The New Puppy Checklist: Things to Have on Hand Before Bringing Your New Puppy Home

By Lesley White, Owner, Peak City Puppy

Few things add as much joy to life as a new puppy, but puppies require a whole lot more than excitement to thrive. Aside from your time, devotion and attention, you should also have a few things on hand to make sure you and your new furry friend start off on the right foot. Whether you are expecting a little puppy or are adopting an adult dog into your home, make sure you have these things on hand before trying to settle in.

Food and Treats

This one might seem like a no-brainer, of course your new pup will need to eat! But one look down the food aisle of your local pet store and you will start to understand why thinking ahead is a good idea. There are many types of food out there for puppies of all shapes and sizes, and it’s up to you and your veterinarian to determine what food and treats are right for your new family addition. Before you bring home your dog, do your homework and find out which types of food are best for your dog’s age, breed, size and health. While you’re at it, grab some size-appropriate food and water bowls, preferably in ceramic or stainless steel as plastic and other materials might not survive your puppy’s chewing phase. Follow suit when you’re choosing treats as well. Have many different types handy so your new dog can explore new things and get a taste for what they enjoy the most.

Bedding and Crates

Whether or not you are crate training your new dog, having proper bedding and a space for them to call their own is essential to your pet’s health. The rehoming process is stressful and sometimes overwhelming for dogs of all ages, and you’ll want to have a safe and comfortable space for your dog to rest right away. Choose bedding that is durable and washable, as accidents are inevitable. Look for machine-washable blankets and cushions and beds with removable covers to make cleanup a snap. If you’ve decided to commit to crate training, make sure to get the right size and type for your pet and to make it as comfortable as possible in advance. For more information and tips about crate training, check out Crate Training 101.

Exercise Essentials

Chances are no matter what dog you bring into your home, they will arrive ready to explore and play. Your little ball of energy will need an outlet and that’s why it’s so important to have exercise essentials on hand from day one. Invest in a quality collar that can adjust and grow with your dog and a (non-retractable) leash no longer than 4-6 feet. Have an ID tag ready, too with your contact information should you pet accidentally slip away. You should also have other items around that will encourage your dog to play and exercise in appropriate ways, like rope toys, balls and others. Expose your pup to plenty of options at first, so they can get an idea of what type of play they enjoy the most. Many new dog owners find that their pet’s endless energy far exceeds their abilities to keep up with it. At Peak City Puppy, our Signature Dog Walking Services can provide your pup with the exercise they crave and the peace of mind you need.

Grooming Items

One of the best way to keep your dog clean and maintain their health through their entire lives is to start their hygiene routine early. Teaching a puppy how to behave during bathing and grooming is essential to reducing stress throughout their lifetimes. Invest in a good quality brush appropriate for your dog’s coat type, puppy shampoo, nail clippers and puppy toothbrushes and toothpaste. If taught early on, many dogs learn to enjoy grooming as an everyday part of their lives.

Patience and Excitement

When bringing a new family member home, the most important thing you can have on hand is lots of patience and plenty of excitement and enthusiasm. The first few months in your new home are prime bonding time, and it is important to give your dog the love, understanding and patience that he needs while learning to become a proper member of your family. If you and your loved ones might need a little help getting your dog integrated, Peak City Puppy offers a New Puppy Service that can help. Our trained walkers can help establish a potty schedule, give your pup the attention they love and help your new dog seamlessly integrate into family life.

Learn more about all the ways Peak City Puppy can help you and your dog live your best lives together at

Lesley White is the owner of Peak City Puppy, a Triangle-based Dog Walking & New Puppy Potty service now in its tenth year serving clients in Apex, Cary, Holly Springs, Raleigh, Morrisville and now New Hill.