The New Puppy Checklist

Pug puppy on couch
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time for any family. Here are a few tips on making the transition easy.

Your Beginner Checklist

Puppy Food imge

Puppy Food

Your puppy’s first year is critical to their development. During this time, they need specialized nutrition to promote strong bones and teeth, proper development and a lustrous coat. Start your puppy on the right track with a complete and balanced puppy food. 
Training treats

Training Treats

Purchase treats that are low in calories and are a small size to reinforce a puppy’s good behavior during training. And, a good rule to live by the is the “10% rule.” Treats should not exceed 10% of your puppy’s daily calorie intake.
Collar and leash

Collar and Leash

Your puppy’s first collar and leash should be made of lightweight nylon or leather. For collar size, measure his neck and add two inches. Check his collar frequently to be sure he hasn’t outgrown it. Six feet is the best length for training and walking.
Id tag

Identification Tag

An identification tag permanently attached to the collar should give your new dog’s name, your name, address and phone number. Another identification option is microchipping. Consult your veterinarian for more information about this method of identification.


The crate will become your dog’s safe place, and their special place to go to sleep and feel secure. Put it near the family hub of activity, so your dog feels welcome. The key to successful use of the crate is to always use it in a positive manner — never as a punishment.

Grooming brush

Grooming Tools

For short-haired breeds, use a brush with natural bristles, a rubber curry comb or grooming hand mitt. A sturdy wide-tooth metal comb and perhaps a slicker brush are needed for long-haired breeds.
illustration of a ball


Safe toys are an important part of your pet equipment. They can help your dog exercise and provide a safe way to satisfy your puppy’s need to chew. Rubber toys that can be filled with treats, nylon chews and hard rubber balls are fun and usually safe.
Image of a notebook


Keep all of your puppy’s photos, vet records, and vital statistics in one place. This will be especially helpful if your puppy/dog gets lost.
Image of shampoo, dog bowl, and scoop

And Don't Forget the Basics

Make sure to grab things like food and water bowls, a dog bed, pet shampoo, a pooper scooper, carpet stain remover, and puppy training materials.