New Puppy Checklist to Make Your Dog Happy

December 07, 2020

New Puppy Checklist to Make Your Dog Happy

When you first meet your new puppy, you're bound to be overcome with emotions. You're expanding your family and spending your first moments with one of your lifelong companions, and you should be excited!  

Even though you're ready to play and cuddle with your new pup, you have a lot of prep to do. No matter what breed you bring home, every new dog has its own unique needs. Most puppies will have loads of energy, so get ready for lots of walks, playtime, and training.

During your dog's first few months at home, it is important to make sure that they're happy and have the equipment they need to feel comfortable. Here's a new puppy checklist to help get your canine adjusted to their new home! If you're wondering, “What do I need for a new puppy?” then read on!

Initial Puppy Needs and Care

Vet Appointments

Right away, one of the first things to do when you are getting a new puppy is to make sure that a veterinarian checks them out. It is an excellent idea to do some research into your go-to vet before making an appointment. 

Not all vet clinics are made the same, and it will make your life with your new best friend even better if you have confidence in your pet's doctor.  

Spaying and Neutering 

At your initial appointment with your veterinarian, they will check your puppy's overall health to see if any immediate problems need to be addressed. Once your pup has had a check-up, you should ask your vet about your options for having your puppy fixed. Some people may not feel comfortable with this, but research says that domestic dogs are easier to train when fixed. Their behaviors will be less driven by hormones, which weakens aggression and prepares them to focus on training.

Whether you should fix your pet is a hard decision to make. However, many options aren't as invasive as traditional surgery. You could choose nonpermanent solutions, such as chemical castration. Listening to what advice your veterinarian has to say will ensure that your puppy gets the best care and that you make this decision wisely. 


At this appointment, having your puppy equipped with a microchip is a great idea because this ensures that no one will ever be able to take your puppy as theirs. Even if your pup slips out of their collar and runs away or gets lost, someone can take them to the vet and find your name and number so that your pup will be able to come home!

What Do I Need For A New Puppy?

Brand-New Leash

Every pup will need a leash, but be aware of the type of leash you purchase. Two main leash styles are quality options for you:

-Non-retractable standard style

-Retractable style

Many individuals who are first-time puppy owners will tend to go for the retractable kind of leash; however, this style can be extremely dangerous.

These types of leashes are not dependable. If you were walking your pup next to a busy road when it broke or didn't hold tight, and your pup ran 40 feet away from you, it would be very dangerous for your dog. Similarly, retractable leashes like this make it almost impossible to control your pup, leading to negative behaviors and potentially dangerous situations for both you and your dog. 

Often, these leashes have space for only one hand, so if your pup sees a friend and pulls hard enough, it can do damage to your shoulder joint and be impossible to control your excited puppy. 

The easiest solution is to go for the non-retractable style leash. These appear just as a tether with a hook for your dog on one end and a loop on the other for your hands. These leashes allow you to hold the loop with one hand and hold use your other hand a quarter of the way up. Using this type of leash with both hands will help you control and keep your pup safe without risk to you. 

Harness and Collar

Some other supplies you'll find necessary to keep your pup happy and healthy are a harness and a collar with name tags on it. It is essential to have a collar with identification information as the first line of defense if your pup gets away from you. Ideally, your pup should have both a collar with identification tags and a microchip for safety and security if anything happens. 

Use the collar whenever you take your pup outside. If they were to run away from you while wearing it, it is an automatic signal to other people that the dog is not a stray and should be caught and the owner called. However, you'll most likely want to keep the collar on at all times; many dogs even grow attached to this accessory and prefer it on 24/7. 

A harness is also a helpful addition if you take your puppy walking or intend to hike with your pup. Pulling on their neck can be alright for a short time, but for long walks, your dog should use a harness to protect them from any neck injury. 

Another great option are lighted collars and leashes which are perfect for walking your pups early in the morning or in the evening.

Puppy Pads

Puppy pads are a big deal in the world of new puppies. If you have a new puppy, having these tools in your house will make a big difference! New puppies are rarely house-trained, and having puppy pads will definitely come in handy while working on getting your puppy to use the bathroom outside your house. Until they are masters of this skill, puppy pads for indoor accidents will make cleanup easier and help you and your pup in the long run! 

Grooming Supplies

Having a good brush and clippers for their fur is helpful, especially if your new puppy has thick fur or an undercoat. If your dog does have long and thick fur, it's a good idea to spend a bit of time each day or every other day to brush them. It will help keep your puppy more comfortable as they grow their undercoat, and it is a great time for the two of you to bond. 

Grooming time also includes baths every month or two, and this is sometimes a struggle with young pups who have little experience. However, if you can use treats and teach your puppy that bath time is alright, it can be another great way to bond with and get to know your puppy. 

Puppy Training 101: Here's How to Get Your Dog Under Control

Puppies are notorious for being rambunctious and full of energy! Using this energy towards training will help your puppy in every way! Teaching your dog obedience early on allows you to bond while preventing unwanted accidents and bad behavior later on.

Basic Obedience Commands

When you start to train a dog for the first time, “sit” is the best command to start with. This is one of the most common tricks, and it gets your dog used to the process of learning. Use sit first when your dog is eating or receiving a treat; administer a small chew stick only if they behave.

Once they master “sit,” then “shake” or “lay down” are good options. After this, your puppy probably will have the hang of how the learning and training process works. You can use this skill of learning to correct negative behaviors they might have around the house. 

For example, you can start to introduce a “sit” or “stay” trick to teach your puppy not to jump on strangers when they walk in. It is also possible to teach your pup “stay” or “stop” in case of an emergency. Your dog would know that they need to stay where they are. 

Pair Tasty Treats and Short Sessions

If you want to get the best results from your dog, you should experiment with several treat options to find out which they like best. This way, they will be more likely to obey. Also, keep your training sessions short. Usually, after about ten or fifteen minutes of training, your dog can become distracted or frustrated. 

Once you hit this point, it is better to take a break and come back to tricks later. 

Ready to Make Your New Dog Feel Right at Home?

  • Dogs are a human's best friend, no doubt about it. A dog's love comes with no strings attached, and they will love with their whole heart.
  • If you decide to bring home a puppy, following this checklist and tips will make the early days run as smoothly as possible. You will make your pup adjust to your home while staying happy and healthy.
  • With all the love they give, dogs deserve the best care and attention they can get, so be sure to take them to a great vet, get all the tools your puppy needs, and train them with simple obedience commands.
Have more questions about puppy training and care? Join our mailing list for more tips about raising a new dog!

Also in News

15 Summer Essentials For Dogs: Keep Your Furry Friend Cool and Happy
15 Summer Essentials For Dogs: Keep Your Furry Friend Cool and Happy

June 03, 2024

Here are 15 summer essentials that will help you both make the most of the sunny days ahead.

Read More

10 Pawsitively Perfect Holiday Gifts for Dog Lovers
10 Pawsitively Perfect Holiday Gifts for Dog Lovers

October 16, 2023

Discover 10 perfect gifts for the dog lover in your life!

Read More

How to Keep Exploring After Dark
How to Keep Exploring After Dark

September 17, 2023

Hiking at night lets you experience the outdoors in a whole new way, lending a sense of adventure to even the most familiar terrain.

Read More