Bringing a puppy home is such an exciting experience! But with a playful puppy comes the responsibility to be prepared for anything. Before you bring your puppy home, you will need to stock up on some important puppy essentials. Read through some common items you will need, then print our puppy essentials checklist and head to the store!
Puppies will quickly outgrow their first collar, but that doesn’t mean that picking the first collar isn’t important! Collars should have ID tags with your pup’s name and your phone number in case your puppy gets lost. A standard nylon or leather leash is the best option for your puppy, as it will provide the best tool to teach loose leash walking. Unsure what type to choose? Read more on collars, leashes and harnesses in our training tools article.
If you’re interested in a collar that does more than just carry your pet’s ID tags, consider the Link AKC smart collar that can track your dog’s location, monitor health, and send you updates straight to your phone! As an added bonus, within the first year of purchase you can send the collar back for a larger size if your puppy grows out of the first size!
It’s up to you to decide if you will crate your dog. Crates should be large enough for your dog to sit, turn around and lay down comfortably. Some crates offer the option to start off smaller with inserts, so your crate size can grow as your puppy does. You don’t want a crate that is too big for your puppy, as this will allow him to use the extra space as his toilet. A proper sized crate is a helpful tool for house-training and can also help prevent anxiety by establishing your dog’s personal safe space.
There are thousands of options when it comes to dog beds, but your puppy only really cares that his bed is soft and clean. Towels, blankets or fancy plush dog beds are all acceptable to your pup! Ensure whatever you choose is easily washed, as potty accidents are bound to happen when your puppy first comes home.
With all the training you’ll be doing, it’s important to have treats on hand! Treats are a great form of positive reinforcement that can help keep your puppy interested during a training session. Make sure treats are easy for puppies to chew, healthy and fed in moderation.
Puppies need toys and lots of them! Teething toys help puppies focus their need to chew into an appropriate outlet. Toys should be durable and made with puppy-safe materials that they can’t destroy. Puppies should be supervised when playing with toys to avoid ingestion of small broken off pieces. Interactive puzzle toys are also available to stimulate your puppy’s brain and keep him busy longer!
Bathing & Grooming Supplies
Puppies like to get dirty, which means lots of baths! Have puppy-safe shampoo on hand to help remove dirt and grime. If your puppy isn’t a big fan of the tub, try some of our bathing tips to curb bath time fear. Dog brushes and nail clippers are also important tools for your grooming kit.
Food & Water Bowls
Bowls can be made of ceramic, plastic or stainless steel and should be the correct size for your puppy.
Dog Food Container
Dog food often comes in large bags and needs to be stored to remain fresh. Keep your dog food tasting great by storing it out of direct sunlight in a bin that seals tightly. Ensure this bin is made of materials that can keep your dog out to prevent accidental overeating.
Puppies have a lot of growing to do, so providing them with proper nutrition is extremely important. Ask your breeder and/or veterinarian their opinions on what brand and type of dog food best fits your puppy at this stage of life.
First Aid Supplies
Puppies are curious creatures and often get into trouble when you least expect it. Having a first aid kit in the house can help when your puppy has an accident. This kit should contain medical supplies, your veterinarian’s contact information and the number for the pet poison hotline. Read more about building your pet’s first aid kit.
There may be areas of your home that aren’t puppy proofed or that you don’t want your puppy to enter. Use puppy gates to block off these areas so your puppy doesn’t get into trouble!
Have you picked up all the supplies you should need, but still have a few questions about what to expect with your puppy? Read our Common Questions of New Puppy Owners article to learn all you need to be ready!