Puppy Must Haves: The Perfect Puppy Supply List!

SURPRISE! We are adding a little pupperoni to our family later this month! I’m not a first time dog mom, but this is mine and my husband’s first dog together. We’re new home owners – and now super excited to be new puppy owners together! So naturally I’ve been gathering up my new puppy must haves and puppy training essentials – and wanted to do a full download on all the new puppy supplies everyone should add to cart.

Consider this your new puppy checklist!

Our new pup

We’ll be bringing home our Goldendoodle puppy in January. Our pup comes from a responsible and reputable breeder in my hometown: Surfer Doodles.

We did lovingly adopt our cat from an animal shelter, but made a very personal and intentional decision to source a Goldendoodle pup from a reputable breeder.

Whatever breed you’re bringing home – this puppy shopping list will work for you!

If you're adding a puppy to the family, you'll need all of the new puppy must haves on this list! Welcome new pup home the right way.

My new puppy must haves

The bare necessities

These puppy must haves are the bare bones basics you’ll need.

Collars & harnesses

Straight up – it’s tricky buying a collar or harness for a new pup when you have no idea how big they’ll be on gotcha day. I still recommend showing up for pickup with a collar and/or harness in hand purely for safety reasons. You may need to stop at the local pet store for supplies or potentially make pitstops for potty breaks if you’re picking pup up from another location. Having a collar or harness on hand means puppy can be safe and secure from the moment of pickup.

My pro tip: do a quick Google search for the average neck size of your pup’s breed at the age of pickup. I was able to find out an estimate, average size for Goldendoodle puppies at eight weeks of age and found an expandable collar that measured within the range and then some, allowing for flexibility.

Leashes

With a collar or two in hand, I’d recommend also showing up to gotcha day with a leash. Again, if any pitstops to the pet store or for potty breaks are needed, you’ll want to make sure pup can’t get too far. Based on all my research, it is not recommended to buy a retractable leash. Retractable leashes can be hazardous for small pups and also can encourage poor leash habits.

I personally picked up one six foot leash and one four foot leash, non-retractable. I’ll be able to utilize the six foot for training sessions so puppy has room to run, but stays focused on our session. The four foot leash will come in handy for general walking training!

Dog tag

Can you tell I’m big on safety? Having a dog tag attached to your collar from day one is important for safely bringing home your puppy. Just in case pup manages to slip out of your sight, it’s always helpful to have a dog tag with your contact info engraved on it so a kind stranger can give you a call if needed.

Better safe than sorry!

Crate with divider

When it comes to dog training, I’m VERY pro crate training. Dogs are den animals and the crate can serve as a safe space for your dog to retreat to and have some along time in a secure environment. With puppies, crates can specifically help with potty training and help prevent accidents. We plan to begin crate training from our very first night – starting to really acclimate pup to her new crate throughout day one after bringing puppy home.

You’ll need to do your research to understand what size crate will be best for pup, but it’s important to note that while training your puppy should only have enough room to stand and turn around. That’s it. Dogs don’t like to “go” where they sleep, so it’s important not to give puppy too much extra space otherwise they’ll sleep in one corner of the crate and relieve themselves in another corner.

We opted for a crate with a divider, so that we can adjust the amount of space pup has. The crate can grow in size as she does, meaning we don’t have to upgrade the size of crate down the line, and pup has the proper amount of space for her age range.

Playpen

Puppies are adorable, but wow can they be destructive. We’re determined to give our new dog access only to safe, protected areas where she can’t cause too much trouble. While we intend to have eyes on her at all times, having a playpen attached to her crate will give us extra peace of mind while we’re taking any work calls, while I’m cooking, or even just when we need to pop to the restrooms ourselves.

Towels & dog bed

It isn’t really recommended to invest in a true dog bed when your pup is young. Many beds can be viewed as toys and be shredded to bits – quickly becoming a choking hazard. We plan to utilize towels inside her crate to start, but do have dog beds on hand for when she’s ready to graduate to a comfier situation.

Puppy food

Friendly reminder to ask your breeder or shelter before gotcha day what food puppy is used to! Dogs can be prone to sensitive stomachs and don’t take kindly to sudden food switches. You may have a specific food you’d like to feed your pup, but you’ll want to make that switch gradually over time. It’s important to have some of puppy’s current food on hand so you don’t shock their system with a brand new food.

Bowls & treat bag

Meal times make for the perfect training time! I’ll be putting pup’s kibble into a treat bag and utilizing her feeding times to train. That being said, we have bowls for dog food and water bowls to be able to feed pup inside her crate and playpen if a training session isn’t in the cards.

It’s typically recommended to buy ceramic or stainless steel bowls as these materials are not prone to mold or bacteria like plastic is. Depending on the size of your pup, some breeds may also prefer an elevated bowl, so it could be worth looking into a stand to make eating more comfortable and prevent messes.

Bitter apple spray

Bitter apple spray is a safe way to deter pup from chewing furniture and other items. Simply use this spray that puppies hate the taste of, and they’ll (hopefully!) steer clear. We’re spraying this onto a towel and then rubbing the legs of furniture, baseboards, etc.

New puppy care items

It’s important to remember that your puppy supply list should likely include some personal care or medical items to keep puppy healthy.

Ear drops & wipes

Dog breeds are all different with different needs! Goldendoodles are prone to ear infections, so I’d like to make sure we’re well equipped to care for her ears. I picked up both ear wipes and drops to utilize to keep pup’s ears nice and clean. We’ll also be doing plenty of ear touching from a young age to get her used to future ear cleanings.

Toothbrush & toothpaste

Doggy dental care is important! Make sure to add a toothbrush and toothpaste to your new puppy essentials list. Not all toothpastes are puppy safe, so be sure to read the label and check with your vet, but it’s useful to start “dry” brushing your pup’s teeth early on so they get used to the general feeling and process.

Nail clippers

We utilize a motorized clipper for our cat and plan to continue that tradition for our new pup. Nail maintenance can be frustrating for fur babies, so it’s crucial to acclimate them early.

Carseat or seatbelt

You really don’t need anything fancy when it comes to bringing puppy home on day one – but you do need to make sure your dog is safe and secured if you have a car trip ahead of you. I recommend adding a doggie seatbelt or car seat to your puppy supplies list. For day of, keep pup on some towels in case of car sickness or accidents, and whether you’re holding your new puppy or they’re in a carseat, make sure to utilize a doggie seatbelt for safety.

The best puppy toys & comfort items

Would it even be a puppy necessities list if it didn’t include toys?

Snuggle Puppy

A Snuggle Puppy should be at the top of your new puppy must haves list. Puppies can be prone to separation anxiety because they go through a whole shift in their entire world in the span of a single day. You’re a new person to your pup, your home is a new environment, and they no longer have the safety and security of their former home and litter. Snuggle Puppy has a battery powered “heartbeat” that mimics the warmth of littermates, so new pup doesn’t feel entirely alone.

Our breeder actually included a Snuggle Puppy in our gotcha day take home kit! So incredibly thoughtful. We’re excited to utilize Snuggle Puppy to help with create training.

Puzzle toys

Goldendoodles in particular are crafty little devils. Because this breed is so smart – and thus prone to mischief – we’ve added puzzle toys to our puppy list. Puzzle toys require some brainpower and help keep dogs stimulated and entertained, meaning less likely to destroy your home in the process.

Feeder toys

I’m a big fan of avoiding bowl feedings 100% of the time. Feeding pup during training sessions is a productive way to train, but can be time consuming. Feeder toys are great substitutes for a full on training session, but are more engaging than simple bowl feeding.

Toys of different textures

Toys can get old fast! Keeping a new puppy stimulated is priority number one because stimulation means that energy doesn’t get taken out on your furniture (…or couch…or handbag…). Having a variety of toys on hand of various textures will help add variety to puppy’s playtime – meaning they don’t get bored as quickly.

We’ve got soft toys, rope toys, and other toys of carious textures for our new puppy to play with. It’s important to note some soft toys with speakers may not be appropriate if your pup has a tendency to shred items (the squeaker can be a choking hazard).

If you're adding a puppy to the family, you'll need all of the new puppy must haves on this list! Welcome new pup home the right way.

Things to do before gotcha day

This essential puppy items list should help you prep for gotcha day, but there are a few other things to add to your to-do list prior to puppy pick up.

Schedule your first vet appointment

Whether you’re adopting from a shelter or sourcing from a breeder, it’s important to schedule your first vet appointment so it’s on the calendar prior to puppy pick up. Puppies will need booster shots, deworming, and general exams to ensure they’re off to the right start and in tip top shape. It’s incredibly important to get to your vet ASAP after pick up to make sure you understand what state puppy’s health is in.

I’d like to stress this point further for those sourcing from a breeder because many breeders will include initial health guarantees for around 48 hours after gotcha day. To protect yourself and your own investment, you’ll want to make sure puppy is evaluated within that window of time.

Pro tip: when you call around to interview vets ask if they have a “new puppy package” available. Our vet offers a puppy package that includes all the standard shots, deworming, fecal tests, and exams at a hugely discounted price compared to purchasing each service individually.

Research pet insurance

Transparently, we’re still undecided on pet insurance – but I’m hyper aware the healthcare costs for dogs often far outpace those of cats. We definitely want to make sure we’re choosing the right plan for us and are heavily considering pet insurance.

Puppy proof your home

Want to play a fun game? Get on your hands and knees and view your home from your new puppy’s perspective. Do you see any visible and reachable wires? Do furniture legs suddenly look oh so appealing?

Your home looks like an entirely different – and potentially dangerous – world from your puppy’s vantage point. We’ve made sure to put away any loose items or move decor onto higher shelves. We’ve secured all wires and have it on our radar to not leave anything we don’t want chewed within puppy’s reach.

Puppies are like little shark babies. Those teeth can do some serious damage! Belongings can be replaced, but it’s important for the safety of your pup to remove all potential hazards before gotcha day.

Got puppy must haves to share? Tell me your new puppy supply list in the comments down below!

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