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To welcome your puppy into their new home, you have to plan ahead and research everything you might need. Which can get overwhelming!
So, here’s a puppy starter equipment list for everything you might need and why:
These are the bare essentials, and you will need everything from this list before you bring your new puppy home.
- High-Quality Puppy Food
- Bowls or Slow Feeders
- Crate (and comfortable bed that fits)
- Dog Bed
- Starter Toys
High-Quality Puppy Food
Do proper research on what food is best for your puppy. Don’t go for the cheapest food you can get, as this is the equivalent of you eating at fast-food restaurants every single day. It might be tasty, but you will get sick eventually. The same rule applies to your puppy. See whether you would feed wet or dry food, or even go for raw or barf diets. There are tons of resources out there on various brands and whole guides on how to properly read labels on dog food.
Bowls or Slow Feeders
Pick adequate food and water bowls that fit well to your pup’s size, and invest in some larger ones as your puppy grows up. If you find that your puppy is eating too fast, go for slow-feeder options.
Crate (and comfortable bed that fits)
While many find crates cruel, they are an essential item you will need for training your puppy. The goal of being in a crate is not punishment, but safety and natural comfort. At the very least they are excellent for puppies that you can ditch when they are fully grown.
Check out our ultimate guide to crate training 101 here.
When outside of the crate, your puppy should enjoy a nice, comfortable dog bed. Pick a good spot for it, away from the daily bustle, but not too isolated so that your puppy knows you are nearby.
You would be surprised just how much puppies love to hide and sleep under blankets. Get some soft and warm blankets for your pup.
Toys + Treat Toys
To keep your puppy from chewing on anything they come across, buy the right toys. Once your puppy starts teething, they will want to chew up the whole world, so get some Kong toys. While you’re at it, you might want to get some treat dispensing toys that will keep them occupied for hours.
Your puppy will love exploring the outside, so make sure they can do so safely. When it comes time to take your puppy outside, these are the things you’ll need:
- Collar and ID Tags
- Clothes and Outfits
- Poop Bags
Collar and ID Tags
You will spend a lot of time outside with your puppy too. Get a good quality collar and some ID tags for your pup. Make sure to write down your contact info onto the tags! The collar should only be used as a fashion statement.
We recommend that you go for a harness instead of a collar when walking your puppy. Harnesses are a friendlier choice, especially for puppies who like to pull a lot and will need some training to learn how they should behave when you go for a walk.
The right leash makes all the difference, and your choice depends on your pup! Will your pup grow to be a big dog, or will they remain small? A retractable leash is a good choice to give your pup more freedom but without losing control.
Always have treats when going outside with your pup. You will most likely conduct training sessions with your pup, and treats are a vital part of every training session. You can even make homemade treats.
Clothes and Outfits
While some puppy owners might be against dressing up your puppy, some breeds might get a bit chilly on the colder days. Picking a cute outfit for your puppy to keep them warm is the right call.
Every dog owner should carry a poop bag with them and pick up after their dog. You can even get a poop bag carrier that you can clip to your pants for easy poop bag access.
Puppy Starter Equipment – Hygiene Essentials
Keep your puppy and home clean, and be prepared for emergencies.
- Portable Potty
- Nail Clippers
- Pet First Aid Kit
- Cleaning Products
This is a dog version of a litter box, with a twist: it has synthetic grass on the top, and it can be cleaned easily. It can be used to toilet train your puppy, and for those days when you have to run more errands or stay at work longer.
Regular grooming sessions are in order to keep your puppy happy and healthy. It will help you bond with your puppy. Choose a brush according to their fur type – is it super thick, long, or very short? There are brush variants for every type.
Your dog’s claws are not retractable like cats, and they grow all the time. When you hear the telltale sign of clicking on your floors, it’s time to give them a trim. Here’s a great tutorial that explains how it’s done, and what to do in case you hit the vein.
Pet First Aid Kit
In case you love camping or might be too far away from a vet clinic, make a first aid kit for your puppy. The kit should have gauze pads, cotton balls, 3% hydrogen peroxide, ice packs, gloves, tweezers, blunt-end scissors, saline solution, and veterinarian contact information.
Accidents will happen, so invest in some pet-friendly stain/odor removers.
Puppy Starter Equipment – Car Essentials
If you plan to travel and take your puppy with you, remember that car safety is essential for your puppy too!
To keep your puppy from roaming all over the car, buy a seatbelt attachment to keep them in place.
To ensure your puppy is safe while you’re travelling, buy a high-quality car crate, preferably one certified by CPS. It will keep your puppy safe during the ride, and especially if you happen to be in an accident.
Keep your puppy healthy with regular vet visits.
Vet Info + Vet Visit
Find a good vet even before your puppy is home! Schedule an appointment for the same day, and take care of all the essentials you need.
Microchips are mandatory, so don’t forget you should do this as soon as your puppy is eight weeks old.
Get all the required vaccines to avoid serious diseases for your puppy. Some vaccines, like rabies shots, are mandatory if you plan to travel to any other country with your puppy.
Keep fleas, ticks, and internal parasites away from your puppy with the right prevention and regular worming.
A decision to get a puppy is a big one – your puppy will be your life companion for the next ten to fifteen years, so make sure to choose wisely and be ready to go together through thick and thin! Before you bring your new puppy home, you should prepare everything you need – from dog beds and crate to the right food, to scheduling a vet visit.
Anything missing from this list? Which puppy starter equipment do you think is essential?
The team behind The Puppy Toolbox with combined puppy experience of over 10 years! Bringing you the best puppy care tips, tricks and advice for your favorite Puppy Care Magazine.