new puppy checklist with printable pdf shopping list | Pupford

New Puppy Checklist: 21 Items Your Pup Needs (Updated for 2020)

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Getting your first dog can be extremely exciting, and also a nerve-wracking moment. It’s vital that your pup has everything needed to start their life off on the right paw.

So what better way to know you got everything necessary than with a new puppy checklist?!

We’ve got your (and your pups) back! Here is the ultimate new puppy checklist of 21 items your pup can’t do without!

New Puppy Checklist Printable PDF

new puppy checklist 21 item your need to raise a puppy | Pupford


Want that PDF checklist sent to you? Just enter your email below to get a printable version 🙂

Breakdown of New Puppy Checklist

Here’s more detail on the items. You can click the links below to go straight to the specific one you’re curious about or just scroll down the page to learn more.

  1. Dog Bed
  2. Chew Toys (3-5)
  3. Toys for Fetch (frisbee, tennis ball)
  4. Food
  5. Treats
  6. Collar & Harness
  7. 4-6 Foot Leash
  8. Long Lead Leash for Training
  9. Kennel or Crate
  10. Dog ID Tags
  11. Bowl or Dispenser for Water
  12. Bowl for Food
  13. Carpet Cleaner (it’s bound to happen)
  14. Nail Clippers
  15. Shampoo
  16. Poop Bags
  17. Poop Scooper
  18. Dog Toothbrush
  19. Dog Toothpaste
  20. Dog Brush or Comb
  21. Treat Pouch for Training

Dog Bed

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.

For a full breakdown on our 5 favorite dog beds, check out this article.

pet fusion dog for a new puppy checklist | Pupford

Chew Toys (3-5)

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.

tug toys for dog training and play | 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.

Toys for Fetch

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!

chuck it fetch toy for new puppies | Pupford

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

Dog Food

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. Read it here.


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 soft, easily digested by your pup, and an extremely “high-value” currency. Check out these freeze dried beef liver 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!

train line information and call to action | Pupford

Collar & Harness

soft collar for new puppy checklist

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 one!

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

4-6 Foot Leash

What leash you get will depend on the size and energy 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 it out here.

leash for new puppy checklist | Pupford

On the other hand, we have used regular 6-foot leashes as well as retractable leashes for our Puggle who is more calm 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.

Long Lead Leash for Training

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.


training starter pack | Pupford

Kennel or Crate

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 our 100% free online dog training class. Sign up here.

metal crate for new puppy checklist | Pupford

Dog ID Tags

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.

Bowl or Dispenser for Water

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!

dog water dispenser for puppy checklist | Pupford

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

Bowl for Food

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.

Carpet Cleaner (it’s bound to happen)

carpet cleaner for new puppy checklist | 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 living room doesn’t smell like a puddle of puppy pee forever.

Nail Clippers

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!

puppy nail clipper | 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 shampoos help your pup to have a nice shiny coat and healthy skin.

Poop Bags

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!

Poop Scooper

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 Toothbrush

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?

dog toothbrush for puppy checklist | Pupford

Dog Toothpaste

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

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

Brush or Comb

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 if you want to minimize shedding in short-haired pups.

Treat Pouch for Training

treat pouch for training a puppy | Pupford

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 commands.

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), then get yourself a treat pouch. The one I’ve used can clip on your belt or go around your waist with the included adjustable band. Embrace the dog parent life, your life will be much better.

a new puppy checklist for dog owners | Pupford

New Puppy Checklist Recap

Having a dog is one of the most rewarding and sometimes frustrating experiences. Hopefully, this new puppy checklist helps you feel a little bit 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 be sure to get a healthy treat that will make your training easier!

Shop our training treats here.

train line information and call to action | Pupford

Anything we missed in our new puppy checklist? Tell us in the comments below!

Written by Devin Stagg

Since being deprived of dogs during his childhood, he and his wife decided to make up for it by having three dogs, two Lab puppies, and one grandpa Puggle. Meaning you won’t see him not covered in dog hair. When he’s not busy training his dogs and/or picking up their poop, you can find him cheering on Tottenham Hotspur and all Cleveland sports (yes, even the Browns).

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5 Comments on “New Puppy Checklist: 21 Items Your Pup Needs (Updated for 2020)

Dog & Dog Parent Approved

The proof is in the tail wags.

See what some happy pups (and their parents) have to say about Pupford!

Obsessed with Beef Tendons

Otis is obsessed with these chews. He literally leaves giant pools of drool when I pull one out of the bag. And we love it because it’s natural and keeps his pearly whites clean!   Otis

Perfect High Value Reward

My pup is not very food motivated at all but she LOVES these treats. As soon as I open the bag I have her full attention. We love training with these!! Krystal

These Treats are Perfect

These treats are perfect for training. Healthy product, perfect size and Louis loves them! Thank you! Carolyn

Loved by Dog Trainer

I'm a dog trainer, and I have yet to find a doggie client who doesn't love these little treats! And I love that I don't have to worry about running out - they're shipped right to my door regularly. I'm very happy with that treats (and so is my own dog!) Lori

Love at First Bite!

Bought my Pup these antlers and he instantly went to to Chow Town! He chewed on these for three hours non stop at first nibble. He continues to love these daily and satisfies his chewing needs. Thanks Pupford! Saundi