting fleas.

Make sure you get the correct dosage of Revolution if you do get it–an overdose of this can be extremely harmful or even fatal for your pet.

Purchase Links

We get Revolution at our local vet. There are no links on Amazon as of this writing.

16. Harness

Timing: Buy After

If you choose to get a harness, it makes sense to get one along with a collar--after you get your dog.

Recommendation Level: Recommended

While we recommend using a harness ourselves, not every new dog or puppy will be comfortable using one, so we'll mark it Recommended in our checklist.

Having a good collar and leash is enough for going on daily walks. But you may still be in the process of teaching your dog proper walking behavior, and you’re getting wary of putting so much strain on their neck.

A harness will not completely solve pulling issues. That is on you. But they can be a useful tool to help you with that aspect of dog training while shifting the stress onto your dog’s chest area.

A lot of people wonder if they should use a collar or harness for their dog. We go in depth into this question in this article.

If you’ve decided that a harness is a better solution for you, don’t miss our Guide To Picking A Dog Harness.

Quantity

If you’re just trying it out, get one harness to start. We recommend getting your pet’s measurements down exactly if you buy online. Trying one on is the best way to ensure a good fit.

Our Recommendations

We’ve been rocking with the Kurgo Dog Harness. It’s sturdy, has a front and back clip, a car seat belt attachment, and a very reasonable price.

When we want to kick it up a notch, we bring out our Disney harnesses. Check it out in the article below!

READ: Mickey Mouse Dog Harness by Disney Tails

Back view of a dog looking to the side, showing off her Mickey Mouse harness.

Purchase Links

17. The Classic Kong

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. Good to have a Kong or two ready beforehand.

Recommendation Level: Optional

The Kong is THE classic chew toy.

It teaches your dog acceptable chewing. It stimulates them mentally as they work to earn whatever you stuff inside it.

Kong stuffing has become something people take quite seriously on the Internet, with tons of recipes, such as these on Kong’s own site.

Quantity

It depends on your intended usage.

If you’re looking to freeze your Kongs (and this is recommended for dogs that already love the Kong and know what to do with it), you’ll likely need at least three or four. You’ll be able to save time by stuffing them all in one go and leaving them in the freezer. It’s meal prepping for dogs!

If you’re a Kong newbie, start with just one or two. You can experiment with different stuffings while always guaranteeing that you have one Kong ready.

Our Recommendations

Here’s a 2-pack of large regular Kongs. If your dog is a mighty chewer, the Black Extreme Toy version is for you.

Purchase Links

18. Clothes

Timing: Buy After

Clothes require a specific fit for each dog.

Recommendation Level: Optional

Highly dependent on breed and climate.

Most dogs in most climates probably don’t need clothes. However, if you live somewhere especially cold, or you’ve got a small dog, make sure your dog has a couple of sweaters.

Our Guide To Dog Clothes will help you determine whether your dog could use an extra coat around their natural coat.

Quantity

For dogs, clothes are a quality over quantity game. You can definitely make do with just one sweater, as long as it keeps your dog warm.

We cover this more in the guide, but this means that it covers the majority of their underbelly as well as their entire back (from the shoulders to the base of the tail). At the same time, it should not impede walking or pottying.

Our Recommendations

It’s tough to recommend a dog sweater, since brands make them in all sorts of different sizes. It’s not a one size fits all type of deal!

For your first sweater, I would recommend going to a pet store, picking one you like, and trying it on your dog.

That being said, this Kurgo dog jacket is perfect for the outdoor pup. It’s lightweight, water-resistant, and perfect for hiking dogs.

Purchase Links

19. Cleaning Wipes

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so.

Recommendation Level: Optional

This right here is the secret to keeping your dog clean without bathing them too frequently. Cleaning wipes are a true godsend.

I give Yuna’s paws, limbs, belly, and back a quick wipe down after our final walk every single day. Yuna sometimes decides to hijack my bed, and I just can’t have her being dirty.

Quantity

One pack of wipes will usually contain 100 or so wipes, enough to last you quite a while.

Our Recommendations

Since day one, we’ve been using Earthbath’s All Natural Grooming Wipes.

Those are the original Fragrance Free ones, but we’ve also used the Wild Cherry and Green Tea with Awapuhi flavors–both great scents!

Looking for a cheaper option? Another highly lauded product which we also use is Nature’s Miracle Deodorizing Bath Wipes.

Purchase Links

20. Ear Wipes/Ear Cleanser

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so.

Recommendation Level: Recommended

A Labrador with one floppy ear flipped as she smiles wide for the camera.

Every week, we do a thorough cleaning of Yuna’s ears with ear wipes. You could accomplish this with a thin cloth, but I use special ear wipes to ensure they are clean.

Alternatively, you could use an ear cleaning solution. Most dogs hate this, but it’s the best option if they swim frequently.

Monitoring your dog’s ears, especially for floppy-eared breeds, is extremely important. Yeast ear infections are no fun.

READ: How To Deal With A Dog Ear Yeast Infection

Quantity

One container of ear wipes, or one bottle of ear solution should be enough to last you a long time.

Our Recommendations

Since we’ve only used ear wipes, we can only vouch for those. We use these EarWELL Ear Wipes by VetWELL. They do a good job of cleansing Yuna’s ear with soothing aloe.

Purchase Links

21. Nail Clipper

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so.

Recommendation Level: Optional

Many would consider a nail clipper as a must buy item. However, I put this here because I prefer to let a professional groomer trim Yuna’s nails.

That being said, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic at the writing of this post, I’ve started to work on Yuna’s nails myself.

So this one really just depends on you.

Quantity

One nail clipper is surely enough, though you may need a full on grooming kit (includes nail buffer, etc.)

Our Recommendations

We got this Dremel Dog Nail Grooming tool (52), and have tried it out once. Yuna is a real trooper and was brave enough even though I’m quite sure she had never seen anything like it before.

I would still prefer to leave nail trimming up to my groomer, but it’s nice we have the Dremel as a backup.

Purchase Links

22. Lint Roller

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so.

Recommendation Level: Recommended

Let’s stop and talk about your house, which, hopefully you take care of as well as you do your dog!

Fur will begin to grow everywhere. The ground, your clothes, the furniture… nothing is safe!

That’s why many consider the lint roller a staple.

Quantity

One roller. Lots, and I mean lots of lint roller sheets.

Our Recommendations

We use this lint roller from Evercare. Sticky and great. It also comes with two refill rolls.

Purchase Links

23. Strong Vacuum

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so.

Recommendation Level: Recommended

You can lint roll your clothes, bedsheet, and furniture, but that leaves the floor and carpet. If your current vacuum can’t handle heavy duty jobs, it’s not the best candidate for combating a shedding dog either.

Quantity

One strong vacuum you can count on for years to come.

Our Recommendations

Speaking of strong, here’s one that’ll handle all those heavy-duty jobs, no problem: the Bissell PowerGlide Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner.

It’s quite an investment, but totally worth it. Moreover, it’s quite easy to take apart and clean the individual components with soap and water. We are real happy with how it picks up Yuna’s fur on our carpet.

Purchase Links

24. Car Seat Cover & Seat Belt

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. Besides, you might need it the day you drive your fur baby home!

Recommendation Level: Optional

If you plan on going on adventures with your dog (and you totally should), they’ll need to be passengers on long drives.

A dog resting her head on her car seat cover.

And when all is said and done, your dog might be covered in rain, mud, or sand.

Keep your car seats presentable. Let a car seat cover do its thing.

And make sure your dog is buckled up too!

Quantity

One car seat cover per car! One seat belt per adorable dog!

Our Recommendations

We use this Dog Car Seat Cover from iBuddy. It keeps Yuna secure, turns the entire back row into her personal space, and is even machine washable.

You should further secure your dog to keep them safe–yes, that means a dog seat belt. The seat cover comes with openings for a doggy seat belt like this one, also produced by iBuddy.

Purchase Links

25. Bowl Holder

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so.

Recommendation Level: Optional

You might be interested in just getting some bowls. See #2 above.

For us, since most of our house is carpet anyways, we just lay a towel over it to keep Yuna’s food and water bowls in place.

Moreover, we only recommend getting anti-slip bowls anyway, as we mentioned in #2 on this list above.

However, if you’ve got bowls without that anti-slip rubber base, you could benefit from a bowl holder. This also applies if you’ve got a more slippery hardwood or marble floor.

The other benefit is that the bowls are slightly raised, which some say can help your dog eat and digest food easier.

Quantity

One bowl holder will usually hold two bowls, enough for a food and water bowl. For one dog, you’ll only need one.

Our Recommendations

We don’t use a bowl holder, so it’s tough to advocate one. But from word of mouth, I have heard great things about this Raised Pet Bowl Holder from FOREYY. It’s great value: it’s easily assembled, water resistant, anti-slip, and even comes with two bowls.

Purchase Links

26. Airtight Food Storage Containers

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. It'll be good to figure out where you'll store the container first.

Recommendation Level: Recommended

After opening a bag of kibble, it’s wise to transfer it to an airtight food storage container to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Only a few brands of kibble use resealable bags.

Quantity

It depends on which storage you get, but this should be enough to transfer the largest bag of kibble you’re willing to buy for your dog. If you need multiple containers, so be it, as long as they’re airtight.

Our Recommendations

This Airtight Pet Food Container from IRIS has wheels on it so you never have to physically carry the whole thing. The large size can hold about 8 gallons or about 25 pounds of food.

Purchase Links

27. Treat Pouch

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. You might even use the this the day you meet your new dog!

Recommendation Level: Optional

Part of being a great dog owner and trainer is catching your dog when they are behaving well.

This means rewarding good behavior on a moment’s notice.

A dog, wearing a yellow rain jacket, standing on her two hind legs, reaching up for a treat.

The best way to do this is to always have treats on you no matter where you are! This is especially recommended for new puppies and dogs.

Quantity

One treat pouch full of treats is sure to keep your dog’s tail wagging all day.

Our Recommendations

The Paw Lifestyles Dog Treat Training Pouch is a many-in-one gadget. From just this one treat pouch, you also get a poop bag dispenser and pouch to carry small toys.

Purchase Links

28. Baby Gates

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so. Remember, the house should be dog-proofed before your dog comes home.

Recommendation Level: Optional

When dog-proofing your house, to baby gate or not to baby gate is a key consideration.

Dogs are real smart. Some of them just know that once you’re out the door, they’re free to roam around as they wish.

If you want to stop your dog from reaching a certain part of the house, or if you want to control your new dog’s access to your house in general (this helps with housebreaking and potty training), baby gates could be for you.

Of course, large athletic dogs could probably jump most baby gates, so keep that in mind.

Quantity

This greatly depends on you! Whatever you choose, make sure to take precise measurements so that you pick the best sized baby gates.

Our Recommendations

We don’t use baby gates, because Yuna is surprisingly good at knowing where she should and shouldn’t be, even without explicit training on my part.

However, I vividly remember the stress I felt about this before getting her. “What if she’s a crazy Lab? Will she get into my closet and eat all my socks? What if she learns how to open all the cupboards in the kitchen?”

I had these Baby Gates from Cumbor bookmarked from Amazon. They were one of the tallest gates I could find, at around 30.5 inches in height.

Purchase Links

29. No Chew Spray

Timing: Buy After

You may not be sure if your dog is a chewer. But also, if you give them enough exercise and stimulation, you likely won't need this.

Recommendation Level: Optional

Note that while many dogs do find bitter no chew spray unpleasant, many actually seem to like it… So a better long-term solution would be to teach your dog what they can and can’t chew. But if you’re looking for a humane, interim solution, I’d try this out.

Quantity

Start with one bottle. Like we mentioned, you’re never entirely sure whether it’s going to work or not.

Our Recommendations

Grannicks Bitter Apple Deterrent is a popular product in this area, with mixed reviews.

Purchase Links

30. Pee Pads

Timing: Buy After

We think that before getting your dog, you should know for sure whether they are potty trained. Only then, you should pick up pee pads on the way home; otherwise, you’ll have bought them for nothing.

Recommendation Level: Optional

Some people reading this will be getting their new puppy from a breeder, while others will be rescuing house-trained adult dogs.

Potty training. Nuff said.

Seriously though, this is for sure an essential if you’re bringing home a new puppy. I just wanted to place this as a non-essential because fosters and rescues may be potty trained already.

I personally overcommitted to buying a huge pack of pee pads from Costco to prepare for Yuna.

How many did I end up using? None. So it really depends on the dog you’re getting.

Quantity

Don’t be like me and buy way too many if you’re not sure you need them. A smaller pack is a good start, and you can always donate any surplus to a fellow dog owner later.

Our Recommendations

After doing lots of research, these eco-friendly WizSmart dog pads have some of the strongest absorption out of all the pads in the market. In addition, the pads have built in tabs that can help fix the pad in place on the floor or walls. They are rather expensive, but will be able to withstand any indoor business.

At a cheaper price point is All-Absorb’s extra large training pads. They claim one sheet can hold more than 3 cups of liquid, which is more than sufficient for most dogs.

Purchase Links

31. Enzymatic Cleaner

Timing: Buy Before

Even if a dog is potty-trained, there can and will be accidents that occur from time to time.

Recommendation Level: Recommended

You know the saying: accidents happen! And when they do, you should have an enzymatic cleaner to completely eliminate any odors and stains left behind.

An enzymatic cleaner works on carpets, furniture, hard floors, kennels, anywhere really. Heck, I’m making this item sound like an essential. It probably should be.

Quantity

When an emergency strikes, you’ll pat yourself on the back for preparing one bottle of enzymatic cleaner. One bottle, hopefully, will last you a long time.

Our Recommendations

Need a big bottle? Try Nature’s Miracle’s general Stain & Odor Remover. Not only is it good for cleaning the messiest of accidents, it’s also tough on vomit and any excessive drooling.

If your dog only has the occasional accident, get this 32 oz Rocco & Roxie Pet Odor & Stain Remover spray bottle. We’d recommend starting with this and going for the larger bottles only if your dog isn’t potty trained.

Purchase Links

32. Microfiber Towels

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so.

Recommendation Level: Recommended

These are insanely good at drying your dog after a bath or a swim. We keep one of these near the door whenever it rains in Seattle just to dry off a wet Yuna.

A wet dog smiling in front of some beautiful water fountains.

Quantity

We have three large microfiber towels at home. One we keep by the door, one for use after baths, and the last we leave in the car for any outdoor surprises.

Our Recommendations

Small to medium size dogs will love this Bone Dry Microfiber Towel.

Larger breeds will need something a bit larger than that! How about these super absorbent and super huge microfiber towels by Scrubit? These also double as nice towels for a sunny day at the beach!

Purchase Links

33. Clicker

Timing: Buy Before

In our new puppy checklist, if you can buy something beforehand, we will suggest you do so.

Recommendation Level: Optional

Probably upgrade this to Recommended for puppies or younger dogs.

Clicker training has the potential to fast-track the training process. It essentially just involves issuing a “click” sound every time your dog does something desirable.

The “click” is simply a marker. You could just as easily replace this with a vocal “yes!” “good job!” or even a thumbs up.

However, a click sound is more distinct and uniform.

Do note that some dogs seem to get fazed by the sound–Yuna definitely does. She gets distracted and a little scared of the click more than she seems to catch on to what it means.

Quantity

You only need one clicker.

Our Recommendations

We tried out the PetSafe Clik-R Trainer. It’s light, you wear it on your finger, and it’s easy to use.

Purchase Links

34. Pet Insurance

Timing: Buy After

It may be good to consult with a vet about this.

Recommendation Level: Recommended

This varies from pet owner to pet owner, but I would recommend having that extra level of assurance.

This is something I’ve probably thought about for months before finally pulling the trigger.

You never really know whether an investment in pet insurance, or any type of insurance for that matter, will pay off in the long run.

The situation gets especially murky if you’re already months or years in with your dog. Insurance companies explicitly mention not covering any pre-existing conditions.

But when it comes to your dog’s health, you never want to be in a position where you’re second-guessing a trip to the vet because you’re worried about potential costs.

Your pet’s health comes first. By taking the money aspect out of the equation, you’ll be able to always choose the best health care option.

We plan to write a more in-depth article on pet insurance, because we know how torn some dog owners are over this.

Quantity

Really dig around for the best quote. Pet insurance policies vary in coverage, reimbursement percentage, annual deductible, and yearly allotted reimbursements. Pick one that makes the most sense for your dog’s condition and your financials.

Our Recommendations

It literally took us hours to finally settle on something, but we went with Figo. Their ecosystem of insurance as well as their Pet Cloud product put them over the top for us.

Purchase Links

35. Pet Accessories & Tech

Timing: Buy After

There’s plenty of time to try out new pet products with your dog after you’ve lived with them for a while, and know exactly what would make your life easier.

Recommendation Level: Optional

Wow, getting Yuna really opened my eyes to a ton of extremely interesting dog products out there.

We’ll end this great new puppy checklist with a mention of the products that caught my eye.

It’s great to see that tech has manifested itself in dog care products. My day job is software engineering, and I’m naturally interested in the newest dog tech gadgets.

Quantity

Not applicable here.

Our Recommendations

Our most recent craze is the Whistle 3, which Yuna has been using for three months now. It acts as a GPS tracker and activity monitor for your dog, so you can be held accountable for their daily exercise.

A dog gives a little blep as she lays on a patch of cool green grass.

Secondly, we are lucky that Yuna gets to come to work with me, but we are well aware that the majority of hard workers cannot. There is an awesome solution now–the Furbo Dog Camera! It allows you to watch your pet and even toss them treats remotely from your phone.

Finally, we’ll mention one more product we’ve recently had a lot of fun with: the Wisdom Panel 3.0. It recently told us Yuna’s breeds… we’ll do a reveal soon!

Purchase Links

Conclusion

It’s been a wild ride, hasn’t it? We hope you’re still there! This was the most complete new puppy shopping checklist we could come up with.

If you were looking for a master checklist for things you should buy for a new puppy, we hope that this gave you everything you needed.

Be sure to let us know if you think we missed something on this list! Also, follow Yuna’s Instagram for a useful dog tip every other day. You don’t want to miss them, especially now that you’ve got a new dog in the house.

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