New Puppy Checklist

Few things are as thrilling as bringing a brand-new puppy home to join your family. Unfortunately, throughout all the excitement, it can be all too easy to forget some of the essential tasks to prepare for their arrival.

From their puppy collars and harness, to their toys and bed, to their grooming materials like a brush and nail clippers, getting everything together before their arrival can make the settling process far simpler and more enjoyable.

In this buying a new puppy checklist, we provide an in-depth look into what you need to make your pup’s transition smooth, as well as ensuring you’re well-equipped to provide the best possible care to the newest member of your family.

1. Puppy Collar, Leash, and Harness

First things first, you need an adjustable dog collar, leash and harness. Sure, in the years to come, you might be able to train your pup enough to obey your commands and stay close, but until then, you need a reliable method to keep them safe and under control.

  • Adjustable Dog Collar
    An adjustable dog collar ensures comfort and security as your puppy grows. You also want the room to clearly state your puppy’s name, address, and even your phone number should an emergency occur.
  • Puppy Leash
    Now, your choice of puppy leash is going to prove essential in any new puppy checklist. These little balls of fur will seem to have endless energy and excitement to explore the new world around them, which is wonderful to behold, but also dangerous if you can’t keep up.

    When selecting a leash, take special consideration towards its material and length. For training and safety purposes, a short and robust puppy leash is best as you'll have better control and they won't get tangled up easily.
  • Puppy Harness
    A puppy harness helps control your pup without causing any harm to its neck or back. In the early stages of leash training, puppy harnesses can help you establish a positive walking routine. If you are considering a breed known for its pulling, perhaps you should underline this point in your getting a new puppy checklist.
New puppy checklist
New puppy checklist

2. Dog ID Tags

Dog ID tags are a no-brainer when it comes to modern pet ownership. They can accompany puppy collars and contain critical information that can help reunite you with your pup in case they wander off. You can engrave them with your puppy’s name and contact details like your mobile number.

3. Puppy Microchip

Although dog ID tags are a worthwhile investment, they're not foolproof. Puppy collars can come off if not properly secured around your furry friend, but a puppy microchip offers a more permanent solution.  Not only are microchips a good idea for dogs, in many states and territories of Australia, they are mandatory.

A vet will implant this small device, around the size of a grain of rice, beneath your pup's skin.  Each microchip has a unique identification number which can be read with a scanner, linking back to your contact information in a database. If lost, any animal shelter or vet can scan the chip and contact you immediately, hopefully reuniting you with your missing pup much sooner. The microchips are only as good as the information in the database, so make sure you update your contact details if they change.

4. Dog Food and Water Bowls

Another key point in our new puppy care checklist is having a dedicated set of dog food and water bowls. These bowls come in a variety of materials, but stainless steel is a common choice due to its durability and easy cleaning. Ensure the bowls are of the right size for your pup’s development, and consider ones with non-slip bases to avoid any excessive spills when they get overly eager at meal times.

5. Puppy Food and Treats

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Choosing the right puppy food and treats will greatly influence your pup's growth and development. As such, ensure you select food and treats  appropriate for their age and breed.

This can seem quite difficult, as you wonder whether you should purchase raw meats, grain-free products, canned meals and/or dry food – the list is seemingly endless. High quality commercial dog foods, either dry or wet, provide an excellent choice as they are specially designed to provide all the nutrients your growing puppy needs. Your veterinarian will be able to provide more information on an appropriate puppy food.

When it comes to puppy treats, you can find a wonderful array of chews and dental snacks that are both delicious and effective. After all, these treats can play a significant role in training your new pup by reinforcing positive behaviour. Make sure you are providing puppy treats that are safe for dogs and that are provided in moderation. As with humans, too many treats can be a bad thing!

Puppy and food treats Puppy and food treats

6. Puppy Toys

Puppies explore the world through their mouths. Such curiosity often involves unwanted chew marks on your cherished possessions, from shoes to furniture and even electrical cords (not to mention your fingers and toes).

To help prevent this, make sure to grab an assortment of soft, chewy puppy toys.

These chew toys are not just substitutes for your belongings, they provide environmental enrichment for your puppy and may aid in alleviating discomfort during teething and help to maintain healthy gums and teeth.

Your lively young pup will also need some play toys to expend their boundless energy. What’s more, playful interactions with toys are an essential part of their development and learning. To keep their interest piqued and prevent boredom, have a handful of puppy toys with varying functions and textures, rotating them to consistently offer a fresh and exciting play experience.

7. Puppy Bed

Dogs have a deep instinct to ‘nest’ – a trait they learn from a young age. Getting a comfortable puppy bed helps establish a designated spot for your new friend to rest, sleep and see as their own. As they grow from small, delicate puppies into adult dogs, they will need to sleep a lot. To ensure they have a comfortable experience, look for a bed that's snug and made from durable, easy-to-clean material.

8. Puppy Crate and Gate

A puppy crate can act as a sanctuary for your pup, giving them their own space to relax and sleep. It’s also an incredibly helpful solution when travelling with your pup, such as driving them to their appointments with the vet, or even destination getaways with the entire family.

Similarly, a puppy gate helps manage your puppy's access around the house, especially when you are house-training them.

9. Puppy Pee Pads and Dog Potty Box

House training a new puppy can be a demanding task, even when they’re in puppy school. Fortunately, puppy pee pads and a dog grass potty box can make it a lot easier on you and your furry friend, particularly if you live in an apartment.

  • Puppy Pee Pads
    Puppy pee pads are highly absorbent mats that offer a dedicated spot for them to do their business. Those with indoor pets can save their floors and carpets from unwanted messes while providing an appropriate location for their puppy to relieve themselves.
  • Dog Grass Potty Box
    A dog grass potty box simulates an outdoor environment, teaching your pup the proper location for nature’s call, even when they are indoors. This can prove handy in unfavourable weather conditions or if you live in a high-rise apartment, making it difficult for frequent outdoor trips.
New puppy checklist 2
New puppy checklist 2

10. Puppy Shampoo and Grooming Supplies

A clean puppy is a happy puppy. Regular grooming keeps your puppy clean and is a fantastic opportunity for bonding.

Puppy shampoo is specially designed to be gentle, free from harsh chemicals, and helps maintain the natural oils in your puppy’s skin, ensuring their coat remains healthy and shiny.

You should then pair this with a dedicated puppy brush to keep their coat free from mats and to distribute skin oils throughout the coat for a healthy shine. For their tiny claws, puppy nail clippers are also necessary. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and lead to problems with walking and posture.

11. Dog Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Dental health often gets overlooked in pets, but it’s integral to their overall health. Regular brushing using a dog toothbrush and toothpaste can prevent dental diseases, bad breath, and promote healthy gums. In fact, introducing a toothbrush early on can actually make your puppy more comfortable with the process later in life. Just be sure to use toothpaste and brush specially formulated for dogs – you can find these in flavours they enjoy, and unlike human toothpaste, they are safe to swallow.

12. Puppy Parasite Prevention: Fleas, Ticks, Mites, Heartworm and Worms

To round out our new puppy care checklist, we would be remiss not to cover parasite prevention for dogs. Fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm and worms can lead to intense discomfort and serious health issues in your pup, so responsible pet parents must take action. Some of these pesky parasites can also infect humans, so by treating your puppy you are helping to protect your entire family

For example, flea treatment & tick treatment for puppies are essential to protect your pup from these harmful parasites. Regular deworming using puppy worming tablets is also critical for controlling internal worms, which many puppies are actually born with!

Also, don't forget to check for puppy ear mites. Although generally too small to see without special instruments, watch out for signs of discharge, itchiness and discomfort in and around the ears of your puppy.

Using effective parasite control will help your puppy to grow into a healthy, happy adult dog. The NexGard® range of parasite products offers protection for puppies and dogs across Australia. For example, NexGard SPECTRA® provides the most complete protection against fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm and intestinal worms, all in one delicious chew.



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