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Checklist of items you need for your new dog or puppy

Congratulations on your new puppy or adopted dog!

Prepare for an easier transition to your home with these recommended items. 

Walking harness or collar and leash

We love the Wonder Walker body halter for all sizes and ages of dogs because it’s designed to help keep your dog from pulling while learning to walk on a loose leash. The front clip places control of your dog around their center of gravity rather than their head or neck. Adjustable collars are best for growing puppies who change size rapidly. A 6-foot nylon or leather leash is the standard for obedience class.

I.D. tags 

Durable metal tags with your pup’s contact information can be engraved instantly in any of our stores, while you wait. 

Stain and odor remover

This is the item most often forgotten—until your puppy has an accident on the carpet. Our formulas eliminate odors and stains with enzymes and ensure that your puppy won’t be drawn back to the same spot by odor. Oxygen-based cleaners work best to remove dark, tough, or older stains.

Crate or kennel

For housebreaking, traveling, or training, these pet homes give your dog a feeling of security and a quiet retreat when they need a nap. Foldable wire crates are best for inside the house. Molded plastic kennels are required for airplane travel and are safest for riding in the car. Soft crates are not recommended for puppies, as they are not chew proof. 

Food and water bowls

Stainless steel or ceramic are best, with a stand or non-skid rubber base to prevent sliding or getting kicked over.

Training treats

Dogs love treats and are motivated by positive rewards. Keep plenty of small, tasty training treats at the ready to reward good behavior in the moment. We recommend high-value treats that are also highly nutritious, such as freeze-dried meats. 

A variety of chews and toys

Puppies can have a strong desire to chew, and it’s important to keep them interested and busy. A good variety will save your shoes and your sanity. Bring out just a few chew toys at a time from the toy box to prevent boredom. 

We recommend treat-dispensing toys, ball toys, rope toys, and hard rubber toys for aggressive chewers, as well as soft yet durable plush toys, squeak toys, and many types of chews and bones.   

Raw bones to chew

Raw bones are the best chew value and the best nutrition for any puppy! Dogs that start raw bones when they are young have the cleanest teeth, the freshest breath, and are the happiest. If your dog has never had raw bones, give them under supervision and limit chew time to avoid digestive upset until your pup’s stomach adjusts.

Digestive aid

Sooner or later, your puppy is bound to get diarrhea. We recommend that you have canned pumpkin, Firm Up! dehydrated pumpkin, or Perfect Form on hand to minimize the effects and get your puppy’s system back on track.


Our All The Best brand shampoos are gentle, organic formulas that contain a special blend of botanicals that won’t strip the coat’s natural oils. 

Nail trimmer and styptic powder

Start trimming your dog’s nails weekly when they are young to get them used to it. Use a scissors-style or guillotine nail trimmer to keep nails short. Have styptic powder on hand to stop any bleeding if you nip the blood vessel that runs through the nail.

Brush and comb

Brushing is a great way to bond with your new pup. Besides stimulating the skin, it removes loose hair and dander and will help keep your house a bit tidier. Good grooming tools last a lifetime and there are many styles for different coat types. Use a pin brush or a slicker brush for long-haired dogs, and a rubber curry comb for short-haired dogs. FURminator de-shedding tools come in both long and short coat versions and make grooming a breeze. Please note that FURminators should not be used on breeds without an undercoat, i.e. Yorkies, poodles, and any doodle dogs.