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New Dog Checklist


All The Things You Need In Preparation To Bring Home Your New Doggy Family Member!

The day has almost arrived! You’re gearing up to bring home the newest addition to the family, your first dog! So, we need food and water and we’re good right? Maybe that would be okay back in the “old days” but it certainly isn’t going to cut it today! Let’s face it, our pets are spoiled and deservedly so! Let’s take a dive into what we need in preparation to bring home our very first dog.

It’s Not Just Food

Well certainly you do need dog food. In fact, if you haven’t seen my previous blog post on “How to choose a dog food” from August 5th, then definitely check that out. That’s going to help you determine which food will be best suited for your dog’s needs. Just be aware that whatever food they may give you at the shelter or from the breeder, transition your dog slowly into their new food. This process should take up to ten days but most dogs can transition to a new food in a week. Don’t forget the bowls for food and water too! Now that we’ve covered food, you definitely need treats! If you’re bringing home a puppy, I suggest training treats so you can reward good behavior. If you’ve got a pretty well trained dog, then really any treat will do. Just don’t forget them! Just like humans, your pet looks forward to a snack every now and again and it really does help strengthen your bond with your new pet. After all, nothing says “I love you” like handing over a delicious treat!


This is another obvious one! You don’t quite know your dog yet though so I suggest buying a wide variety of toys until you figure out your dog’s favorite. It sounds silly but every dog has their own personality so they will have a favorite type. I had a dog once who only liked plush toys and would carry them around like they were his babies. My current dog loves to play ball! In fact, balls are really the only toy we consistently buy for him. I would suggest staying away from rope toys at least in the beginning. If you find out your dog is a power chewer, all they are going to do is rip the rope to shreds and not only create a mess for you to clean up but create a choking hazard for themselves. If you have a dog that needs a lot of entertainment, I would suggest puzzle toys, treat dispensing toys or toys they need to work at. Some dogs just really need busy work so keep them entertained to avoid destructive behavior.


It is important to know how you’re going to keep your dog contained when you’re not home. Some dogs could be left to free roam the house without a problem when you’re gone. Other dogs will destroy the entire house. It’s hard to know what to expect with a new dog but at the very least, I would try a gate at first to contain your dog to a certain room like the kitchen to see how he does. Then I would try a bigger space until you’re comfortable leaving him free roam all together. Try to keep bedroom and bathroom doors closed to avoid unnecessary destruction. Crates work well too. In fact, many puppies and shelter dogs actually love their crate. It is a way for them to feel secure. You also want to think about how your dog will be contained in the yard so think about items such as tie outs, invisible fencing, regular fencing, play pens and long leads. Ideally, a fenced in yard is the way to go but not all of us have that option. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s not easy for your dog to escape. 

Yard & Outdoor

Often a forgotten about item on the list but just as important as the others are your potty supplies! Poop bags make great options for going on walks. There are also various yard waste clean up items such as rake sets, pooper scoopers and shovels as well. You are also going to need supplies for going on walks as so don’t forget a collar or harness and a leash. If your dog still needs training then I would suggest a 4 foot leash for easier handling. You also want to make sure you don’t forget to get an ID tag made up in case your dog gets out. Having some form of identification on your pet is essential and will also provide you with peace of mind. 

Flea & Tick

There are many types of flea and tick treatments on the market and not all of them work the same. Your four broad categories are topical treatments, oral treatments, collars and sprays. In my personal and experienced opinion, the best topical treatment is K9 Advantix and the best collar is Seresto. Oral treatments are a little less common and sprays only go so far and will not last up to a month or month-to-month like the Advantix and Seresto. Make sure that when buying flea and tick products, you are not just considering products for your pet alone. During peak seasons, it is encouraged that you treat your home and at the very least, your yard as well to avoid infestations. Believe me, I have talked to plenty of people dealing with a flea infestation and you do not want that to be you! To learn more about flea and tick prevention, check out the official ASPCA website.

Grooming Supplies

Not every dog has the same fur, in fact some have hair and some have super short coats that don’t require as much grooming maintenance. When it comes to grooming supplies, ask the experts (aka the groomers) what the best type of brush is for your dog’s specific coat. When it comes to shampoo, make sure you’re choosing a pet safe shampoo and not just anything you have lying around the house (this can cause major skin irritations). There are other kinds of supplies on the market that may come in handy but aren’t super necessary such as grooming wipes in case potty time gets a little messy or cologne sprays for that extra fresh smell after a bath. 

Miscellaneous Items 

Certain items definitely need to be mentioned but aren’t necessarily required depending on the dog. I’m sure your dog would love a bed though! You may also want to pick up some cleaning spray, which I would definitely consider a little more necessary especially with a puppy. If your dog has an accident in the house, you’re going to want to have an enzymatic cleaner on hand. This will deter them from returning to the same spot to “go.” It is also a very good idea to consider your dog’s oral hygiene. Some dogs are particular about letting you brush their teeth. If this is the case, I would highly suggest picking up any of the various dental chews or other hard toys to chew on. 

Unconditional Love

Well, you can’t buy that at a store but that will certainly be the relationship between you and your dog over the course of their life. With the right supplies on hand, your pet can live a long, happy and carefree life. Owning a dog is a major expense right from the beginning and that’s not even accounting for major vet bills. If you can afford to take care of your dog properly, then they are worth every single penny though! The bond between humans and dogs is so special and you are going to have a best friend for years to come. Enjoy your new dog!