What to Buy for a New Puppy: The Ultimate Guide

Filed in Dog Products by on October 12, 2020

What To Buy A New PuppyCongratulations on your new furry best friend!

Welcoming a puppy into your family is an exciting experience.

However, there are many things to buy for your new pup.

Some items depend on the breed and age of your puppy, while others are just for fun.

Let’s break down what to buy for a new puppy, so you can be perfectly prepared!

I may earn a commission if you buy through my links, but I only recommend products that I support and you pay nothing extra.

Health-Related Expenses

The health of your puppy can impact their life as an adult.

As far as what to buy for a new puppy related to health, here are some essential items to buy:

1. Dental Care Products

Woman vet examining teeth of dog held in man's armsEven though your puppy is going to lose their baby teeth, it’s helpful to practice dental care. By gently brushing their teeth early, your puppy becomes accustomed to this experience. As a result, your pup will hopefully grow into a dog that doesn’t mind weekly teeth brushing.

  • Dog Toothbrush

Although there are different types of dog toothbrushes, you want to buy soft bristles for your puppy. This will ensure that their gums don’t get irritated.

You’ll also want to look for something that will not hurt their teeth if they try to chew it. Consider brushes with soft rubber or wooden handles.

There’s also brushes that look like thimbles. They’re made of soft rubber and you put them over your finger to gently rub their teeth.

  • Dog Toothpaste

If your puppy is under 6 months old, you can practice teeth brushing with water. This is a simple way to adjust them to the sensation of having their teeth cleaned.

For puppies over 6 months old, look for dog toothpaste. This can be found in most pet stores and comes in a variety of flavors. It may take some trial and error, but it’s important to find a flavor of dog toothpaste that your puppy enjoys.

For example, many dogs enjoy peanut butter or beef flavored toothpaste, which can help them tolerate a toothbrush.

Tip: The money you spend on early dental care now will help you save money on dental cleanings in the future.

2. Food-Related Products

Bowl of dry dog food in blue bowlThe lives of our puppies and dogs revolve around food (and water).

In fact, the dog food you choose will greatly impact your puppy’s development.

Here is what to buy for a new puppy related to food:

  • Dog Food

One common question by owners is what dog food to feed their puppy.

Puppies have their own dietary needs when compared to adult dogs.

As a result, it’s not okay to feed puppies the same foods as adult dogs.

You’ll first want to speak to your veterinarian since they’re more of an expert on this topic.

Some general recommendations are to buy brands that specifically say they’re made for puppies and that have the AAFCO seal of approval.

Additionally, the most appropriate dog food also varies by breed and size.

For example, small dogs generally require higher calorie foods, while larger dogs generally require foods supporting strong and healthy bones.

  • Training Treats

Treats are a primary training tool and pups love them! In fact, I’ve never had my dogs reject any treats ever.

You’ll want to look for treats that are soft. Not only are these gentle on a young puppy’s teeth, but they’re easy to break up. By breaking one treat into two or more, you can keep your furry friend motivated without spoiling their dinner.

Crunchy treats are also an option, however they’re often harder to break into pieces.

By the way, PupBox offers a dog subscription box geared toward puppies with treats, chews, and toys along with training guides if you’re looking to receive a more inclusive package related to puppies.

PupBox Coupons:

50% Off 1st Box for 6 & 12 Month Subscriptions

  • Bowls

When choosing a dog bowl, you’ll want one that is easy to clean. You’re looking for dishwasher-friendly options since they’re the simplest bowls to clean.

You’ll also want to look for a bowl that is heavy enough to not be moved by your puppy. Ceramic, metal, or thick plastic bowls are best.

For puppies who eat too fast, there are slow feed bowls and attachments. These bowls ensure puppies don’t eat fast enough to cause an upset stomach.

A bowl mat is also a cute and useful addition to your puppy’s dining area. Mats with a gripped bottom and rimmed edges will keep food bowls from sliding away and help contain messes.

Tip: Thin plastic bowls can be easily chewed into small pieces that can pose a choking hazard, so be cautious.

  • Food Scoop & Container

Dog food comes in a convenient bag, however normally it’s not resealable. The best way to keep your puppy’s food fresh is to buy a clear airtight container.

This will allow you to see how much food you have left, so you don’t accidentally run out.

Most dog food containers will come with a scoop or measuring cup. Be sure that the scoop you use has measurable units on it. This will help you ensure that every meal contains the proper amount of kibble for your pup.

Tip: If you’re not sure how much kibble you should feed your puppy, the food bag should have recommendations. Always discuss these recommendations with a trusted veterinarian.

  • Chews

Dogs have a built-in desire to chew. However, they’re not the best at finding the right things to chew on.

You can help redirect this energy by giving them safe items to chew.

For example, bully sticks are popular chewable treats. They are long lasting and digestible, so they are a tempting treat for puppies.

If you’re planning on giving your puppy any form of dense chewable treat, be sure to monitor them. These treats can be fun, but they can also be a choking hazard.

You’ll want to take away any pieces that are small enough to fit completely into your puppy’s mouth. These treats are better suited for older puppies around the 6 month age range.

3. Veterinary Expenses

Two vets examining a huskyThis should be one of your first stops with your new fur baby. Even though you may not leave with tangible items, the benefits of vet visits are well worth the expense.

Here are some important ones:

  • Vaccines

Vaccines and their boosters are a costly, but crucial part of your puppies well-being. Without these shots, your pup is susceptible to a variety of diseases.

Be sure to discuss the lifestyle that you have planned for your puppy. This will help your veterinarian determine what vaccines are most beneficial for your dog.

  • Microchipping

Vet implanting dog microchip

Microchipping is a reassuring and inexpensive way to protect against your puppy from getting permanently lost.

If your dog gets lost, he or she can be scanned by a professional to find identifying information to contact you.

Microchips are small and often inserted around the time of a spay or neuter.

While microchipping is optional, it’s highly recommended. Although collars with identification tags can fall off, microchips stay permanently inside your dog.

  • Spaying/Neutering

Spaying or neutering your puppy is an expense that doesn’t take place until about 6 months old.

There are a variety of health, behavioral, and convenience-based benefits associated with spaying and neutering. Talk with your veterinarian about the procedure to get a sense of what to expect or to discuss any concerns.

Tip: It may cost more to spay or neuter your dog if you wait past 6 months. This is especially true for larger breeds because some pricing is based on the weight of the dog.

4. Parasite Preventatives

As far as what to buy for a new puppy, parasite preventatives are close to the top of the list.

While parasites are a frequent part of dog ownership, there are some easy ways to avoid these critters.

You’ll want to have a parasite prevention program since some parasites can be around all year long.

  • Flea & Tick Prevention

Fleas are an external parasite that can become a nuisance to both you and your puppy. They itch, bite, and can even transmit tapeworm to your dog. Once fleas are in your home, it’s difficult to get them out.

Ticks are just as bad. They can transmit Lyme disease to both you and your dog.

For these reasons, it’s highly recommended that all dogs use flea and tick preventatives.

There are collars like Seresto, topicals such as Frontline, and edible treatments like Nexgard. Many of these preventatives can be started at a young age with no negative side effects.

You’ll want to discuss these with your vet since many options exist.

You can get flea and tick preventatives at pet stores or online, but be sure they are coming from a reputable retailer.

Tip: Oftentimes, flea preventatives also contain tick preventatives, so do your research to ensure you’re not double dosing.

  • Heartworm

Heartworm is a deadly parasite that affects dogs and is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Even if your puppy is spending most of their time indoors, heartworm can still be a threat.

For this reason it’s important to start your puppy on Heartguard at the earliest time that your vet says it is safe.

Heartworm preventatives come in mostly edible forms, but can also be given as an injection. They are recommended to be given year round.

It’s safest and most beneficial to purchase heartworm preventatives at your vet’s office. This ensures that your pet is getting the proper dose and is remaining negative for heartworms.

Tip: Some brands of parasite preventatives offer discounts based on the quantity you buy, so always ask!

Training-Related Products

Standing man training his sitting dogNew puppies have a lot to learn about being good dogs. With the right supplies, patience, and treats, any puppy can learn to be a good boy or girl!

If you’re deciding what to buy for a new puppy related to training, review this list below:

1. House Breaking

Learning where they should and should not use the bathroom is a big step for puppies.

Puppies learn at their own pace and you can potty train them in different ways, but they all require similar tools.

  • Pee-Pee Pads

Accidents are inevitable. Young puppies can’t hold their urine for extended periods of time. They may also still feel unsure of where they can and can’t go to the bathroom.

You can reduce your cleaning time and reduce stains by putting pee-pee pads down in crates or other areas where your puppy goes.

These can be especially handy when it comes to avoiding messes in the car.

Tip: Purchasing pet stain cleaners is highly recommended in case your pup misses the pee pee pads. Fewer stains makes for an easier and less stressful experience with house breaking.

  • Crate

wire dog crateCrate training can be helpful for both you and your pup!

You can keep your pup safe by purchasing an appropriately sized crate and training your puppy to stay in it.

They are effective as a potty training tool, preventing messes around the house, and helping your pup feel secure in their own space.

I actually wrote a free guide on crate training a puppy on my site.

Tip: For puppies who chew everything, look for a crate that has solid sides or a liner. This will help prevent them from damaging their mouths on the bars.

  • Doggie Bags or a Scooper

Whether you’re in the backyard, the house, or in public, cleaning up is important and respectful to your neighbors. Bathroom bags should always be on hand for walks, while a pooper scooper helps with quick clean up in the yard.

2. Grooming

owner brushing dog at home

Depending on your puppy’s fur type, they may have a lot of grooming in their future, so it’s best to start early.

  • Brushes

Brushing is an essential part of keeping your dog’s coat healthy and clean. Buying brushes for gentle grooming at a young age normalizes brushing.

This will make for a future of less stressful trips to the groomers and less fur around the house.

Tip: The type of brush you should get depends on your dog’s fur type.

  • Puppy Shampoo

dog washed with shampoo

Once your puppy is old enough to romp and play outside, they are sure to get messy.

Dogs have natural oils that keep their fur and skin healthy. Be sure to buy puppy shampoo that won’t damage their oils or their eyes.

  • Nail Trimmers or a Dremel

Nail trimming is necessary for healthy paws. However, they can be a stressful experience for dogs. Starting young often normalizes nail trims so your puppy doesn’t end up being fearful as an adult.

Get nail trimmers that fit the size of your puppy’s nails, and be sure to never trim them too short.

A dremel is another option that works like a nail file and is less likely to cut your puppy’s quick (blood vessel).

Tip: If you are unsure of how to cut nails, ask your veterinarian for a demonstration.

Comfy, Cute, & Play Related Products

Half the fun of having a puppy is spoiling them with all of the gifts they could ever want.

As far as what to buy for a new puppy related to comfy, cute, or play items, review this list below:

1. Bedding

Young puppies sleep 18-20 hours per day, so it’s important that they have a safe and comfy space!

  • Dog Bed

Puppies will want to sleep wherever you are, but it’s still important to get your puppy their own bed.

A plush bed with elevated sides will help your puppy feel comfy and secure while they sleep. You can even add a blanket to make sure they stay warm on colder days.

You may want to consider a bed that your puppy will grow into and that will last. A washable cover and waterproofed lining make for a dog bed that can survive potty training.

Tip: Look for a bed that can also fit in your puppy’s crate.

  • Plush toys

Plush toys for puppies are a cute and comforting addition to their dog bed. For some puppies, having plush toys is like cuddling up with their siblings. For others, plush toys are just fun to chew.

Regardless of how your puppy treats their plush toys, you should purchase toys without beans inside and without plastic pieces.

Puppies can accidentally eat button eyes and noses and pose a choking hazard.

However, most soft toys sold at pet stores avoid these dangers.

2. Fashion Accessories

  • Outfits

Nothing says “awwwww” like a puppy in a bowtie, costume or a cute dress.

While this is not essential with what to buy for a new puppy, dressing up your new pup can be fun and makes for some great photos.

Some puppies may even like wearing clothing items if it helps them stay warm.

As always, be sure there are no parts of the outfit that your puppy could chew or choke on. If there are, be sure to supervise them whenever they are wearing the outfit.

  • Collars and Leashes

Leather dog collarCollars and Leashes are a necessity. Collars hold identification tags, and leashes ensure your energetic puppy doesn’t run off and get lost.

When purchasing a collar, you may want to measure their neck to ensure it fits. A good fit will have just enough space for you to slide 2 of your fingers between the collar and their neck.

Your puppy is growing daily so always test and adjust collars to ensure they fit properly.

When choosing a leash, choose something that is relatively chew proof and comfortable for you to hold. It’s also best to choose a leash that keeps your puppy close to you. This way you can be sure they don’t get into any trouble.

There are endless options when it comes to collars and leashes, so feel free to try a few different styles.

3. Play Time

Dog running in sand with ball in front of himWhen it comes to buying toys, the options can feel overwhelming. So it’s important to know what to watch out for.

  • Fetch

Playing fetch is a great way to burn some energy. Frisbees, tennis balls, and even doggie footballs are great options.

When you’re choosing a fetch toy for your puppy, you will notice that many toys come in different sizes. You should choose a size that can comfortably fit in your dog’s mouth, but not so small that they can swallow it.

Toys that are waterproof, hard to destroy, and easy to clean will last the longest. To find out what toys are best in these categories, it helps to read reviews and check the materials.

  • Tug & Chew

Hard rubbery or rope based toys are the most common for playing tug with or chewing on.

These toys can be beneficial for your puppies dental health, so keep an eye out for chew toys that have brush like features. Rope toys can act like floss so they are also wonderful for dental health.

As always, be sure these toys are difficult or impossible for your puppy to consume and supervise play time.

Tip: Wetting a rope toy and freezing it makes for a toy that feels good on sore gums while your puppy is teething.


Well, we hope we gave you a good overview of what to buy for a new puppy.

These items will make sure you are prepared for your new pup’s arrival.

Please comment below with any additional items that I may have missed or any questions you have.

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