2020’s Best Bringing Home Puppy Checklist, The Basics

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You have been waiting for weeks to bring your new puppy home and you are finally there you are picking your puppy up this week. How exciting to think of all the fun you and your new puppy are going to have together.

It’s all you can think about, playing fetch, frisbee, tug of war, and all the things you are going to teach your new puppy. Finally, your own sidekick to hang out with a pal that is going to love you unconditionally no matter your faults.

Hold on though!!!! Are you sure you have everything your new fur baby will need??? Do you have all the things that will help both you and your puppy make a smooth transition????

Did you check everything off on your bringing home puppy checklist? Do you even have one to check? Is everything you need even on your checklist?

Having a bringing home puppy checklist and knowing you have everything on your bringing home puppy checklist means you will be ready for anything that comes your way to care for your new puppy.

Even if you already have a bringing home puppy checklist it never hurts to be checking twice that you have thought of everything.

If you are not sure you have thought of all the things you need for bringing home puppy no worries the best bringing home puppy checklist is right here if you check everything off on this checklist you will be prepared for any surprises that may pop up.




When you are thinking about what you want to feed your puppy you may be thinking that dog food or puppy food it’s all the same, I assure you though it is NOT the same.

A puppy has different nutritional needs than an adult dog which is why they have puppy formulated food to meet a puppy’s nutritional needs.

Start your puppy out on the right paw and find puppy food that fits your puppy’s needs.


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Why not just use bowls out of the cupboard? Trust me you will want to get your puppy actual dog dishes because the ones from your set of dishes will spill far to easy and you will be cleaning up food and water every time puppy eats or drinks.

The dog food dishes have a wider flat spot making them more spill proof than our bowls. I personally prefer the food and water dispensers for my dogs.


Your dog’s collar is very important mainly because its what you will attach your puppy’s I.D. tags to. The I.D. tag should have all the information anyone would ever need to find you and return your puppy to you.

  • MY PHONE #

Even if you aren’t sure of what you are naming your puppy, you can put your name and address and phone number as long as there is a way for others to find where your puppy belongs if he gets lost.


The leash will be a big part of your puppy’s life if you plan on taking them anywhere as most states, cities, counties have a no leash law meaning it’s against the law to have a dog anywhere without a leash to control them with other than designated areas like public dog parks.

When you train your puppy to walk on a leash it is so much easier if you do so with a harness rather then hooking the leash to the collar. Think about it, how would you feel being tugged around by your neck? Wouldn’t it freak you out too?

They also have no pull harnesses to make it even easier to leash train your fur baby. Even if you have a big yard to run around in going for walks around the neighborhood helps you and your fur baby bond together.

You will want to start leash training your puppy right away.


Any time you take your puppy anywhere you should have poop bags in case your puppy has to go because besides it being against the law most everywhere to leave your dog’s poop it’s also not very neighborly and rude not to pick up after your fur baby.

Be the considerate neighbor, don’t give your neighbors any reason not to like your fur baby and always have your poop bags handy and always clean up after your fur baby.


Crate training your puppy the right way will benefit you and your fur baby both. Of course, you should only make your puppy go in the crate when you absolutely have to lock him in it.

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Using the crate at night and when you have to leave the puppy alone will help prevent a lot of unwanted problems. You won’t have to wake up or come home to a destroyed home or have to clean up after them if not totally house trained.

If your fur baby is under six months of age though you won’t want to leave them in the cage any longer then 3 or 4 hours since their blatter isn’t strong enough to go more then 4 hours without needing to go outside even if house trained it is out of their control.

If you leave them in a crate longer then they can wait to be let out you will come home to a messy crate and puppy creating more work for yourself as you will have to give your puppy a bath and clean out his cage and contents when you get home.


I am normally not for using potty pads as part of your house training unless like most folks you have to work for more then 3 or 4 hours and your puppy is under six months old.

If your fur baby is to you to leave in a crate the best option would be to block him/her off in a designated area by using pet gates or baby gates. Find a safe spot for puppy and use the gates to block it off and lay down a potty pad for your puppy.

If you use the gates to block puppy in an area of your choosing and use potty pads the only mess you should have to clean is simply disposing of the potty pad when you return home.

If you decide not to use number 6 of our bringing home puppy checklist then number 7 of our checklist is a must if you don’t want your home destroyed.


For the first two years, your puppy is going to be very very playful and if you don’t have toys for them to play with they will use whatever they run across to throw around or chew on.

We have quite a few different toys with a different texture, soft, hard, furry, rubbery, etc.

The reason we had such a variety of toys when they were puppies was so that when not if but when we caught them chewing on something they weren’t supposed to be we could stop them and replace it with something that would feel close to the same when chewing on it.

We have a Husky and a Siberian Retriever that we used this method with and it works great, they don’t chew on chords furniture clothes or anything they aren’t supposed to.


A nice comfy dog bed for your fur baby is a must. A lot of people say to put the bed in a quiet place where they can get away in their own space.

None of my dogs have ever used their dog beds unless they are where we are.

We place our dog’s beds close to us like the dog beds in the living room we place between our couches like it’s their couch and in the bedroom, we place the dog bed by our bed.

Even though our dogs are allowed on the couches and sleep in bed with us they still use the dog beds when they feel like it. It’s a good idea to have that option for your fur baby and believe it or not some dogs don’t like sleeping in your bed with you.


You will want to have treats to aid in training your new fur baby. Treats can help in rewarding your puppy when he is learning commands I suggest rewarding them with praise and love as much as you can rather than using treats in excess.

Check out our article for information about positive reinforcement for dogs.


Like us, your dog’s dental health can affect the health of your dog’s kidneys, liver, and more.

To avoid any dental issues you should brush your dog’s teeth at least two or three times a week and to do so you should have a special dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste/

Just like a baby if they have teeth you should brush them. They also have special treats for your fur baby that helps loosen plaque as they chew on them.


They have a variety of different shampoo and conditioner to pick from so you can pick the one that is best for your puppy. You can also use baby shampoo if you choose.

There are conflicting opinions on how often you should bathe a dog, some say once a month, some weekly, some once a year, and every three months.

We bathe ours twice a year unless of course, they get into something stinky then they get an instant bath. If you do bathe your fur baby more then once every three months you should use a moisturizing or soap-free shampoo so they don’t get dry skin.

When it comes to brushing your fur baby it varies some should be brushed as often as daily or every other day and some only need to be brushed when they shed that will all depend on your puppy’s fur type.


Last but not least on our bringing home puppy checklist you absolutely must make sure your puppy has his shots up to date.

When you pick your puppy up make sure you ask any and all questions you may have “does he have his first set of shots?” being the most important.

Puppies should be with there mom until at least 10 weeks and the first set of shots is recommended to be given at 6 weeks old almost every breeder I know gives their puppies their first set of shots.



There you have it 2020’s best-bringing home puppy checklist, the basics. If you are able to check off all things on our bringing home puppy checklist you are ready to bring your new puppy home.

To make it easier on puppy parents Amazon has a great puppy starter kit with many of the things you will want and need for your new puppy.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Of course, there are many other useful products that would also make things easier if you were to purchase them, all you really need are the things in our bringing home puppy checklist for a smooth transition for you both.

Once you and your fur baby get to know each other you will know what other things if any will help in raising a happy healthy well-rounded pooch.

I speak strictly from my own experience from 40 plus years with dogs, I am in no way certified or a vet, what I am is a Proud Dog Mom sharing what I know hoping it makes things a little easier for you and your fur baby.

Please remember to be consistent and always patient with your new puppy, He has only been alive 2 or so months everything he sees and experiences is brand new to him and he/she can’t know what he/she hasn’t been taught.

11 thoughts on “2020’s Best Bringing Home Puppy Checklist, The Basics

  1. This is very timely indeed! We are in the process to purchase a puppy , waiting for the next litter. And I am thrilled to have read this checklist which I’ve also book marked. I had no idea about brushing their teeth ! Thus ha fling yo make transition of our new family member very easy. Thankyou so much

    1. Hi Sass,
      That is so exciting, getting a new puppy is so much fun especially when you are prepared. They can be a lot of work if you arent prepared though it makes all the difference in the world to have an idea of what to expect from your new puppy and how to handle it.
      Most of the posts I have written to help puppy parents have a more enjoyable experience by taking measures to avoid the things we can, of course, some things can’t be avoided but I have found a lot of things can be.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this and I wish your family and your future new puppy the best

      Best Wishes

  2. This article was very thorough. It would be easy to scroll through the items on my phone while at the pet store to make sure I have everything covered. I relate to number 8 puppy toys because we had a few when we brought home our last puppy and she only liked the cloth toys. I was so glad we had gotten a variety not knowing what her preference would be. We did forget the dental care and had to go back to get some. Too bad we didn’t have this list back then. Our fur babies get on the furniture and sleep with us as well. We do have dog beds though and it’s true they do use them often during the day. When I’m cooking dinner they have dog beds on the other end of the kitchen they like to lay on. Until I accidentally drop something that is. Then it’s a race to see which pup gets to it first. This would be a good article to send to a friend who is planning to get a new puppy.

    1. Hi Tina,
      It sounds like your fur babies mean as much to you and mine do too me, for the longest time I refused to lock any of my puppies in the crate I thought it was so cruel until a few years ago when I had to use a crate to keep a new puppy we had gotten safe from our bigger dogs at first when they were left alone, then we kept the puppy in the crate at night until she quit peeing when we were asleep.
      After we didn’t have to use it I was going to toss it out until I discovered she loves her crate taking it away from her was like a punishment.
      All the things on this checklist just make everything with a new puppy so much less work making the whole experience so much more enjoyable like it should be.
      Thank you for taking the time to check out my checklist and I love hearing from other puppy parents about their experiences, it’s also nice to know I’m not the only one that lets their fur babies hang out while they cook.
      Best Wishes to you and your fur babies

  3. Thanks for this article. Our dog passed away last July and my husband has recently started talking about getting a new puppy for our son. I’ll pass your checklist along to him so he realizes that it’s more involved than just bringing a new dog home.

    1. Hi Debbie, we just lost our chihuahua in October and I’m still devastated so I understand and I’m sorry for your family’s loss as well.
      It is hard to remember all the work it can be at the beginning with a new puppy, having the items on this checklist definitely cuts the work in half.

      Best Wishes

    2. Hello Debbie,
      Thank you for taking the time too read this article and letting me know it was helpful for you or will be.

      I’m sorry about your family’s loss we recently lost our chihuahua its heartbreaking for sure.

      There is way more involved in getting a puppy then just bringing a dog home for sure but if you check off the things on this checklist I promise you will find it doesn’t have to be as complicated either.

      They have done a lot of research and found that there are many benefits to children being raised around dogs, so even if it’s your husband who wants the dog you will find that a dog is quite a valuable addition to the family.

      I hope all works out for you and your family
      Best Wishes
      Lisa Waa-Adame

  4. Hey,

    This is an excellent post. Very informative and well laid out. I do not own a dog but my cousin owns a few dogs, and I think they would benefit from this post. I have forwarded this onto them and encouraged to take in your advice.

    I have also encouraged them to get in touch if they have any issues or questions that you could help them with.

    Thanks for sharing, and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


    1. Hello Tom,
      I’m so glad you found my post valuable enough to pass along, thank you. I’m always happy to share what I have learned over the years if it helps to make things easier for someone else.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my checklist and letting me know you passed it along.
      Best Wishes

  5. It has been a few years since I had a dog or puppy in my home. Thanks for the information, it has sure helped to refresh what it will take to care for a new canine companion.

    1. Brian,
      I’m glad my post was able to remind you of those details. Having all the things on our checklist make taking care of a puppy so much easier and just a better experience all around.
      I hope you find the perfect pal and best wishes to you.

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