New Puppy Essentials: What’s on your checklist?

Preparing Your Home

So, for the past several months we’ve been talking about getting a dog to anyone that will listen. If we hadn’t, people would walk into our apartment and think we had some seriously strange hobbies. Which, we do. But anyways, one step into our place and it is pretty much a puppy haven with mountains of toys and treats but no dog to show for.


I guess you could say we are prepared? The real defining word is “excited” but for the sake of wanting to sound mature, we’ll go with “prepared” instead.

 For us, we started preparing our home way ahead of time. Being first time dog owners, the list of things we needed was long. We also didn’t want to wait until the last minute and become overwhelmed with an influx of expenses all at once. Am I sounding mature yet?

The Basics

We started with the bigger items that we knew we’d absolutely need. These items were a crate, leash and collar, dog bed, and water and food station. Lucky for us, a family member had a spare crate so this was a quick check mark on our list. We are not experts (yet) but crate training without a crate could be tricky.

The next items we purchased were a leash and collar. We know the pup will be growing at rapid speeds so a simple collar will do at first. You can find small collars for just a couple bucks at any major pet supply store. If you really want to jazz it up and spend a few extra bucks on a stylish piece, check out Target. For us, we kept it pretty simple since she’ll be morphing into a giant fluffster in just a few months. Once she is full grown we will splurge on a fancy stylish collar. Girl has to be lookin fly, always. *snap**snap* *snap* *CANTSTOPSNAPPING*tumblr_mepxw22mGA1razdf7

Next we purchased a puppy bed to keep inside of her crate. Your pup will either love or hate their bed. Some refuse to sleep on them where others absolutely love it. Start off with a simple one until you get to know your dog. Also like the collar, your pup will grow out of this quickly. My main concern is providing comfort for the pup when she comes home and its my hope that having her own little bed will help ensure that. These also come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. You’ll have to get to know your pup first through trial and error.

Finally we purchased the water and food bowls. For now, we kept it basic with bowls that lie on the floor. These are pretty easy to travel with as well. Once she’s bigger we will splurge and get the raised dishes.

The Extras

Toys, toys, toys! Don’t get me wrong. This entire process has been exciting. But going into the store and picking out toys for your future pup to play with is just straight up fun. Now I know how grandmothers feel. It’s important to get a wide variety of toys for your pup to play with. She’ll want to tug, pull, chew, chase, pounce, etc. And if she has her own stuff to chew, maybe she won’t want to chew any of your stuff. (Fast forward to five months from now when I am blogging about how my pup just ate my favorite pair of Toms)

This is just some of her goodies!

This is just some of her goodies!

We have also been focused on toys that will stimulate her brain. A lot of the Kong products seem great for just this. So far we have a Kong ball where you can hide treats and a Kong bone that will challenge her in the same. Petsmart has everything you can imagine but if you are trying to save a couple bucks, check to see if there are any smaller pet supply stores in your area. Chances are their prices are lower. We just found one in our area and the prices are significantly cheaper. They also have a rewards program with nice perks such as $ off on your pet’s birthday and monthly coupons on products you’ll need.

So when it comes to stuff to play with, we have tried to have a lot of variety. Make sure you have plush toys a long with chew toys and things that will keep her mind moving.


Puppy shampoo, tooth brush, eye wipes, furminator and nail clippers. A lot of things are specific to puppy or adult so when you set out to the store, be sure you are buying for the correct age range. This is something we just recently became mindful of (hopefully adult dog shampoo doesn’t expire…) It is important to have first aid supplies ahead of time as well. Like most things, you never know. It’s better to be prepared.

For You

We know that our new puppy will be an adjustment for not only her but for us too. It is our job to set her up for success. Whether that means preparing our home or being well educated on all things puppy, we are taking those steps. Aside from that, we also know what presses our buttons so we are proactively putting fixes in place to help avoid frustrations. Simple things like a car hammock to cover your seats when you take your pup out for a ride. The small attachment of doggie bags you can clip right onto your dog’s leash is another quick little cheat to make your life a bit easier. Stain remover, floor cleaner, and a pet hair specific vacuum are also things we purchased to help us stay on top of things. These items are specific to things us though. Find yours and take the proactive approach!

Okay, that’s a lot of stuff, right? The easiest way to organize your list is with a simple puppy check list! Check off the boxes as you go… The more boxes you cross off, the more prepared you are and the closer you are to becoming a puppy parent.


Just keep in mind that this post focuses on only half of the preparation. We have only discussed things we needed and did not yet have. Next post we’ll talk about how we are preparing our home with things we already have for our future fur baby. Puppy proofing at its finest!

Thanks for following along on our journey. We’re already having too much fun!

Brittney, Cara and Soon to be Reagan


14 thoughts on “New Puppy Essentials: What’s on your checklist?

  1. somethingwagging says:

    Yes, but what about the things you can’t get at the pet store: a coat of armor for those little puppy shark teeth? the bigger couch because you can’t resist sharing with the little fuzzy butt? and the recorder to tape all your favorite tv shows since you’re alway getting up to take the puppy out for a pee break? 🙂

    You’re going to have quite an adventure. After raising Honey, I decided I didn’t really want to have another puppy so I signed up to foster with my local SPCA and proceeded to foster approximately a dozen puppies. Sigh.

    Here’s some advice from one of my many puppy posts:

    Can’t wait to see the new arrival.


    • raebyday says:

      Great point we didn’t even touch on any of those intangible necessities! I love the “resistance to cuteness” tip! 🙂 It’s going to be so hard to focus sometimes on her training but we’ll get it. Thanks for the help! So glad to have you along for her journey!


  2. Paved by Paw Prints says:

    Your new golden will be very loved and very spoilt! It’s so much fun (and work, I might add) getting a new puppy – I can’t wait to see your posts about Reagan. I just love her name too!
    Thank you for coming by my blog, I’d love to stay in touch!


  3. Emmadog says:

    I’m the only puppy Mom ever planned for. My big sis Katie was a whim and it worked out, Bailie was also last minute as Mom was trying really hard not to want her, but that didn’t work. She says she prefers being unprepared because waiting for me for almost four months about killed her. She had everything set up and picked out for me but the time seemed to stand still. The first two months were waiting to see if she could even get a puppy, let alone a female in tri color and then waiting until the very day I turned 9 weeks old so I could fly from the UK to Germany with her. Once your pup arrives you will find out you are never truly prepared, but it is fun trying!


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