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New Puppy Shopping Checklist

New Puppy Shopping Checklist

For first-time dog owners, figuring out what to do, buy, and how to prepare for a new puppy can feel exciting ... but also a little overwhelming. If you’ve been wondering, “What do I need for a puppy?” don’t worry, we got you. Get ready to bring your new best friend home for the first time with our new puppy shopping checklist.

Part of being a responsible pet parent is making sure that you have everything you need to help your puppy transition into their new home. In this guide, we’ll go over all of the necessary supplies and steps to help you get ready for your new pal.

Get Your Home Ready for Your New Puppy

Before you buy any supplies from our new puppy shopping checklist, the very first thing you’ll need to do is puppy-proof your home. Puppies are naturally curious and have a tendency to get into things —including things they shouldn’t, like your favorite shoes.

For this reason, puppy-proofing your home is a must — both to protect your puppy from getting sick or hurt, and to protect your things from being destroyed by an adorable but sometimes-destructive little angel.

Start by investing in dog gates or a playpen that will allow you to block off doorways and keep your new puppy contained to certain parts of your home, where you can keep an eye on them.

You should also do a sweep of your entire home to identify and remove any potential safety hazards. Could your puppy get into the pantry and chow down on hazardous foods like chocolate? Make sure that all doors and lids are secure, and that anything hazardous is moved out of reach. You may even consider getting a lock or a gate to restrict access to this area.

If you have plants in your home, do some research to make sure none of them are toxic for dogs. If any of them are, it’s probably best to get rid of them — better safe than sorry.

Lastly, make sure you have a trash can with a secure lid. You never know if your new puppy will try to get into your trash, potentially making a mess — or worse, making them sick.

Remember, your new puppy won’t be able to identify these safety hazards on their own, so it’s up to you to remove them from your home before they arrive, creating a comfortable environment for both of you.

Get the Basic Puppy Supplies

Once you’ve puppy-proofed your home, it’s time to stock up on the basic puppy supplies your new dog will need to be happy and healthy.

Use this puppy supplies checklist  to make sure you have all of the essential items for your new puppy.

Dog Crate 

When you first get your puppy, chances are they’re not going to be housebroken. Crate training can help them learn house rules like where and when to do their business, and is also a great way to help them feel safe and comfortable as they adjust to their new environment. 

Something to note: when choosing a crate, buy one based on how big your dog will be when they’re fully-grown — not their size as a puppy. We recommend this lovely crate from Fable.

Dog Bed 

You have a nice, comfy bed to sleep in — your new puppy deserves the same, right? Before bringing your new puppy home, be sure to buy them a dog bed. If you’re going to crate train your puppy, choose a bed that will fit comfortably inside of their crate, and make a safe, cozy hangout spot for them.

Dog Bowls 

Your puppy will need to eat and drink from the moment you bring them home — so make sure you have food bowls and water bowls on hand before they arrive. Don’t forget to also pick up an on-the-go water bowl or bottle, so your pup can stay hydrated while you two are out-and-about. Remember to wash these bowls daily to keep them clean and prevent bacteria build-up.

Dog Food 

High-quality dog food is essential for raising a happy, healthy pet — so of course it’s included on this new puppy checklist.

 Because puppies have different nutritional needs than fully-grown dogs, make sure to buy puppy food specifically formulated for them. Jinx’s Puppy Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Kibble provides the essential nutrients your puppy needs to grow up healthy and strong, with zero fillers. To add extra flavor, protein, and digestive support, top off their meal with a sprinkle of Chicken & Pumpkin Topper.

Treats are also a must for training and rewarding good behavior. Beef Training Treats and Chicken Jerky Bites are perfect for motivating your (soon-to-be) well-behaved puppy during their crate, leash, and potty training sessions. 

You can mark all of these items off of your puppy checklist with the Puppy Essentials Starter Pack, which has everything you’ll need to feed your puppy in one convenient bundle.

Dog Collar, Leash, Poop Bags and a Poop Bag Holder 

An adjustable dog collar, sturdy leash, poop bags, and a poop bag holder are all must-haves before you head out on your first walk with your new puppy. When shopping for these items, opt for a non-retractable leash and a harness and collar combo for the best chances of leash-walking success and safety.

We recommend getting your puppy used to their collar and harness as soon as you get them — it may take awhile for them to adjust to wearing these things, so it’s better to start right away. This is something you can do even before you start walking your dog outside. Try putting your puppy’s harness and leash on them for short periods of time while at home, or when taking potty breaks in the backyard.

Dog ID Tags and a Microchip 

The next step on your new puppy checklist is getting the proper identification for the newest (four-legged) member of your family. Make sure your puppy has tags with your contact information on them from the very start. It’s also a good idea to take them to the vet to get microchipped. 

US cities will require you to also get a dog license proving that your puppy has their vaccines. Check with your local animal services or shelter for more info.

A Proper Car Safety Setup

There’s nothing better than hitting the road with your favorite sidekick. But before you zip around town with your new puppy, make sure the car is set up for safety.

Your puppy shouldn’t be left unrestrained in the car. They could move around and distract the driver, or worse, get thrown about should an accident occur. We recommend keeping your puppy in a travel-safe crate during car trips (make sure the crate is properly secured before you start driving). As your puppy gets older, you could upgrade to a dog car harness that attaches to a seat belt.

It’s also best to keep your pup in the backseat of the car. If you have a truck, we discourage you from putting them in the truck bed — not only will they be unprotected, but the metal can get incredibly hot and burn their little paws.

Connect with a Vet

Regular vet checks are an important part of having a pet.  Ideally, you should try to find a vet before you bring your new puppy home, and set up an initial checkup for them as soon as possible. If you don’t already have a vet, do some online research or ask your friends with dogs for referrals to a great vet in your area. 

Connect with a Dog Trainer

If you want your puppy to grow up to be a well-adjusted, well-behaved dog, you’ll probably want to add “finding a dog trainer” to your new puppy checklist.

Training sessions can help your puppy learn everything from basic commands, to how to walk on a leash, to how to interact with other dogs. Going to the sessions together will also help you connect and bond with your new best friend (awwww).

It’s important to find a trainer who is the right fit for you and your new puppy. Ask about their training style — you’ll want to work with someone who uses positive reinforcement to train your dog, not punishment — and for referrals from other clients before committing to working with them.

Get the Right Toys

Puppies are little balls of energy who need constant stimulation. Engage your puppy’s natural curiosity and help them burn off excess energy with a range of toys — otherwise, they might chew on your things instead of their own.

Select your puppy’s toys carefully — make sure they aren’t so small that they might be a choking hazard (golf balls come to mind), and that they aren’t made of any materials that could splinter or become sharp (like sticks). In general, puppies should always be supervised with their toys — anything can become a choking hazard in the paws of a mischievous little pup.

Here are a few essential toys for your new puppy shopping checklist:

  • Puzzle toys: Puzzles are a great way to challenge and stimulate your puppy’s mind and keep them out of mischief.
  • Chew toys: Puppies will chew on basically anything they can get their paws on. Chew toys allow them to engage their natural chewing instinct without damaging your furniture, shoes, or home.
  • Chase toys: If your new puppy loves to run, chase toys are a great way to help them burn off excess energy and have fun at the same time.

Stock Up on the Right Tools

As a new puppy parent, you’ll also need some tools to care for your little (canine) bundle of joy. Here are a few things you’ll definitely want to have on hand.

Dog Treats

When training your puppy, you should have plenty of treats on hand. Jinx has a range of healthy dog treats made with high-quality proteins like grass-fed beef and slow-smoked salmon, all with no fillers. Our treats are formulated with ingredients like pumpkin for healthy digestion, and collagen-building bone broth for a savory flavor dogs love. With textures ranging from soft and chewy jerky to crunchy biscuits, there’s a Jinx treat to fit every pup’s preferences (even picky eaters and allergy dogs).

Dog Toothpaste and Toothbrush

Just like humans, dogs need dental care. Be sure to brush your puppy’s teeth regularly to keep their mouth clean and fresh. Gum disease is common in middle-aged dogs and can lead to other health problems, so it pays to get in the habit of brushing their teeth early on.

Purchase special canine toothpaste that comes in dog-friendly flavors like chicken, doesn’t foam, and is applied to your dog’s teeth with a rubber thimble or dog toothbrush. 

It’s also a good idea to incorporate dental chews into their routine. Our Jinx Dental Chews were expertly formulated by food scientists to promote dog dental health (and your pup will love them, too). It’s best to wait until your puppy is about 6 months old to give them regular dental chews — otherwise, they might damage their developing little chompers.

Grooming Supplies

You should bathe your puppy regularly — so don’t forget to add dog shampoo to your new puppy shopping checklist. Human shampoo has ingredients that can be harmful to dogs, so make sure to only use shampoo specifically formulated for your furry friend. Grooming wipes are also great for keeping your pup fresh and dirt-free in between baths.

If your puppy has thick or long fur, brushing them should be part of your daily routine to avoid tangles, matting, and keep their coat looking gorgeous. Short haired dogs don’t need to be brushed daily, but should still get groomed regularly, especially when shedding. 

Use a rubber-toothed brush or a short-bristled brush, which massages the skin and works out loose hair. The areas that need the most attention tend to be behind the ears, between the toes, under the feet, in the armpits, the backs of the legs and around the tail. Some dogs will also need to have their beards or hair around their eyes cleaned regularly.

Always brush your puppy slowly and gently. Gradually introduce the concept of grooming in very short sessions — if your puppy tries to bite the brush, just put some taste deterrent spray on it so they learn not to bother.

Some dogs will need to have their nails trimmed, too. If your dog has dew-claws (like little thumbs on the inside of its 'wrists') they should be checked frequently — these claws don’t get worn down naturally, and can become ingrown and painful. You can either become a puppy manicurist and learn to trim their nails yourself, or just have a vet or groomer do it for you.

Lastly, dogs with white or sparse coats can be susceptible to sunburn. If this describes your puppy, be sure to use a pet-appropriate sunscreen on their ears and other exposed areas whenever you go on outdoor adventures together.

Enzyme Spray and Carpet Cleaner 

Real talk: your new puppy will likely have an accident or two throughout the house training process. Enzyme spray and carpet cleaner are essential new puppy shopping checklist items, and lifesavers in helping to keep odors and stains in check.

Get Recommendations for Puppy-Centric Services

Getting advice, tips, and recs from other dog owners can be so valuable when you’re a new puppy parent. Ask your friends and family with dogs if they have a groomer they love or a pet sitter they swear by. Chances are, they’ll also have the inside scoop on the good dog parks, the best toys, and the treats their dogs can’t get enough of. Gather advice from the trusted dog lovers around you, and use it to prep for your new pup.

Enjoy Your New Puppy

While it can feel challenging at first, the first few months with your new puppy can also be fun, memorable, and very rewarding. With this new puppy supplies checklist by your side, you’ll be more than prepared to welcome them into your family. So go forth and get ready for your new puppy — we’re excited for you!

 At Jinx, we're here to upgrade the way you care for your dog by providing holistic nutrition made with thoughtful formulation, real ingredients, and a whole lot of love. Get started with our Puppy Essentials Starter Pack.


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