New Puppy Checklist for First-Time Puppy Parents

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It’s new puppy checklist time! Bringing a brand-new puppy home is exciting and a little nerve-wracking! You want everything to go smoothly and for your fur baby to feel comfortable, safe, and happy.  Whether your puppy is a gentle Golden Retriever, a curious Corgi, a bouncy Bernese Mountain Dog, or any other dog breed variety […]

It’s new puppy checklist time! Bringing a brand-new puppy home is exciting and a little nerve-wracking! You want everything to go smoothly and for your fur baby to feel comfortable, safe, and happy. 

Whether your puppy is a gentle Golden Retriever, a curious Corgi, a bouncy Bernese Mountain Dog, or any other dog breed variety out there, all puppies regardless of their breed need specific items. 

Petland Texas has put together a complete new puppy checklist for all the items you’ll need for your new puppy. In this article, you’ll learn about what you’ll need at home before your puppy gets there; all the grooming, playtime, and nutrition products you’ll need for your puppy; and what to do once your new fur baby arrives.  


If this is your first time bringing a puppy home, you might not know the full breadth of everything a new puppy will need. And if you’ve never had a pet before, not even a goldfish, you might be a little overwhelmed right now. That’s okay. It’s actually easier to keep a puppy alive than a goldfish! So, take a deep breath, you’ll be fine!

Let’s get started on your new puppy checklist! The absolute bare minimum basics of what a puppy needs at home are:

  • Puppy food
  • Water and food bowls
  • A leash
  • Pee pads
  • Poop bags
  • A ton of love 

That being said, any dog owner will tell you that if you only get the items on this short list, you’ll quickly discover the need to run to the pet supply store to buy this or that item, as your puppy’s needs arise. 

One of the biggest areas that dog owners wish they knew about before they brought their very first puppy home is the need to puppy proof the home and the products that help with this project. 

When it comes to puppy messes, going to the bathroom on the floor inside is one unfortunate matter, but realizing that your puppy will fling all of your trash bin garbage throughout your home is quite another. Yes, pee pads are important, but making sure all of your trash bins click shut and stay shut is even more important.

Puppies possess a burning curiosity and can’t resist exploring new smells. Why would they drink fresh, clean water when they can taste and marvel at the unusual flavors of your toilet bowl? Such is the unique logic of canine creatures. 

Your first order of business when it comes to using a new puppy checklist to prepare your home is to puppy proof everything by making sure your puppy won’t be able to get into places and containers that he shouldn’t get into. Puppy proofing is a lot like baby proofing. Not only should all of your trash bins be able to stay shut, whether they’re in the kitchen, bathroom, or other rooms, but you should also use toilet lid clamps and cabinet clamps to make sure your puppy doesn’t pry his way into a cleaning supplies cabinet or closet. 

Go through your house and make sure that every place your puppy shouldn’t venture is physically impossible to get into, especially rooms that could be dangerous for him, like a tool shed. Similar to babies, who put everything into their mouths, puppies do the same thing as they explore their surroundings. Many small items are choking hazards for puppies, like paper clips, marbles, USB drives, and other miscellaneous objects around the home.

House plants, especially standing, potted plants, pose numerous potential hazards to your puppy. On the one hand, many common house plants are poisonous to dogs. And thanks to a puppy’s tendency to chew on things, this can be dangerous. Yet, even if your house plants aren’t poisonous, the dirt they’re planted in will be irresistible. Puppies love to dig. If you leave your puppy home alone with a standing, potted plant, don’t be surprised if he knocks it over, digs in the soil, and then pees on the mess he’s made.  

An important note to bear in mind as you puppy proof your home: it’s perfectly alright not to allow your puppy free rein of the entire home. If there are specific rooms in your house that you don’t want your puppy to go into, you should first let all members of your household know so that they’ll be on the same page and not “cave” if and when the puppy whines. Keeping the door closed should be enough, or you may opt to buy dog gates. 

Finally, we recommend that you figure out where your puppy will be allowed to go outside, especially if you have a yard that’s not fenced in.    

Once you’ve puppy-proofed your home, be sure you have the following items on hand.

Before You Bring Your Puppy Home, You Need These New Puppy Checklist Items:

  • Adjustable collar
  • Comfortable leash
  • Dog tags with your puppy’s name and current contact information
  • An understanding of how to register and activate your dog’s microchip, and if your puppy won’t come microchipped, then you’ll need to buy this item
  • Food and water bowls
  • Healthy puppy food
  • Wee wee pads
  • Poop bags and holder


You have the essentials at home. And now you’ve brought your puppy home. You’ll quickly discover that your playful puppy has a new set of needs. These needs have to do with keeping him clean. What’s causing him to get dirty? It’s probably going to be a combination of what he’s doing during his play time as well as his breed. Some dog breeds shed more than others and require more grooming. 

Your puppy will continue to play and get dirty outside and whenever he goes to the park. It’s just a part of life. But depending on your dog’s breed, you can research how often you can bathe him. This is an important caveat when it comes to grooming your dog. Bathing your dog with doggy shampoo too often can cause irritation to his skin as well as other problems. This is something to be aware of, especially if your puppy gets in the habit of playing in the mud every day. You may need to hose him down with nothing but water if this is the case. Talk to your vet about your puppy’s breed’s specific grooming requirements and restrictions so that you can keep your dog groomed, in good hygiene, and in good health. 

We recommend that you provide your puppy with indoor games and forms of fun indoor entertainment. In addition to taking him outside for his daily exercise, playing with him inside and giving him fun activities to do, such as a puppy puzzle or Kong, can keep him entertained indoors where he won’t get dirty.

New Puppy Checklist — Additional Items to Have on Hand:

  • Puzzle toys
  • Puppy-proof chew toys
  • Pooper scooper
  • Harness
  • Crate
  • Dog bed
  • Brush
  • Grooming wipes
  • Dog treats
  • Dog toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Dog shampoo
  • Enzyme spray for housebreaking accidents
  • Carpet cleaner, also for housebreaking accidents 


Whether you’re a single individual or within a large family, you may need additional support to care for your puppy in all instances. Petland Texas has put together a list of the contacts you should have on hand in case something prevents you from caring for your puppy as usual. It could be that you have to stay late at the office to finish an important project and you need a friend to go to your house to walk and feed your puppy. Or it could be that, out of nowhere, you notice your puppy is choking. 

Either way, you should have the telephone numbers of everyone within your circle of support on-hand in case of an emergency or if an unexpected non-emergency issue arises. Take the time now to figure out who these key people are. Contact them to make sure they can help you if something happens. And then keep their cell phone numbers in your house, in your car, and on you at all times. 

Important Contacts to Have On Hand:

  • Veterinarian 
  • Dog trainer
  • Dog walker 
  • Pet sitter
  • Pet insurance information
  • Dog groomer
  • Emergency contact friends and family members

There you have it. All the check lists you’ll need for your new puppy! Hopefully, you found this Petland Texas article helpful and you’ll prepare for the arrival of your new puppy with excitement and no stress. We wish you and your fur baby all the happiness in the world! And if you’re in Texas and want to meet our puppies, stop by any of our Petland Texas locations!