Many people spend months and days on end preparing for a new baby. In the same way, you need to spend time preparing for your new puppy. Do not bring a baby dog home on a whim, because it will take longer for the puppy to settle in. If you are planning to adopt a new puppy, you will need to have a puppy checklist beforehand.

The first 24 hours will make you happy or remorseful, depending on the preparations you make. Your adorable little creature might chew on your furniture items. The canine may also make a mess on your beautiful carpet.

How you react to these scenarios, and more, will depend on how prepared you are individually and as a family. Preparation is priceless considering you’ll have full hands once the puppy arrives. The first few weeks require you to bond with your new pet to help overcome any stress and challenges of adding a new pet member to your family.

The puppy might feel out of place and demonstrate their displeasure by misbehaving if you do make them feel welcome. To prevent this from happening, make a puppy checklist of the things to do before the pup’s arrival. This guide will give you reliable tips.

What Is the Importance of Prepping for a New Puppy?


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Preparing for a new puppy begins with a family discussion. It’s essential that every member agrees on the puppy. If it’s a mutual agreement, it will be easier to decide on matters like:

  • Who will feed the pup on which days
  • Who takes the puppy to the backyard and at what time
  • Who will handle the veterinary appointments for de-worming and vaccinations

When chores surrounding the puppy are shared, the puppy feels more like a blessing in your home.  The household can also agree on the vocabulary to use as training commands with the new puppy.  

It‘ll be better to put the vocabulary list for training commands in writing so that everyone in the home uses the same terms. Dog walkers, family members, and nannies should avoid using same words to mean different things to the puppy. For example, “down” should refer to lying down, sitting down, or getting off the couch. This will help your puppy learn quicker and will prevent them from getting confused as to what you really want.

Preparing a Puppy-Proof Area

Another important part of preparing for your puppy’s arrival is to ensure its safety. Ensure that the area where the dog will spend most of their time is safe. Make sure there are no loose electrical cords to baseboards. Store chemicals that may cause harm to the pup on high shelves. Remove breakable items, rugs, and plants, and install gates, if needed. Once you think you have made the area safe, lie down and get a puppy’s eye view.

Remember your puppy is coming to a new environment. They’ll be away from their mother and littermates for the first time. Your home is strange to them, they'll see new faces, and there will be new expectations. With all these factors in mind, you’ll need to set new rules, make your home and yard safe, and set rules on how to treat the pup. Most importantly, there are supplies you need to pick in advance for the puppy. The more structured the transition will be, the easier it will be for everyone.

What Different Types of Preparation Are Needed?

holding a puppy

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Doing things right from the beginning will help prevent accidents when the puppy arrives. Through puppy preparedness, you’ll be closer to having your dream dog.

There is a lot you need to do when preparing for your dog’s arrival. You need to think about where it will sleep and eat. Your dog will also need to exercise. Ensuring there is enough clean and safe space for all this is essential. More specifically, these are the things you need have in your puppy checklist.  

Sleeping Arrangements

You need to decide if your new puppy will sleep in your bed or a crate. If in a box, you should choose where to place it. Most experts recommend that you train your pup to sleep in a crate. If you properly introduce your puppy to the box, he’ll feel safe even when you are not home.  

The crate should be ready by the time your puppy gets home. Do not let him sleep on your bed for a few days then change the arrangements. The change will not be easy to embrace. They’ll view sleeping on the bed as the acceptable norm. Moving them to the crate will create exaggerated responses like whining. These are responses you can avoid if you train your dog for the crate from the first day.

It’s a good idea to bring the crate along for the ride home when you pick the puppy. Ensure the box is comfortable enough for your puppy. Put something like a soft pillow and a few treats inside for him.

Strive to make the ride home smooth and less stressful for the puppy. You can place something from the breeder that smells like their littermates or mother. They'll love their crate and feel more comfortable thinking that they're still around their family members.

Potty Training Arrangements

Before bringing your puppy home, you need to decide where they’ll relieve themselves. Potty accidents will be inevitable during the first few days. It’s recommended that you stock paper towels and an adequate supply of carpet cleaner. You might also want to use puppy pads for the first few days. However, ensure you are still potty-training during this time. Your aim is to minimize having the puppy relieve themselves anywhere around the house, not to get them used to pads.

Ensure the potty area is accessible yet privately located. Your pup might be uncomfortable relieving themselves where everyone can see them. In the same way, you desire privacy, think of your puppy as having a need for private space. When you bring the puppy home, take them to the potty spot and have them relieve themselves. You can encourage them to do so by having some treats ready. Make sure he’s supervised whenever they're not in their crate to prevent them from making a mess.

Once the pup is home, remember to keep the potty area clean at all times. If you don’t clean up after your puppy, they'll find a new spot to relieve themselves. You’ll end up with double cleaning work.

Feeding Arrangements

Your new puppy will need to feed two to three times a day. In your puppy checklist or shopping list, ensure you include quality food and water dishes. Have a couple of different sets to change every once in a while.

When you go to the dog store for puppy bowls, you’ll realize there are many styles and designs. Pick bowls you think will match the characteristics of your pup. For example, consider going for a tapered bowl if your puppy has long ears. A big-bodied puppy should have an elevated dish.

It's a common occurrence to want to feed your puppy from any available dish. However, remember it's not all about the plate. Your puppy needs to be comfortable as they feed and should identify with their feeding dishes.

As a guide, here are some factors to consider:

1. Size of the Dish

Your puppy’s feeding bowl should be big enough to fit at least two cups of dry food. You might need a bigger bowl depending on how much food you feed your dog.

Remember not to buy a small sized bowl for your puppy because they’ll soon outgrow it. Just make sure you don’t give them too much food by filling the bowl to the rim.

2. Stainless Steel over Plastic or Ceramic

It’s recommendable to buy dog dishes made from stainless steel. It should be weighted to be tip-proof and have a non-skid bottom. Stainless steel have an advantage because they are easy to clean, unbreakable, and resistant to dog bites.

Plastic bowls are prone to jagged edges and can splinter if the puppy chews on them. Plastic can cause a dog allergy. The pigment on plastic containers can cause discoloration on your pet’s nose over time.

Ceramic dishes break easily and germs also easily find their home in the porous material. It calls for more frequent cleaning. Some are made from materials that contain lead and other poisonous substances.  You'll want to avoid plastic and ceramic, if you can.

4. Separate Water and Food Dishes

Strive to feed your puppy from bowls different from the ones they take their water. Bowls fixed together can be awkward to clean. It’s also easy for food to find its way into the water and vice versa.

This will lead to a lot of food waste and increase your dog food budget.

5. Special Features for Feeding Bowls

Your puppy's characteristics will influence the features you choose. For example, a tapered one will keep long ears out of the food. A raised dish is more suitable for a bigger dog or one with mobility problems.

Choose a dish that’ll keep your dog from eating too fast. The brake-fast-dog dish comes with pegs at the center to prevent your puppy from gulping down food. Remember if your puppy eats too quickly, they stand a risk of developing bloat of gastric dilation volvulus.

Consider going for a heated water bowl. It’ll prove useful during winter especially if you keep your pup outside. Follow these guidelines, and you'll hardly go wrong with buying dog feeding equipment.

6. Grooming Supplies

You need to shop in advance for your puppy’s grooming tools and supplies. Most new dog owners tend to overlook this critical factor. Grooming tools are a necessity because your pup needs to remain clean at all times.

You can plan to get professional grooming services for your puppy. Even with such grooming arrangements, you need nail clippers and a brush for use at home. Regular grooming sessions for your puppy will keep his fur healthy.

It’s also during the sessions that you get to bond a lot more with your baby dog. When shopping for combs and brushes, go for those that match your dog’s fur type. If you’ll groom them from home, remember to buy shampoo, conditioner, cotton balls, and toothbrushes.

When cleaning your dog, take care of all the sensitive areas like the paws, ears, and tail. Trim their nails and check his ears for impurities. Touching these areas will enhance trust and will make cleaning times enjoyable and stress-free.

7. Name Tag

In your puppy checklist, ensure you have a name tag. Is a name tag necessary for your puppy? Yes. No puppy should be without an identification tag.

The unexpected can happen, and your puppy can get lost during a walk or when you're not home. It should be easy for your baby dog to be traced back to you if he has a name and a phone number where you can be contacted. Besides the name ID tag, you also must shop for a collar, leash, and harness.

If you are unsure what to indicate on the name tag, you can use these ideas:

  • Keep it simple — probably use one or two syllables, something your pup can easily understand
  • Avoid names that sound like commands
  • Go for names that end with vowels
  • Avoid traditional human names
  • Avoid names which demean your puppy

Check if your puppy is registered with any dog club. If they are, they have a name recorded on their registration certificate. You can use that one or add an extra one.

The registered name usually indicates the heritage of the puppy. Take time to give your pup a name that matches their role in your life.

8. Other Supplies to Buy

The list above covers supplies you must have before your baby dog comes home. However, there are additional components you should consider buying to make your pup’s stay enjoyable:

  • Exercise pen where they can stretch their legs and roll about
  • Tether for temporarily restraining the puppy especially when training and taking a walk
  • Clicker for enhancing communication
  • Treats to give to your pup as rewards for good behavior
  • Long line to help control your dog when called
  • Kong toys which are chew-resistant rubber with a hollow center
  • House cleaning tools to clean up after your dog and their sleeping area

The earlier you shop for all these supplies, the better for you. It’ll be easier to train your puppy as soon as they get home.

 The New Puppy Checklist

brown puppy

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Getting everything ready for your new puppy can be hectic. Without a puppy checklist, you are likely to miss out on some essentials. To make your work and preparation period easy and enjoyable, work with a puppy checklist.

Pre-puppy preparations can be categorized into three primary categories mainly:

Supplies and Equipment

Under the supplies and equipment category, there are several factors to take into consideration. The group refers to:

  • Feeding equipment like food and water bowls
  • Grooming tools like brushes, nail clippers, shampoo and scissors
  • Sleeping supplies like a crate and soft pillows and blankets
  • Dog management supplies like name tags, tethers, and leashes
  • Potty equipment for convenient pooping and peeing

Service Providers

Before you bring a puppy to your home, you need to think about all the services they’ll need. For example, they’ll need a visit to the veterinarian every once in a while. Decide whether the vet will make house calls or if you’ll be visiting her office. You also need to make a budget for all the services your pet will receive.

Other services to think about are:

  • Dog walking services
  • Food suppliers
  • Grooming supplies and services

Think about the needs of your puppy and make plans before they come home.

House Rules and Routines

Agree with your family on whether or not to have a puppy. Once you are all in agreement, decide on:

  • The name to give to your puppy
  • The commands to use
  • Where the dog sleeps
  • Who takes them out and when
  • Who does the grooming
  • Feeding times
  • Any other necessary thing you need to agree on as a family

Having house rules and a routine to follow will make it easy for your puppy to settle. There’ll be less confusion, and your puppy will be happy to be in a welcoming home.


Prepping for your new puppy is not easy, but it’s worth the effort. Do not dismiss the preparation process thinking you’ll have time later. Once the puppy is home, all your time will go towards bonding with him and caring for his needs. Shopping for supplies after the puppy is home might be complicated. By the time you buy them, your puppy will already be used to a particular routine. Getting them used to the new supplies will take your time and set you back in their training.

Preparing for your puppy's homecoming requires you to think about their feeding needs. They need to have their own set of feeding equipment. Go for durable and easy-to-maintain feeding tools. Other considerations to make are where the puppy will sleep. Whether they sleep alone or on your bed, they need to be comfortable. Potty supplies, play toys, name tag, leash, and grooming equipment are all things you'll need.

Do not leave the preparations to the last minute. Having a puppy checklist will make the process easier to manage. The earlier you handle all these requirements, the faster your puppy will settle. The sooner they feel at home, the more everyone will enjoy having a puppy.

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