New Puppy Checklist: 9 Things

These new dog supplies will help make sure your dog stays healthy and happy

Dog crate

A dog crate can be a convenient way to help you do just that for short periods, particularly with housetraining. Durable plastic crates are easy to clean and perfect for traveling. Wire crates are another option and you can cover them with a towel at night to create a cozier atmosphere. Look for a crate that is easy to open and close and just large enough that your dog can stand up and turn around in it easily. You might also consider getting an oversized crate with an adjustable divider panel so that you can slowly expand the room your dog has as she grows and also begins to understand that she shouldn’t do her business in the crate.

Puppy Gate and Playpen

A gate prevents your dog from entering rooms you don’t want her to go into, while a playpen allows her to run around and play in a confined area. Gates are also essential for blocking staircases. Keep one up until your dog is at least six months old and can navigate the stairs on her own. Choosing a gate that’s durable and made of a material other than wood. Make sure no openings on the gate are large enough for the dog to stick her head through she can wind up getting stuck or strangled. As for a playpen, make sure it is sturdy and that your dog can’t chew through it or climb out of it.


Your dog will need at least one bowl for food and one for water. Get a few extras so that you can wash them every day and easily swap out a dirty water bowl with a clean one. Did you know a dog bowl is dirtier than a toilet seat? Stainless steel is your best bet because it’s durable and won’t chip. Heavy ceramic is another option, but make sure it doesn’t contain lead, which can be toxic to your dog. Avoid anything with dyes, and stay away from plastic if possible some dogs are allergic to it while many like to chew on it, and pieces might splinter off.


Find out what your dog has been eating at the place where you found her and buy a small bag of that food. Suddenly switching from one food to another can cause diarrhea. When it’s time to change foods.

Collar or harness

Your dog will need a collar right away to hold her ID tag and eventually her rabies tag. At first, just pick up a simple adjustable nylon or leather collar that buckles together. You should be able to slip only two fingers under the collar. For safety reasons, take the collar off when your dog is in her crate. While a collar is essential for your dog’s ID tags, a harness is also great for most dogs for general control, safety, and training especially for puppies eight months and younger, small breeds, those with short noses such as Pugs and Boxers, and dogs with thin necks such as Greyhounds. Choose one that’s easy to get on and off.


You’ll need a leash not only to walk your dog but also for training. For the initial leash, choose one that’s four to six feet long ideally nylon because they are the least expensive, you can tie them to a belt loop, and they are the easiest to wash. Leather and rope are fine, too. You’ll also need a longer lead leash—20 to 30 feet—for training.

Bones and rawhides

You’ll likely want to have at least a bone or two on hand to help satisfy your dog’s chewing urge, which is particularly strong for puppies as their teeth come in. Always choose a bone that your dog can’t possibly choke on. If you want to give your dog rawhides, buy the ones that are compressed and don’t have a twist on the end. Once your dog has consumed half the rawhide, replace it, and if you notice that your dog is going through rawhides very quickly, find something else for her to chew. Another favorite option: 100 percent naturally shed deer antlers, which last an extremely long time, clean teeth, and don’t stain, splinter, or chip. Other hard bones that don’t splinter may be good options, too.


You’ll have dozens of dog beds to choose from, if and when you decide to purchase one for your pet everything from your basic donut beds to luxury couches, orthopedic cushions, and even heated beds. But don’t invest in a pricey bed right off the bat; wait until your dog is done housetraining. Also, during their first several months or even longer, many dogs will chew up their new bed. In the meantime, you can make your dog’s crate extra cozy with a simple mat or old blankets or towels.

Grooming tools

It’s your responsibility to keep your dog clean, but which tools you’ll need depends on her breed or combination of breeds and whether or not you plan to hire a groomer or do it yourself. At first, at least make sure you have a good bristle brush to keep your dog’s coat tangle-free. Pick up shampoo, nail trimmers, cotton balls, an ear cleaner, a toothbrush, and toothpaste.


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