Accessories, Blog

Accessories You Need Before Picking Up Your Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting and joyful experience, filled with anticipation and a sense of new beginnings. Puppies bring boundless energy, unconditional love, and endless moments of happiness. However, preparing for a new puppy involves more than just choosing the right breed or finding a reputable breeder or shelter. To ensure your furry friend feels welcome and comfortable from the moment they step into your home, it’s essential to gather the necessary accessories beforehand.

This guide, “Accessories You Need Before Picking Up Your Puppy,” is designed to help new dog owners navigate the essential items they need to have on hand before bringing their puppy home. From basic necessities like collars and leashes to comfort items such as bedding and toys, this guide will walk you through each category, ensuring you are well-prepared for your new arrival. Proper preparation not only helps in making the transition smoother for your puppy but also sets the foundation for a happy and healthy life together.

Whether you’re a first-time puppy owner or adding a new member to your existing pet family, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and recommendations to make your puppy’s homecoming a wonderful and stress-free experience. Let’s get started on creating a welcoming environment for your new furry companion!

Basic Essentials

Before bringing your puppy home, it’s crucial to gather the basic essentials to ensure their safety and comfort. This section covers the necessary items, including collars, leashes, ID tags, and crates, that will help your puppy settle in and start their new life with you smoothly.

Collar and Leash

When it comes to collars and leashes, there are several options to consider, each serving different purposes and suited to various stages of your puppy’s development.

  • Flat Collars: These are the most common type of collar, ideal for everyday use. They come in various materials, such as nylon, leather, or fabric, and usually have a buckle or quick-release clasp. Flat collars are great for holding your puppy’s ID tags and for basic control during walks.
  • Martingale Collars: Also known as limited-slip collars, martingales are designed to prevent dogs from slipping out of their collars while still providing comfort. They tighten slightly when the dog pulls but are generally gentler than choke collars, making them a good option for training and walks.
  • Harnesses: Harnesses are an excellent choice for puppies, especially those prone to pulling or with delicate throats. They distribute pressure across the chest and back rather than the neck, reducing the risk of injury. Harnesses come in various styles, including front-clip (for better control) and back-clip (for general use).

For leashes, consider the following types:

  • Standard Leashes: These leashes are typically made of nylon or leather and come in various lengths, usually between 4 to 6 feet. They offer good control and are suitable for everyday walks.
  • Retractable Leashes: These allow your puppy to roam a bit further while still being under control. They are best used in safe, open areas and can help with training your puppy to recall.
  • Training Leashes: These are longer leashes, often 10 to 30 feet in length, used for training purposes such as teaching recall commands and giving your puppy a bit more freedom during supervised play.

ID Tags

An ID tag is an essential item for your puppy’s collar. It should include important contact information such as your puppy’s name, your name, phone number, and possibly your address. This simple yet crucial accessory can be a lifesaver if your puppy ever gets lost. Some ID tags also come with QR codes or GPS tracking capabilities, providing an added layer of security.

Crate or Carrier

A crate or carrier is a vital accessory for your new puppy. It provides a safe and secure space for them to rest and can be an invaluable tool for house training. When choosing a crate, consider the following:

  • Size: The crate should be large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably but not so large that they can use one end as a bathroom. Many crates come with dividers, allowing you to adjust the size as your puppy grows.
  • Type: Crates come in various materials, including wire, plastic, and fabric. Wire crates offer excellent ventilation and visibility and can be folded for easy storage. Plastic crates are often used for travel, providing more enclosed space. Fabric crates are lightweight and portable but may not be suitable for puppies prone to chewing.
  • Comfort: To make the crate more inviting, add a soft bed or blanket and some safe chew toys. Ensure the crate is placed in a quiet, comfortable area of your home.

By investing in the right basic essentials, you’ll set the stage for a happy and healthy start with your new puppy. These items will not only help you manage your puppy more effectively but also ensure their safety and comfort as they adjust to their new home.

Feeding Supplies

Proper nutrition is vital for your puppy’s growth and development. This section highlights the essential feeding supplies you’ll need, including high-quality food and water bowls, nutritious puppy food, and healthy treats to support your puppy’s dietary needs and training regimen.

Food and Water Bowls

Choosing the right food and water bowls for your puppy is crucial for their daily feeding routine. The materials and sizes of these bowls can impact their eating habits and overall health.

  • Stainless Steel Bowls: These are highly recommended due to their durability, ease of cleaning, and resistance to bacteria. They are also less likely to harbor allergens compared to plastic bowls. Look for bowls with a non-slip base to prevent spilling.
  • Ceramic Bowls: Ceramic bowls are also a good option as they are sturdy and often come in various designs. Ensure the ceramic is high-quality and free from lead or other harmful substances. Like stainless steel, ceramic bowls are easy to clean but are more prone to breaking if dropped.
  • Size: The size of the bowls should match your puppy’s breed and growth stage. Smaller breeds will need smaller bowls, while larger breeds require bigger ones to accommodate their food and water needs. Make sure the bowls are shallow enough for a puppy to eat comfortably but large enough to hold an adequate amount of food and water.

Puppy Food

Selecting high-quality puppy food is essential for your puppy’s growth and development. Puppies have specific nutritional needs that differ from adult dogs, so it’s important to choose food formulated specifically for them.

  • Ingredients: Look for puppy food with high-quality protein sources like chicken, beef, or fish listed as the first ingredient. Avoid foods with fillers such as corn, wheat, or soy. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are good additions for balanced nutrition.
  • Nutritional Needs: Puppies need a diet rich in protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals to support their rapid growth. Check the food label for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement indicating that the food meets the nutritional levels required for puppies.
  • Dry vs. Wet Food: Both dry kibble and wet food have their benefits. Dry food helps keep teeth clean and is convenient for storage, while wet food can be more palatable and hydrating. You can also consider a combination of both, but consult with your veterinarian to determine the best feeding plan for your puppy.
  • Portion Control: Follow the feeding guidelines on the puppy food package, but also pay attention to your puppy’s hunger cues and body condition. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, while underfeeding can stunt growth.


Treats are a great way to train and reward your puppy, but they should be given in moderation to avoid overfeeding.

  • Healthy Options: Choose treats made from natural ingredients without artificial additives, colors, or preservatives. Look for treats with high protein content and low in calories. Examples include small pieces of cooked chicken, freeze-dried liver treats, and commercial puppy treats with minimal ingredients.
  • Size and Texture: Opt for small, soft treats that are easy for your puppy to chew and digest. The size of the treat should be appropriate for your puppy’s size to prevent choking.
  • Purpose: Use treats strategically for training sessions and positive reinforcement. This helps in building good behavior patterns and strengthens the bond between you and your puppy.

By investing in the right feeding supplies, you’ll ensure that your puppy receives the proper nutrition and hydration they need to grow strong and healthy. Providing high-quality food and treats, along with appropriate bowls, sets the foundation for their long-term well-being.

Comfort and Care

Creating a comfortable and hygienic environment is essential for your puppy’s well-being. This section covers the must-have items for your puppy’s comfort and care, including cozy bedding, essential grooming tools, and cleaning supplies to ensure your puppy feels at home and stays healthy.


Providing comfortable bedding is essential for your puppy’s rest and relaxation. There are several types of beds and blankets available to ensure your puppy feels safe and cozy.

  • Dog Beds: Choose a bed that is appropriately sized for your puppy, with enough room for them to stretch out comfortably. Types of dog beds include:
    • Bolster Beds: These beds have raised edges, providing a sense of security and support for your puppy’s head.
    • Orthopedic Beds: Made with memory foam, these beds offer extra support and are ideal for larger breeds or puppies with joint issues.
    • Pillow Beds: Simple and versatile, pillow beds are soft and plush, making them a great general-purpose option.
  • Crate Pads and Mats: If you’re using a crate, a crate pad or mat can add extra comfort. These pads are designed to fit inside crates and are usually easy to clean.
  • Blankets: Soft, machine-washable blankets can provide additional warmth and comfort. They are great for lining crates or adding an extra layer on top of a bed.

Grooming Tools

Regular grooming is vital for maintaining your puppy’s health and hygiene. Having the right grooming tools can make the process easier and more enjoyable for both you and your puppy.

  • Brushes and Combs: Choose brushes that are suitable for your puppy’s coat type. Slicker brushes are great for removing tangles and mats, while bristle brushes are ideal for short-haired breeds. Combs can help with detangling and removing loose fur.
  • Nail Clippers: Keep your puppy’s nails trimmed to prevent discomfort and potential injuries. Use dog-specific nail clippers, either guillotine-style or scissor-style, and consider a nail grinder for smoothing rough edges.
  • Shampoo: Select a mild, puppy-specific shampoo that is gentle on their sensitive skin. Avoid human shampoos, as they can be too harsh. Look for shampoos with natural ingredients and avoid those with artificial fragrances or dyes.
  • Ear Cleaners and Wipes: Regularly clean your puppy’s ears to prevent infections. Use a vet-recommended ear cleaner and cotton balls or specialized wipes.
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Start dental care early with a puppy toothbrush and toothpaste formulated for dogs. Regular brushing helps prevent dental diseases and keeps their breath fresh.

Puppy Pads and Cleaning Supplies

House training is one of the first challenges you’ll face with a new puppy. Puppy pads and cleaning supplies are essential for this process.

  • Puppy Pads: These absorbent pads are perfect for house training. Place them in a designated area where you want your puppy to go. Gradually move the pads closer to the door until your puppy learns to go outside.
  • Enzyme Cleaners: Accidents will happen, and enzyme cleaners are the best way to remove stains and odors. They break down the proteins in urine and feces, eliminating smells and preventing your puppy from returning to the same spot.
  • Disinfectant Wipes and Sprays: Keep your home clean and hygienic with pet-safe disinfectant wipes and sprays. These are useful for quickly cleaning up messes and sanitizing surfaces.
  • Broom and Dustpan: For quick clean-ups of solid messes, a good broom and dustpan are essential. Choose one with a long handle to avoid bending down too much.

By ensuring you have the right bedding, grooming tools, and cleaning supplies, you’ll create a comfortable and clean environment for your puppy. This will help them settle in more quickly and make the house training process smoother and more effective.

Training and Toys

Training and play are crucial for your puppy’s development and happiness. This section covers essential training tools and a variety of engaging toys that will help you teach good behavior, keep your puppy mentally stimulated, and provide plenty of fun and exercise.

Training Tools

Training your puppy is a critical part of their development and helps establish a strong bond between you and your furry friend. The right training tools can make the process more effective and enjoyable.

  • Clickers: Clicker training is a popular and effective method for teaching puppies new commands and behaviors. A clicker is a small device that makes a distinct sound when pressed. The sound marks the exact moment your puppy performs the desired behavior, which is then followed by a reward. Clickers are inexpensive and easy to use, making them an excellent tool for positive reinforcement training.
  • Treat Pouches: A treat pouch is a convenient accessory for carrying treats during training sessions. It allows you to quickly reward your puppy for good behavior without fumbling for treats in your pockets. Look for a pouch that is easy to open and close, and has a secure attachment for your belt or waistband.
  • Training Guides or Books: There are many excellent resources available to help you train your puppy. Look for books or guides written by reputable dog trainers that cover basic obedience, house training, and behavior modification. Some popular titles include “The Art of Raising a Puppy” by the Monks of New Skete and “Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution” by Zak George.


Toys are essential for keeping your puppy entertained, mentally stimulated, and physically active. Providing a variety of toys helps prevent boredom and can reduce destructive behavior.

  • Chew Toys: Puppies have a natural urge to chew, especially during teething. Chew toys help satisfy this need while keeping their teeth clean and healthy. Choose durable chew toys made from safe materials, such as rubber or nylon. Popular options include KONG toys and Nylabones.
  • Interactive Toys: These toys challenge your puppy’s mind and keep them engaged. Interactive toys often involve puzzles or treat-dispensing mechanisms that require your puppy to work to get the reward. Examples include treat balls, puzzle feeders, and snuffle mats.
  • Plush Toys: Soft, plush toys are great for cuddling and gentle play. Many plush toys come with squeakers or crinkly materials inside, which can make them even more appealing to puppies. Be sure to choose plush toys that are durable and have reinforced stitching to withstand rough play.
  • Fetch Toys: Toys like balls, frisbees, and rope toys are perfect for playing fetch. Fetch games provide excellent exercise and help build a bond between you and your puppy. Look for toys that are easy to throw and retrieve, and made from safe, non-toxic materials.
  • Tug Toys: Tug-of-war is a fun and interactive game that many puppies enjoy. Tug toys are usually made from rope or other strong materials that can withstand pulling and tugging. Ensure you choose a toy that is safe for your puppy’s size and strength.

By incorporating a mix of training tools and a variety of toys, you’ll provide your puppy with the mental and physical stimulation they need to thrive. These items will not only aid in their training but also keep them happy and entertained, contributing to their overall well-being.

Health and Safety

Ensuring your puppy’s health and safety is paramount. This section outlines essential veterinary preparations, safety gear, and emergency supplies to protect your puppy and provide prompt care. With these tools, you can create a secure and healthy environment for your new furry friend.

Veterinary Essentials

Ensuring your puppy’s health from the start is crucial for their long-term well-being. Proper preparation for veterinary visits and understanding health care basics can help you provide the best care for your new puppy.

  • First Vet Visit Preparation: Schedule your puppy’s first vet visit soon after bringing them home. During this visit, your vet will perform a thorough examination, checking for any health issues, parasites, and overall condition. Prepare by gathering any medical records from the breeder or shelter, and note any questions or concerns you have about your puppy’s health and behavior.
  • Vaccination Schedules: Puppies need a series of vaccinations to protect them from common diseases. Your vet will provide a vaccination schedule, which typically includes shots for distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, and rabies. It’s important to follow this schedule closely to ensure your puppy’s immunity develops properly.
  • Pet Insurance Options: Consider enrolling in pet insurance to help cover unexpected veterinary costs. Look for plans that offer comprehensive coverage, including accidents, illnesses, and routine care. Compare different policies and choose one that fits your budget and needs.

Safety Gear

Keeping your puppy safe in your home and during outings requires some essential safety gear. These items will help prevent accidents and ensure your puppy remains secure.

  • Gates: Pet gates are useful for restricting your puppy’s access to certain areas of your home. They are especially helpful for keeping puppies out of rooms with potential hazards, such as the kitchen or staircases. Choose sturdy gates that are easy to install and remove.
  • Playpens: A playpen provides a safe, enclosed space for your puppy to play and rest. It’s particularly useful when you need to leave your puppy unsupervised for short periods. Look for a playpen that is easy to set up and has enough room for your puppy to move around comfortably.
  • Puppy-Proofing Your Home: Just like baby-proofing, puppy-proofing your home involves removing or securing items that could harm your puppy. Cover electrical outlets, secure loose wires, remove toxic plants, and keep small objects out of reach. Store household chemicals and medications in locked cabinets.

Emergency Supplies

Being prepared for emergencies is an important aspect of responsible pet ownership. Having a first aid kit and knowing emergency contacts can make a significant difference in urgent situations.

  • First Aid Kit: Assemble a pet-specific first aid kit that includes items like gauze, bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, scissors, a digital thermometer, and a muzzle. Also, include any medications your puppy might need. Keep the kit in an easily accessible location and familiarize yourself with basic first aid procedures for pets.
  • Emergency Contacts: Keep a list of important contacts, including your veterinarian, an after-hours emergency vet clinic, and a local animal poison control center. Ensure everyone in your household knows where to find this information.

By prioritizing health and safety, you’ll create a secure environment for your puppy to grow and thrive. Regular veterinary care, appropriate safety gear, and being prepared for emergencies will help ensure your puppy remains healthy and happy throughout their life.


Bringing home a new puppy is a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. Proper preparation is key to ensuring that your new furry friend transitions smoothly into their new home. This guide has outlined the essential accessories and considerations you need to address before picking up your puppy, helping you to create a safe, comfortable, and nurturing environment.

  • Basic Essentials: Start with the fundamental items: a collar and leash, ID tags, and a suitable crate or carrier. These essentials ensure your puppy’s safety and comfort from the moment they arrive.
  • Feeding Supplies: Invest in high-quality food and water bowls, select nutritious puppy food, and have healthy treats on hand for training and rewarding good behavior.
  • Comfort and Care: Provide cozy bedding and essential grooming tools to keep your puppy comfortable and well-groomed. Utilize puppy pads and cleaning supplies to manage house training and maintain cleanliness.
  • Training and Toys: Use training tools like clickers and treat pouches to facilitate effective training sessions. Offer a variety of toys to keep your puppy engaged, stimulated, and happy.
  • Health and Safety: Ensure your puppy’s health with regular veterinary visits, adhere to vaccination schedules, and consider pet insurance. Implement safety gear like gates and playpens, and puppy-proof your home. Be prepared for emergencies with a first aid kit and a list of important contacts.

By addressing these five key areas, you’ll be well-equipped to welcome your new puppy into your home. With the right accessories and preparations, you’ll provide a loving and supportive environment where your puppy can thrive. Enjoy the journey of raising your new companion, and cherish the joy and companionship they bring into your life.