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New Puppy Checklist : Getting a Puppy

Updated: Aug 27

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Getting a new puppy is an incredibly thrilling experience for the whole family. With some planning and preparation, you can make sure that it's a calm and relaxing time for everyone, especially your new puppy.

There’s so much to organise before ‘Gotcha Day’. It’s a very exciting time and between looking longingly at photos on your phone of your puppy-to-be, it’s an ideal time to get the whole family involved in preparing for your latest addition.

brown puppy asleep with soft toy

This Puppy Checklist should help you prepare your family and your home, giving your four-legged friend a head start and make your dreams of the perfect dog a reality.

Having everything you’ll need before your pup arrives will help them settle in quickly. The last thing you'll want to do is make a trip to the nearest pet shop when your pup is beginning to settle into their new environment.

This New Puppy Checklist is the perfect starting point to ensure you've covered the basics ahead to time.

1. Best Dog Crates

Remember to give your puppy lots of opportunities to sleep. Moving to a new home is totally exhausting and their brains and bodies are growing so quickly needing so much energy. When at all possible, sleeping puppies should always be left alone.

puppy lying in a dog crate with the door open

Dog crates can provide a safe space for your new puppy where they can feel a sense of security. Don't be tempted to view them as a cage but as a space they can call their own and rest. In a busy household, with lots of noise and people, crates can offer a little solitude for your pup and help you keep them and your home safe.

Most new dog owners find them invaluable during the early days of toilet training and a puppy crate can double up to transport your puppy safely in the boot of the car.

Ellie-Bo are renowned for their range of quality crates. They stock a wide range of crate sizes in both deluxe and standard versions. They offer removable base trays, two openings for maximum position options and 'houdini' proof doors. Ellie-Bo also offer crate dividers which enable the crate to grow with your puppy.

RELATED POST Dog Crates and Accessories

Head over to our in-depth review of dog crates, bedding to fit, water bowls which don't spill and crate covers to make that perfect cosy den for your puppy.

2. Best Puppy Bedding

Don't be tricked into spending too much money on a puppy bed - they do love to chew! If you are planning on using a crate then a specially designed crate bed will be ideal.

puppy lying on a crate bed in cream fleece

Designed to perfectly fit the range of standard crate sizes, Dericor bedding mats are a good investment.

They are comfortable and cosy for puppy yet importantly super easy to throw in the washing machine so easy to cope with those inevitable accidents.

Whilst they don't look very thick and luxurious, they are the perfect bedding for your puppy until they are toilet trained.

3. Best Calming Dog Bed

The hugely popular calming donut bed would make an ideal first puppy bed if you're not opting to use a crate.

a puppy and kitten sitting on a donut nesting dog bed

The Dog's Bed have designed a donut bed to be a perfect puppy transition bed.

The shape and fluffy vegan fur aim to replicate the feeling of snuggling with mum and the rest of the litter.

Hence they are anti-anxiety beds and should really help to ease the transition into their new home.

These donut beds are available in lots of colours and sizes to suit your puppy and of course your home.

4. Best for Puppy Anxiety

These heartbeat toys are extremely popular with new puppy parents. The idea is that the built-in heartbeat device mimics the mother's heartbeat keeping your puppy calm and help relieve any separation anxiety.

Puppy heartbeat toy

All for Paws offer two versions of the heartbeat toy - one with a battery operated heartbeat and a heat bag and one with just a heat bag.

The puppy toy is made from soft, plush fabric and the heartbeat device can be felt and heard through the material.

Obviously remove the device before washing. Don't forget to buy 2 AAA batteries which will keep the heartbeat working for up to 300 hours.

5. Best Dog ID Tags for Chic Pups

Any dog in a public place must wear a collar or tag with the name and address of the owner engraved on it.

Dog ID tags from Sweet William

These tags are available from a range of gorgeous tags from Sweet William Designs. We adore this unique "Have Your People Call My People" name tag!

Their solid dog ID tags are made from silver plated brass. They also make great keyrings and can be personalised.

They offer an engraving service on the tags for an additional £5.

When planning your engraving, a telephone number is optional but a great idea. For safety reasons, don't include your dog's name.

As dog theft is a real danger, if the thief knows the name of your dog this may help them pass on the dog to the unsuspecting new owners.

6. Best for Puppy Accidents

Puppies wee a lot! Sometimes, up to 12 times a day and it's your job to work out when they need to go outside before they do.

You're never going to achieve 100 success so it's worth being prepared for a few inevitable accidents.

Simple Solution Extreme Stain & Odour Remover for dogs contains both pro-bacteria and enzymes which eliminate dog odours and stains fast.

You'll be pleased to know that it's safe for use around all pets and children.

RELATED ARTICLE 10 Ways to Keep your Home Clean with a Dog

A whole range of products designed to help you keep you home clean with a dog.

7. Best Starter Puppy Bowls

Meal times can get a little messy with puppies with the bowls and food flying around your kitchen floor.

peculate dog food and water bowls in stainless steel with an attached silicone mat

Pecute stock a double set of small bowls which make an ideal starter set for puppies.

Taking the hassle and mess out of meal times, these bowls are removable and dishwasher safe.

The design incorporates a silicone mat which not only stops the bowls from tipping over, the raised lip of the mat helps to catch any spills.

Ultimately these bowls from Pecute are a clever design and even include a free scoop to measure your pup's meals. Available in grey or brown and two sizes.

8. Best Dog Poo Bags

Don't get caught sort when you're out and about.

Hand holding a black poop bag and a dog in the background

Let's talk scooping that poop 💩!

Whilst nobody enjoys this aspect of our dogs, it's the responsible thing to do and if you don't you can receive a fine of at least £80.

There's a huge range of poo bags on the market from cheap, compostable, biodegradable to mango scented.

Whether you're looking for cheap, biodegradable or compostable bags, we can point you in the right direction.

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For the scoop on the poop, We take an in-depth look at the different poop bags on the market and put them through their paces.

9. Best Puppy Collar

Don't be tempted to buy an expensive collar as your puppy will grow so quickly.

A blue dog collar with a quick release clasp

This range from Taglory are light and durable with a quick release clasp to make it easy for you to take the collar on and off.

They are easy to adjust for a comfy fit and have a soft neoprene padding to protect your puppy's sensitive throat area.

Cheap enough to buy a spare in case puppy decides to have a chew !

Available in a whole range of bright colours and sizes with an online video and sizing chart to help ensure you choose the right size.

10. Best Puppy Training Lead

A training lead isn't seen on many puppy checklists but we think it's a great investment if you want to start your puppy training early and build some all important bonds.

Long red lead for puppy training

As it's not recommended to take your puppy for walks until they're fully vaccinated, consider investing early in a long lead/training line.

They can help to provide some much needed freedom for puppy, yet control for you in your garden.

It's an invaluable tool to allow you to start working on your puppy's recall training.

Happy Hachi Leads are available in a range of colours and 5 different lengths to suit you and your garden 5m, 10m, 15m 20m, 33m.

11. Best Dog Treat Training Bags

When you start that all important training, treat bags are ideal to carry round a handful of treats to reward your puppy.

Pet room dog treat bag with a dog travel bowl and a whistle in grey and green

We're yet to find dog treats that aren't super smelly, so they're not ideal stuffed in your jeans pocket.

Whether you are looking at a treat bag solely to carry puppy treats or would like a bag to hold your car keys, phone and poo bags on a longer walk, we've got you covered.

We shortlist a range of bags which are not only waterproof but have a range of fastenings to suit.

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We review 10 of the most stylish treat bags available in the UK so you can chose one to suit your needs.

12. Best Puppy Training Treats

Dogs are incredibly food orientated which can be extremely helpful when training your new puppy.

The introduction of some tasty puppy treats for reward-based training can work wonders for getting their attention.

However, It is incredibly easy to cross the line into an unbalanced diet by feeding unhealthy, high fat treats whilst you're puppy training.

We scoured the market to find the Top 5 Puppy Training Treats to help keep your puppy healthy whilst allowing you to focus on edible reward-based training.

Five companies made our in-depth review - Scrumbles Softies, Pooch & Mutt Mini-Bones, Bounce and Bella, Dragonfly and The Dog Treat Company (Run Free).

RELATED POST Top 5 Puppy Training Treats

13. Best Dog Stair Gate

Getting a puppy doesn't mean they need access to the whole house.

Stair gate for puppy

Consider investing in a stair gate or room divider to help limit puppy's access to rooms and stairs.

Maybe you have decided that you don't want puppy upstairs or in a particular room with potential dangers.

This pressure fit safety gate by Lindam is available with extenders to fit a range of openings from 76cm - 117cm.

It can be fitted quickly and easily and for under £40 it's excellent value.

14. Best Dog Doorbells

Dog door bells to help toilet train a puppy

These nifty little devices are used successfully by new dog owners everywhere to toilet train their new puppies.

Dog doorbells can prove invaluable for puppy to let you know when they need to go outside. With a little training, most dogs grasp the concept very quickly.

There are three main designs to consider - hanging bells like the one pictured, a push button or a digital push-button option.

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We review all three dog doorbell options available to you and take a look at how to train your puppy to use them.

15. Best Dog Training Book

There are hundreds if not thousands of puppy training books and guides on the market. If you're looking for a tried and tested guide aimed at beginners, then Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy by Steve Mann is an ideal starting point.

Puppy training book -Easy, Peasy, Puppy, Squeezy by Steve Mann

Let's talk credentials ! Steve Mann is a professional dog trainer and behaviourist with over 30 years experience.

The book shares simple, proven, science-based and ethical techniques for training your dog. It's a comprehensive guide to raising a well adjusted puppy.

It makes for perfect bedtime reading whilst preparing for your puppy 📚

16. Best Puppy Grooming Brush

Your Puppy's very own Tangle Teezer - what's not to love ♥️

Pet Teezer puppy brush in green

Developed specifically for puppies, this brush delivers the gentlest of brush strokes with soft-flex teeth that glide through the fur.

Lots of puppies need reassurance and patience when it comes to grooming and it's really important to stand a grooming routine whilst they are young.

The tangle teezer brush detangles your puppies coat quickly and more importantly gently without tugging.

These last few pointers might give you further ideas on how to prepare for the arrival of your new puppy.

17. Make the Most of Breeder Visits

When you visit your breeder, offer to take a well worn item of clothing with you to place in with the pup’s mother. This will help your puppy get familiar with your scent. When you collect your puppy take home the item of clothing which now has the mother’s familiar scent on it for comfort when things might feel a little stressful for them.

A litter of fluffy, cute puppies lying on a step

A good breeder will give you sufficient food to continue exactly the same diet for at least couple of days. They should also give you a diet sheet that shows how feeding should change as your puppy grows. Ask the breeder which food they have been weaned on so you can arrange further stocks in advance. A good breeder will help you prepare for your new puppy.

18. Identify Harmful Foods

Take a moment to familiarise yourself with foods which can be harmful to dogs. A lot of common household foods are toxic to dogs so it’s important to keep these out of reach of curious puppies.

If in doubt check out our list of harmful foods and most importantly guidelines on what to do if your pup eats anything on our list.

19. Puppy Proof Your Home

Will your puppy be in safe hands? Look at your home through the eyes of a puppy and consider how you can puppy-proof to keep your furry friend safe and protect your belongings. Initially a puppy should only have access to 1 or 2 rooms so start there.

Puppy lying on the sofa
  • Move any valuables out of your puppy’s reach

  • Remove low hanging cables and charging leads

  • Place cheap throws over furniture that could be damaged by accidents

  • Tidy away stray shoes as they are always a chewing magnet

  • If you intend to allow your puppy in your bedroom hide away your underwear to avoid any embarrassing situations later with them strewn across the lawn.

  • Remind everyone to keep the toilet seat down. Curious pups will stick their nose over and have been known to leap in!

  • Organise a pair of slip-on shoes, out of puppy's reach, near the back door to help you with toilet training.

Thanks for stopping by and reading our New Puppy Checklist and remember, don't forget to take lots of gorgeous photos!