Walking into the local pet store or shopping online for a new puppy can feel overwhelming. What do you really need? You want to be prepared but not waste your money.
As the owner of one of Denver's top dog-walking and pet-sitting companies, I’ve sampled nearly all of the pet products out there. I’ve found fabulous products and wasted money on supplies that weren’t necessary or didn’t do as promised. All supplies below have been personally used and tested.
Skip the nonsense and enjoy getting just what you need (and spend extra money on adorable dog toys and tasty training treats!) Click on any of the pictures below to find these items online.
A crate with adjustable divider is highly recommended to have your first night home.
If you want to buy a crate just once, buy for the largest your dog is expected to grow with a divider. You’ll place the divider inside to give just enough room to turn around in and lie down. Dogs have an instinct to not lie in their mess, so you don’t want to leave enough room that they can potty in one place and sleep in another. As they grow, you can easily adjust the crate to make more and more room for them.
It's scary for your puppy to be away from their mom and litter mates for the first time. With the included heat pack and real sounding heartbeat, you both will get a better night sleep. Puppies ADORE this puppy! Machine washable, I have clients send these with their adult dogs years later for sleepovers as their lovey.
You don’t need a crate pad or bed inside to start. Old towels or blankets are most useful if your pup won’t chew them as they are easily washable in the case of an accident.
After your puppy can be trusted more with bedding and housetraining, you can start adding beds.
If you are looking for cute beds for a bargain, Homegoods always has a great selection. Costco also has great larger beds, many with removeable washable covers.
For larger crates, our favorite pad is the one found at Costco. The pad has a washable removable cover.
You want some toys that are durable yet gentle enough for puppy teeth. We strongly recommend treat puzzle toys that add some yummy fun to crate training.
Want to get the most bang for your buck for toys? Homegoods has a great selection to try different types to see what you like!
Feeding and Treats
Stainless steel food and water bowls are the most sanitary option. If you're going to use dishes in the crate (which is a great idea to make the crate a yummy, fabulous place) avoid bowls that have rubber bottoms. That's more for the puppy to chew pieces of.
Puppies love small moist treats. The tiny size means you can feel okay about using them frequently for training. These are our favorite:
We don’t advise using pee pads at all. It usually sends a mixed message about pottying in the house.
What is most helpful is an enzyme cleaner to clean any accidents so your dog doesn’t smell old accidents and repeat pottying in those spots.
To help your puppy tell you when they need to go outside to potty, use a potty bell!
If you are going to try the tether approach for housetraining (our favorite, it works the fastest!), the belted leashes help you keep your hands free.
Is your pet doing their business outside? Congratulations! Now, let's clean it up!
Your puppy should have a collar with a tag with your contact information on it from day one. You may remove the collar before going in the crate, but it’s best to have it on at all other times. Puppies do not have good recall yet and the risk of them getting lost is too high to risk not wearing a collar. You want the collar to be snug enough that you can only fit two fingers underneath.
We recommend a 4 or 6 ft leash. We do not recommend a flexible leash. They make it very difficult to train positive walking behaviors.
Don't forget your poop bags!
Harnesses are great to start with when you start walking. Your puppy will likely grow quickly and you might want to wait on the pricier harnesses. But when you’re ready, here are a couple of our favorites:
For a more indepth review of the best harnesses, visit our blog post here.
Your puppy will get dirty. But what's cuter than little puppy baths?! You do not want to use human shampoos as those can really irritate puppy eyes and skin. Here is our favorite puppy shampoo.
Do you have a doodle or poodle? Click here to check out our special tools we recommend for grooming poodles and doodles.
Yes, you really need to brush those puppy teeth. They will fall out, but if you want your dog to be okay with tooth brushing you have to start right away so it feels safe and comfortable to them.
Looking for a couple extra items that you'll likely find useful?
Puppies start chewing everything until they're taught what not to chew. Bitter Apple spray helps teach them to keep those puppy teeth off the furniture and more.
While around the house or on a walk, we find it helpful to have treats handy right on our side without having to fish around for them. The immediate rewarding with a treat for good behaviors helps shape positive behaviors faster. This is our favorite treat pouch to help do so!
For smaller dogs and young puppies, this is a great seat for the car. It secures them safely with a harness clip and they love how high they sit to see out the window.
Larger dogs like to use this seat belt clipped in the harness to stay safely buckled in.
Working on housetraining but still need to cook dinner or handle the laundry? For when you want to give puppy some safe playtime outside of the crate, a puppy playpen is so helpful.
Most of all, enjoy your new member of the family and the puppy kisses!
Click here for the list of the best grooming tools and tips for grooming poodles and doodles.
Disclaimer: I certify that I either personally use these products or have used them for clients. Whenever possible, I use an affiliate link.