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Even though it was more than a year ago, I remember the day I picked up my dog, Addy, like it was yesterday. On the two-hour drive, I was overcome with excitement for this little ball of fluff to join my family, but I was also nervous that we’d forgotten to purchase something important or that she would somehow be unhappy in our home. (We hadn’t, and she wasn’t!)
All the emotions seemed overwhelming at the time, but it’s completely normal to feel anxious or unprepared when bringing home a puppy, especially if it’s your first dog. Like any new pet, puppies are a lot of work, but you can set your new best friend up for success by purchasing essential supplies in advance.
In addition to basics like a collar and leash (which you might even get from the breeder or shelter), your new pup will benefit from key training tools, grooming supplies, and a variety of toys. While it can be tempting to go out and buy incredibly cute puppy supplies from specialty stores, keep in mind that puppies are notorious for chewing on things they’re not supposed to and that they’ll also outgrow many of their initial belongings. For these two reasons, it’s often best to opt for more basic, budget-friendly supplies until your little pooch has stopped growing—and chewing on everything in sight.
With all that in mind, here are some of the best puppy supplies that dog owners — myself included — are quick to recommend to new pet parents.
An Adjustable Dog Collar
Blueberry Pet Essentials Classic Dog Collar
This collar from Blueberry Pet Essentials is perfect for young pups, as it comes in four sizes and a rainbow of fun collars to suit your dog’s personality. The collar has a quick-release buckle closure that will let you remove it quickly should it ever get caught on something, and the metal D-ring is a secure attachment for a leash and dog tags. Plus, the best part is that these collars are extremely budget-friendly, so it won’t be such a huge loss if your puppy outgrows it within a few months.
A Double Handle Dog Leash
Max and Neo Double Handle Dog Leash
There are lots of leashes out there to choose from, and they come in all sorts of sizes and styles. However, one of my hands-down favorites is the Max and Neo Double-Handle Leash. As its name suggests, this leash features two handles — one at the end of the leash, and one 18 inches from the clasp.
Why the second handle? It allows you to keep a closer grip on your pup when you’re walking near the road or in a crowded space, helping to keep them safe while teaching them to walk comfortably with you. Additionally, the leash’s padded handles are comfortable to hold, and it features reflective trim for night time safety.
A Cozy Dog Bed
PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed
When choosing the best dog bed for your puppy, it’s a good idea to find one with a waterproof lining—because accidents are bound to happen! The PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed is a favorite among many pet parents, thanks to its cushy memory foam base and waterproof liner. The exterior fabric is even water-resistant. This dog bed comes in four sizes and three plain colors, and its three-sided bolster is the perfect spot for your dog to rest their head as they sleep for 18 hours each day.
Pet-Friendly Stain Remover
Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator
Speaking of accidents, you’re going to want to have a stain remover in the house to quickly treat any urine stains, and one of the best products out there is the Rocco & Roxie Professional-Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator. While it is pricey, this unique enzymatic formula contains active bacteria that feed on the ammonia residue left behind in pet urine, effectively removing odors and discouraging pups from having accidents in the same spot. It can be used on carpets, upholstery, hardwood, and even laundry, and reviewers swear it’s worth every penny to keep your home pristine and odor-free.
A Roomy Dog Crate
Frisco Fold & Carry Collapsible Wire Dog Crate
Crate training is an effective way to help your puppy feel secure in their new home and prevent accidents, and your puppy’s crate should be big enough for them to stand up and turn around, but not so spacious that they have room to go to the bathroom.
What’s nice about the popular Frisco Fold & Carry Wire Dog Crate is that it comes with a divider panel that lets you section off the crate to the appropriate size, and you can simply move it as your dog grows. This crate also features two doors with latches and an easy-to-clean plastic pan, and it folds flat for easier storage and travel.
A Fillable Chew Toy
KONG Puppy Dog Toy
On those days when you just need an hour to yourself, a KONG Puppy Toy will be your best friend. This hollow rubber toy will keep your puppy busy for hours — all you have to do is stuff it with treats or peanut butter, then let them go to town. You can also freeze the toy to extend playtime and help soothe your puppy’s gums while they’re teething. My puppy got a frozen KONG every night at bedtime, and it was instrumental in helping her settle into her crate without crying.
A Poop Bag Holder
Tuff Mutt Leash Attachment Poop Bag Holder
You never know when your puppy is going to decide they have to “go,” so it’s best to keep poop bags with you at all times, just in case. This convenient poop bag holder attaches right to your leash with Velcro straps, ensuring you always have waste bags at the ready, and you can easily pull out one bag at a time via its dispenser. It’s even spacious enough to hold a spare roll of poop bags or your keys.
Pet Food That Meets Puppy Nutrition Needs
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
One of the most overwhelming choices you have to make as a new dog owner is choosing a brand of food for your puppy. In general, you’ll want to select a food specially formulated for puppies, and if you have a large- or small-breed dog, there are specific foods tailored toward their nutritional needs, as well.
It’s best to discuss puppy food with your vet if you’re uncertain, but many people like the Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Food, thanks to its highly digestible formula, which includes prebiotic fiber to promote digestive health. (Alternatively, you can get fresh dog food shipped right to your door with one of these popular dog food delivery services.)
Easy-to-Clean Dog Bowls
Wild One Modern Stainless Steel Dog Bowl
Who said dog bowls have to be boring? These sleek modern dog bowls are both stylish and practical, thanks to their stainless steel interior and non-slip silicone base. The bowls come in black or tan, and each one can hold up to four cups of food, making them ideal for both growing puppies and older dogs. Plus, the best part is you can simply toss the bowls into the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.
Treats for Training
Blue Buffalo BLUE Bits Dog Treats
There’s so much for puppies to learn, and you’re going to need tasty treats to help your dog master sit, stay, come, and other important commands. These Blue Buffalo Dog Training Treats are a favorite for my own dog, thanks to their soft texture and chicken flavor, and many people like that the heart-shaped treats are easy to break in half for smaller puppies. The Blue Bits treats contain omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to promote a healthy coat, and they’re ideal for training, everyday rewards, or even stuffing inside a KONG toy.
House-Training Potty Pads
Frisco Training and Potty Pads
Potty training a puppy can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a yard or work long hours. In these situations, many people turn to potty pads — like these popular ones from Frisco — to aid in their house-training efforts. The 22-by-23-inch pads have a built-in dog attractant so you pup knows where to “go,” and they’re super absorbent to protect your floors and minimize tracking. Plus, you get 150 pads per box, so one package should last several months.
A Soft Grooming Brush
KONG Dog ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush
To help your pup become comfortable with being groomed, you’ll want to start brushing and bathing them early on. The Kong Dog ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush is a great tool to use when introducing your puppy to being brushed, as it has soft silicone bristles, and you can also use it to wash your dog in the bath. The ZoomGroom is great at removing loose hair while massaging your dog’s skin, and it even comes in a compact puppy size that’s perfect for small dogs.
Wild One Dog Grooming Essentials Set
Speaking of bath time, don’t forget to stock up on grooming supplies like shampoo and doggie wipes. This Dog Grooming Essentials Kit includes both these products—you’ll receive a soothing natural conditioning shampoo, available in two scents, as well as biodegradable grooming wipes made with coconut water and aloe vera. Both the products are hypoallergenic, vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free, alcohol-free and free of chemical detergents, so they’re ideal for pups with sensitive skin.
A Bath Time Treat Dispenser
AquaPaw Slow Treater
A lot of puppies aren’t keen on the idea of taking a bath, and speaking from personal experience, I can tell you the AquaPaw Slow Treater makes grooming a much easier task. This silicone mat is designed to suction cup to the side of your shower or bath tub, and you can spread peanut butter across its nubbed surface. During bath time, your puppy will happily lick the treat off the mat while you wash them, and soon, they may even look forward to their monthly shower.
A Puppy Teether
Nylabone Teething Pacifier Puppy Chew
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was that the more toys you give a puppy, the less likely they’ll be to chew on your belongings. True to claim, my puppy never destroyed any furniture or shoes, as she was too busy chewing on things like the Nylabone Teething Pacifier.
This chew is made from a softer material that’s ideal for dogs who don’t have their permanent teeth yet, and the nubs help to clean their baby teeth. However, this toy is only recommended for teething puppies under 25 pounds, so you’ll need to upgrade to a sturdier chew once your pup gets a little older.
Personalized Dog Tags
Black Calligraphy Personalized Dog Tag
How cute are these personalized dog tags? They come in heart, circle, and bone shapes (as well as several sizes), and you can add all sorts of personalization, including your pet’s name, address, and phone number, or cute phrase like the one above. The seller lets you choose between a one- or two-sided design, and your personalization will be written in swirling black calligraphy that’s timeless and classy.