golden retriever puppy lying down near empty feeding bowl

10 Things You Need Before Bringing Home a Puppy

portrait of brown cute puppy with sunset bokeh background

So you’ve decided to add a furry bundle of joy to your home this spring! Not only will your new puppy bring excitement and energy to your life, but she will bring some challenges too. One of the best ways to meet those challenges head-on is to be well prepared for your puppy’s arrival.

Here are ten key things you need to get before your puppy comes home this spring.

1. Puppy Food & Treats

You want to start your puppy’s life out the right way by feeding her the best food possible. Puppies have big appetites and high caloric needs to help them grow strong and healthy. The ideal food for puppies will have the proper mix of fats, protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals to help your pup grow into an active adult dog.

little puppy dog maltese eating his food from a bowl in home

2. Food & Water Bowls

Your puppy will need food and water bowls when she comes to her new home. Plastic bowls and ceramic crocks might seem appealing, but plastic can harbor residue and bacteria while ceramic may contain lead and can easily break. A stainless steel bowl is the best choice for your puppy because it is easy to clean and sanitize and too cumbersome for your pup to pick up and carry around.

golden retriever puppy lying down near empty feeding bowl

3. Crate & Bedding

A crate is a must-have item for new puppy owners. Crates allow confinement in an area that allows you to monitor and house train your puppy. Additionally, they mimic a warm, cozy den, giving your puppy some safety and security. Make sure that any crate you purchase is sized correctly so that your pup can stand up, turn around, lie down, and stretch inside.

 golden retriever puppy sleeping with toy on the bed

4. Training Pads

House training requires a significant amount of patience from both you and your puppy. Puppies need time to learn and grow before being trained to eliminate outside of the home. But during this training period, mistakes will happen. Be prepared and have some puppy training pads on hand to cover for those moments when your pup doesn’t make it to the door on time.

 puppy jack russell terrier lying on a carpet and looking up guilty.

5. Pens or Baby Gates

You may want to confine your puppy to specific areas of the house during house training or for her safety. Purchasing a pen or baby gate to keep her cordoned off will help your puppy stay out of trouble. And if accidents happen, at least they will occur in an area that you’ve chosen ahead of time.

6. Leash & Collar

Your puppy will need a leash and collar when you bring her home. The collar holds your dog’s license and identification tag while the leash attaches to the collar to allow you to walk your pup. Make sure the collar you choose is adjustable and that it is not on the puppy too tightly. The leash should be well made and strong. Start with a 4-foot long leash to help with training your puppy to walk.

dog with leather leash waiting to go walkies

7. Identification

Your puppy will need identification of two kinds: an identification (ID) tag and a microchip. The ID tag will hang from your puppy’s collar and provide pertinent information about her, such as her name along with your name, address, and phone number. A microchip is a small chip that contains a code stored in a database with your information on it. The chip is implanted between your puppy’s shoulder blades and can be used to identify her if she ever gets lost.

 a terrier wearing a collar and a dog tag is sitting on a chair looking at the camera. vertical shot.

8. Chew Toys

Puppies love toys, and because of their natural desire to chew and the teething they experience, chew toys are a must if you want to keep your furniture and personal belongings safe. Hard rubber toys, nylon toys, and quality, well-made thick rope toys will satisfy just about any craving a puppy has to chew. Just be sure to purchase the right size toy for your puppy and always supervise her play.

french bulldog dog having a good time with a tennis ball, in living room , looking at owner very carefully

9. Grooming Supplies

Grooming is an important part of your dog’s physical care, and it’s good for your puppy to learn how to behave during grooming as well. Make sure that you have these items on hand when your pup comes home so she can learn to be squeaky clean right away: comb, blow dryer, ear cleaning solution, cotton balls, nail clippers, shampoo and conditioner, and towels.

adorable cute young puppies outside in the yard taking a bath covered in soapy bubbles

10. Training bell

Many dog owners have had success training their puppies to ring a bell attached to the doorknob when they have to go outside. You can purchase a dog bell at your local pet store, or find an upcycled cow bell to hang from your front doorknob. Bell training works for some dogs, so give it a try with your new pup.

cute pug with red checkered sweater outside on the grass

Most importantly, you need lots of love and patience when raising a new puppy. Give her those critical qualities, and she will return them to you a thousand times over.


About the Author

As a dedicated pet owner and advocate, Alexandra Seagal has created to educate fellow pet owners on how to make your dog’s life with you the best it can be. Aside from writing, she loves spending time with her children and enjoys the company of her two dogs and one cat.

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