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The New Puppy Checklist: What essentials do I need?

Bringing a new puppy into the home is an exciting time for any animal lover. Hopefully you will already have ensured your home is a safe space for your new furry bundle of joy. Now, all that's left to do is to make sure you have the items they need to settle in.

Whilst you are preparing for the new arrival, you may find yourself asking questions like ‘What food is best for puppies and how much do they need?’, ‘What bed should I buy?’ or ‘What toys will they like to play with?’ If this is you, don’t worry because this new puppy checklist will help you find all the essentials you need!

New puppy on a cushion
Sq Lim via Unsplash

The essential checklist for a new puppy:

Like babies, a new puppy can need a lot of stuff to ensure they are living a healthy and enriched life with you. It can feel daunting with all the puppy products out there to know what you need to get.

See below for all the essentials to help you prepare for your new puppy’s arrival.

  • Puppy Food and Treats
  • Dog bowls
  • Puppy Collar and Lead
  • ID Tag
  • Bed
  • Puppy Toys
  • Puppy Pen or Crate
  • Poo bags
  • Puppy Grooming Products: Shampoo, Brush.

Puppy Food and Treats

Likely one of the first things you will ask yourself when getting a new puppy is ‘what food will they need?’. It’s best to keep them on the same food that they had been on previously before they moved into your home. Once your new puppy has settled in, you can then slowly wean them onto your preferred choice of puppy food.

It’s important to keep in mind that a puppy’s nutritional needs are different to an adult dog. Puppies need food with nutrients like amino acids, minerals, and vitamins to help them grow.

Not only that, but puppies lose body heat quicker than adult dogs do, so they have to move about more. They need a lot of energy to do this, and food with higher calories will help fuel them. Keeping in mind, puppies need to be fed four times a day!

Your new puppy’s tummy will be more sensitive too. That’s why it’s best to stick with food and treats that are specifically made for puppies until they reach between 9-15 months old (depending on their breed). Smaller dog breeds will usually move onto adult dog food quicker than larger breeds.

The puppy treats you choose can be used to bond with and train your little puppy. When they do something right, remember to give them a small treat straight away so they will associate their good behaviour with receiving something delicious.

A person pouring dog food into dog bowl
Mart Production via Pexels

Dog Bowls

Of course, to give your new puppy their food (and water), you’ll need two separate dog bowls to put it all in! There are so many dog bowls out there to choose from, but the best for your new puppy will be one that is shallow with a non-slip base. Non-slip bowls minimise the number of spillages.

Many vets recommend finding a dog bowl that is elevated if you can, as this will be more comfortable for your new puppy to eat from. We suggest choosing a dog bowl that is made of stoneware, stainless steel or ceramic, because they are easier to clean, dishwasher safe, and can be easily sanitised. See below for some of our recommended dog bowls.

Puppy collar and lead

Even though your new puppy will not be able to go for a walk until after their vaccinations are complete, it’s still a good idea to slowly introduce them to wearing a collar and walking on a lead.

fully adjustable collar is best for puppies as they will be growing quickly. To check if the collar fits your pup, you should be able to fit two fingers under it. However, it shouldn’t be so loose that it can slip over your puppy’s head either.

We recommend choosing a lead that is no longer than 6 feet as this will be best for a new puppy that is only just learning how to walk on a lead. Especially if you don’t want them getting too far ahead of you!

Collars and leads are available in a wide range of materials to choose from. Including polyester, nylon, and leather. If you aren’t sure which will be best for your new puppy, remember to check out our shopping guides for collars, leads and harnesses, to help you make your decision! We have also put some of our best examples of dog collars and leads below.

ID Tag and Microchipping

Since 2015, you can get fined if your dog isn't microchipped or if the database isn't updated with your new address.

Dogs also must wear a collar with an ID tag attached that includes their owner’s name and address. It’s illegal for dogs to be in a public space or on a highway without a collar that includes a name and address of its owner. So, purchasing an ID tag is a must have, even for puppies that are not venturing outside just yet.

If your new puppy manages to escape your home, it’s much easier to be reunited with them if they are wearing an ID tag on their collar already. You’ll feel relieved that you were prepared ahead of time! 


Did you know that your new puppy will sleep 18-19 hours a day? They will only be awake for 4-5 hours, often an hour at a time. That means they will need a cosy, warm bed to comfortably doze in!

When choosing a bed for your new puppy, ensure you pick one that will withstand their teeth! You’ll also want a bed that is easy to clean as toilet accidents can happen during the early stages. Dog beds come in a range of different shapes and sizes, so you should be able to find one that is big enough for your pup to grow into and stretch out in.

See below for some examples we have at!

Puppy Toys

Puppies love to chew and get up to mischief when they get bored. That’s why you’ll need to get some toys specifically made for puppies to keep them entertained! Chew toys are perfect for puppies as they satisfy their chewing needs, provide mental stimulation, and help to clean your pup’s teeth and exercise their jaws.

For example, the ZippyTuff Teether for Puppies is a great match for their sharp little teeth and are ideal for them to chew on. This toy can also be used for a fun game of fetch or playing a gentle game of tug of war.

Mental and physical stimulation is vital for the wellbeing of your new puppy. Puzzle toys will help keep your fur baby's mind sharp. Playing with your new puppy also helps them stay healthy as they grow by burning off extra energy through physical activities.

The KONG Puppy is perfect to satisfy a little pup's instinctual needs. They can be filled with your puppy's favourite treats so they can enjoy a challenge of trying to retrieve them as they chew. The KONG Puppy also has an erratic bounce which is great for puppies who just want to play and have something to chase! 

Puppy with KONG PUPPY
Photo Credit: KONG Company

Puppy Pen or Crate

Having a puppy pen or crate is an essential item for a new puppy as they love to explore and get into things they shouldn’t. Similar to babies who have just started to crawl, you may only take your eyes off your new puppy for a second and they’ll be off! A crate is a safe space for you to put your pup if you are temporarily distracted.

To choose the perfect pen or crate for your new puppy, ensure that it is big enough for them to freely stretch and stand up in when they are fully grown. To make the crate more welcoming and comfortable for them, you can place a cosy bed inside with some of their favourite toys to keep them entertained.

Always make sure your new puppy goes potty before going in their crate. Don't leave them in there for more than a few hours during the day. 

Puppy in crate
Ayla Verschueren via Unsplash

Puppy Poo Bags

Since the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act in 2005, it’s required by law to clean up after your dog in public areas. Even if your new puppy stays inside until after their vaccinations, you'll still need poo bags. You'll need them to clean up after they go to potty, hopefully in the garden!

As we mentioned before, puppies are fed four times a day… that means they’ll need to have toilet breaks more frequently. We are sure you won’t want to have a garden collection of smelly pup poop, so it’s a good idea to pick them up as soon as possible to prevent build-up of bacteria or diseases!

Puppy Grooming Products

Even if you take your new puppy to the groomer, you still need grooming products at home. For example, if they have a toilet accident you’ll need some dog wipes on hand. Or if they get particularly muddy when playing in the garden, you might want to give them a little bath to clean them up. In which case, you’ll need some dog shampoo and a brush to keep them knots away – especially if your puppy is very furry!

Dog breeds with medium to long coats will need gentle untangling each day to ensure they stay knot free. Short-coated pups will also need to be groomed regularly, especially if yours is a dog breed that malts everywhere! 

See below for some of our most recommended grooming products for puppies including the best shampoo to use, brushes, and dog wipes.

New Puppy Checklist from WOOOF

We hope this new puppy checklist helps you welcome your pup into your home with ease, giving you all the products you need for the start of your journey together.

For further guidance, see below for some more puppy-related articles that will help you with caring for your new furry bundle of joy!

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