A young man holding 5 puppies in his arms.

New Puppy Checklist

It’s an unforgettable moment when you bring your puppy home for the first time.

A new puppy offers unconditional love, companionship, and a lifetime of memories.

And, of course, you want to give your pet the best life possible.

In this article, we share the best ways to socialize and entertain your new dog, as well as how to successfully transition your puppy into home life.

Keep reading if you want to make sure you have everything you need to care for your puppy.

A small brown labrador puppy being held in owner's arms.


Essential New Puppy Checklist

The essential items you need before bringing home a new puppy:

  • Dog food
  • Food and water bowls
  • Training treats
  • Grooming tools (brush, comb, dog toothpaste, and toothbrush)
  • Dog crate
  • Dog bed
  • Dog leash
  • Dog collar (with an identification tag)
  • Puppy-safe toys and treats
  • Waste bags (or pooper scoop for the yard)
  • Chew-deterrent spray
  • Carpet/floor cleaning spray for accidents

Other Puppy Care Items to Consider:

  • Dog training books or classes
  • Dog grooming services
  • Dog insurance and emergency medical care plan


Tips for a Successful Transition to Your New Home

Are you worried your pup may be anxious during the transition to their new home?

You can ease your pup’s anxiety by providing a safe place to retreat. Provide them a secure area that has all their comforts like a pet bed, food and water, and maybe a familiar blanket from their old home. You can enclose an area of your home using a playpen or a baby gate.

If you are using a crate as their safe space, make it a positive experience for them to stay in by giving them treats when they walk inside it.

As a bonus, this designated puppy area limits their opportunities to get into trouble around the house.

A group of laika puppies playing in the grass


Socializing Your New Puppy

You probably know how important socializing your pup is. It is a large factor in their health and development.

Once your puppy has their puppy shots, you can begin socializing them in a variety of settings. As they may be nervous in new settings, gradually introduce new environments and experiences, and allow them to safely explore and investigate.

Familiarize them with different objects, environments, and people at a pace your pup is comfortable with.

Suggestions of situations and objects to socialize your puppy around:

  • Vacuums and brooms
  • Appliances
  • Parks and outdoor public spaces
  • Car rides
  • People’s homes
  • Kids or babies
  • Unusual or loud sounds

Use positive reinforcement and reward-based training to help your pup learn good manners and obedience.

Eventually, your dog will grow accustomed to different settings and experiences.

Your efforts to socialize your puppy will pay off in the future as they will have good social habits and be easier to handle as an adult.


How to Entertain Your New Puppy

Your puppy ultimately craves your attention and activities to bond with you. Spend quality time with your puppy each day – playing, cuddling, and going for walks.

Or, plan regular playdates and trips to the dog park to socialize and strengthen their bond with you.

Next, provide them with interactive toys and games that encourage play and exploration.

Hollow center chewing toys: If you want to occupy your new puppy, get a hollow center toy (such as a Kong) to put peanut butter or kibble into. It will slow down your pup because they have to lick the treats out or roll the toy around to spill the food.

Dog Puzzles: Many dog puzzles stimulate your dog’s mind and keep them busy as they figure out how to unlock the hidden treats.

Chewing Bones: With all the different chewing bones available, it’s important to pick an age- and size-appropriate one. Most bones or rawhides aren’t safe for pets to chew unsupervised, so keep that in mind when buying them for your puppy.

A young woman laughing as her new puppy licks her cheek.


The Joys and Benefits of Being a Dog Owner

Getting a new puppy is one of the most exciting (and rewarding) experiences a pet owner can have.

A new puppy in your life can add joy and fun to your daily routine. It can give you a sense of companionship and responsibility, allowing you and your puppy to have a special bond.

With the right mix of activities and a loving home environment, your pup will soon be thriving in their new home and be a treasured member of your family.

When you need a vet to keep your puppy up-to-date on their vaccinations and wellness care, Westmonte Animal Clinic in Central Florida welcomes new clients. We would love to meet you and your pet for a wellness checkup or if you have questions about your pet’s behaviors.

Feel free to browse our website to learn more about Dr. Matagrano and our staff, or you can call us at (407) 862-6892. We will be excited to work with you in keeping your brand-new puppy healthy.