8 Essentials for Your New Puppy

Nov 10, 2022

If you’re reading this, then there is a good chance that you’ve added a puppy to your family or you’re about to adopt a puppy! Becoming a dog mom or dad is very exciting, but it might feel a little overwhelming for some. Here are eight essentials for your new puppy to make sure you are well-prepared!

Food, Water, and Bowls

It might sound simple at first that you need food, water, and treats for your puppy. However, it can be overwhelming to choose which dog food is right for your new furry friend, especially because there are so many options. There isn’t a “one size fits all” option for food. And if I learned anything from having a puppy with sensitive skin or my years working at and volunteering with the SPCA of Wake County, it’s that quality dog food can make all the difference for your dog.

Your veterinarian will be the best resource to find the appropriate food for your puppy. However, the American Kennel Club’s advice on choosing the best dog food is an excellent resource when it comes to deciding what food to get your furry friend. This resource explains some common myths about dog foods and can help you come up with the right questions for your veterinarian. The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association also has great advice on how to read pet food nutrition labels.

Golden retriever puppy portrait

Each dog breed has different nutritional needs, so pick a dog food that meets their nutritional requirements. A lot of dog foods come in puppy form, so this is something to consider as well. Of course, make sure your new pup has plenty of food and water throughout the day. Don’t forget the bowls too! You might choose to get raised food and water bowls for bigger puppies and dogs, like a Great Dane. For smaller breeds, like Yorkies, regular food and water bowls would do.

Here in the Triangle, I highly recommend going to Unleashed, A Dog and Cat Store. Their staff has helped me many times find the right food for Baxter and spouted off all kinds of great facts and studies they had read when I had questions about grain-free trends. They really know their stuff! You can also sign-up for a consultation with them.

Treats for your new puppy

I think we can all agree treats are also one of the essentials for your new puppy. Make sure you get plenty of puppy-friendly treats that are soft enough for your puppy’s growing teeth to handle. You might want to consider getting treats designed for teething, like N-Bone Puppy Teething Sticks when they are in this stage. Your new shoes and furniture will thank you! As they get their adult teeth, consider naturally shed antlers. They are long-lasting and much safer than rawhides.

Our new dog Boone loves his Tibetian Yak Chews. We usually buy them in bulk from their website.

Bedding for a new puppy

Let’s be honest, puppies are very energetic until they suddenly crash. Be prepared by making sure you have a designated space and a soft pet bed for your pup. Having a good bed that properly fits your pup will allow them to get high-quality sleep, so they have the energy they need to make it through the day. Of course, the high quantity and quality of sleep you get can lead to higher brain and memory development! I had a chance to test out some chew-resistant dog beds for a client this summer. I loved the Gorilla Ballistics bed, Coolaroo Bed, and Kuranda beds.

I.D. Tag for your new dog

To go along with your furry friend’s collar, harness, and leash, getting your pup an I.D. tag is a must! There is always a chance your fur baby could get lost, especially when they are still in the training phase. So getting your pup his or her own I.D. tag that has their name, your phone number, and your address will give you the best chance of getting your furry baby back if they get lost. This is the fastest way to be reunited. However, collars may slip off. Be sure your pup is microchipped! Make sure you have this as one of your first essentials for your new puppy.

Golden retriever puppy exploring a fire place. Puppy-proofing your house is one of the 8 essentials for your new puppy.

Puppy-proofing your house

Like baby-proofing your home when bringing home a new child, you’ll want to puppy-proof your house when bringing home your fur baby. Make sure you don’t have any small objects around, any poisonous plants in your house or garden, and that your puppy can’t get into the trash can, among other home puppy-proofing tips. In general, you want to make sure your little friend doesn’t get anything they shouldn’t or get hurt from things around the home.

Vet Visits – Essentials for your new puppy

It goes without saying that new puppies need a lot of care, from extensive walks, cuddles, and sleep, all the way to vet visits and vaccinations. When you get your puppy, make sure you take them to the vet for an initial check-up. The vet will perform a physical by weighing your pup, listening to his or her heart and vitals, examining his or her teeth, and so on. In addition, make sure you get your puppy all the vaccinations needed in his or her first year.

Piper at Banfield #5042

Do you need pet insurance?

To complement the planned and unplanned vet visits your furry friend will need, pet insurance is another one of the essentials for your new puppy or any pet. If your pet gets sick or injured, you can focus on making them feel better, while not breaking the bank. It’s also important to know how to use pet insurance so you can get the full benefits out of it! Luckily pet insurance will help cover both regular and emergency visits, so you can have peace of mind with your pup no matter the situation. The last thing you want to do is focus on money when your four-legged friend is unwell.

Capture the Moment – Puppy photo session

Your new puppy will not be a puppy forever! As a pet photographer who firmly believes in soaking up the fleeting beauty of life, a first-year-photo session is absolutely one of the essentials for your new puppy.

Capture your pup’s memories as they grow older by booking a session with your local puppy photographer (ahem…ME!). For example, every year on Baxter’s birthday, he gets an official photoshoot complete with a special pupcake. When we had Lily, I photographed her every month. It was so fun to see how her ears especially changed.

Start a similar tradition with your furry friend to document their journey throughout the years! Make sure you have cute little puppy pictures to look back on and smile at.

Getting a new puppy is a wonderful and chaotic experience. However, the amount of joy they bring into our lives is truly remarkable. Hopefully, this list of essentials for your new puppy will make the momentous occasion less overwhelming!