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The complete new puppy checklist: everything you need for a healthy, happy puppy

Written by Napo HQ
16th Dec 2022
4 mins read
There's more to remember than just your puppy's food, bowls, bed, and toys.
Remember to get your puppy grooming equipment, as well as flea and worming treatment. You also need something to keep them safe in the car, like a dog crate.
Remember to register your puppy with a vet, and don't forget to get pet insurance to help pay for vet bills.
Napo puppy insurance comes with free 24/7 vet video calls and access to Puppy Academy, helping you to raise a happy, healthy pup.
There’s a lot to consider before you even decide to add a dog to the family, including your space, lifestyle, and financial cost. But, that’s only the start, there’s even more planning you need to do before you bring your new puppy home!
To take the stress out of trying to remember everything you need for your new arrival, we’ve written the complete new puppy checklist.
Gather all these puppy essentials, and you’ll have everything you need to give the best possible care to your new puppy.

The complete puppy checklist: What to buy before bringing your puppy home

What you need before taking your puppy home

Before you bring your puppy home, make sure they have been microchipped which has been updated with all your details.
If you can, give a blanket or a toy to your puppy’s breeder so they can get the mother and other puppy’s smell on it. Your puppy can take this home and cuddle it for comfort.
All dogs must be kept safe and secure in the car, even as puppies. This helps to keep your puppy settled on journeys, and safe if you ever have an accident. But it is also a legal requirement to keep all animals “suitably restrained”, otherwise you may be breaking the law.
You can keep your puppy safe in the car by using:
  • A dog crate
  • A cat carrier (if they’re small enough to fit!)

What you need to have ready at home for your puppy’s arrival

You should have bought all these essentials already, because you’ll need them from the moment your puppy gets home. You’ll need to buy everything on this new puppy checklist:
  • Comfy bed
  • Dog crate
  • A puppy pen or baby gates
  • Food bowl
  • Water bowl
  • Adjustable collar
  • An ID tag for their collar (This is a legal requirement!)
  • Lead
  • Harness (Or just use their collar!)
  • Some of your puppy’s current food
  • Puppy treats (low, medium, and high value.)
  • Puppy treat pouch
  • Puppy-safe toys
  • Poo bags
  • Poo bag holder
  • Pet-safe cleaning supplies
  • Flea treatment
  • Worming treatment
  • Insurance

Get a variety of enriching toys

Don’t forget that there are different dog toys for different uses. For instance, chew toys will be perfect for when your puppy starts teething.
Puzzle toys are great for enrichment, and you can use them to feed your pup in a more exciting way. 
Active toys like balls, tugs, and flirt poles are all good for exercising your puppy. Get a range of different toys to keep your puppy occupied!

Pet insurance

Unfortunately, there’s no NHS for pets and vet bills can be expensive. Puppies are especially prone to accidents, almost half of all accident claims are puppies. 
Pet insurance is there to help cover the cost of unforeseen vet bills. Napo offers lifetime cover so you can protect your puppy for life, with up to £16,000 in vet fee cover, free vet video calls, and free access to Puppy Academy.

Puppy grooming checklist

As well as all the essentials like a bed, food, and toys, you need to get grooming supplies for your new puppy as soon as possible.
That way, you can start handling your puppy and introducing them to grooming routines during their socialisation period, so they get used to them and don’t find them stressful later in life.
  • Brush
  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog toothbrush
  • Dog-safe toothpaste
  • Claw clippers (or) dremel
Remember to never use human toothpaste on your puppy as it contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Instead, always use a pet-safe formula.
Getting your puppy used to having their teeth brushed when they're young will make it seem normal and less stressful when they grow up. That'll make it much easier to brush their teeth and carry out dental checks when they're older. Here's how you can keep your pup's teeth healthy at home.
Brushing your pet's teeth will help to prevent illness, like dental disease. Plus Napo protects your pup's teeth from accident and illness, with pet insurance with dental cover up to £2000 a year.

What do you need to travel with your puppy?

As mentioned above, your puppy will need to be kept secure in the car on every drive. This keeps them safe, prevents them from distracting you, and is a legal requirement.
You have a few options to keep your dog safe and secure in the car. Louisa the Vet suggests a dog crate as the safest and most comfortable option for your pup.

Puppy travel checklist:

You can keep your dog secure by using either:
  • Dog crate
  • Safe boot space with dog guard
  • A dog seatbelt
  • A harness (to attach to the seatbelt)
To keep your puppy comfortable and happy in the car you should also bring along:
  • A bed or blanket
  • A safe chew toy
  • Travel water bottle or bowl

How to prepare your home for a new puppy

As well as buying all the essentials, you’ll need to make sure your house and garden are safe for a new puppy.
Preparing your home for the puppy also means making sure your family are all ready to look after your new pet.
Make sure any children in your house know how to interact safely with the puppy. They should also know the rules to follow around the puppy, like never waking them up if they sleeping, and never disturbing them or taking their food away when they’re eating.
If you have other pets in your house, make sure you know how to introduce them to your new puppy and do so calmly and gradually. It can take time for pets to adjust to having a new furry family member, so remember to be patient.

How to prepare for training

Did you know that 73% of new puppy owners say that training is the most stressful part of puppy ownership? It’s hard work, and if you feel overwhelmed you’re definitely not alone.
Training from the day you bring your puppy home is important though. It builds good habits early, and gets your puppy used to a consistent routine.
Every puppy owner with a Napo policy gets free access to Puppy Academy.
Puppy Academy is a course of live classes that teach you everything you need to know about raising a healthy, happy pup.
You can also look into puppy schools and training classes near you. Just remember to check that the trainer or behaviourist is accredited by an organisation like ABTC. For more information on finding a trainer, check out this article by dog trainer and clinical animal behaviourist, Hanne Grice.

Preparing for your new arrival

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time, and we hope you have an amazing life together with your new furry friend! By ticking off everything on this new puppy checklist, you should have everything you need to give your puppy the best care possible.
Although you’ve bought all the essentials, have you remembered to insure your puppy? Puppy insurance helps to cover the cost of unforeseen vet bills, and with a Napo policy, you get lots of useful extras to help you raise a happy, healthy pup.
With Napo lifetime dog insurance you get 24/7 vet video calls for free. You can also access our Puppy Academy at no extra cost. Join expert vets and behaviourists for live online classes and learn everything your pup needs, from toilet training, to loose lead walking, recall, and more.

Jump to

When is it too hot to walk your dog?
When is it too hot to walk your dog?
Most cases of heatstroke in dogs are caused by exercise in the heat, so it can be too hot for walkies.
Can dogs eat prawns
Can dogs eat prawns
Prawns can be a tasty treat for your pup as long as they're plain, cooked, and the shell and tails are removed. But avoid giving them prawn-flavoured foods like crisps or prawn crackers, as these can have harmful or unhealthy ingredients.
How long does it take to toilet train a puppy?
How long does it take to toilet train a puppy?
Puppies aren't born knowing to toilet outside, so we have to train them to do it. It can take a few weeks to months. But by 5-6 months, you'll probably notice fewer accidents in the house.