Shopping for a new puppy can be so much fun! There are so many cool dog toys! I have raised and trained many puppies, and tried many puppy products, so without any further ado, here is my ultimate puppy shopping list:
This is the number one item on my new puppy shopping list. A crate is an essential tool in training your puppy, and more importantly, keeping your puppy safe when you can’t watch them! I use the MidWest iCrate for dogs because my poodles like the open air feel and clear site lines. Make sure your crate is appropriately sized for your puppy, just big enough for them to be comfortable but not big enough where they can create a separate sleeping space and potty space.
2. Crate Bed
I’ve tried lots of doggy beds over the years. My absolute favorite, and the only one I buy now, are the Luxury Minky Cuddle Fur Pads from FMS Dog Beds. They are soft, come in a wide variety of colors and prints, are incredibly durable, and can be washed an infinite number of times. I recommend buying at least two for your new puppy, so you have a backup if they have an accident.
3. Puppy Pen
In addition to a crate, having a puppy pen is another great option for keeping your puppy safe while you can’t watch them. If you need to leave your puppy for an extended period of time, you can include some safe toys, a water bowl, and a potty area. I use the Evenflo Adjustable Play Area. It is light weight, but sturdy and can be made as big or small as you like by simply adding or subtracting panels.
4. Puppy Food
Ask any puppy breeder worth their salt and they will tell you to never change a puppy’s food suddenly or you’re asking for trouble! When you bring your new puppy home make sure you have the same food that they have been weaned on. Sudden changes in diet will only lead to tummy troubles which is no fun in potty training a puppy! I feed Nutrisource Small & Medium Breed Puppy Food. If you do decide to change your puppy’s food, make sure to do so gradually over several days. I recommend 3 days of 25% new food/75% old food, 3 days of 50/50, and then 3 days of 25% old food/75% new food for a smooth transition.
5. Food and Water Bowls
Stainless steel is my go-to for puppy food and water bowls. It is easy to clean and does not harbor bacteria like plastic does. Basis Pet Bowls are sturdy, have some neat holders, and are made in the USA.
6. Collar and Leash
There are many cute and quality leashes and collars on the market. I recommend making sure to get a collar that is easily adjustable for your new puppy as they do tend to grow quickly. Make sure to get a tag labeled with their name and your contact information. I like a 4’ leash for walks and a 10’ leash for training purposes.
7. Training Treats and a Treat Pouch
Treats are an essential puppy training tool and I recommend Pupford Dog Training Treats. They are small, low calorie, one ingredient, freeze dried treats that my picky poodles love. Grab a treat pouch too like the PetSafe Treat Pouch Sport to make training sessions easier.
8. Pet Waste Bags
This one is straightforward, always have a baggy on hand to pick up after your pup when you are out and about. The Original Poop Bags are a great choice because they are compostable.
9. Cleaning Supplies
Accidents are inevitable when you are potty training a new puppy. Be prepared with some paper towels and a quality stain/odor remover like Furry Freshness to make clean up easier.
10. Brushes, Combs, and Nail Trimmers
Poodles, and many other breeds of puppies as well, need regular grooming to keep their curly coat mat free so make sure you have a good slicker brush and a metal comb. I like the Andis Slicker Brush for puppies, and then use the Chris Christensen Big G for adult poodles. A metal comb like the Andis Premium Steel Comb is essential for checking for tangles after brushing. Grab a sturdy pair of nail trimmers from Miller’s Forge, and if you really want to go the extra mile, pick up a Dremel 7300-PT 4.8v Cordless Pet Dog Nail Grooming & Grinding Tool to keep those doggy nails smooth.
11. Puppy Shampoo
Hopefully your puppy won’t need too many baths, but having a gentle, quality puppy shampoo on hand is important. Earthbath Puppy Shampoo has a gentle, tearless formula, with minimal ingredients and a lovely cherry scent. It is also made in the USA.
12. Chew Toys!
Puppies love to chew and so this list wouldn’t be complete without some great chew toy options to help keep your puppy entertained and your favorite pair of shoes safe! My favorite brands are Benebone, Nylabone, Chuckit!, and Kong. Specifically, the Puppy 4-Pack Chew Toys by Benebone, the Puppy Pacifier Teething Toy by Nylabone, the Puppy Binky Chew Toy by Kong, and the Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Balls. If you would like some stuffed toys, Kong Cozies are a solid choice, though, remember that no stuffed dog toy is indestructible.