New Puppy: Checklist & Must-haves

It’s no secret, we got a new puppy last year. She’s been such a blessing to our little family and really therapeutic. No regrets. Honey Lemon just melts our hearts. But with so much cuteness comes great responsibility. Just like babies, puppies are very needy and they need ALL the things.

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Planning for a New Puppy

Before picking our puppy up, I researched what I needed to have ready for her homecoming. Through experience, there were things that I loved (and Honey Lemon did, too) So I’ve made a new puppy checklist and must-haves list for you (in case you need help). Read on.

More Reading: Road Trip Down South in the TRD Off-road and a Surprise Puppy

surprise puppy
Honey Lemon at 3 months

New Puppy Checklist

  • Collar / Leash / Harness- These are essential. Invest in a good quality set. Puppies tend to chew things so you want something durable. We went through 2 leashes at first. She chewed off the end of one and the other broke from her pulling. A harness helps, too. Dogs can choke if they don’t know how to walk on a leash with only a collar. We really like Sassy Woof’s cute designs. You can get an entire matching set that even comes with poopy bags. They’re super cute and of great quality.
  • Name Tag- I like this name tag I ordered from Etsy. (Warning: Etsy and Amazon may become addicting for spoiling your pup!)
  • Wee pads– I like the Glad brand. They’re black and hold a lot. I hate to see pee stains and the black camouflages it nicely.
  • Bowls, a placemat, and a slow feeder- We noticed that our puppy was eating fast and gagging. A slow feeder is what helped. I like this combo bowl set for puppies.
  • Poop bags- lots of them! I suggest buying these in bulk. I bought plenty at Home Goods (they have a great pet section but it’s a hit or miss).
  • 1-2 cozy blankets- to keep puppy cozy at pick up and around the home or in the crate. We cover her crate partially with one blanket and let her cozy up with the other. If your puppy is from a litter, ask the breeder to give you something that smells like her litter or mom. This usually helps with the first few nights.
  • Crate- I highly recommend crate training. Our pup sleeps in her crate at night and goes potty in the morning when we let her out. Crates can be pricey depending on the size of your dog. We bought a medium size crate because we knew she would grow up to 30 lbs. It had a divider to make it smaller inside as the puppy grows. I actually found a better deal on Facebook marketplace than I did online.
  • Crate bed- not all pet owners and pets like this but I cannot imagine sleeping on a cold crate floor with nothing to keep you warm. Honey Lemon would cuddle under and over her crate bed. For it, it’s a must. I have read that some dogs will use the bed to pee on. If that’s the case, you’ll have to take it away or work on it.
  • Playpen or gate- You’ll want to keep pup in a designated area for training purposes. I bought a heavy-duty plastic playpen off of Facebook Marketplace but Honey Lemon quickly figured out how to jump it. I suggest something high and spacious (depending on the breed).
  • Brush / Comb- Honey Lemon is a golden doodle so she needs a special brush and comb to prevent matting.
  • Microfiber pet towel– Wet dogs are no fun. A microfiber fast-drying towel is essential for making bathtime at home easier.
  • Toys- lots of them! Chew toys, soft toys, squeaky toys, balls, and bones for playing fetch. Honey Lemon loves to play with her toys. I keep them in a basket for her and she takes them out on her own. I also wash them every month so that they’re fresh and clean.
  • Puppy food/ treats- always consult with your vet/breeder/shelter first. Our vet recommends Purina Puppy Pro-plan kibble. As for treats, I like to get her treats from a local organic bakery or Paul Newman’s treats. And Rachel Ray makes a line of treats, too. Just don’t give too many treats. The best starter treats are the tiny ones for training. You’ll need them to teach puppy to heel, sit, stay, and more. Tip: If you have Prime, get your dog food on auto-delivery. It’s such a lifesaver!
family fun nj
Me & Honey Lemon going for a ride.

Must-haves Roundup

  • Refreshing pet wipes– these are a must-have. We wipe Honey Lemon down after walks, going outside, eating something messy; etc. I prefer organic lavender scented or any organic brand if they aren’t available.
  • A cozy dog bed around the house- once the puppy is potty trained and he/she gains some trust, place a bed somewhere in the house. Maybe the living room or wherever the family spends more time.
  • PJ’s- not a must but really a MUST! For me anyway! Puppies are so cute and small and putting a once on them is so photo-worthy 😄
  • Bandanas- I love these matching scrunchie/bandana sets. I have bought a few for my daughter and Honey.
  • Doggy socks- This is a personal preference. I keep handy doggy socks for my pup for when she’s at that stage where her nails are due for a trim. This especially helps for when I review cars and don’t want her to potentially scratch anything. Socks are great for that and to be around the house when needed.
  • Puffer vest/rain jacket- Another preference. If it’s rainy or cold or snowing- these jackets have been a lifesaver. Not only do they protect your pup but they also prevent them from getting wet and smelly.

Happy planning!

I’m no puppy expert but I hope my lists help you with your planning. Puppies are a lot of work and take a lot of planning. They are also very special. Remember to be patient and give lots of love to your new fur baby. They’ll be thankful to you for it 🐶 💕

xo lillie