New Puppy/New Dog Checklist

New Puppy, What Do I Need?

The Essential New Puppy Checklist

“I’m getting a new puppy, what do I need?

On Labor Day weekend of 2018 we brought Revere home and he wasn't our first puppy as we had just said goodbye to our 12-year corgi who had Degenerative Myelopathy. 

So, I thought I've got this, it's not my first time but we hadn't had a puppy in over 10 years and Scrappy (our corgi) was older than Revere but I hadn't considered that so I didn't do a ton on research. I knew we needed a cage, toys, chews, the basics but Revere will be getting a brother or sister in about a year. I will use a puppy checklist next time as I did end up forgetting some items. 

So, I would suggest you review this list if you are getting a new dog, puppy or even adding to your fur-family.

New Puppy Essentials Checklist

  1. Dog Toys

We like: Puppy/Dog Pet Chew Toys Gift Set

Revere and I recommend getting lots of different textured toys to help when your puppy starts teething/chewing. Also putting toys or towels in the freezer is great way to relieve teething. Check out Dog Toys and Puppy or New Dog Essentials for a wide selection of toys. Try to think about anything your puppy could chew up or tear off and choke or hurt themselves. 

  1. Dog Crate

We like Dog/Puppy Playpens

You may also want a traditional crate (Solid Dog Crate Double-Door Kennel Collapsible Easy Install 4 Size Dog House for Small Large Dog or 8 Panel Portable Folding Dog Animal Pet Playpen) but this playpen is great for when you want them to have a little freedom and space to play but not be completely free and also great for traveling. We crate train all of our puppies and if you’re bringing your puppy home by yourself it’s important to have something to contain your puppy. We take Revere's crate to Ohio when we travel and it can be heavy and difficult to set up and take down but he's 70 lbs. now and would just tear this playpen apart now but when he was a little ball of fluff or the next ball of fluff it works.

  1. Chews

We like: Bully Sticks

If you never had a puppy then get ready for some unwanted chewing of among other things furniture, clothes, shoes, hands, and feet. A good dog chew will help redirect this unwanted behavior until your puppy matures and sheds his puppy teeth. Bully sticks are great for puppy as they soften as the dog chews on them. Revere loves any animal-based chews his favorite currently is Kangaroo. 

  1. No Chew Spray

Grannicks Bitter Apple Spray is popular one

Revere didn't seem to care about the smell of this stuff but I have heard of puppies/dogs that hate

  1. Leash

We like: Nylon Dog Training Leashes

We get a few leashes for our puppies:


  1. Collar

We like:  Adjustable Nylon Dog Collar


We don’t get too fancy with our puppy collars. A simple nylon buckle collar does the trick. After all they’ll out grow their collar in no time. You can upgrade to nice leather collar once your dog is fully grown. (Dog Collar Leather Solid Color Bone Decoration Adjustable Dog Collars for Small, Medium or Big Dogs or Dog Collar Genuine Leather Pet Collars for Small, Medium and Large Dogs later)





  1. Nametags

Revere got a nametag from our vet who puts my number on it and mine which is a great idea but you can find cute Pet Tag (Bone, Fire Hydrant and Heart) at reasonable prices.

You can order tags online ahead of time or your local pet store can likely make a tag for you same day. The two essentials we include are puppy’s name and phone number. Also, make sure you get your puppy microchipped just in case he loses his collar. Our vet microchipped Revere.

  1. GPS Tracker

We like Smart Bluebooth GPS Tracker

I definitely suggest microchipping your dog however I do understand that, that’s expensive and you have to have a reader and the dog to utilize it. So, what happens when your dog door dashes and decides just to take a stroll around the neighborhood, how will you find him before he gets in trouble or hurt? This GPS tracker is perfect for escape artists who stay close to home. This GPS Tracker lets you locate them on your phone quickly and get them back home safe and sound.

Puppy Blanket

We like: Soft Paw Print Dog Blanket under the Puppy or New Dog Essentials collection

We recommend getting lots of different textured toys to help when your puppy starts teething/chewing. However, we think it’s especially important to get a plush toy or blanket your breeder can put in with your puppies’ litter mates and mama or rub on them to get their scent. that way you can bring back the scent of your pup’s family back home with you. just find a soft blanket your puppy can push around and find his perfect snuggle spot. 

  1. Puppy Food

Revere eats Ziwi Peak dog food which is pricey, but he's also picky. 

I would recommend to speak with your vet and do you research to see what would best for your dog. I will have a dog food blog post up soon that will hopefully also help you make the right decision for your dog. This is your decision though for your new furry son/daughter.

Also keep mind when reviewing how much food you should feed that the company is assuming you do not feed them any treats. Now before you say my dog doesn’t or won’t get people food or extra treats, think about all the training and playing you will do with them. Revere gets treats when we play fetch (eventually he won’t but he’s still young and gets distracted), training, hide n seek (where I hide treats around the house) or stacking cup treat game. So, with that Revere gets half of what Ziwi Peak recommends and he is at the top of the weight range for his breed.


  1. Dog Bowls

We like Practical Dog Bowls

 A simple stainless steel food and water bowl will do the trick but this set is nice as it will help with your puppy who will be just like a human child and get a little messy when they eat. Also check out Dog Food Dispensers for toys and slow feeder bowls if you dog start to eat too fast or just use meal time as opportunity to engage them and keep them busy.


  1. Stain & Odor Remover

We like Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator

Guess what? Your puppy is going to have accidents in the house. Even if you stick to a strict potty training schedule there will always be a miscue. Never fear Rocco & Roxie makes a great stain & odor remover that we use with our puppies.

QUICK TIPS: Always use an enzymatic cleaner that will completely eliminate the smell of urine. Your dog’s sense of smell is thousands to millions of times better than yours so make sure you have a cleaner that does the job right like Rocco & Roxie.

  1. Treats

We like Wellness Soft Puppy Bites or Zuke's Puppy Naturals Dog Treats

When do you start training your puppy? The day you get him! Whether or not you decide to train your puppy with treats it’s still important to have treats for your puppy.

  1. Treat Bag

We like Training Treat Bag with Poop Bag Dispenser

If you plan to train your puppy or new dog you will need a treat bag to ensure you have rewards for good behavior wherever you are, on a walk, at the park or maybe in your own yard.

  1. Dog Brush/Comb

We like…see below

Depending on the breed you may need specialized brushes and combs to keep a well-groomed coat. If not, your dog’s fur can get knotted in short time, believe me I know. We have currently have 2 brushes/combs, but we only use two for Revere: a slicker brush and an undercoat rake.

Dog Hair Removal Comb/Fur Brush Grooming Tools

  • We use the Slicker Brush the most – because of it seems to remove more loose fur and also it’s self-cleaning makes it easy to use
  • Undercoat rake for long haired dogs such as Australian Shepherds- Detangler and Dematting Deshedding Grooming Tool – it will really help when your dog is blowing their coat for the season
  • You may also want to invest in a furinator brush, we take Revere to PetSmart for the full furinator treatment so I didn’t bother investing in a furinator for long-haired dogs.


  1. Lint/Pet Hair Remover

We like 2-Way Pet Hair Remover Roller or  2-Way Lint/Pet Hair Roller

The brushes above will help reduce pet hair but one thing with owning a dog is their fur becomes of your décor but can combat it with these rollers that are big enough for the job of dog fur.

  1. Puppy Shampoo

We like Burt’s Bees for Puppies

You don’t want to use harsh human products or even a dog shampoo might be too much for your puppy’s delicate skin. Revere was a normal puppy not caring if he ran or happened to roll in their own feces, dirt and mud.

  1. Rags / Towels

We like whatever we can find around the house

Our second Guide puppy Derby had several accidents on the car ride home and made a little mess on the seats and floor mats. Ever since then we always have rags on hand to keep the car and all areas of the house as clean of puppy pee, poop, and vomit.

  1. Paper Towels

We like to grab a roll of paper towels from the garage

We used a combination of rags and paper towels to keep things clean around the house.




“Not Quite As Essential” New Puppy Checklist

These items are not quite as essential or you probably have an alternative you could use temporarily at your house. Basically, you’d probably want to pick up most of these items during your first weeks with your puppy, but you probably don’t need them the day you bring your puppy home.

  1. Pill Dispenser

We like Pills Dispenser Feeding Kit

Your puppy/dog will get sick at some point or have allergies or antibiotics. They will need to take a medication at some point and not all dog will do good with pills wrapped in cheese or peanut butter. Our corgi and my childhood dog would eat the cheese and spit out the pill. This Pill Dispenser helps you get that pill as far back as possible to make sure they dog doesn’t spit it out. Plus, if you get them use to this method or at least the device as a puppy it will only get easier as they grow.


  1. Bedding

We like this Soft Flannel Thickened Fleece Dog Mat (if you don’t have a chewer)  for the crate

We don’t always have a bedding for our crate and find that blankets, towels, bed sheets can all be a good alternative. We even had one friend build us bedding for our crate using those egg crate foam. A word of warning: each of our puppies at one point or another would make a good chew and shred toy.

  1. Dog Bed

We like the Sofa Style Dog Bed

Again blankets, towels, bed sheets, and even pillows can be used as a dog bed. Several of my puppies have loved the sofa style dog beds. Actually Revere has taken over our sofa.

 One thing we’re looking for in our next dog bed is one that is easily washable. As you might imagine, puppies often have accidents on their dog beds.


  1. Puppy Pee Pads

We like Wee Wee Pads

We train all of our puppies to potty outside. However, I know that potty training outside is not always an option.

  1. Poop Bag Dispenser & Poop Bags

We like Dog Poop Bag Dispenser

We don’t use them as much now that we have a large backyard and Long Handle Dog Pooper Scooper. However, whenever we’re out and about with Revere I grab my favorite Dog Poop Bag Dispenser and I have a Dispenser attached to his leash as well. Remember to always have something to scoop the poop when out in public.

  1. Pooper Scooper

We like Long Handle Dog Pooper Scooper

I wish I would had this from the beginning cause cleaning up your own backyard is a great idea otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy it and it will hurt your grass eventually.

  1. Playpen

We like Foldable Dog Tent/Playpen

Not essential, but if you can’t keep a close eye on your puppy and you don’t want to crate him then take a look at the Carlson Portable Pet Pen. An ex-pen would also work well in the house.


  1. Nail Trimmer

We like Portable Electric Painless Dog Nail Grinder File Kit

We don’t recommend the cheap pet nail trimmers but if you choose that method see these  Pet Nail Clippers. Our corgi reacted horribly to the sound and feeling of clippers, so we started grinding his nails. We realized how awesome it was though as his nails weren’t jagged and sharp. We’ve also tried several nail clippers, but prefer the trimmers/grinders to the clippers.



  1. Travel Kennel

We like Pet Nation Porta-A-Crate

We got a travel kennel for when we take our dogs on the road. We mainly wanted something that was collapsible and easier to carry then our regular crate.

QUICK TIP: Be careful with a travel kennel especially if your puppy is not yet crate trained because they may decide to chew through the mesh lining destroying your expensive investment.

  1. Dog Toothbrush

We like 3PCS Safety Transparent Silicone Finger Toothbrush

We like getting our pup’s used to the toothbrush and toothpaste, but usually don’t introduce them on day one. When we get a new puppy we always buy the toothbrush/fingerbrush combo pack for our pup. The fingerbrushes are easier to manage and ensure you reach all the important spots.

  1. Flea & Tick Meds

Linus was loaded with parasites when he came home. Make sure you talk to your vet before applying any flea/tick meds to your puppy. I prefer natural flea & tick medications from but please research, talk to your vet and even doggie parent friends to see what works best in your area. We live in a suburban neighborhood so not too many issues with this but if we lived in rural area I may take a multiple treatment approach (natural of course).

  1. Heartworm Meds

We like Heartgard Plus

Heartworm can be a deadly disease. Make sure you talk to your vet about Heartworm prevention.

  1. Long line Leash

We like Strong Nylon Dog Leash - Pet Leads

We use these to allow our puppies a little more freedom without losing control. We have a 10, 20, and 30 foot long lines which work great when working on recalls.


  1. Harness

We like Military Tactical Dog Harness

We have used a military harness for Revere as he broke the last harness we had for him.

  1. Clicker

We like Starmark Dog Training Clicker

We have dozens of clickers and this one is not too loud and not too quiet. We also prefer our clicker to have a wristband so we can let it hang freely when working with our pups.

QUICK TIP: While we recommend these EcoCity Clickers we also recommend having a variety of clickers. Box clickers are usually fairly noisy and you’ll also notice there are very quiet clickers for sensitive dogs. Depending on your pup he/she may respond better or worse to different clickers.

For the past five years we’ve been clicker training all of our puppies. It’s a very effective way to train and communicate with your puppy, but if you want to clicker train you’ll need a clicker and a….

  1. Food Container

We like Airtight Pet Food Container

We like having a food container to keep our dog food fresh. Our container is a little dated and I’m not so sure it’s still airtight. I think after 10+ years that happens. I’m on the search for a new improved dog food container…stay tuned…

QUICK TIP: Did you know that it’s a good idea to keep your food in the original bag? The bag is made specifically to store dog food for long periods of time. You’ll also be able to maintain the instructions, expiration date, and if there’s a recall you’ll know the lot number of your bag.

  1. Books

We like Puppies for Dummies

Learn everything you can before, during, and after bringing home your puppy. We have stacks of books on training puppies, dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and every bit of information we can get to learn how to have a better relationship with our dogs and puppies.

Puppies for Dummies is a great starter book and will give you a solid foundation in puppy training basics.

  1. Pooper Scooper

We like Long Handle Dog Pooper Scooper

We never had a pooper scooper living at the condo because the pups always went potty on their walks and we’d pickup with poop bags. At our house with a backyard the pooper scooper is essential.

  1. Baby Wipes

We like Kirkland Baby Wipes

These are essential for those muddy days where your dog comes in soaked in mud.

Bonus Checklist

These are not puppy products, but instead a list of a few contacts you should have before or shortly after you bring home your puppy.

  1. Veterinarian/24 hr Emergency Vet

Find the right vet for you, ask questions. Sometimes you won’t know for sure until something big happens or an issue arises. We left a vet before because they really emphasize doing a shoulder surgery on our Corgi that would be about $1500 and we when did our research it was successful about 50% of the time. We also left one when they wanted to put Scrappy (Corgi) to sleep just to trim his nails (they couldn’t handle him). We found a vet in Lexington that’s been great even with Scrappy biting them and were wonderful when we put him down. Also, make sure you have the phone number and address for your closest 24 hr. Emergency Vet Office.

  1. Dog Trainer

Before we brought home our first puppy Linus we knew he would be going to a class at Petsmart. It’s a good idea to have a training plan. But we do plan to do Barkbusters when we get Revere a sibling.

QUICK TIP: Even though we’ve been training puppies for over a decade we still take our pups to group training classes. It’s important for your puppy to not only learn obedience, but to learn how to properly socialize with other puppies.

  1. Pet Sitter/Walker

Sometimes it just takes talking to friends, family, and neighbors about getting a little help when you’re at work or need a break from your puppy. If those aren’t options there are online services, individual pet sitters/walkers, or even check with your local doggy daycare facility. We’ve used in the past.

  1. Boarding or Puppy Day Care
  2. Pet Insurance

We’ve never used pet insurance. However, we plan on getting insurance for our next puppy. Why? Our close friends rang up bills of over 50K for their current puppy. If not for pet insurance they would not have been able to afford the bills and the puppy would have been put down.

What To Bring With You When Picking Up Your Puppy

  • Camera – Chris and I have lots of pictures of Revere as a puppy and are so happy we do.
  • A Friend or Family Member – My husband and I picked up Revere togehter
  • Plush Dog Toy and Puppy Blanket – We had actually taken the blanket on our first visit to leave with his litter and then take home when we picked up Revere. Our Breeder also cuts up a blanket to provide each puppy a small blanket that smells like mom, dad, brothers and sisters.

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: We really like the Snuggle Puppy w/ Heartbeat & Heat Pack to help your puppy during his first night home away from his litter mates. They also have a starter kit that includes the Snuggle Puppy, blanket, and a few other extras.

  • Chew Toy – It may be your puppy’s first time in the car or he may just get antsy. Having a chew toy like a Bully Stick could help ease anxiety and occupy his time.
  • Rags / Towels / Paper Towels – From experience, I’ve had puppies throw up, poop, and pee on the car ride home. It’s a good idea to line your car and yourself with towels / rags and have paper towels handy for quick cleanups.
  • Old Clothes – You might get pooped on so don’t wear your Sunday Best.
  • Crate or Box [OPTIONAL] – I just held Revere but our ride was only about an hr and a half, if it’s longer you make want a crate