New Puppy Checklist

Adding a new furry member to your family is an important decision, as well as a special time. There’s much to learn both about your new dog and how to best care for them. From helping you choose a vet, dog food and finding the right places for them to socialize we’ve got you covered with our new puppy checklist.

Those puppy eyes pull you in and offer so much love. But have you prepared your home for your new puppy? Photo courtesy Canva.

Our New Puppy

We brought our new puppy home from the shelter and the first thing she did was pee on the rug. She was 6 months old and this was her second time being brought home from the shelter.

I expected that she would mostly be potty trained. Well she was. But she was understandably scared.

The Decision to Get a New Puppy

Our daughter went through training at our local animal shelter and walked dogs and loved on cats for a few months before we made the decision to bring a new pet into our family. We thought we were prepared, but certainly a new puppy checklist would have been helpful.

My beloved dog from college left our lives just after our oldest child was born. It has been a while since we have cared for a dog. What to feed her? How much to feed her? How often? Where should she sleep? How to navigate where she wants to sleep versus where we want her to sleep? Can she ride in the car? Oh, so many questions.

Our new puppy happened to already be 6 months old, so not one that was just weaning from mama. Puppies in different stages may need different items and we’ll try to cover those all here.

text from child to mom about puppy chewing up thigs

New Puppy Checklist


The number one item on out new puppy checklist! No matter the age, your new puppy will be nervous. Even if they are a bit older they may need some patient help in re-learning to potty train. Be prepared to work with them and to clean up some messes. If you are able to crate train (see below) you may be able to reduce the number of accidents.

Check with your vet or local pet store to get puppy feeding recommendations.

Puppy Food

You will want to get an appointment with your local vet just for a check up for your new puppy. They can make puppy food recommendations. Or, you can ask at your local pet store.

Crate for Puppy

Our local animal shelter had a crate handy to loan us. We intended for our puppy to sleep with our kiddos and to be a companion to them. So, the first night we put our new love bug in the crate and she whined. It didn’t take long for her to be let out and jump up on the bed to claim her spot in the house. With that said, for a new puppy or one who is used to a crate it can be a comforting place. And, if you plan on crating them during the day then you’d better start the first day!

Pet Odor Remover

Unless you are the rare person who is able to only have tile and hardwood floors in their home, you will need some odor remover. These are widely available at your local pet store or even Amazon or Walmart.

Stainless Steel Dog Bowls

Stainless steel food and water bowls are durable and easy to clean. Some even come with non-skid rubber on the bottom. If your puppy will be a large dog you might want to go ahead and get an elevated stand that comes with bowls.

Chew Toys

Puppies chew. They just do. Want to prevent your shoes or other valuables from becoming shreds to clean up? Make sure to have a hearty supply of chew toys, and other toys too. A couple of Kongs that can be filled with peanut butter or treats are key. Balls, squeeky stuffed animals and regular stuffed animals will work too.

Collar, Leash and Harness

If you get your puppy from a shelter, likely you will be sent home with a collar and leash. If your puppy is on the larger side you may also want a harness. We actually got our harness at puppy training class. Not all harnesses are made equal, as we quickly found out. It will likely be better to have one that clips to the leash at your puppy’s chest rather than back. A dog training class can give you the best guidance here.

A new puppy check list should include dog bowls, chew toys, puppy food and lots of love.
A new puppy check list should include dog bowls, chew toys, puppy food and lots of love.

A new puppy check list should include dog bowls, chew toys, puppy food and lots of love.

What else do you think should be on a new puppy checklist? What items were useful to you in introducing your new puppy to your home?

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