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A Must-Have Checklist for a New Puppy or Rescue Dog

Updated on November 24, 2018
Puppies are amazing and fun family members but they need a lot of stuff. This is a checklist of things you'll need before you bring your new puppy home.
Puppies are amazing and fun family members but they need a lot of stuff. This is a checklist of things you'll need before you bring your new puppy home.

Puppies like babies have a lot of needs so there are many things you'll need before you bring one home. The list of things you should have is long, but it's better to have them on hand before you bring your furry new baby home. This is a list of must-have and highly recommended items.


You'll need a crate to take your puppy home. And until they're toilet trained, it's better to take them to the frequent vet appointments they'll have in a crate to avoid accidents in your car.


A puppy will chew up things around the house including rugs, and they'll pee and poop wherever they want. A playpen will keep them out of trouble when you're out of the house, or when you're too busy to keep an eye on them. I got the IRIS Pet Playpen with Door. It comes in multiple colors and you can buy a mesh roof that should prevent a mischievous puppy from escaping by climbing over the sides.

Bed and Blanket

Your puppy will need something soft to sleep on, and a blanket if it gets cold at night.

Pet Training Pads

Pet training pads are needed until a dog is potty trained. It's better to get a large box of a hundred or so because you'll go through a lot. Tape a couple to the floor of their playpen and replace them when they're soiled.

Grooming Items

Puppies have sensitive skin so you should only get shampoo and conditioner made especially for them. Have a brush and comb ready, especially if you're getting a longer haired breed. Brush them regularly to help prevent fur from becoming matted.


Get a bag of puppy kibble and cans of meat made for puppies. Make sure to get small-sized treats for little mouths.

Food and Water Bowls

Your puppy will need something to eat and drink from.

Anti-Diarrhea Medicine

Your puppy will have tummy trouble from time-to-time. It's better to have medicine on hand to stop problems in their tracks. I use Diggin Your Dog Firm Up Pumpkin Supplement for my puppy because it's fast acting. Mix it with canned meat for puppies. Many pet stores sell cans of pumpkin paste which can be mixed into dry dog food.

Constipation Medicine

I use Lax'aire for my puppy. It's a little pricey but it should last a while unless your dog has frequent stomach issues. With my puppy, I put some on my finger and he licks it off.

Toothpaste and Toothbrush

Good oral health is important for dogs. Get dog toothpaste and a finger toothbrush.

Collar, Leash and Harness

Get a collar, leash and harness. You may not be able to take the puppy for walks until it has had all of its shots, but it's a good idea to get them used to wearing a collar and harness, and being pulled on a leash.


Puppies like babies and toddlers need things to bite on when they're teething. Make sure to have plush, rubber and hard plastic toys available. Puppies love to play with squeaky toys and balls.

Pet Gate

If you don't want the puppy wandering around the house either going to the bathroom when you're not watching or chewing things up, consider getting a pet gate. These are similar to the gates used to keep toddlers from going up or downstairs. I use the Carlson Pet Products Lil' Tuffy Expandable Gate with Small Pet Door.

Dog Waste Bags

Picking up poop isn't pleasant, but it has to be done. Have plenty of dog waste bags on hand at all times.

Dog Wipes

Dog wipes will help keep your puppy's fur smelling fresh, and they can be used to clean dirty paws.


To help keep your house clean in rainy weather have a raincoat to prevent your puppy's fur from getting soaked.


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