New Puppy Checklist and Tips for Future Owners

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Getting a new puppy is very exciting and for everyone in the family.

But before you welcome your puppy into your home, you need to know how to prepare.

Having a new puppy is not as simple as it seems and you need to be prepared for everything.

Giving your new puppy the best experience is very important, so there are a few things you need to do.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to do and have on hand before your puppy comes home.

New Puppy Checklist and Tips for Future Owners


Chances are your puppy came from a breeder or a shelter, so find out what your puppy has been eating and get that dog food.

If you do decide to change the kind of dog food your dog has been eating, phase it into a period of about two weeks, gradually adding the dog food of your choice.

That’s because if you change your puppy’s food all at one time, you’re likely to upset their stomach.

So be very careful with that.


The biggest mistake dog owners make is giving their puppy too much freedom way too early on.

Don’t make that mistake.

A dog crate, a puppy playpen, and baby gates are fantastic because they help you control your dog’s environment and that’s an extremely important thing with a new dog and they’re also great for potty training.

Having a safe place for your dog to hang out when you can’t supervise and having them on leash are ideal ways for keeping your dog out of trouble.

Get several nylon leashes if possible so you always have one that’s convenient.

Nylon leashes are especially nice because you can wash them pretty easily.

And remember, your dog is going to need to be leashed almost full time.

Puppy Proofing Your House

You should puppy-proof your house before your puppy comes home and make sure he doesn’t have access to anything possibly dangerous like electrical cords.

Those are the favorite chew toy of many puppies.

Do the obvious things like keeping garbage cans and house plants away from your dog, where they don’t have access to them.

Keep cleaners and chemicals secured behind cabinets.

Make sure that there’s nothing too small your puppy could swallow or something that could potentially injure them.

Do your best to see your house from your puppy’s point of view.

Puppies are very curious and they’ll quickly find anything that you’ve missed or that they can put in their mouth or play with.

Dog Bowls

You should get several dog bowls.

That way you can wash them and swap them out every single day and you should always have a clean bowl.

Stainless steel bowls are a little bit better than plastic because they’re easier to clean and also your dog is a lot less likely to chew them.


You will need a collar too and put your dog’s ID tags and rabies tags.

Also, be sure to include your phone number and address on your ID tag.

It’s a good idea to have a harness as well.

Puppies are growing and developing so you’ll want to easily supervise and walk them and a harness is the safest way to do that.


There are two main types of toys that you’ll need to get for your dog, especially if you have a puppy.

There are chew toys that include things like real bones and other toys specifically designed for dogs to chew on.

And then there are training toys like balls, frisbees, tug toys and anything else your dog really loves.

Most people don’t understand the difference between these two types of toys, but it’s actually very simple.

Leaving out chew toys is fine, but don’t leave out training toys for your dog to just investigate.

You want to keep these toys really special because when you get them out for training, you’re able to keep them really excited and interested.

Keeping away is always a great way to ignite interest in a toy.

Toys like these are so important because you can really keep their attention and a tug of war is really satisfying and fun for most dogs.

You can use them to motivate them to sit or stay.

Food isn’t the only reward you can use, have a variety of different toys so you can experiment and figure out which ones your dog really enjoys playing with.

It’s normal for your dog to be interested in one toy at one moment, and a different toy at another moment.

Don’t give up on a toy because they’re not in the mood for that toy at a particular moment.

A kong rubber toy is really great to keep your dog occupied because you can put treats and food inside of it and they can move it around and interact with it and it keeps their attention because food keeps coming out of it.

Your dog is using his brain, he’s thinking, and that’s a great thing about a toy like that.

For some older dogs and especially puppies, it’s important to have a lot of different chew toys.

For example, sometimes a dog is in the mood for something that’s really hard as a bone, and then other times, they’re interested in something a little bit in between, like a rubber or plastic chew toy, and other times they prefer something that’s very soft.

It’s also important to have natural chew toys like real bones because dogs tend to really like them.

It’s a good idea for the chew toy to be really oversized too, it’s much better for them to be too big than too small.

Just make sure that the bone doesn’t splinter or break and if they do, get rid of them.

A Place For Your Dog To Sleep In

You want to have a cozy place for your dog to sleep in and hang out.

But young puppies who like to chew will probably destroy a dog bed if you just give them access to it, if they haven’t been taught properly yet.

Old towels and blankets are really good alternatives to a dog bed because they’re cheaper, they’re easier to clean, and usually less tempting for a dog to chew up, although you still want to supervise them just to make sure. If you need.

Potty Training

A puppy should never be left unsupervised or in an uncontrolled environment for the first months of training.

Nonetheless, potty accidents can and will occur.

Your goal is to minimize those accidents.

preventing accidents from occurring should always be plan A.

It’s ideal to give your dog the opportunity to relieve themselves outside every hour or so when you’re awake.

But it’s important to know what to do when your dog actually has an accident in the house.

If you don’t catch them in the act, then nothing and you need to do a better job of supervising them.

If you do catch them in the act, do your best to interrupt them.

The idea time to interrupt your dog is right when they squat, before anything comes out, and get them outside.

For various potty accessories see our home automation list.

It is also important to have your puppy attach to you with a leash because it’s really critical in the first months.

If you have your dog attached to you with a leash, you will get to know their subtle queues and their body language and that will make it a lot easier to be able to tell when they’re about to go.

Since dogs are attracted to previous spots where they’ve had accidents before, it’s extremely important to do a thorough job of cleaning up with a good pet urine cleaner.

The best way to do it is to pour warm water on the spot, add a pet urine cleaner and work it in.

Then add a little bit more water and let it sit for around 15 minutes.

Once it’s dry, vacuum it up and you’re done!

You can even use pet urine cleaner in the washing machine to wash your dog’s bedding to get the smell out.


Puppy biting can be really overwhelming to deal with, especially if you’re not expecting it.

It is not typically resolved in just a few days; it often takes several weeks.

Puppy biting is how they engage with the world and because they’re teething.

Puppies like to chew and bite when they’re teething.

When you engage your dog, get them into the habit of having to sit or lie down for a treat every single time you interact with them before the biting occurs.

This will show them how you expect them to behave when you interact with them.

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