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New Puppy Checklist: 21 Items Your Dog Absolutely Needs | Pupford

December 27th, 2023

Filed under New Puppies

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There isn't much better than a new puppy. Their paws, little bodies, nose, ugh, love it all.

But a new puppy is also a lot of work, and there is a lot you need to make sure your new dog is comfortable in your home. So, here is a printable new puppy checklist of the essentials your new puppy can't live without.

new puppy checklist printable | Pupford

Want that PDF checklist? Click here to download and print the puppy checklist PDF.

And whether you're a first-time dog parent or a seasoned veteran, it never hurts to have this easy reference!


We will cover each item in detail below, but here is a simple new puppy checklist for all the essentials!

  • Dog bed
  • Chew toys
  • Toys for fetch
  • Dog food
  • Treats
  • Collar & harness
  • 4-6 foot leash
  • Long lead leash
  • Kennel or crate (or play pen)
  • Dog ID tags
  • Bowl for water
  • Bowl for food
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Nail clippers
  • Shampoo
  • Poop bags
  • Poop scooper
  • Dog toothbrush
  • Dog toothpaste
  • Brush or comb
  • Treat pouch for training

Now, let's dive into each item on the checklist below ⤵️

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for a 100% free online dog training course, 30 Day Perfect Pup with Zak George, to effectively train your new puppy. Sign up for free here! 🐶


Your pup will love having a comfortable place to call their own within your home. We recommend finding a dog bed that is big enough for your pup to grow into. Support is also a huge factor, so make sure you find a bed with memory foam or other sturdy support.

To make your life easier (and your house smell cleaner), get a dog bed that has a removable cover. You’ll want to wash the bed at least every couple weeks or so.

Check out this article for our best dog bed recommendations.

a good dog bed should be on your new puppy checklist | Pupford


Puppies love chewing, especially during their teething stage. If you don’t want them chewing up your sandals (I’ve said RIP to about 3 pairs of my own) then you better get some high-quality chew and tug toys.

pupford-tug-toy | Pupford

Chew toys are also great for keeping your puppy’s growing mind stimulated, and even helping to clean their teeth. The more you interact and play with your puppy, the happier they will be. On top of chew toys, you'll want a good toy to use for a game of tug! This will be very helpful in training sessions.

Get a tug toy in our popular Training Starter Pack here.


Exercise is extremely important for a dog’s health, but shouldn’t be overdone for young puppies. Playing fetch can be the perfect amount of exercise for young puppies.

One of our most used toys for fetch is our Chuck It. Long throws for the win!

Other options include just a tennis ball, a frisbee, or anything easily retrievable by your pup.

Related Reading: Best Dog for First Time Dog Owners (aka Parents)


Choosing the right dog food will affect your pup for years to come.

We recommend finding a food high in protein from quality sources. Check out our comparison of the 3 dog food types here.

We've also written an article with 39 different fruits and vegetables that are safe or not safe for your dog.


training treats should be on every new puppy checklist | Pupford

Whether just as a loving snack or for use in training, you will need plenty of treats for your pup. We recommend finding a treat that is easily digested by your pup, and an extremely "high-value" currency. Check out these freeze dried training treats that dogs go crazy for.

It’s smart to have treats located around your home so you’re prepped and ready for any impromptu training sessions.

Just remember that treats should only make up 10-15% or less of your dog's daily caloric intake. So, keep them healthy and don't overdo it!


Just like with a dog bed, be sure to snag a collar that your pup can grow into (although you may have to buy multiple depending on how big your pup will get).

A simple, flat collar is perfect for any pup and their training sessions. For recall and leash training, you'll also want a quality harness for your pup. Check out this harness!

PRO tip: Get a collar with reflective material, because a safe pup is a happy pup.

PS- Learn about dog collars vs harnesses here.

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for a 100% free online dog training course, 30 Day Perfect Pup with Zak George, to effectively train your new puppy. Sign up for free here! 🐶


What leash you get will depend on the energy and size of your dog. For our Yellow Lab puppies, we opted for a 6-foot leash that has a second handle at the 2-foot point of the leash.

This allows for a more restricted grasp on our pups as we are teaching leash manners and in other situations where a closer touch is needed. Check out the 6-foot leash here.

On the other hand, we have used regular 6-foot leashes as well as retractable leashes for our Puggle who is calmer and better on a leash. Again, just make sure you choose a leash that will last a long time and is safe for your pup.


This is one that way too many new pup parents leave off their checklist... A long lead!

In addition to your regular leash, you will want a long lead leash for training sessions and for places like parks and on hikes. Anything over 20 feet is great, just get enough to let your dog roam while still being in control!

Long lead training is an extremely important step in teaching your dog new skills and behaviors. Get yours here as part of our popular Training Starter Pack.

a new pup parent teaching their dog recall with a 30 foot lead | Pupford


Crate training is a vital behavior for your pup to understand. Our personal recommendation is to get a crate with a divider so you can limit the usable space for your pup as they are in the growing stage. Dogs instinctively don’t want to dirty (poop or pee) their living area, so a smaller space can help with that!

Also, as your dog grows, you can increase the space available for your pup so you don't have to buy a brand new crate.

When trained correctly, your dog will learn to love and appreciate their time in a kennel or crate, it becomes their own personal little den!

For help with training your new puppy to love their crate, check out the Dog Crate Training Class here!


Hopefully, it never happens to your pup, BUT dogs often run away or get lost.

You can make custom ID tags for under $10, a very worthwhile expense. It’s typically best to include your phone number, address, and an email address.

Don’t be afraid to throw some humor on your dog tags as well.

Another tip, talk to your vet and consider getting a microchip for your pup.


Depending on how big your dog is going to be, you may find yourself refilling your dog bowl what seems like every half hour. I’ve been in that situation, and because of that, we have purchased a 4-gallon dispenser that keeps our pups’ bowl filled for almost a week!

Water is a vital part of a dog's health, so make sure to keep it fresh and available for your new puppy.


No matter what you feed your dog, you’ll want a dog bowl that is easy to clean and of course, big enough for your pup’s food! We’ve found stainless steel or ceramic bowls to be the easiest to clean.

Also, keep in mind the size of your dog and how much you will be feeding your pup when you buy a food bowl and make sure there's enough space for all their grub.

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for a 100% free online dog training course, 30 Day Perfect Pup with Zak George, to effectively train your new puppy. Sign up for free here! 🐶

CARPET CLEANER (it’s bound to happen)

person cleaning up urine after their puppy peed in the house | Pupford

No matter how early you start potty training a puppy, you’re bound to have an accident or two in your house. Arming yourself with a quality carpet cleaner can ensure your livin g room doesn’t smell like a puddle of puppy pee forever.

Also, check out the ultimate potty training products pack.


You clip your own nails, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your pup?

Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed keeps scratches on your skin to a minimum (it’s also bound to happen, even accidentally). Not only that but if a dog’s nails are too long it can cause pain over time.

So, keep your dog’s nails trimmed, and use a proper dog nail clipper. Just don't clip them too short!

PS- Learn all about how to safely groom your puppy at home in our At-Home Grooming Course!


a puppy being bathed | Pupford

We all love a cuddly puppy, but one that smells bad, not so much. How often you wash your dog depends on their breed, but a general rule of thumb is to give them a good bath at least once a month.

Many dog shampoo bars help your pup to have a nice shiny coat and healthy skin!


Everybody poops.

Especially little puppies. So, get yourself a roll of poop bags for when you go on walks or to the park with your pup. You can even get poop bag holders that hook onto your leash, a must-have for every puppy parent!

Make sure you get poop bags that are strong and thick... plus biodegradable!

OH WAIT, I just described Pupford Poop Bags 😉

Get your Poop Bags here.


If your dog gets to roam in your backyard, having a pooper scooper will save both your back and your lawn. Trust me, I have 3 dogs and used to clean up dog poop with either a poop bag or a shovel.


100 poop bags and about 47 divots in my yard later, I bought myself a poop scooper. Do yourself a favor and just get one right now!


dog with a toothbrush in her mouth | Pupford

No, you probably shouldn’t share your own toothbrush with your dog.

Yes, you 100% need to brush your dog’s teeth. Bad oral hygiene can cause painful and expensive problems down the road for your pup.

Brushing your puppy's teeth is a simple task that you won’t regret, because who doesn’t love fresh puppy breath?

And if you're not willing to commit to daily teeth brushing, check out some other effective ways to clean dog teeth here!

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for a 100% free online dog training course, 30 Day Perfect Pup with Zak George, to effectively train your new puppy. Sign up for free here! 🐶


Just like your toothbrush, you shouldn’t share your toothpaste with your pupper. Actually, many human kinds of toothpaste include xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

So, go buy some toothpaste that’s just for your pup. My doggos love their flavored toothpaste! I didn’t love the taste, but hey that’s just me! ;)


Whether you have a dog that sheds or doesn’t, you’ll want a nice comb or brush to keep up with their grooming. I’ve found it is often best to brush your dog right after a bath to remove all the loose hairs.

You should comb your dog's hair every few days, especially to minimize shedding in short-haired pups.


The more often you train your pup, the more you’ll realize how annoying it is to hold a treat bag in your hand while trying to teach your dog different behaviors.

So, if you’re ready to commit to the full-on dog parent life (and look like a middle-aged dad from the 90’s), get yourself a treat pouch. The one I’ve used can go around your waist with the included adjustable band. Embrace the dog parent life, your life will be much better.

Related Offer: New Puppy Gift Boxes


a-new-puppy-checklist-for-dog-owners | Pupford

Having a dog is one of the most rewarding and sometimes frustrating experiences. Hopefully, this new puppy checklist helps you feel more prepared for your new puppy or dog.

A healthy pup is a happy dog parent, and that's why we started Pupford! Our whole goal is to empower dog parents, like you, to improve their relationship with their pup.

Your pup's behavior will be shaped dramatically in these first few months, so get a healthy treat that will make your training easier!

Shop our training treats here.

Are there any essential puppy items on your shopping list we missed? Tell us in the comments!

PS- If you missed it above, click here to access a PDF (and printable) version of the new dog checklist!

And before you leave, check out more new puppy resources below 👇

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for a 100% free online dog training course, 30 Day Perfect Pup with Zak George, to effectively train your new puppy. Sign up for free here! 🐶


And, we can't forget the #1 most-loved resource for new puppy parents... 30 Day Perfect Pup!

It's a 100% free (no cc required), easy to follow, and easily accessible online dog training course taught by Zak George. You'll learn all about training behaviors like...

  • Biting/nipping
  • Potty training
  • Leash walking
  • Recall and more

And it's all free! AND accessible via the Pupford website or app. Sign up here!


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