puppies in a basket

10 Things to Buy a New Puppy

You just adopted a new puppy, but you have no clue about the things he’ll need. Maybe you’re a first-time pet parent or maybe you just want to make sure you have everything. Whatever the case, read on to learn the 10 things to buy a puppy.

Things to Consider Before Buying Things for Your New Puppy

puppy inside mailbox

Let’s paws for a minute. Before going on a little shopping spree for your new pupper, you should know about some things to take into consideration. They may seem like no-brainers to you, but some dog owners don’t think about these things when going shopping for their new puppy. Sometimes we just pick up items without a second thought to how these products will work for our unique furbabies.

Size/Weight

Your puppy’s size and weight will be a big factor in the things you buy for him, from how often you feed him down to the size of his collar. You’ll also need to think about how big he’s projected to grow. This will guide you in buying products he’ll grow into. Like babies, dogs can be expensive. So it’s good–although not always practical–to buy items that you know you can use as your dog gets older.

Age

Are you adopting a puppy fresh out the womb, coming right from his dog mommy’s breasts? Or is he a few months old? This is important because age affects what kind of dog food to buy as well as how you feed your new canine companion.

Breed

Your pup’s breed is also a huge factor. Maybe he’s a high-energy breed like a Greyhound or Jack Russell. He’ll need tons of activity and toys to play with so that he won’t expel his pent-up energy into destructive behavior. Or maybe he likes to lounge around like Bulldogs and Basset Hounds. If that’s the case, he’ll need a more comfortable, high-quality dog bed.

Perhaps he’s destructive. A sturdy, indestructible crate will do.

Also, some breeds require more grooming than others. Dogs with longer coats will require grooming products specific to their hair type.

10 Things to Buy a New Puppy

So let’s get to the list you’ve been waiting for. Got your notepad ready?

1. Collar

This is an obvious necessity. But not every pet parent knows you should get a collar unique to your pooch. There are so many types of dog collars on the market people aren’t aware of. Also, some of us don’t pay much attention to the fit of the collar–I know I didn’t. It’s important to make sure the collar isn’t too loose, but you should make sure it’s not too tight either.

Flat/Everyday collars: These are regular collars that are perhaps the most common collars. It’s important to not get a cheap one as they are easy for your dog to escape from. Get a higher-quality flat collar and you shouldn’t have any problems with your pup slipping out of them.

Martingale collars: If the flat collar isn’t working for you for whatever reason, you can try a martingale collar. It has an extra loop that tightens whenever your dog pulls on his leash. Speaking of leash-pulling, the martingale collar works well for leash training. Your dog won’t be able to slip out of it..well, unless he’s the hulk.

Choke collars: In case your puppy does have hulk-like strength, a choke collar might be the way to go. However, I wouldn’t recommend using one. It’s possible that the collar can cause a neck injury or live up to its name: “choke” collar. So don’t use one unless your dog is extremely aggressive and a danger to those around him. If you just have to use a choke collar, first consult with your vet and/or professional trainer before doing so.

Head collars: Here’s a better alternative to a choke collar, in my opinion. It wraps around your pup’s nose and secures around the neck. Then, you just attach a leash to it.

This is another good way to leash train your puppy. The fact that it wraps around the head might make it seem harsh and painful, but if you’re gentle, your furbaby will be just fine. The cool thing about head collars is:

“…the pressure of the noseband mimics the ‘calming’ action of the dominant, parent dog’s jaws around its subordinate, youngster’s muzzle, and that the pressure of the headband and noseband correspond with natural acupressure points on the dog’s head and face.” – Lizi Angel

Smart collars: Smart collars are all the rage these days. Technology has most definitely reached the canine world. Smart collars come with GPS trackers, which is pretty convenient if you lost your pup. They’re typically compatible with a mobile app on Android or iOS. A smart collar allows you to receive alerts, track your pooch’s activity, scan his food, and even plan events in a calendar!

2. ID Tags

For identification purposes, you’ll definitely need to purchase an ID tag for your pup. Most pet supply stores have an area where you pick out the type of tag you want (i.e. hanging ID tag, slide-on tag, etc) and personalize it.

It’s wise to get an ID tag that has enough room to include your dog’s name, your contact phone number, your own name, and even your home address. That way, if your puppy gets lost, the person who finds him can identify your pooch by name as well as get in contact with you.

puppy wearing collar with ID tag

3. Harness

Like with collars, size matters for harnesses as well. You want a perfect, or at least near perfect fit. One thing that I suggest–but is completely optional–is to measure the width of your dog’s rib cage, his lower neck, and chest. You can also weigh your pup on a scale. Then, choose a harness that’s closest to these measurements and adjust accordingly.

These steps are important because a loose-fitting harness can be uncomfortable for your puppy as it may chafe, or rub against his skin, causing irritation. But the harness shouldn’t be too loose so that he can slip right out. You should be able to slide your pinky finger underneath the harness, but at the same time, it should fit snugly.

There are a few different types of harnesses you can choose from to fit the unique size and temperament of your canine companion

Front-clip harness: This harness straps across the front of your puppy’s chest. The leash then attaches to the ring on the front of the harness. If your puppy is a small breed, then this harness might be the way to go. This is because this type of harness doesn’t require anything to be secured around your dog’s neck. The necks of small puppies can be pretty fragile when using a collar, especially if they’re pulling on the leash.

Back-clip harnesses: With these types of harnesses, you clip the leash on the back of the harness. Like front-clip harnesses, this harness doesn’t require a collar either.

Tightening harnesses: This kind of harness is great for more stubborn puppies who are a bit more aggressive with pulling. When your dog pulls on a tightening harness, it does just what it says–the many straps on the harness will “tighten” around his body. Be careful to choose a high-quality tightening harness that’s soft and comfortable. If not, it could cause your dog to feel discomfort from the tightening.

4. Leash

Getting a good, sturdy leash is very important. But you want to get one that suits your pup’s personality and temperament. Also, the type of leash you get should depend on the level of training he’s received.puppy wearing leash and harness

There are a few types of leashes you should familiarize yourself with:

Standard leashes: This is the everyday leash and can also be used for training. Standard leashes are generally about 3-6 feet long with a loop at the one end for you to pull. It clips right onto a collar or harness. The common types of standard leashes include leather leashes, rope leashes, and chain leashes.

Retractable leashes: This leash is pretty long and retracts, allowing you flexibility in how far you let your pup wander while you still have control. Keep in mind that you should have your puppy leash trained if you use this type of leash or else, you’ll encourage leash-pulling.

Adjustable leashes: The cool thing about these leashes is the fact that they have multiple loops. This allows you to adjust the length of the leash, similar to a retractable leash. Also, you can wrap this type of leash around your body, allowing you to walk your dog hands-free. This is great for owners who enjoy running alongside their dogs.

Slip leads: Pretty much a leash and collar in one. There’s a loop at one end that tightens around your pooch’s neck, like a collar. As you and your dog pull on the slip lead, the loop will tighten. It’s important to be careful with this type of leash as you don’t want to apply too much pressure and hurt your dog. It’s a good idea to have your pup leash-trained if you decide to use a slip lead.

5. Dog Food/Treats

Obviously, you’ll want to buy dog food that’s specifically made for puppies. But have you ever thought about why? Puppies have special nutritional needs because they are growing and developing. They also have baby teeth, so regular dog food might be too tough for them to chew. Depending on the age of your puppy, you might need to mix a little formula with the food, especially if he’s being weaned. You also have to pay attention to labels when it comes to specially formulated fordalmatian puppy eating fruit particular breeds and their standard sizes. Dog food manufacturers generally market foods for small and medium-sized breeds and large breeds.

As far as ingredients go, look for foods with no artificial flavors/colors, by-products, or preservatives. Oh, and make sure it’s packed with protein!

So what type of dog food is best for your puppy: dry, wet or semi-moist?

Dry food: This is a great option. Most dogs love the crunchy texture. And as a plus, the crunch helps clean your pup’s teeth. Dry food is generally the least expensive type of puppy food.

Wet food: This type of dog food has a high water content. While it might be tasty, it doesn’t have as much protein as dry food.

Semi-moist: Got a picky eater? What about a messy one? Semi-moist food could be your savior. It tends to be tastier than dry dog food and it makes less of a mess than wet food. Unfortunately, there are only a few brands of semi-moist dog food that cater to young pups.

And there’s nothing wrong with using a combination of the three if your budget allows. But don’t overfeed your pooch!

For information on treats for puppies, go check out the post I did on best training treats for puppies.

6. Toys

There is a wide array of toys available for young puppies. But before we get to the types of toys, let’s talk about some benefits of toys for puppies.

  • Toys help with boredom
  • Toys provide comfort to stressed pups
  • Toys help keep destructive behavior at bay
  • Toys are good for teething puppies
  • Toys stimulate the mind

Now that you know some benefits of buying toys for your pup, you can better understand how the different types can help solve a specific problem.

Teething toys: The great thing about teething toys is the fact that they will help soothe your pooch’s sore gums as his adult teeth are coming in. They’ll (hopefully) keep him from chewing your things!

Plush toys: These toys are really soft and…well…plush. The softness provides comfort to your pup. Unfortunately, this is what makes these toys easier to destroy, leaving a cottony mess all over your floor.

Indestructible toys: This type of toy is made of tougher material, This doesn’t make it completely indestructible as the name suggests, but it will last longer and is more durable.

Interactive toys: There are a few interactive toys you might consider. They include treat toys (where you hide the treats inside the toy), ropes, frisbees, and puzzles. These are fun because they not only get you involved, but they promote mental stimulation.

7. Grooming Supplies

The type of grooming supplies you get for your puppy will depend on whether you plan to take him to a professional groomer and the length/thickness of his coat.

But here’s a list of the basic grooming supplies:

  • Brush
  • Comb (if your dog has longer fur or gets matted easily)
  • Nail clippers
  • Shampoo
  • Bathing wipes (optional)
  • Clippers (only if you don’t go to a groomer)

puppy getting a bath

8. Food & Water Bowls

Choosing a food and water bowl for your puppy seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? It is. However, there are many types of bowls to choose from. You’ve got stainless steel, which is supposed to be bacteria-resistant. Then, there’s elevated feeders that prevent spills and messes. Just when you thought that was all, slow feeders are gaining popularity as well. They’re designed like a maze to slow down fast eaters.

Does your pup like to nudge and flip over his bowl? What about spill his kibble? Get something sturdy that isn’t easy to flip over. Got a fast eater? Get a slow feeder. Maybe your pooch doesn’t like bending over to eat. An elevated feeder can create a more comfortable experience and aid in swallowing and digestion.

9. Bed

Yet another essential that seems like it doesn’t require much thought. But there’s a lot to take into account before buying a bed for your new puppy like his activity level, his favorite sleeping positions, possible health problems, etc.

Orthopedic beds: These beds are often marketed for older dogs suffering from arthritis and joint pain, but they can be greatblack puppy lying on red pillow for puppies too, especially if your pooch is a bony breed like a Saluki or Whippet. Orthopedic beds provide plush cushioning and support.

Donut beds: These beds have raised sides, which are ideal for pups who like to snuggle against things. As puppies are still learning how to regulate their body temp, the coziness of these beds provides warmth. As with most puppies, yours will probably love curling up into a fetal position. This bed is great for that too.

Pillow/Cushion beds: These are basic beds that are pretty much just pillows on the floor. But they can still be quite comfortable, especially for pups that like to stretch out.

Heated beds: This type of bed is not only great for puppies, but for small breed dogs as well. Smaller dogs tend to easily lose their body heat, which makes heated beds a viable solution.

Outdoor beds: If your puppy will be spending a lot of time outdoors, it’s a good idea to get an outdoor bed that has breathable material during the summer and the flexibility to add blankets during the winter months. Outdoor beds are typically elevated to keep away from the ground when it’s really cold or hot.

10. Crate

When it comes to choosing the right crate, you want one that’s sturdy and will hold up for a long period of time. You’ll also need one that’s the perfect size for your puppy. And if you’ll be using a crate to help potty train your dog, it’s best to get one that’s small enough that he won’t eliminate in it (dog’s don’t “go” where they eat or sleep), but large enough for him to move around comfortably.

Wire crates: You’ve probably seen this type of crate lots of times. It’s pretty common amongst pet parents. It’s rather sturdy and pretty affordable. The size is ideal for a growing puppy. Some wire crates are adjustable too.

Plastic crates: This is another type of crate that’s pretty common. You’ve probably seen pet parents carry their toy breeds in a plastic crate. If you know your puppy isn’t going to grow that big, a plastic crate is the way to go. Plastic crates also come in sizes for larger dogs, but I doubt you want to be carrying around a heavy dog. Plastic crates are great for travel, they don’t take up a lot of space (some are even stackable), and they have a convenient handle on top.

Soft-sided crates: These are also portable as they’re lightweight and easy to take down. This might not be the best type of crate for a puppy as they’re pretty destructible with wire meshing and soft material. It’s best to make sure your pup is fully crate-trained before using a soft-sided crate.

Heavy-duty crates: These crates are the most durable and are for extremely strong, destructive dogs. Chances are, your little pooch won’t be using a heavy-duty crate anytime soon, but if you know he’ll grow to be strong and a little aggressive, a heavy-duty crate might be a good option.

Conclusion

Sometimes we don’t take the time to think about the things our new furry friends need. It’s natural to think you have it all under control…because you do. But sometimes you might just need a little nudge in the right direction.

Did you go all out for your new puppy? Or did you follow a basic checklist like this one? Let me know in the comments!

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10 Things to Buy a New Puppy
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10 Things to Buy a New Puppy
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The Paw Institute
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18 thoughts on “10 Things to Buy a New Puppy

  1. Reply
    Melissa - February 9, 2019

    Hi Britney,

    Thanks for the great comprehensive list. I’ve had only 3 puppies, and whilst being the same breed, they were quite different in what they liked and didn’t like. That was true, especially when it came to beds and toys. I hate to think how many beds were destroyed and how many plush toys died at our house. We had one puppy, in particular, who was a handful, so it was ‘indestructible’ toys and beds for her all the way. She always found a way to destroy them in the end! It was lucky that we loved her 🙂  The things they could all agree on though were the collars, harnesses and retractible leads. 

    We haven’t had a puppy in a long time and I’ve been researching again in the event we adopt a new pup.

    Thanks.

    1. Reply
      Britney - February 11, 2019

      Hey Melissa!

      I’m with you on the toys. You’d think I’d get tired of buying toy after toy, only to find stuffing all over the floor. Every. Single. Time.

      I think I need to invest in some indestructible toys like you did. But knowing my little furry crew, they’ll find a way to destroy those too.

  2. Reply
    charles39 - February 9, 2019

    I love this article very much for the fact that it has given me the necessary knowledge about things to buy a new puppy. I would be honest to say some of those things I would not have thought were necessary. But you gave me a valid reason why they are the best things to buy a new puppy. And that is what I intend to do for my puppy.

    1. Reply
      Britney - February 11, 2019

      So glad to be of help, Charles!

  3. Reply
    Dale - February 9, 2019

    Oh my gosh, this is an incredible article.  Our puppies are potentially our life long friends an will need a lot of attention. I love all the options you give us because none of our dogs are the same so options are needed. I can’t believe how many options you have provided for us.  I know our puppy would have loved many of these items. Thank you for taking the time to put together so much great information.  Anyone with a puppy really needs to read this article.

    Dale

    1. Reply
      Britney - February 11, 2019

      Hi Dale!

      Providing different options is very important as different pups need different types of whatever object is available.

      My puppy doesn’t loves to curl up when she sleeps, so a donut bed is perfect for her.

      So glad you found this article helpful!

  4. Reply
    Joseph Stasaitis - February 9, 2019

    A very delightful article on what to purchase for our best friends.  It was very helpful to spell out the things we often overlook while on a shopping spree for our puppy.

    Taking these things into consideration will certainly make the whole shopping process a lot easier.  Good description of the various types of collars available for our pet.  ID tags are certainly a very useful gift.

    It was also good to know the various types of leashes available.  It’s also interesting to know all of the types of toys currently available including the interactive ones.  Never knew there were orthopedic beds available.

    Thanks for outlining all these various choices which are available.

    1. Reply
      Britney - February 11, 2019

      Hi Joseph!

      It’s crazy how many options there are on the market for each product. Pet parents just have to look for them and not always go with the product that’s most readily available. In this case, it’s ok to experiment. You have your puppy’s whole life to figure it out.

  5. Reply
    Lars - February 9, 2019

    Thank you for sharing this information, which certainly is very helpful for any new puppy owners.

    I am not sure I could compile a list this comprehensive from the top of my head, and I cannot really think of something you did not mention. The only thing missing would be to “buy” a few days off so the new puppy doesn’t have to be home alone, to begin with.

    1. Reply
      Britney - February 11, 2019

      It’s my pleasure, Lars.

      After so many years of owning dogs, it’s really just second nature for me to compile a list of their necessities with little to no research.

      And you know what? I think I’m going to add that little tidbit in there as a bonus. “Buy” some time off. Brilliant!

  6. Reply
    Cris - February 9, 2019

    What a great and thorough article. Not only is this helpful for a new dog owner, but makes a good resource for those who already own dogs, especially if you own more than one breed, or are looking to add another breed to the family. 

    I like that you mention how breed makes a difference in the care of the dog. People who are wanting a dog to cuddle and relax with should not consider buying a hunting breed, for example, as they are typically very high energy and don’t do much “relaxing.” My last dog was an English Pointer, and she was a “puppy” until her last day at 12 years old. She was a sweet girl, but definitely too busy for cuddling! You’ve shared some good tips here… thank you.

    1. Reply
      Britney - February 11, 2019

      Thanks, Cris.

      Breed can definitely make a difference. You’re absolutely right. Some breeds are more energetic than others. It just depends on the preference of the owner. My Pittie has average energy. She likes to lounge around but she’s not completely lazy. The perfect match for me.

  7. Reply
    Glen - February 9, 2019

    Good information about puppy supplies. We have owned a number of dogs from the smallest miniature Yorkie to our current 74-pound pit bull mix. Retractable leashes should not be used, period. Besides teaching dogs to pull, letting them lead you while walking affirms that they are the pack leader and you, the owner, the follower. This will lead to behavioral issues as the dog will assume a leadership role in the house. And consequently be less obedient and harder to control.

    1. Reply
      Britney - February 11, 2019

      I’ve only used a retractable leash once. And I didn’t really see what all the fuss is about. I guess it’s necessary if you want to adjust the length but there are adjustable leashes for that.

      I think retractable leashes are best for smaller dogs who are already leash-trained.

  8. Reply
    Favour - February 9, 2019

    The choice to adopt a new puppy to the family ought to be made imprudently. When you settle on the choice to bring a young doggie into your house, you’re making a pledge to the animal. Adding a little dog to your life can be a standout amongst the most energizing, compensating encounters of one’s life, whenever done right. I follow most of this checklist so as to be able to enjoy my time with my new addition.

    1. Reply
      Britney - February 11, 2019

      So true! As far as I’m concerned, whenever I’m bringing a new puppy home, everything else stops. There’s just so much to do!

  9. Reply
    Neil Brown - February 9, 2019

    Thanks for the well-written post, it definitely has a lot of great tips to look for when supplying that special member of the family with the proper supplies needed.

    I really like the idea of a GPS built into a dog collar.

    Just from experience with our own dog, Rosie, she tends to be a little picky about what she eats. We feed her dry dog food. It’s a little cheaper and it’s all we can afford, but it’s good to know now that the dry brand has more protein. But maybe with her pickiness, it might be a good idea to switch to semi-moist like you mentioned in the article.

    Thanks for the good read and it gives a lot of good information to help raise that special member of our family.

    1. Reply
      Britney - February 11, 2019

      Hi Neil!

      Having a GPS built into a collar is pretty amazing. I can’t think of any negatives of having one!

      My dogs are pretty picky too. You can try semi-moist or you could mix the dry food with wet food. Your Rosie might like that as well. I’d love to know how it goes!

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