Everything Your Puppy Needs To Get Started

So you’ve finally decided it’s time to get a puppy to bring a little joy to your life, or maybe you’re bringing in a puppy to be a friend to your other pup. Perhaps a loved one is adopting a puppy, and you’re helping them prepare for their newest family member.

Whatever the case may be, there’s about to be a new puppy in your life, and you want to set yourself, and the puppy, up for success. But what will you need to get that puppy comfortable and get your whole family on the same page?

Lucky for you, we’ve got all the puppy supplies and advice right here.

A New Puppy Is an Adventure

Becoming a pet parent is an amazing thing that everyone benefits from. When you realize how much love puppies bring to the table, you’ll realize we are the lucky ones — it’s truly a who adopted who situation.

Dogs help us with so many aspects of our lives. They help us fight feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, and provide us a sense of security. We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: we don’t deserve dogs!

You may be nervous about this new addition and all the responsibility, but remember that it’s a phase. A new puppy may need a lot of time and attention, but once they’re trained, it’s smooth sailing. Adult dogs may tend to be more low-key (or, at the very least, not have those dagger puppy teeth).

The time it takes to get into a new routine with a puppy is the tiniest blip in their (and your) life. A year into your new family, you won’t even remember all that time it took to get them there.

Everything You Need: Puppy Edition

Before bringing your new pup home, make sure to get a few things ready for them. Puppies, like human babies, need specific items and special attention when entering their new homes.

Basics for First-Time Puppy Parents

Decide as a family who will be the point of contact for your puppy. Of course, everyone needs to love on your new addition to create a family unit, but one person needs to be established as head of household for puppy training.

Routines and training are easier when a puppy has one person to focus their attention on when it comes to rules. Research reveals that negative reinforcement doesn’t help dogs. When house training your new friend, stock up on puppy-safe dog treats and dog toys.

Decide on potty breaks, walk times, and any socializing you will do and where once your puppy is old enough for furry friends.

Dog Training Essentials

As a family, pick a name before your new pet comes home. You can practice commands as a family before training starts. Regarding practicing commands, have a name selected ahead of time so that you, as a family, can practice using commands the right way.

What do we mean? Use your puppy’s name first, then give the command. While your pup is learning commands, address them by name to make sure they understand you’re talking to them.

As they get more comfortable with commands, looking at them and just using a command like “sit” should be clear enough. Just double-check that they’re comfortable and familiar enough with the commands before making the transition.

What To Do When You Bring Your Puppy Home

Your new puppy is home, yay! But this means there isn’t any more prep time; you better be ready. Make sure that you’ve checked all of these items off the list and that these items are in place on day one.

Announce Your New Puppy To the World

It may seem a tad silly, but announcing a new family member, furry or otherwise, is fun and can be a good thing for your family.

It’s also a great way to let friends and family members outside of the home know that you’re about to have your hands full and might not be available to hang out for a while. You may also have some friends that have puppies of their own, and they will be eager to get together.

You’ll need time to train and transition your household; this can be a good heads up to let everyone know you’ll need some space for a while before your pup is ready for doggy playdates.

Not sure how to do this? We recommend starting with our Dog Mom Collection. You’ll find the cutest sweaters and shirts perfect for a family announcement of your adorable new arrival.

ID Tags, Leash, and Puppy Collar

Here’s where having that name picked out comes in handy. Having a leash with a collar and name tags and all of your vital information is critical for a new puppy.

While we hope never to need it, if your puppy gets out or runs away when a door is opened, you’ll be so thankful they’re wearing a collar. This way, if they get out and someone finds them, your phone number will be right there in plain view, and your pup will be home quickly and safely.

It can also help to puppy-proof your new home. Consider playpens, pet-safe baby gates, or kennel training for extra peace of mind.

Bed and Accessories

Make sure your dog bed, human beds, and blankets are home and in place before your puppy arrives. Establish your pup’s areas ahead of time so that you and they know where they will be sleeping.

Blankets are crucial to have home ahead of time so they can get your smells all over them. Why? This will help establish a bond and trust with your puppy, and they’ll know who their family members are.

Knowing where their beds and blankets are from day one will also take away any confusion as to what their belongings are. If you don’t want them on the couch or beds, they’ll know right away that their beds are here and not there.

Other accessories to stock up on are: puppy pads or potty pads for potty training and poop bags for when you can start going on walks. Keep their dog bowls in the same location; like people, dogs thrive on routine.

Also, if you plan on crate training your pup, ensure that the dog crate is set up and in place ahead of time.

Find Your Vet

Get a vet lined up ahead of time and try to schedule their first new puppy appointment before they’re home to avoid any delay.

Just like kids, dogs have a vaccine schedule they’ll need to stick to, but vet offices fill up with appointments fast. So you may bring your pup home thinking you’ll have plenty of time to get them to the vet, only to realize the first appointment available isn’t for a month.

You’ll also be able to go over items with your vet ahead of time, like spaying or neutering, microchipping for safety, and any other questions or concerns. Speak to the vet ahead of time to ensure you’ve found the right vet and office for you and your family.

Pet Insurance

While pet insurance doesn’t cover everything, having that insurance in place for the first year at least could be a good idea.

Many vets do recommend puppy insurance, as it could possibly cover the costs of vaccines, spaying or neutering, and other puppy needs. It generally costs less than $20 a month and is easy to get set up and cancel after their first year if you choose to do so.

Toys and Things

Just like with beds and blankets, have appropriate puppy toys ready for your new arrival.

We recommend puppy treats because some edible bones and treats can be harsh on their tummies, so you want to avoid those. It’s also a good idea to invest in training treats specifically made for puppies to help train them to learn commands.

The best toys to have right away will include chew toys for growing teeth and balls for a game of fetch to expel all that puppy energy. You may also want to invest in a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. Implementing a brushing regimen as a puppy will help you keep your sanity in the long run.

We also recommend a cute tote or bag to keep all your pup’s toys for peak organization.

Puppy Food

You will also want to decide on the type of food and set up an area for food and water bowls before your new dog comes home.

Speak with the shelter or your dog’s previous family before your pup comes home to find out what type of puppy food they’re already on to keep their tummies on track.

You can slowly transition their dog food as they grow, but make sure you at least have a small portion of what they’re eating now to help keep their tummies on track. An enzyme can also be added to the food to help with digestion and growth, but ask your vet first.

You may also want to invest in nail clippers and other dog grooming supplies to cut down on grooming costs. If you can get them comfortable with nail clipping at a young age, they will be used to it in later years.

You’re Ready for Puppy Love

We are so jealous that you’re bringing home a cute and furry puppy with those big paws and cute puppy breath!

We are confident that these checklist items will have your family and household ready for your new arrival. Be sure to tag us on social media anytime you wear all that awesome Pawz swag you got for you and your puppy.


Does training method matter? Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare | PMC

The Art and Science of Naming a Dog | Psychology Today

New Puppy Checklist | PetMD

Pet-Proofing Your Home | American Humane

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