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Dogs in a Lords & Labrador dog bed
  • Writer's pictureSmart Bark

New Puppy Checklist : Essentials for Puppy Parents

Updated: Feb 19

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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 addition.

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 choosing essentials.

puppy asleep with soft toy

We've handpicked a collection of puppy products from great value essentials to premium quality luxury items to welcome your new puppy.


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New Puppy Essentials - Buying Guide

Our Puppy Checklist should help you prepare your family and your home, giving your fluff ball 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.

We offer luxury puppy beds and crate solutions for a good night's sleep. Unique pet ID tags to keep your pup safe at all times, stunning accessories so you're the talk of the park and toys to keep them busy.

Our New Puppy Checklist is the perfect starting point to ensure you've covered the basics ahead to time and showcases some of the best puppy products on the UK market for 2023.

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New Puppy Checklist - Essential Equipment

1. Dog Crates


Moving to a new home is totally exhausting and their brains and bodies are growing so quickly needing so much energy. As much as you all want a cuddle, remember to give your puppy lots of opportunities to sleep.

puppy lying in a dog crate with the door open

When at all possible, sleeping puppies should always be left alone and dog crates can provide a safe space for your new puppy where they can feel a sense of security.

Admittedly they can look unsightly, but try not to view them as a cage but as a space they can call their own and get some much needed 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 doors for maximum position options and 'Houdini' proof doors.

Ellie-Bo also offer crate dividers which enable the crate to grow with your puppy.

You might also be interested in.......

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. Crate Covers

Molly Mutt

If you're looking to turn that crate into something adorable then you could take a look at adding a crate cover.

Molly Mutt crate cover

Molly Mutt are a US company designing a range of crate covers which are now available in the UK through Amazon.

Their collection of crate covers have been designed to fit standard crates including the Ellie-Bo crate range.

With several designs and colours available you can match any room in your home.

Made from breathable cotton canvas both the short and the long sides roll up to offer complete flexibility on positioning and they are machine washable.

All their covers are washable on a delicate machine cycle to cope with any accidents

It's difficult to find well-designed crate covers that look good around your home as well as making your dog happy. We think that the Molly Mutt range offers a great value option.

3. Crate Bedding


If you're looking for a a good value option to fit in a dog crate, then Dericor crate bedding is perfect.

Dericor crate bedding

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

They are comfortable and cosy for puppy yet importantly, super easy to throw in the washing machine when you need to deal with those inevitable accidents.

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

They're great value so you could buy two, that way you've always got a fresh one to hand.

4. Puppy Calming Toy

All for Paws

If you're looking for something to help get a good nights sleep then these heartbeat toys are extremely popular with new puppy parents.

All for Paws Heartbeat puppy toy

The idea is that the built-in heartbeat device mimics the mother's heartbeat keeping your puppy calm and help relieve any separation anxiety

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.

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

Obviously remove the device before popping the toy in the wash.

5. Dog ID Tags

Pet 24

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 Pet 24

The Pet 24 Visible ID tag is so much more than a basic dog name tag. It's a unique solution for reuniting you with your missing dog around the clock.

By attaching a Pet 24 ID tag to your puppy's collar, anyone who finds your puppy can simply call their contact number, any time of the day or night and Pet 24 take over.

The key differences between a standard dog ID tag and Pet 24 is that you can leave multiple phone numbers for friends, relatives and even neighbours.

Pet 24 also carry a medical file on your puppy. If, as sometimes happens, your pup strays and is found injured, Pet 24 will arrange and pay for emergency veterinary treatment so there's no delay in providing vital care.

And guess what, you don't need to pay this back - it's included in your subscription. This amazing and totally unique service is not available from any other UK company. It's like having an Emergency Service for your dog.

OK, let's talk costs. There are a couple of options here, clearly the longer the membership term you sign up for, the cheaper per year.

🐾 1 year membership 🐾

£25 first year, then £20 per annum

🐾 5 year membership 🐾

£50 (a saving of over 50%)

We don't think that £10 a year is much to pay for the ultimate peace of mind and it could save your pup's life.

Smart Bark can offer a further £5 saving on the first year or £10 saving on a 5 year membership.

We recently bought the Pet 24 visible ID tag. Our review covers everything you need to know about Pet 24 Visible ID tag so you can ultimately decide if it's a dog ID tag that you and your dog need in your lives.

6. Puppy Harness


This is Puppia's original and best selling harness in the UK. It's recommended by vets and we think it's the best puppy harness you can buy.

Puppia puppy harness

The first thing to say is that it's extremely lightweight and comfortable for young puppies.

The harness fits over the head and incorporates two adjustable points - one at the neck and the second on the chest.

Ultimately the Puppia soft harness design aims to avoid unnecessary tension on your puppy's delicate neck area.

Available in 6 sizes and lots of colours and patterns to suit your gorgeous pup.

Of course you can coordinate the harness with their collection of colourful leads for the ultimate chic look at the park.

7. Dog Walking Bag


If you are planning to impress at the park, then a coordinated set of accessories could be the way to go. Coconut Lane has taken the obsession for instagrammable matching accessories to another level. You can now buy matching dog accessories from their sister brand Cocopup!

Cocopup dog walking bag

The utterly gorgeous walking bag coordinates with a simple yet stylish treat pouch.

Designed with a carabiner style clip, the treat pouch is easily attached to your bag or belt.

Available in three different colour-ways - black, mocha (grey) and tan and a on-trend range of bag strap designs which you can mix and match.

The walking bag features an integral poop bag dispenser and zipped compartments to keep your phone and keys away from your dog stuff.

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.

8. Dog Poo Bags

Tuff Pets

Don't get caught short when you're out and about. Let's talk scooping that poop 💩!

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

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.

Tuff Pets offer a range of biodegradable and compostable poo bags which are strong, mask the contents and fit in a wide variety of dog poo bag holders.

9. Starter Puppy Bowls


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

Pecute dog food and water bowls

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 but also stops them sliding around your kitchen floor.

The raised lip helps to catch any spills. Available in grey or brown and two sizes.

Ultimately these bowls from Pecute are a clever design and even include a free scoop to measure your pup's meals.

10. Ceramic Puppy Bowls


If you are looking for a traditional ceramic puppy bowl, take a look at the new range of dog bowls from Scruffs.

Scruffs dog bowl for puppies

Better known for their extensive range of premium dog beds, they also launched a gorgeously understated range of dog bowls.

My First Pet Bowl is available in pink ,blue and grey and the heavy stoneware ceramic certainly helps to keep your bowls in one place.

The thick sides also help to keep the food and water cooler for longer. We love that they are chip and bite resistant so will last well.

It's good to know that they are both microwave and dishwasher safe.

You may be interested ...

If you are searching for dog foods specifically aimed at puppies - why not take a look at our Best Puppy Food article.

Your puppy can require up to three times more calories per kilogram of body weight than adult dogs. So they should be appropriately supported throughout this early stage of growth, and remain on a puppy-specific diet until they reach adulthood.

Are You Accidentally Feeding Your Dog These Top 10 Toxic Foods?

11. Stain Remover

Simple Solutions

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.

Simple Solution Stain Remover for dogs

You're never going to achieve 100 success so it's worth being prepared in advance 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.

It not only helps clean any accidents but stops your puppy messing in the same place repeatedly.

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

12. Dog Stair Gate


Getting a puppy doesn't mean they need access to the whole house. Keeping your new Puppy in one or two areas or simply downstairs can really help keep on top of the mess and cleaning.

Lindam stair gate

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.

13. Dog Doorbells


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

Coachi dog door bells to help toilet train a puppy

With some patience on your part, house training your puppy with a dog doorbell can remove the guesswork, hours of simply standing in the garden, scratched paintwork and save your floors from lots of bathroom accidents.

Dog doorbells can prove invaluable for puppy to let you know when they need to go outside.

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

We recommend Coachi's traditional, hanging doorbells which are really good value for money.

The bells simply hang over a door handle and the length is fully adjustable to suit your dog and your door handle height.

Three individual metal bells on a loop are attached at the end of the material for your dog to nudge with their nose or paw.

14. Puppy Training Treats


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

Girl with puppy using puppy training treats

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

The type of treat you choose can make a big difference in how successful your training sessions are. Firstly for any treats to work, they need to be considered 'high-value' by your puppy.

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.

Our top pick are Forthglade Soft Bite treats. Easy to swallow they make the perfect treat for puppy training sessions as you can deliver the reward quickly to encourage repetition of a new behaviour.

For 15% off the entire Forthglade range (excluding taster packs) enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout

15. Puppy Training Book

Steve Mann

There are hundreds if not thousands of puppy training books and guides on the market.

Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy - puppy training book

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.

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 📚

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How to Puppy Proof Your Home

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

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.

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


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