New Puppy Checklist: What You’ll Need
Welcoming a puppy into your family can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Not only is it fun-filled and fulfilling (for every party involved), it’s also immensely exciting, conjuring feelings of love that you never thought possible before. The purchasing of your pet is only the beginning and, here at OnBuy, we want to help you get organised for their long-awaited arrival into your home. After all, preparation is the key to success!
If you’re in need of some advice, information, and support (not to mention a few recommendations along the way) on how best to settle in your cute canine companion, look no further than this checklist. Providing comprehensive guidance on how to adjust your home, budget and lifestyle to accommodate a little furry friend, we’ll offer direction on the primary puppy essentials, and crucial things to think about before they pass the threshold.
Most of all, this is a pleasurable and joyful time, so get ready to set tails wagging!
Things to consider before purchasing your puppy
Before bringing your pup home, there are a number of preliminary factors that you should consider first. Browse the list below to ensure that you’re well prepared for your new four-legged family member.
- Cost: have you budgeted to guarantee all the costs associated with a puppy are taken care of? You’ll need to think about insurance, vet bills, food and ongoing charges (like buying leads, toys, poo bags, and other doggy accessories).
- Lifestyle: do you definitely have enough time to raise and care for a puppy? Particularly while your pup is young, they’ll need plenty of company and ongoing training during the day. Owner absence in the foundational stages of a pup’s life can lead to attachment issues later down the line, so it’s really important to pay them extra attention for at least the first couple of months. If you work full-time, you may need to consider day care options, which can be a great way to keep your canine occupied when staying at home isn’t possible. You need to be prepared to look after a dog for as long as they live, so if you’re planning any big lifestyle changes, make sure you’ll be able to accommodate a puppy too.
- Your humble abode: is your home dog-friendly? Do you have a secure garden with enough room for them to run and play in, as well as separate eating and sleeping areas? These are just some of the questions you must think about before welcoming your puppy home. Just as kitchens and bathrooms should be made baby-proof before the arrival of an infant, so too must a home be made puppy-proof before the arrival of a dog.
- Vets: it’s also worth bearing vets in mind, and where your closest practice may be. It’s certainly helpful to visit before purchasing your pup, as they can often give useful advice and support on where to start your search.
- Research: always be sure to fully research any pet before taking the plunge. With puppies, be sure to thoroughly explore the different breeds on offer, as well as making sure they’re the right dog for your family and home.
Make sure you’ve covered these primary puppy essentials
Once you’ve made your decision, congratulations are certainly in order… it won’t be long before your pup is snuggling up in their new, cosy home! Before they arrive though, it’s crucial to ensure you’ve covered what we like to call the ‘primary puppy essentials’. From toys to toothpaste, sleeping areas to socialisation, there's a plethora of points to be organised prior to your pup’s appearance.
1. Buy all the supplies they will need: this includes (but isn’t limited to) a crate and bed, blankets, water bowls, puppy-specific food, a collar and tag (which is now a legal requirement), a harness and lead, a car restraint, toys, puppy pads (for toilet training), poo bags, a brush or comb for grooming purposes, toothpaste, and dog shampoo.
2. Make any necessary adjustments to your house: first, be sure to organise your dog’s sleeping area, confirming that it’s in a quiet place where they won’t be disturbed or in the way. A crate can be a great and secure way to let them explore, but pad it out with lots of blankets and bedding to keep them feeling safe, warm and comfy. Consider installing dog gates if there are specific areas where you’d prefer your puppy not to roam. Setting clear boundaries with your other family members early on is extremely important, as mixed messages can be very confusing for your canine.
3. Safeguard your outdoor space: secure your garden to ensure your dog can play safely outside. Check there are no boundary holes they could squeeze through or dig under, and reassure yourself that there are no poisonous plants or other outdoor hazards that could potentially harm your companion. Interior puppy-proofing is also worth thinking about here, so make sure that anything harmful (such as cleaning products, medicines, cables, and anything else they shouldn’t chew on) is fully out of reach.
4. Some final precautions: immediately prior to their arrival, speak to your local vet to find out which treatments your pup will need and how much they will cost. You may also like to find a puppy training class to help with all the early obedience jitters and explore socialisation groups that will teach your canine the benefits of trust, community and friendship.
Once your new puppy is home and finding their feet (or ‘paws’, should we say!), there are a final few steps to complete to ensure their safety and happiness in new and exciting surroundings.
- Be sure to take them to the vet for a check-up, and to book any remaining vaccinations or other treatments that are due. Remember to pop a note in your diary for any future inoculations and worming or flea medications, and keep their microchip details up to date.
- Research pet insurance ASAP. This will massively help if they fall or become injured.
- Go along to training classes and start to socialise your puppy by encouraging them to have positive experiences with other vaccinated dogs and people in a safe and secure environment. Introduce them to some of your favourite outdoor sites; the sounds and smells will truly be a feast for their senses.
- Make sure that all the training is consistent, and that your family all stick to the same rules. If this isn’t adopted early on, your pup might become confused and frustrated, as well as finding it increasingly more difficult to learn.
- Always give your canine enough space when they need it. If they need sleep, allow it!
- Organise for any day care or dog sitters that you might need during the day.
OnBuy’s top six new puppy supplies
Now we’ve established the basics, let’s delve straight into OnBuy’s top selection of purse-friendly puppy supplies. We know that the essentials can often rack up in price, but follow our guide on the best six items available and you certainly won’t be left breaking the bank. All that’s left to say is sit back, relax, and browse. Pup accessory hunting has never been more affordable!
Pros: Available in a selection of striking colours and sizes for a range of different breeds, constructed from robust and long-lasting melamine
Cons: Smaller sizes not suitable for food and water uses combined, large logo embossed design may not be to everyone’s taste
Puppy bowls are essential, and there are many options out there for any new pet parent. Consider how much water and food your doggy needs before purchasing, and adapt the size from there.
This Jazooli Double Water Bowl is the perfect accessory for every pup and smaller pooch. Yes, not solely reserved for puppies, the dual-sided dish is handily available in a range of colours and sizes to suit every breed and gender. If you’re buying for more petite canine, this bowl can easily be used into adolescence and maturity. Constructed from robust melamine, it is incredibly durable and hard-wearing, meaning it shouldn’t need replacing (no matter how vivacious your puppy is). The material is stress-free and easy-to-clean too, which remains a huge bonus if your dog is more on the messy side.
Standing on sturdy rubber feet, to prevent sliding on tile or laminate flooring, the Jazooli is firm, strong, and well-made. This useful addition plays a massive part in the training of younger pups when keeping food consumption to one specific area is harder to achieve and maintain. Stopped from being pushed around your kitchen, the container is sturdy and safe for even the most excitable and energetic of puppies.
On the downside, this attractive and eye-catching accessory may be too ostentatious for those who prefer minimalistic and understated pet furniture. Though the colours are glossy and glamorous, they may not be best-placed in discreet and simply-designed homes. The smaller size may also present a problem if your pup is a larger adult breed, as it will only be suitable for their youth.
Pros: Available in a range of charming colours and dimensions, quick-release buckle that’s gentle on your precious puppy’s neck
Cons: May make your pooch feel restrained if they’re not accustomed to collars, plastic clasp material looks cheaper than metal buckles
Choosing the correct puppy collar will lead to safer, more enjoyable walks and training sessions for both you and your canine companion. Quick-release models are specifically designed to automatically open or unclasp when pulled on tugged on with a sufficient amount of force, preventing your pup from permanently damaging their neck.
With the beautiful Bunty collar, walkies will never have looked so good! With a sturdy metal ring and range of sizes to suit every puppy and breed, you’ll never be stuck for choice. This diversity is even continued in the spectrum of colour shades, which can each be chosen to reflect your pooch’s personality and character. From denim, to green, to leopard print (yes, leopard print!), there’s plenty of options to choose from.
The perfect fusion of fashion and function, this collar is the perfect way to keep your pet safe while roaming or running outside. Designed to fit comfortably around your puppy’s neck, the quick-release buckle and soft cotton fabric are gentle and soft on their fur, while still effectively withstanding even the most enthusiastic of leaps. What more could anyone ask for?
On the negative side, and as with many methods of restraining your little friend, it may take a while for your pup to adjust to this sense of feeling confined. Don’t be disheartened though, it won’t be long before they adjust to the sensation. After all, it does ensure their safety. On top of this, the plastic buckle material may also appear cheaper and poorer quality in comparison to some of its boujee and higher-end alternatives.
Pros: Added Omega 3 with no artificial colours of flavours, further vitamins and minerals help to enhance your puppy’s growth and keep them looking strong
Cons: Soft and chewy consistency may not be best suited to every pooch, not suitable on its own as a hearty main meal or snack
From chews to dental delicacies, there’s lots of choose from when it comes to puppy treats. It’s always great to have a small selection on-hand to keep things fresh, and encourage better behaviour both indoors and outside. Maintaining a variety will also help to determine which flavours your pampered pooch loves best, making the training process so much easier and more enjoyable.
Scrumptious, luscious and appetising, Pedigree Tasty Bites are perfectly designed for smaller mouths, boasting extra calcium levels to support the development of stronger bones and teeth. With added dietary fibre, these succulent titbits help to promote healthy digestion, and maintain your puppy’s natural defences with natural and nutritional ingredients.
Ideal for treating and rewarding your pooch at any time during their infancy, these meaty morsels work well when toilet training or socialising outside. Best suited to puppies aged 4-18 months, they must be used as part of a healthy balanced diet, which also includes wet and dry hearty main meals. For toy puppies of 2-3kg, up to eight treats a day are recommended. For larger whelps of 25kg+, up to 83 treats are suggested each day.
Unfortunately however, due to their chewy nature, the Pedigree Tasty Bites may not be best suited to every dog and owner. The primary base flavour of chicken might also cause some issues if poultry isn’t the preferred palate-quencher of your canine.
Pros: Various accessories make for outstanding choice and diversity, effective at cleaning teeth
Cons: Designed to help with strengthening teeth, they don’t succeed in terms of longevity or durability, owners may have to stay more alert with smaller items and chew toys
Every new canine needs to play, and with OnBuy’s selection of puppy toys, they’ll never be bored again! Whether they’re chasing a ball or chomping on a chew, they’re great ways to entertain your pet while lessening separation anxiety and nerves.
These dog toys are highly successful at helping your pooch to grind their teeth, helpfully cleaning them and reducing dental stones. Constructed from reasonably strong coloured cotton rope, these playthings not only help to promote the healthy development of your canine’s gnashers and gums, they’re also perfect for soft and rough teasing alike. The sheer choice on offer is outstanding from one reasonably-priced product, so you know they’ll certainly not become disinterested or fed up with the mixture of chews and ropes available.
On the flip side, extra caution may have to be adhered to when letting puppies and littler dogs gnaw on the smaller items, such as the ball, carrot, and ring. With sharp chompers biting down hard on the toys (perhaps from a particularly competitive tug-of-war game), be prepared for fraying edges and damaged fabric fragments after long periods of playing with these accessories.
Pros: Wide variety of sizes means every dog is catered for, numerous doors make for easy access
Cons: Non-sloping front may be harder to fit into car boots, wire exterior may appear clunky
Size: XS (H41 x W49 x D33cm), S (H49 x W61 x D42cm), M (H52 x W76 x D42cm), L (H57 x W91 x D57cm), XL (H69 x W107 x D69cm), XXL (H81 x W121 x D74cm)
Whether you’re popping to the park or driving to the vets, a good puppy crate is a must when it comes to protection and safety. Purchasing one in the correct adult size will mean this pet-friendly cage won’t need replacing when your pooch reaches maturity, saving money and time in the future. Capable of shielding and sheltering your infant at home too, it’s the versatile and adaptable accommodation you didn’t know you needed.
Cardy’s Puppy Pet Carrier would make an eye-catching addition to your home and vehicle. Ideal for use when house-training your pups or carrying them around in the car, it’s two-door entry system is perfect for a wide variety of dog dimensions, meaning every canine is catered for. Made of a high-quality, durable metal shell, with a moveable carry handle for ease of moving and transportation, the cage also folds flat for extreme convenience and accessibility. Gone are the days of unattractive, bulky pens: this one can easily be hidden away.
The removable plastic base makes clearing up any accidents super simple and quick. Created solely with safety in mind, the bars are coated in a slick black powder to prevent rust and damage in the future (especially from razor sharp little teeth).
On a slightly more negative note, the non-sloping frontage may be harder to fit into cars with smaller boots, as the edges jut out into the space. The dark wire exterior may additionally appear clunky or unattractive should you choose to position it in your home, as it might not blend so well with lighter or more minimalist interiors.
Pros: Available in a variety of tasty flavours to suit every diner, packed full of nourishing nutrients with no artificial colours or preservatives
Cons: Must allow a transition phase initially - adjusting amounts and dividing into meals according to your puppy’s needs, recommended to mix with dry food pouches at first
Finding the right puppy food can be hard. Do you shop grain-free, raw, dry, or canned? There really are so many options to choose from, so it’s important to discover your canine’s preferences earlier on in the feeding stage. After all, who doesn’t want a happy tummy?
Pedigree’s easy-to-open jelly pouches are ideal as a fresh, healthy meal, either on its own or on top of dry puppy food. With specially-selected ingredients to give your pampered pooch 100% of the nutritional content they need in their first few months at home, these pockets of loveliness are developed with vets and professionals to contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. In fact, Pedigree Vital Protection is designed to deliver nutrition that addresses four universal needs to keep your puppy healthy and full of youthful vitality.
These beneficial components include (but aren’t limited to): Vitamin E (to support their immune system), natural fibres (to help keep their insides in ship-shape condition), zinc and sunflower oil (to maintain a luscious coat), and calcium (to sustain healthy bone growth). With a range of four tasty flavours on offer, you’ll always be spoiled for choice.
On the downside, these puppy pouches may take more care to monitor in the early stages of your companion’s life. You must allow an initial transition phase, adjusting amounts according to their needs. It’s also recommended that you mix these jellies with dry food (at least to start with).
New puppy FAQs
Q: Where should my puppy sleep on the first night?
A: Crates are probably the best option here, as they prevent your pup from getting up to any mischief during the night. If they’re really struggling to cope on their own, feel free to bring the cage into your bedroom and place it next to your bed. Aside from the company, your furry friend will appreciate this form of early bonding.
Q: What should I do in my first week with the new puppy?
A: There are many fun-filled activities to be enjoyed by you and your canine in the formative stages of your relationship. Start by teaching them some helpful house manners (in other words, don’t let them get away with things just because they’re cute!), and begin training with basic obedience. This can include potty preparations, socialisation and crate coaching with toys. Associate as many positive items with these activities as possible, like meals, treats, chews and bully sticks.
Q: Can an eight-week old puppy sleep through the night?
A: This tends to depend on the puppy itself, and can vary from breed to breed. Most eight-week old whelps don’t sleep through their first night in a new home, but do so after about a fortnight. Just be prepared for a few restless evenings of little squeals and crying… it shouldn’t last past the month.
Q: What is the first thing you should train your puppy to do?
A: Potty and crate training are probably the best two behaviours to start with, as these aid with overall discipline and obedience later down the line. Plus, it’ll help to prevent any unnecessary accidents in every indoor establishment.
Checking off the checklist
We hope you’ve enjoyed this new puppy checklist, and it’s given you some helpful ideas on how to accommodate your pet. If you need some more specific advice on the best puppy crates and carriers, or perhaps other general guidance on whether to choose a dog house, cage or kennel, why not explore our blog and buyer’s guide resources? Packed with helpful tips, tricks and information on how to properly train your pup, you’ll never be stuck again!
Please note: The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.