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New Puppy Checklist – I’m Getting A New Puppy, What Do I Need?

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“I’m getting a new puppy, what do I need? Do you have a new puppy checklist?” –C.M.

On January 7th, 2005, I asked those questions to the employee at the local pet store…wait for a second, let’s rewind…

That morning I didn’t know it, but in the afternoon I’d be bringing home an adorable, little Aussie mix puppy named Linus.

Actually, we almost named him Maximus Decimus Meridius (I must have just watched Gladiator the night before). Today, I can’t imagine him being anything other than Linus.

The Essential New Puppy Checklist - Puppy with his favorite toy
The Essential New Puppy Checklist

Did I mention I didn’t know I’d be bringing home a puppy that day? I read puppy books, researched websites, and talked to friends and family about dogs and puppies.

Heck, I even raised my roommate’s dogs in college, but I was still in the research phase when we found Linus.

I had ZERO puppy supplies. I was not prepared, but he was perfect so we said “I do” and the shelter told us they needed to microchip/vaccinate him and to come back in an hour and we could take him home.

One HOUR to get all the supplies we needed for our new puppy!

So that brings us back to our question:

“I’m getting a new puppy, what do I need? Do you have a new puppy checklist?”

QUICK ACCESS: If you’re having puppy training problems then you should join our Puppy Training Tips email list and get instant access to our New Puppy Owner Checklist PDF. To get started CLICK HERE.

New Puppy Checklist

I filled out and signed Linus’ adoption paperwork and then rushed over to the local pet store. I had one hour to find what I would need for Linus for the next few days/weeks/months/years.

I didn’t need everything for a new puppy just the essentials.

New Puppy Essentials Checklist

“Our” New Puppy Checklist should apply to all puppies, but keep in mind that I raise mostly Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and of course, Linus was an Australian Shepherd mix puppy, other breeds can have different specialized needs that aren’t reflected on this list.

Our New Puppy Essentials Checklist are the items we recommend you have the day you bring home your new puppy.

QUICK UPDATE: We are only recommending one product (our favorite) per category. It was difficult to always pick the best/favorite so please do your own due diligence and find what works best for your puppy

1. Dog Toys

We like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat & Heat Pack

We recommend getting lots of different textured toys to help when your puppy starts teething/chewing. However, we think it’s especially important to get a plush toy to rub on littermates and mama that way you can bring the scent of your pup’s family back home with you. Check out the Calmeroos Puppy which also includes heat pads and a ticking heart to help your puppy sleep at night.

2. Dog Crate

We like Midwest Life Stages Crate

We crate train all of our puppies and if you’re bringing your puppy home by yourself it’s important to have something to contain your puppy. We love and still use the same Midwest Life Stages Crate we bought for Linus over 14 years ago.

New Puppy Checklist - Snuggle Puppy and Puppy Blanket

3. Chews

We like: Beef Collagen Sticks

If you never had a puppy then get ready for some unwanted chewing of among other things furniture, clothes, shoes, hands, and feet. A good dog chew will help redirect this unwanted behavior until your puppy matures and sheds his puppy teeth. Our favorite dog chew for both our puppies and older dogs is Beef Collagen Sticks.

4. No Chew Spray

We like Grannicks Bitter Apple Spray

Puppies like to bite and chew anything and everything. Bitter Apple Spray will help deter your pup’s nibbly behavior.

5. Leash

We like: 6 Way Multifunctional Leather Dog Leash

We get two leashes for our puppies:

  • A short dragline which is a lightweight 4 or 6-foot nylon leash (we usually get the “small” 6-foot leash or the “medium” 4-foot leash)
  • A leather training leash – we like these convertible leather leashes we’ve been using since raising our first guide dog puppy.

6. Collar

We like: Buckle Collar

We don’t get too fancy with our puppy collars. A simple buckle collar does the trick. After all, they’ll outgrow their collar in no time. We like this Blueberry Reflective Buckle Collar.

7. Nametags

We like purchasing our tags from our local pet store, but if you can also order Pet Tags online.

You can order tags online ahead of time or your local pet store can likely make a tag for you the same day. The two essentials we include are the puppy’s name and phone number. Also, make sure you get your puppy microchipped just in case he loses his collar. Our shelter microchipped Linus before they sent him home with us.

8. Puppy Blanket

We like: Dog Blanket

We also bring a blanket to rub on our puppy’s litter mates then we put the blanky in the crate so our puppy feels a little more comfortable his first few nights in his new home. We like a smaller blanket that we can also use as a targeting mat for when our puppy starts training.

9. Puppy Food

We like Wellness Core Puppy Food

We feed our puppies premium dog food. Our puppy food of choice is Wellness Puppy Formula. We soak ours in warm water for about 10 minutes when we first bring home our 8-week-old puppies.

QUICK UPDATE: We recently started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! We recommend The Farmer’s Dog if you’re interested in feeding your puppy fresh food. Get 50% off your first order.

10. Dog Bowls

We like basic Stainless Steel Dog Bowls

A simple stainless steel food and water bowl will do the trick. We got similar stainless steel dog bowls when we first brought home Linus. We like that they have a silicone bottom to keep them from sliding around on the floor.

QUICK TIP: Make sure you get the right size bowl for your puppy. We get the large 8.5 inch bowl for our Labs and Goldens.

11. Stain & Odor Remover

We like Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator

Guess what? Your puppy is going to have accidents in the house. Even if you stick to a strict potty training schedule there will always be a miscue. Never fear Rocco & Roxie makes a great stain & odor remover that we use with our puppies.

QUICK TIPS: Always use an enzymatic cleaner that will completely eliminate the smell of urine. Your dog’s sense of smell is thousands to millions of times better than yours so make sure you have a cleaner that does the job right like Rocco & Roxie.

12. Treats

We like Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats

When do you start training your puppy? The day you get him! Whether or not you decide to train your puppy with treats it’s still important to have treats for your puppy.

13. Dog Brush/Comb

We like… there are lots of them, see below

Depending on the breed you may need specialized brushes and combs to keep a well-groomed coat. If not, your dog’s fur can get knotted in a short time (not really an issue with the Labs). We have 5 brushes/combs we use with our Goldens and Labs:

  • Slicker Brush – for removing mats and tangles our Golden Retriever, Raven’s long coat.
  • Undercoat Rake – Dog Comb for Detangling, Thinning, & Deshedding All Hair Types
  • Basic Two-Sided Pin Brush – we got for Linus, but have used it with all of our dogs.
  • Zoom Groom – mostly used with our Lab, Stetson.
  • Flea Comb – every once in a while we use this comb to check for fleas.
  • Furminator – we’ve had ours for years and use it with both our Golden and Lab to help reduce the amount of fur flying around the house.

14. Puppy Shampoo

We like Burt’s Bees for Puppies

You don’t want to use harsh human products or even a dog shampoo might be too much for your puppy’s delicate skin. Linus came from the shelter and desperately needed a bath when he got home. Stetson came from the Guide Dog school and had a bath right before I picked him up. However, he had an accident on the car ride home and needed a bath again once we were home.

15. Pumpkin

We like Native Pet Organic Pumpkin for Dogs

When we brought home Elsa her breeder gave us a basket full of puppy products. One essential product we originally did not have on our new puppy checklist was pumpkin.

If your dog never has an upset stomach or loose stool then she will most likely not need pumpkin as a supplement.

On the other hand, if your puppy has mushy poop then a pumpkin supplement can be a godsend as it helps make for more solid poopies.

We’ve raised dozens of puppies and more often then not they have loose stool during their first few days.

Since we’ve been raising puppies for nearly 20 years we’ve tried several pumpkin options. You can buy individual packets(servings) from your local pet store.

We’ve also bought Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin from the grocery store. If you buy from your grocery store make sure there’s nothing added to the pumpkin.

Finally, we recently started giving our dogs Native Pet Organic Pumpkin. Why? It’s a puree powder which makes it easy to store and save after using.

If your puppy has loose stool you’ll want to take her to the veterinarian to make sure she’s not sick.

16. Rags / Towels

We like whatever we can find around the house 🙂

Our second Guide puppy Derby had several accidents on the car ride home and made a little mess on the seats and floor mats. Ever since then we always have rags on hand to keep the car and all areas of the house clean of puppy pee, poop, and vomit.

17. Paper Towels

We like to grab a roll of paper towels from the garage 🙂

We used a combination of rags and paper towels to keep things clean around the house.

“Not Quite As Essential” New Puppy Checklist

These items are not quite as essential or you probably have an alternative you could use temporarily at your house. Basically, you’d probably want to pick up most of these items during your first weeks with your puppy, but you probably don’t need them the day you bring your puppy home.

18. Bedding

We like this MidWest Crate Pad Bedding for the crate

We don’t always have bedding for our crate and find that blankets, towels, and bed sheets can all be a good alternative. We even had one friend build us bedding for our crate using those egg crate foam. A word of warning: not all, but many of our puppies have decided the pet bedding would make a good chew and shred toy.

19. Dog Bed

We like the Bedsure Sofa Dog Bed

Again blankets, towels, bedsheets, and even pillows can be used as a dog bed. Several of my puppies have loved the sofa-style dog beds. Actually, Stetson has taken over our sofa. 🙂 One thing we’re looking for in our next dog bed is one that is easily washable. As you might imagine, puppies often have accidents on their dog beds.

20. Puppy Pee Pads

We like Puppy Pee Pads

We train all of our puppies to potty outside. However, I know that potty training outside is not always an option. So, when do we use pee pads? We use them when Raven has a litter of puppies.

21. Poop Bags

We like Earth Rated Poop Bags

We don’t use them as much now that we have a large backyard and pooper scooper. However, whenever we’re out and about with Raven, Elsa, or Anna we grab our favorite Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags. Remember always to have something to scoop the poop when out in public.

22. Gate

We like Regalo Pet Gate

Gates are a great way to keep your puppies confined to only certain rooms in your house. We’ve been using pet gates around the house since our first kid, Emma was born over 5 years ago Guess what? The pet gates work well with babies and doggies!

23. Playpen

We like Carlson Portable Pet Pen

Not essential, but if you can’t keep a close eye on your puppy and you don’t want to crate him then take a look at the Carlson Portable Pet Pen. An ex-pen would also work well in the house.

Our Carlson Portable Pet Pen came in handy when Raven had her puppies.

New Puppy Checklist - Puppies In Playpen
New Puppy Checklist – Item #23 – Puppy Playpen

24. Nail Trimmer

We like Dremel Cordless

We don’t recommend cheap pet nail trimmers. We even tried a “Pet” nail trimmer made by renowned brand Dremel, but we felt it did not think live up to the Dremel standard. However, we love and use this cordless Dremel with all of our pups. We’ve also tried several nail clippers, but prefer the trimmers/grinders to the clippers.

25. Travel Kennel

We like Noz2Noz Indoor and Outdoor Crate for Pets

We got a travel kennel for when we take our dogs on the road. We mainly wanted something that was collapsible and easier to carry than our regular crate.

QUICK TIP: Be careful with a travel kennel especially if your puppy is not yet crate trained because they may decide to chew through the mesh lining destroying your expensive investment.

26. Dog Toothbrush & Paste

We like Arm & Hammer Toothbrush Set

We like getting our pups used to the toothbrush and toothpaste, but usually don’t introduce them on day one. When we get a new puppy we always buy the toothpaste/toothbrush/finger brush combo pack for our pup.

27. Flea & Tick Meds

We like Frontline Plus for Dogs

Linus was loaded with parasites when he came home. Make sure you talk to your vet before applying any flea/tick meds to your puppy.

QUICK TIP: We’ve actually gone back in forth between Frontline Plus and Advantage II. At one point the fleas became immune to the Frontline Plus so make sure and consult your vet and find the best option for your puppy.

28. Heartworm Meds

We like Heartgard Plus

Heartworm can be a deadly disease. Make sure you talk to your vet about heartworm prevention.

29. Longline Leash

We like Mighty Paw Longline Leash

We use these to allow our puppies a little more freedom without losing control. We have 10, 20, and 30-foot-long lines which work great when working on recalls.

30. Harness

We like PetSafe Easy Walk No Pull Harness

Since our days with Archer, we started using the no-pull harness to help puppies that like to pull on walks. The Easy Walk Harness has been one of our favorites.

31. Gentle Leader

We like PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Collar

When we raised Adelle for Canine Support Teams they had us start her with the Gentle Leader when she was a wee pup. The Gentle Leader is a great tool if you have a puppy who pulls on a leash.

32. Clicker

We like Dog Training Clicker

We have dozens of clickers. We prefer our clicker to have a wristband so we can let it hang freely when working with our pups.

QUICK TIP: While we recommend this Mighty Paw clicker we also recommend having a variety of clickers. Box clickers are usually fairly noisy and you’ll also notice there are very quiet clickers for sensitive dogs. Depending on your pup he/she may respond better or worse to different clickers.

For the past eight years, we’ve been clicker training all of our puppies. It’s a very effective way to train and communicate with your puppy, but if you want to clicker train you’ll need a clicker and a….

33. Treat Pouch

We like Mighty Paw Treat Pouch

We recently started using the Mighty Paw Dog Treat Pouch and found it had a few more bells and whistles than our previous treat pouch. It has a compartment for poop bags as well as zipper pouch and quick access netted pouch.

If you’re going to clicker train your puppy then get a treat pouch. We tried using our pockets a few times and it gets messy and guess what? One time I left a few crumbs in my pocket and Stetson chewed through the fabric to get those last few niblets.

New Puppy Checklist - Item #33 - Treat Pouch - Lab waiting for treats
New Puppy Checklist – Item #33 – Treat Pouch

34. Food Container

We like Airtight Pet Food Container

We like having a food container to keep our dog food fresh. Our container is a little dated and I’m not so sure it’s still airtight. I think after 10+ years that happens. I’m on the search for a new improved dog food container…stay tuned…

QUICK TIP: Did you know that it’s a good idea to keep your food in the original bag? The bag is made specifically to store dog food for long periods of time. You’ll also be able to maintain the instructions, expiration date, and if there’s a recall you’ll know the lot number of your bag.

35. Books

We like Puppies for Dummies

Learn everything you can before, during, and after bringing home your puppy. We have stacks of books on training puppies, dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and every bit of information we can get to learn how to have a better relationship with our dogs and puppies.

Puppies for Dummies is a great starter book and will give you a solid foundation in puppy training basics.

36. Online Puppy Training

We like Our Blog or Doggy Dan’s Online Dog Training

We’ve shared all of our experiences raising and training service dog puppies for over 14 years now! Our blog is a great resource for new puppy owners.

Unfortunately, we know our blog is not terribly organized. We plan on getting everything into a concise puppy training program including a handbook, video lessons, and a workbook.

One dog training program we like and recommend is Doggy Dan’s Online Dog Trainer program. If you are raising a puppy check out the Project Moses section which shows Doggy Dan training Moses from 8 weeks old to 1 year. Definitely worth the price of admission.

37. Pooper Scooper

We like (currently testing)  Mighty Paw Pooper Scooper

We never had a pooper scooper living at the condo because the pups always went potty on their walks and we’d pick up with poop bags. At our house with a backyard the pooper scooper is essential.

38. Baby Wipes

We like Earth Rated Wipes

We buy Baby Wipes in bulk for Emma and the twins. Honestly, I didn’t have baby wipes in the early days. Now that I have babies I can’t imagine what I’d do without baby wipes for puppies and babies.

39. Potty Bells

We like: Mighty Paw Smart Bell

The Mighty Paw Smart Bell is not your traditional potty bell. It’s a button you train your puppy to push with his nose or paws. It’s similar to training your puppy to push an “Easy” button. We love this potty bell, however if you’re looking for the traditional “jingle” bells then try these house training doggy bells.

Bonus Checklist #1

These are not puppy products, but instead a list of a few contacts you should have before or shortly after you bring home your puppy.

39. Veterinarian/24 hr Emergency Vet

Hamilton Animal Hospital was our go-to vet from day one with Linus. We liked the vets and staff and continued to take him there even after we moved to a different city. Also, make sure you have the phone number and address for your closest 24 hr Emergency Vet Office.

40. Dog Trainer

Before we brought home our first puppy Linus we knew he would be going to local pet trainer Sue Myles. It’s a good idea to have a training plan and a good dog trainer ready to help you when your puppy is not being an angel.

QUICK TIP: Even though we’ve been training puppies for over a decade we still take our pups to group training classes. It’s important for your puppy to not only learn obedience but to learn how to properly socialize with other puppies.

41. Pet Sitter/Walker

Sometimes it just takes talking to friends, family, and neighbors about getting a little help when you’re at work or need a break from your puppy. If those aren’t options there are online services, individual pet sitters/walkers, or even check with your local doggy daycare facility.

42. Boarding

We’re lucky when raising guide dog puppies we have the option to board our pups at the school free of charge. However, there may be a time when you need to board your puppy. Start researching facilities in your area or start checking with family, friends, and neighbors to see if they might be able to board your puppy when you need a vacay.

QUICK TIP: If you’re working a full-time job then you may need to make an alternate plan for your puppy. Your puppy could end up with behavior problems if you leave him home alone for extended periods of time during the day.

43. Pet Insurance

We like Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

We did our due diligence and researched many different pet insurance companies and narrowed our search down to Healthy Paws. Why? Our close friends rang up bills of over $50K for their current puppy. If not for Healthy Paws they would not have been able to afford the bills and the puppy would have been put down.

Bonus #2: Luxury Items

44. Dog Camera

We like Furbo Dog Camera

Several years ago we got a Furbo Dog Camera and it’s been love since we first unboxed it. Simple to set up and use, we even sometimes use it to watch the kids when they’re playing in our bedroom. Although the kids don’t respond when we toss them a dog treat 🙂

Our favorite feature on the Furbo Dog Camera is the bark alerts. We always know when our puppy is at home barking in his crate.

What To Bring With You When Picking Up Your Puppy

New Puppy Checklist - What You Need Before Bringing Home Your Puppy
New Puppy Checklist – What You Need Before Bringing Home Your Puppy

The day I brought home Linus I thought I was just taking a trip to the local shelter to visit puppies I came across on PetFinder.com. Needless to say, I was not prepared that day.

By the time I picked up my fourth puppy, Dublin I was a puppy-raising veteran. I knew exactly what I wanted to bring before picking up my puppy.

Now that you have (or know what to get) from our new puppy checklists above. Here’s what you should bring with you the day you pick up your puppy.

  • Camera – It’s funny to think about today, but back in 2005 my phone did not have a camera, so we have zero pics of Linus or his sister at the shelter. Today most people have smartphones with built-in cameras. However, if you really want to capture the moment then bring your fancy pants DSLR or mirrorless camera to get the best pics of your puppy and his littermates. Don’t forget to take as many pics of your puppy as possible today and every day. They grow up way too fast.
  • A Friend or Family Member – You need someone to document the moment: a photographer, videographer, and someone to share the moment with. When I picked up Stetson it was only me. No one to take pictures of. No one to help me on the car ride home. No one to share the memories with and I only have one picture from the pickup day. 🙁
  • Plush Dog Toy and Puppy Blanket – Make sure you have a plush toy and puppy blanket and rub it all over your pup’s littermates and mama. This way when you get home you can put the toy and blanket in his crate so he’ll smell the scent of his littermates and mama when it’s time for bed.

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: We really like the Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat & Heat Pack to help your puppy during his first night home away from his littermates.

  • Chew Toy – It may be your puppy’s first time in the car or he may just get antsy. Having a chew toy like a Beef Collagen Stick could help ease anxiety and occupy his time.
  • Rags / Towels / Paper Towels – From experience, I’ve had puppies throw up, poop, and pee on the car ride home. It’s a good idea to line your car and yourself with towels/rags and have paper towels handy for quick cleanups.
  • Old Clothes – You might get pooped on so don’t wear your Sunday Best.
  • Crate or Box [OPTIONAL] – When we had Linus we had him sit in a small box on the car ride home. This is a good way to keep yourself and the car clean. If you’re bringing home your puppy in the car by yourself as I did with Stetson then you should probably crate him so he’s not bouncing around while you’re trying to drive. I borrowed a small plastic molded crate and he did have an accident on our car ride home. If you have #2. Friend/Family on our list then you probably don’t need #7. Crate/Box.

Checklist For Our New Puppy, Linus

Back to our story…

So, what happened with our first puppy, Linus?

If you recall we decided to bring home a puppy (Linus) from the shelter and had one hour to get puppy supplies for at least the next day or two.

What did we do? We went with all the recommendations made by the employee at the local pet store which happened to be one of the large pet retailers.

While not a horrible decision also not a great decision. This pet retailer also had its own line of products and at the time we didn’t know it, but the employee pushed all of the pet retailer’s products.

Not everything was terrible. We still use the stainless steel bowls and the Midwest Crate we purchased over 14 years ago.

However, today we always heavily research any new puppy products before making a purchase.

There’s a lot of information right at your fingertips. Don’t just take my word for it. Do your own due diligence and read others’ opinions and experiences by searching Google and check out Amazon or Chewy for product details, descriptions, reviews, and ratings.

New Puppy FAQ

A new puppy checklist won’t answer all your questions. Here are a few answers to some common questions for new puppy owners:

Where Should Your Puppy Sleep The First Night?

We raise and train all of our service dog puppies to sleep in a crate beside our bed. Basically, our nightstands are wire dog crates.

For our Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever puppies, we use a 36-inch Midwest Life Stages Dog Crate. The Midwest crates come with a wire divider that allows you to resize the crate as your puppy grows.

If you’re Lab or Golden is a little larger you might need the 42-inch crate. We needed the 42-inch crate with Apache.

One essential item we put in the crate with our puppies on the first night is the Calmeroos Puppy Toy with Heartbeat and Heat Pack. This has helped many of our pups sleep through the first night without a peep.

What Should I Do The First Week With A New Puppy?

As service dog puppy raisers we follow the rules the school has laid out for new puppies for decades. When it comes to the first week the service dog school asks us to take it easy and let our puppies get used to their new home.

That being said here are some of the things we do during the first week with a new puppy:

  1. Get The Puppy Essentials – While you can look at the above list I’d like to mention the importance of collar and pet tags. We’ve heard of puppies getting lost on the first day and without a collar and tags they may never find they’re way back home.
  2. Good House Manners – Don’t let you puppy get away with any of the cute stuff just because he’s cute. Stop the jumping, scratching, nibbling, pulling while he’s young otherwise you’ll have to deal with an unruly adolescent.
  3. Potty Training – This is number 1a on our list of things to do. PRO TIP: Keep a schedule including every time your puppy poops, pees, or eats. You’ll notice a pattern when it comes to his potty schedule.
  4. Crate Training – This is number 1b on our list. PRO TIP: Associate as many positive things with the crate before bedtime including but not limited to: meals, treats, toys, stuffed KONGs, chews, collagen sticks, etc.
  5. Puppy Socialization – We keep it quiet the first week, but we do like our whole family to interact with our new puppy. Our most recent puppy, Elsa got to meet a few close friends and family the first week, but I wouldn’t recommend too much more than that.
  6. Basic Obedience – You don’t need to start obedience training. It’s easy to teach when your puppy is a little older. With Elsa we only introduced the clicker, but that was about it.

Take it slow the first week. Remember it’s your puppy’s first week away from his home, away from his mother, away from his siblings. It could all be very traumatic. Take it slow and enjoy your little puppy without overwhelming him.

What Is The First Thing You Should Train Your Puppy To Do?

Potty training and crate training are the first two things I teach my puppy.


It’s imperative that our service dog puppies do not have accidents in the house or any indoor establishments since they will be out and about in the public with their owners/partners.

A crate is an essential tool for all puppies. It’s a place where your puppy can go and feel safe. It’s also a place you can have your puppy go to give yourself a break.

Can An 8 Week Old Puppy Sleep Through The Night?

The short answer is yes.

The longer answer is maybe. We’ve raised over a dozen puppies and some have slept through the night at 8 weeks old and some have not.

Some puppies didn’t sleep through the night at 8 weeks then didn’t sleep through the night at 9 weeks….all the way until 12 weeks. Yep, I’m talking about you Stetson. It took him a month before he slept through the night…UGH!

Most 8-week-old puppies we’ve raised do not sleep through the first night. Most of our puppies do sleep through the night after about a week at home with us and are usually sleeping through the night by the time they are 9 weeks old.

Elsa did not sleep through the night on her first night home when she was exactly 8 weeks old. She did sleep a solid 8+ hours by the fourth night.

So, Elsa slept through the night when she was 8 weeks and 4 days old.

The Ultimate Checklist For New Puppy Owners Printable PDF

If you count the essential and non-essential items on our new puppy checklist then you have a whopping 42 items to buy on your next trip to your local pet store!


Not to worry, I put together a nice Printable New Puppy Checklist in PDF format so you can print or save it to your smartphone.

Sign up for our puppy training tips newsletter and we’ll send you our FREE New Puppy Checklist PDF.

Final Thoughts

You won’t need everything on this list. At the bare minimum make sure you bring home or have the first 17 items on our New Puppy Essentials Checklist.

The New Puppy Essentials Checklist is a great starting point for your puppy and should get you through the first week or two, but beware, you’ll definitely have to purchase other products as your puppy grows and develops.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think?

Am I missing anything on my new puppy checklist?

In your experience what essential puppy supplies do you get before bringing home a puppy?

Tell us your thoughts, questions, and answers in the comment section below.

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New Puppy Checklist - Golden Retriever puppy with his toy
New Puppy Checklist

UPDATE: This post was originally posted on Feb 28, 2019. It has been updated with new information based on our most current adventures and experiences.

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. We’re preparing to bring home an 8 week English Lab at the end of this month, and have been wondering about the appropriate size for a dog bed. Is it better to buy a full sized dog bed and let the puppy grow into it, or buy a smaller dog bed and size up as the dog grows?

    Your article was so helpful, thanks!

  2. This was very helpful. We are getting our first lab puppy, 10 weeks old in 2 weeks. So excited. It’ll be the 1st dog my 12 yr has had and he’s been begging for a dog for years now. Finally! yeah

    It is so important to me to have a well behaved dog. I will be having obedience trainer come to the house right away.

    The list was helpful and informative. Appreciate it!

    Thanks again.

  3. Absolutely, it is a very good idea to let them sleep together the first couple of nights. And also depending on how they react to being separated you might want to start by separating them for only a couple of minutes/hours, until they don’t have a problem sleeping alone.

    good luck with your new pups!

  4. We are getting two puppies, a brother and sister who have been inseparable since birth. Can we let them sleep together in the same crate the first night or two while they get used to their new home? I was thinking we could transition to two crates right next to each other after that…

  5. Not sure, I’m buying a sheepadoodle now but I’m from the states. Good luck though!

  6. i am looking for a sheepadoodle in europe can someone help me find. i only see them in de usa

  7. Yes, we take our puppies to the vet the first week they come home. When we raise a litter we take the litter in for a vet check at around 7 weeks old and they get a vet check certificate when they go home with their new owners.

  8. Yes, I always take my puppy to the vet the first week they are home to check and make sure the puppy is healthy.

  9. Thank you for creating this page! Such valuable information and super helpful. This is my go to list now haha. Do you recommend taking the puppy to a vet the first week they come home? Thanks!

  10. I’m glad you found the list useful. I always used to forget something when bringing home a new puppy so after many years I decided a checklist would be helpful. Also, I like to update my checklist with every puppy. As a puppy raiser I usually have a new puppy every 1-2 years. Good luck with your Labradane!

  11. Thanks so much for refreshing my memory on things my new Labradane will need. It’s been over 10 yrs since my last Golden passed, so I needed a refresher course PLUS a bit of new information!

  12. Here’s an article on potty training to help get you started and hopefully avoid messes.

    We have this article on puppy biting which mainly talks about biting/chewing on your arms and legs, but can be applied to biting/chewing on furniture and other unwanted objects.

    We don’t have any articles specifically about chewing on unwanted things like couches, tables legs, and chairs. I’ll add it to my to-do list. By the way, one of my puppies chewed on the dry wall. Yep, definitely something you’ll want to try and avoid.

    FYI, the short answer to keeping your puppy from chewing on unwanted things is puppy management. Keep an eye on your puppy 100% of the time. If you can’t watch your pup then use a management tool like a crate or tie down. Also, show your puppy what is appropriate to chew on (bully sticks, KONGs, stuffed toys) and you can spray things like leashes and furniture with bitter apple spray to deter your puppy from chewing on them. Bitter apple spray works sometimes, but other times the puppies just ignore the spray.

    Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy!

  13. I thank you so much for telling us about the towel, old blankets to take in the car, did not think of that, DONE. Will also take new blanket & stuffed animal for smell of litter mates. DONE. Now, you say clean up messes, stop the chewing on furniture, but you don’t say how to correct kindly. I do not want to scare my puppy, just let him know this is not a good behavior, & help him change his behavior. I will definitely clean up with proper cleaners, but how do I tell him no that he will know this is not acceptable. Thank you for your answers.

  14. Thank you for this comprehensive information. We have had several dogs over the years, but never a young puppy. We are preparing to welcome an 8 week old schnauzer in a few more weeks. I received my first (of likely many!) Chewy delivery yesterday and realized I missed a few things! Your lists help me to think of everything and I’m sure I’ll refer to your blogs frequently! Thanks again!!

  15. I’m glad you’re finding our site useful. Please let us know if you have any questions and good luck with your new puppy!

  16. Thank you for this awesome list! I never thought I’d be a pet owner, but I know my 6-year-old son will be shocked to meet his puppy for the first time in January. I’m very excited, but also anxious about the potty training and chewing. Again, thank you for sharing your immense expertise in raising a puppy. This is the BEST list I’ve found!

  17. We keep our dogs indoors. One thing that we try to do when introducing is make sure the older dog does not overwhelm the puppy and our puppy does not overwhelm the older dog. A lot will depend on the temperaments and personalities of your two dogs. During introductions we always try to keep both dogs under control usually be keeping one or both on leash until they are comfortable around each other. Good luck with your new puppy!

  18. I have a 3 year old Lab and will be getting a Lab puppy in the Spring. How do I mange he puppy with the older one?? I live in Hawaii, my dogs our outside. Currently my older one sleeps on our deck at night on her pillow.

  19. I crate train all of my puppies. The crate is not only used as a place for your puppy to sleep at night. Here are a few reasons we needed our dog to be well behaved in the crate:

    1. Sometimes you cannot take your puppy with you. In our case when we did K9 Nosework we had to crate our dog between trials. An example for a service dog could be if you went to a public place that didn’t allow your service dog in certain areas. For instance, the zoo may allow you in certain areas, but not in all areas as it can disturb and scare certain animals.
    2. When Linus got sick he had to stay in a crate at the vets office while he recovered. I was happy to know he felt safe and comfortable in a crate.
    3. A couple years ago, during the California wildfires I had heard of some dogs being so frantic that owners couldn’t get them out of the house. Since dogs consider their crate a safe place they often go there when in distress.

    You never know when you might need to crate your dog. I always find it better for them to be comfortable in their crate then have to worry about your dog having stress and anxiety because you had to crate them without any training.

  20. If a service dog is being trained for an autistic person, and one of the tasks will be to help the person sleep during the night though DPT, is crate training still as important?

  21. This is so helpful! I am getting a puppy soon and will be training it to be a multi purpose service dog. This is the first thing I found that gives helpful information about what to get a normal puppy and talks about service dogs. I’m so happy that I know this will also be good for a service dog in training.

  22. Thank you for this! What a helpful list – especially for those of us who are brand new to all of this.

  23. Congratulations! We just brought home an 8 week old black Lab puppy! Regarding the food, we’ve only tried The Farmer’s Dog so far. We (I mean Raven) really liked The Farmer’s Dog. The biggest issue for us is the cost. Oh and make sure you have freezer space. Here are some of the other popular fresh dog foods that we plan on trying: Nom Nom Now, Ollie, and Pet Plate. You should be able to get a good discount for any of these on first order. Also, if you try any of these fresh dog foods I’d love to hear your thoughts. All the best to you and your new puppy!

  24. Love the list. We’re getting our 8 week old black English lab in August. Lots to prepare. My main concern is the food and training. I’m looking into the Farmer’s Dog food. Any other brands similar to recommend? Has to be fresh, nutritious, and convenient.

  25. Early congratulations on your new puppy! I’m glad you’re finding the list helpful. That’s cool that you were able to doctor your own Snuggle Puppy! By the way, we’re planning on putting together a course for new puppy owners within the next couple months. Stay tuned.

  26. Thank you for this list. We have finally decided to get a puppy (to add to our 2 kittens) and this list is everything I could ask for in trying to decide what to get. We are getting a lab/gs mix so your recommendations are truly helpful for us. We will be training him/her to hunt so seeing the clicker tools listed is great.

    I remember many decades ago giving up my favorite stuffed animal to be doctored into a a snuggle puppy with an old ticking clock and a hot water bottle!

    Will be keeping your site pinned for training and tips when we bring home our pup in Aug 2020.

  27. Plenty of patients & love, puppy’s can be a handful, we had 2 big outside dogs, my wife got a mini dachshund, she has been experience, we have learned a lot

  28. We recommend products we use with our puppies which are Golden’s, Labs, German Shepherds, and Australian Shepherd mix. I looked over the entire entire checklist and you’ll probably want to get most of the items on the list, but adjust for the size of your breed.

  29. Our guide dog puppies are required to ride on the passenger side floor boards which don’t require a harness. However, we have used a few car harnesses with our own dogs, but nothing I would recommend. I’ll look into doing a full review/comparison post of dog harnesses in the near future. That being said there’s a website that has done crash tests with multiple harnesses. Check out: https://www.centerforpetsafety.org. When I put together a review I’ll definitely be using that site as a source.

  30. Thank you for your puppy list. It came to mind after viewing your list, how about a recommendation for a vehicle seat restrainer for dogs.

  31. Thanks for sharing the Pawlicy Advisor tool. I’ll take a look at it to see if it’s something I’d like to include on my list. I hope everything works out for your new puppy and thank you for rescuing!

  32. Love the post! I recently adopted a pitty mix so definitely helpful. BTW, my vet told me about this tool called Pawlicy Advisor. I actually thought it was super helpful when figuring out pet insurance stuff (they scan a bunch of companies and provide a custom recommendation based on a form you fill out).

    Anyway, thought you might want to include in this awesome guide if helpful.

    Regardless, keep up the great work 🙂

  33. My puppy pees outside then comes in the house and in a short time pees what can I do

  34. Totally agree with you on the no instruction manual for kids. I’m guessing most new parents feel the same way. I remember having that feeling come over me the day the nurse walked us downstairs and strapped our daughter into the car seat, walked away, and waved goodbye. I remember thinking I can’t believe they put us in charge of this little human.

    You are correct with puppies too. I don’t think most people realize the responsibility and work involved with a new puppy. I was proactive before bringing home my first puppy, Linus and even though we didn’t have the supplies I had read books, talked to friends, and family about how to raise a puppy. That still wasn’t enough for the first few months of puppyhood. Luckily we got through it and Linus was the most awesome dog. He was my best buddy for over 13 years.

  35. LOL — Wowzer list is right! We brought home our first puppy many years ago and I had NO CLUE. About ANYTHING. That poor baby cried the whole first night. The snuggle blanket with the warming insert would have been so comforting for him.

    Fast forward to our current pup. We got him as a 1-year old rescue and didn’t have the same issue with night crying. But he was extremely fear-based aggressive, and again, we had no clue what to do. While he warmed up to us nicely, it took a loooong time for him to accept outsiders (and he still hates my cleaning woman 8 years later!) Early intervention with a good trainer would have been so helpful.

    I like that your list is so long — I think it impresses upon would-be dog owners that taking on a new puppy (or older dog, for that matter) is a serious undertaking.

    Then again, to this day I can’t believe they let me take my son home from the hospital with no instruction manual!

  36. It was helpful when you said that good chews help puppies redirect the unwanted behavior of chewing on things. I want to get a tri-color miniature Bernedoodle puppy for my daughter soon. Your advice should help us care for the puppy effectively!

  37. Good job. This is very detailed and extremely helpful. I am a first time puppy mummy, I will be bringing my pup home in three days. I’m so excited

  38. I have had dogs and puppies but never a puppy that I had to take from him mom and siblings which I have to do tonight. I have much of what he will needs and I happy I saw about his blanket and having his siblings and moms smell on it, I hope that comforts him some. Thank you I am sure my little guy Chase will feel better about his move.

  39. Thanks! The “essential” new puppy checklist was basically everything I thought someone should definitely have the first day/night home with their new puppy. You’re right though, a new puppy owner should probably at some point in time have everything on this list. I tried to break it down so it would be a little more digestible. By the way, I probably own multiples of nearly every item on this list. Thanks for stopping by!

  40. Awesome checklist! This list is very detailed. Some of the items in the “Not quite essential” and “bonus” checklist are just as essential as the main checklist as many new dog owners may not think of some of those items until they are in need. I know I didn’t think of many of these things until after my puppy was already home for a while.

  41. Thanks! We racked our brain and tried to make our new puppy checklist as extensive as possible while also giving an option for everything one would need for just the first few nights – our essential puppy checklist. We have our fingers crossed for Raven…we will potentially have little Golden Retriever puppies in the spring 🙂

  42. Great list! There’s a lot of items on there that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own and I love the printable option. I also loved the video at the beginning. Is Raven expecting another litter puppies soon?

  43. Thanks! We tried to think of everything we’ve ever needed when bringing home a puppy. It’s actually a good checklist for me to revisit before each new puppy to make sure I have all the proper supplies. If there’s anything missing please let me know and I can update the list.

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