Top 9 Puppy Must-Haves
Top 9 Puppy Must-Haves
Top 9 Puppy Must-Haves
Your new puppy shopping checklist
By Scott Bish
Getting a new puppy is an exciting and emotional experience.
It can also be a little overwhelming for first-time dog owners. To make the process as smooth and happy as possible, there are some key items you should have on hand when you bring home your new furry family member. This way, during those first days with your new pup, you can spend less time guessing what to grab last-minute and more time getting to know them.
bones and ball vector illustration
4health ad
yellow bones and balls background
woman shopping in pet store for dog food
number 1
Dog Food
Growing dogs need nutrition for normal development. There are various factors to consider as you choose dog food. Typically, small kibble or puppy food is the best choice for young pups. Look for one with essentials like real meat protein, calcium for strong bones, and Omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat.
As your dog grows, you’ll have various types of food to consider, including dry dog food, wet food, and food toppers. Keep in mind factors such as your dog’s breed and any potential allergies too.

Consult your veterinarian, as well as your dog food’s packaging, to determine how much food your pet should be getting and how often throughout their continued growth.

puppy eating dog food
blue bones and balls background
Dalmatian water from water dish
number 2
Food and Water Bowls
Stainless steel bowls are a popular choice for dog food and water because they’re durable and easy to clean.

Dogs have natural foraging instincts, so your puppy will likely push their food bowl around as they eat. It’s a good idea to choose either bowls with rubberized bottoms to grip the ground or a feeder to hold the bowls in place.

food and water dish attached to crate
Water Bowl Size: A commonly agreed upon standard is dogs need 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. That means a 10-pound puppy would need a bowl that holds at least 1 ¼ cups of clean water each day to stay properly hydrated.

Food Bowl Size: The bowl should be big enough to hold your puppy’s food and fit the size of their head and mouth. You may need to upgrade your bowl sizes as your dog grows.

yellow bones and balls background
dog being walked on leash
number 3
Collar and Leash
These are items you should have with you when you pick up your new puppy from your breeder or shelter.

While it can be tempting to get caught up in the design pattern or the color of your collar and leash, make sure first and foremost that they’re made of good quality materials and meet your puppy’s needs.

Choosing a Dog Collar:
Look for one that’s adjustable. Make it just tight enough that it doesn’t slip off easily but doesn’t pinch your dog’s skin. Nylon and leather are solid materials. You can also choose a reflective dog collar to help keep your pup safe on nighttime walks.

Choosing a Dog Leash:
Pick a leash made from durable nylon, with sturdy hardware that won’t disconnect during walks. You can use a shorter leash for regular walks and a longer leash (or even a retractable one) when you move into obedience training.

white puppy being walked on a retractable leash
husky wearing a harness by a body of water
After you’ve gotten a sense of your dog’s leash behavior, you may also want to get them a harness for more control on walks.
blue bones and balls background
dog poop bags on wooden floor
number 4
Dog Poop Bags
Picking up after your dog doesn’t just make you a good neighbor and friend to the environment. In many places, it’s the law.

Dog poop bags are specifically designed with thick enough material to hold messes and not leaks. Since you’ll use these several times each day, it’s a good idea to buy them in a multi-bag roll.

dog poop bags in bone holder on leash
Consider getting a poop bag dispenser, too. They often come attached to a carabiner so you can hang the dispenser from your leash, belt loop, or backpack, which means you’ll never get caught empty handed when nature calls.
yellow bones and balls background
dog with toy in its mouth
number 5
Dog Toys
Gnawing on chew toys can help puppies beat boredom and anxiety. Some can be filled with treats or peanut butter to provide them enrichment.

You should also get interactive toys, balls, and options designed specifically for training to support your puppy’s development. Keeping your dog busy and distracted with toys also means they’re less likely to chew on shoes and household items.

To prevent choking and digestion problems, don’t give your puppy real bones or soft toys that aren’t made specifically for dogs.

small puppy with toy in its mouth outdoors
dog and owner at pet store picking out a toy
blue bones and balls background
corgi in wire Crate and Kennel
number 6
Wire Crate and Kennel
You’ll want to safely contain your puppy in designated areas.
Wire Crates:
Many owners choose to crate-train their puppies. Crates keep your pup out of trouble indoors when you leave home and at night. Make sure you choose a crate that is large enough that your dog can fit in it and move around comfortably once inside. It’s also a good idea to select one with a removable pan or bottom to easily clean up accidents, as well as an attached water bowl.

Kennels:
Kennels keep your dog in a safe, enclosed area outdoors. Choose a kennel that’s made of tough material that can withstand all weather conditions and outdoor ware, such as galvanized steel.

puppy inside of wire crate and kennel
dog and owner outside wire crate outside in backyard
yellow bones and balls background
puppies on dog bed or mat
number 7
Dog Bed or Mat
Your puppy will need a soft, cozy place to nap, especially if you don’t want them on your furniture. Beds and mats are available in various sizes, so pick one that your dog can cuddle up in comfortably. It’s a good idea to choose a machine-washable option.

Once you’ve chosen a bed, mat, or both, lay it in a quiet corner, place it in their kennel, or use it to cushion their crate.

puppy laying on dog bed on floor
blue bones and balls background
husky with dog treat in mouth on the floor
number 8
Dog Treats
You’ll want to start rewarding good behavior and bonding with your puppy immediately, so you’ll need plenty of dog treats handy.

Start out with a couple varieties of small training treats to learn which flavors your puppy prefers. Make sure to avoid any treats that seem to cause your dog stomach issues.

puppy giving high five on grass
yellow bones and balls background
stain and odor remover on carpet
number 9
Stain and Odor Remover
Try as you might to prevent accidents, with a new puppy, they’re bound to happen. Make sure you’re prepared to clean up floors, rugs, furniture, and other surfaces with pet stain and odor removers specially formulated to tackle messes caused by animals.
If you’re concerned about delicate fabrics in your home, cover them or put them away before bringing home your puppy, and keep them protected until your four-legged family member is fully potty trained.

Owning and caring for a young dog takes commitment. Gathering the right necessities for your puppy is the start to being a responsible, well-prepared pet parent.

puppies sleeping next to each other on bed
About the Writer
Scott Bish is a writer who hails from Ohio.

Get in Touch with Out Here

Your ideas and opinions are important to us. If you’d like to recommend a story, submit a recipe, share an event for Here & There, or tell us what you think of the digital magazine, please reach out.

Send us a message
at OutHere@TractorSupply.com

Send mail to:
Out Here magazine
c/o The Motion Agency
325 N. LaSalle Dr., Suite 550
Chicago, IL 60654

Tractor Supply Co.