New Puppy Checklist for all New Dog Owners
An Essential Guide for All Dog Owners
“I am getting a puppy, what do I need?”
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If you plan on bringing home a new puppy soon, you must be getting very excited! You probably are beginning to realize that there are many things you must do to prepare for the arrival of your new family member. Puppies require a lot of care and attention. Therefore, you want to make sure that your home is dog-proof and that you also have all the necessities for raising a dog.
Below you will find 3 new puppy checklist categories:
1. MUST-HAVE (Necessities to have from Day 1)
2. WILL EVENTUALLY NEED (Essential products for all doodle owners)
3. HIGHLY SUGGEST (Beneficial items to have)
Before we brought our Mini Goldendoodle, Millie, home, we made sure to have any must-have items that any dog would require. These essentials included a water and food bowl, collar, leash, crate, and a bag of food.
After just a couple of days, we quickly realized that there were a few more items that we needed. For example, a cider spray to help deter Millie from chewing on furniture. A stain and odor cleaner for the accidents was also a must, as every puppy will have pee and poo accidents in the beginning months.
These are just a few of the items needed for the arrival of a new dog in your home. Having a couple of years with our Mini Goldendoodle under our belt, I was able to compile a new puppy checklist to help new owners know what to expect when bringing a new furry member into the family.
The following products are my preferred choice of products. There are many different versions of each product, so please do your due diligence and choose what works best for you and your puppy. I hope you find this list helpful in welcoming your new puppy.
New Puppy Checklist: Part 1
Necessities to Have from Day 1
The following items are the basics that you certainly cannot go without.
There is a vast assortment of collars to choose from. Dog collars can be purchased from a variety of places, including pet stores, big box stores, or online. Where ever you decide to get one, I recommend that you purchase an adjustable collar due to the fact that your puppy will be growing fast and being able to alter the length will save you from having to purchase a new one every few months.
Leashes come in a variety of choices, as well. The most commonly used is your standard 6-foot long leash. During our puppy's training class, our instructor recommended using a 30-foot long leash for name-recall practice. A leash with two handles is also a great option, as it gives you more control on walks.
One of the first requirements that you will want to take care of is making sure your puppy has a personalized identification tag on their collar. Your dog’s name, a phone number and address is necessary information that should be included on the ID tag in case your puppy gets lost. This will ensure that your dog can be safely returned home. The most common type of ID tag is one that hangs from a ring. I like these stylish tags.
WATER / FOOD BOWLS
There are so many different styles of food and water bowls. You can get cute, stylish ones at your home goods stores or fancy auto-replenish ones at your local pet store. The dollar stores even them for cheap! A good tip is to find one that has a no-tip design, rust resistant, dishwasher-safe and a rubber base that prevents sliding—like this dog bowl.
Which food should I feed my puppy? Dog food is most certainly a very important item on a new puppy checklist! There are so many dog food choices that it can feel overwhelming at times. With dog owners expressing different opinions and personal preferences, it is challenging to suggest just one particular brand or type. One thing to keep in mind is to make sure you purchase high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for PUPPIES. We feed our dog Purina dog food, but I suggest asking your vet what food they recommend for your puppy.
A crate is crucial, especially in the training stages. Our Mini Goldendoodle slept in her crate every night during the first year. Because our dog is now house trained, we do not use our crate on a regular basis anymore. However, some dogs prefer to use their crate during their entire lifetime, as some may feel safe in it. You can sometimes find good deals on online marketplaces or even local garage sales. Wherever you decide to get yours, I would suggest a sturdy wire crate. This crate is nice because it comes with a crate cover, which helps keep a dog feeling protected.
What dog doesn’t like a comfy place to rest? Although many owners eventually allow their pets to sit on their furniture, such as couches and beds, it’s always a good idea to have a special place exclusively for your dog. We like this particular dog bed because it fits perfectly inside the crate. It’s also so soft, machine washable and neutral in color to match our decor.
A gate in the early stages of training is a must. Find one that is expandable so that you can adjust it to the width of your space. A pressure mount design is your standard type of gate that is easy to set up, gentle on your walls, and most practical.
Rewarding your puppy for good behavior in the training stages is extremely helpful in helping him learn. There are a variety of different kinds of treats you can purchase at just about any store that sells dog supplies. Choosing small bite-sized treats helps make sure you do not overfeed your pup. Pet Botanics Training Reward dog treats are a popular choice. Overall, make sure you have some training treats checked off your new puppy checklist!
An absolute must is to have a few toys for your pup to chew on. Chew toys will help distract them from wanting to bite on your baseboards, table legs and shoes. Both Nylabone and Benebone teething bones were a hit in our house! They are long-lasting and our Mini Doodle would gnaw on them for long periods of time throughout each day. At two years old, she still enjoys chewing on these toys.
Potty bells are essential so that you can always be aware of when your pup needs to go outside. Instead of barking or scratching at the door, I have comfort knowing that I can hear when she needs to go out, from anywhere in the house, assuring that she will not have accidents in our home. We trained our dog to use these right away. She learned how to ring them very quickly.
BITTER APPLE SPRAY
Puppies do not like the smell of apple cider vinegar. We purchased a bottle at our local grocery store, poured it in a spray bottle and sprayed any areas that we did not want our puppy to chew. After that, she ran far away and lost complete interest in trying to chew that area. It worked so well that just showing her the bottle would make her stop!
However, apple cider vinegar does have a strong scent, so if you have a sensitive sense of smell, you may want to try Grannicks Bitter Apple Taste Deterrent for Dogs. Customers say that humans can't smell it. Therefore, I would suggest trying this spray if you can't stand the smell of apple cider vinegar.
New Puppy Checklist: Part 2
Will Eventually Need
Essential Products for Doodle Owners
The following products are not required the moment you bring your puppy home, but you will want them as soon as your puppy gets settled in.
A comb or brush is something you should most certainly have checked off of your new puppy checklist! Goldendoodles need to have their fur combed and brushed regularly. If you fail to do this, their hair will get knots and develop clumps of matting. In some cases, you will have to cut out the knots because they are so matted. Avoid this by brushing them daily or as much as you can—even if it’s just a couple times a week.
A steel comb is ideal for removing tangles, mats, and loose hair. Every doodle owner should own one of these combs.
A slicker brush has fine wire bristles designed to penetrate deep into the coat that helps groom the undercoat of your dog. I like this particular brush because it has a button that you press to retract the bristles for an easy swipe, removing all the hair from the brush.
It’s always a good idea to bathe your dog from time to time. Otherwise, they can start smelling like the dirt they roll around in.
The long hair of Goldendoodles, and of any long haired pets, can easily get tangled with all the playing they do. It then becomes a struggle to comb through these mats. Therefore, having a pleasant smelling detangler like Cowboy Magic Detangler helps loosen up the knots and makes it much easier to brush.
Trimming the hair around a Goldendoodle's eyes every few weeks is a must. Why? Because all their wavy hair starts to curl up in front of their eyes and can block their vision. No worries! All you need is a pair of thinning shears to trim those little hairs away. Thinning shears are recommended over regular scissors because they are more forgivable. In other words, they won't leave such a sharp straight cut but rather a more blended cut.
SPLIT DEER ANTLERS
Puppies like to chew! You will notice when you bring them home that they will want to gnaw at your chair legs, baseboards, shoes, you name it. Having chew toys for your dog to chew on will help keep their mind off all your furniture. Split deer antlers are a great choice as they are and all-natural and long-lasting chew toy.
A Kong is a popular chew toy among all dog owners. It is a durable, natural rubber that dogs like to chew. Fill them with peanut butter or other treats for a long-lasting, satisfying activity for your puppy to enjoy. Freeze the stuffed Kong for a more challenging treat while keeping your dog satisfied for an even longer period-of-time.
Your new puppy will most definitely have accidents. We dog owners must embrace that this is just part of the training process. Just be sure to have a professional strength and odor eliminator on hand, such as Rocco & Roxie Enzyme Cleaner marked off your new puppy checklist.
It's important to clean up after your dog. Picking up your dog's waste is more than just keeping your yard and shoes clean, but it's also better for the environment. I like this pooper scooper because it allows you to stay standing while picking up poop, rather than squatting down and hurting your legs and back. The long claw handle is exceptional at scooping up waste, while at the same time keeping your distance away from the stink.
New Puppy Checklist: Part 3
Highly Suggested Items
Beneficial Products to Eventually Own
The list below includes items that have helped me immensely as a dog owner. Keep in mind, none of these are crucial to have, but they are extremely valuable!
If you or anyone in your family has allergies, an air purifier is a good investment! A HEPA allergen remover air purifier helps capture up to 99.97% of airborne particles! You do have to change the filters every few months, but when you see how much dust and dirt those filters capture, it will reassure you that it is working.
Most dog owners take their pets to get professionally groomed every so often. In between those grooming appointments, there will likely be times when your dog will get muddy or start to smell. During these times, a bath will be necessary. This shower wand makes giving a bath so easy. I only wished I would have crossed this item off my new puppy checklist sooner!
The majority of Goldendoodle owners rely on a professional groomer to trim their dog. But there may be times that you need your dog trimmed sooner than you can get an appointment. Or maybe you want to try and save some money and do it yourself. I suggest having a professional pet clipper around to be able to do quick trims in between grooming appointments. Are you intimidated by giving your dog a haircut all on your own? Don't be! Remember, the hair will always grow back!
A dog's claws need maintenance, just like our nails. Many groomers and pet stores offer services to do this for you, ranging from between $5-10 each session—which can add up over time. I suggest having a good nail clipper as part of your grooming kit so you can cut your dog's nails.
While training your dog, you will find there will be times when your dog needs correcting. Some examples may be unnecessary barking or jumping up on people. If your words don't seem to be working with helping the dog stop, try the Pet Corrector! It works by compressed air which creates a "hiss" sound, which interrupts the dog's unwanted behavior. I highly recommend this product.
A training collar is just that—a "training" collar. Not meant to be worn at all times or used as punishment, but rather it should be there to HELP your dog understand how to act.
We used this dog training collar and only had to use the vibration mode a couple of times to correct our dog's bad behavior.
We use this training collar for walks. If you have a dog that pulls non-stop, this collar will make all the difference.
CAR SEAT COVER
Protect your car seats with a waterproof, scratchproof, non-slip car seat cover. When you have a morning at the dog park where paws can get muddy or an afternoon at the beach where your dog may be sandy—having a cover to keep your seats clean is a must!
A pet food bin is ideal for storing dog food, keeping it fresh and easy to access. It also helps keep out moisture and pests. This plastic airtight container is a perfect solution with its scoop and separate treat box. Although some owners may choose to store the food in the bag it came in, I find having an accessible container that you don't have to unroll and reroll to try and keep fresh is a much better solution for dog storage. I highly recommend crossing this item off your new puppy checklist, as well.
Now that you have an idea of what you will need, remember to print out this FREE New Puppy Checklist to help you stay organized!
Print the New Puppy Checklist PDF if you prefer a paper that you can hold in your hand. Maybe you like to hang flyers on your fridge or take a hard copy with you while you shop.
If you prefer a digital version, download the interactive PDF checklist onto your device. Then click (or touch if using your phone) the box to check off what you have gotten on your list. It's that easy!