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Shopping list: What things you need for a puppy!

A dog in a cart with its owner shopping for pet products

Get ready for the fluffiest adventure of your life – bringing home a new puppy! It’s a moment of joy and excitement, but also of confusion and overwhelm, especially if you’re a first-time pet parent. With so many products and options out there you find yourself asking what things you need for a puppy? Look no further! This blog is here to help you compile a list of all the puppy necessities you’ll need before bringing your new bundle of joy home!

Pet Insurance

One of the first things to consider when bringing a new puppy home is pet insurance. It can be a lifesaver in case your pet requires unexpected veterinary expenses due to an illness or injury. Imagine having to choose between your pet’s health and your bank account – that’s where pet insurance comes in. It gives you the peace of mind to consider all treatment options without worrying about the cost. However, it’s important to note that pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. That’s why it’s recommended to get pet insurance for puppies and kittens as early as possible, so you can ensure your pet has fewer pre-existing conditions. Check out our 101 guide to learn more about pet insurance.


Bowls for puppies

One of the first things you need to get for your puppy are food and water bowls. It’s advisable to have a few water bowls, both inside and outside the house. When choosing the bowls, consider the size of your puppy and how easy they are to clean. Personally, I recommend stainless steel bowls since they don’t rust.

There are various types of food bowls to choose from, such as slow feeders for those who eat too fast, puzzle bowls for intelligent dogs, double bowls, collapsible bowls, elevated bowls, non-slip bowls, and even sustainable bowls. If you love technology, there are automatic feeders that you can control with your smartphone, and water fountains that filter and circulate the water.



To avoid upsetting your puppy’s stomach when they first arrive, it’s best to start by feeding them the same food that the breeder was feeding them. After that, you can gradually transition them to the food you want to feed them over a period of about a week to avoid any digestive issues.

There are many different types of puppy food available, so it’s important to do your research. A good place to start is with a premium brand that is complete, balanced, formulated for growth, based on scientific research, and made with high-quality ingredients. Your vet can also provide recommendations, taking into account your puppy’s breed and size category. Premium brands offer different life stages, such as small breed and large breed. Some examples of well-known premium brands are Hills Science Diet, Royal Canin, and Advance.

Apart from premium foods, there are also natural options, grain-free options, raw options, and homemade diets that you can prepare yourself. If you choose to prepare homemade diets, it’s best to consult a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that your puppy is receiving all the necessary nutrients.


A good night sleep for your dog

When it comes to choosing a bed for your puppy, there are a few things to consider. First, you need to decide where you want your puppy to sleep. Crate training is a great option to help with toilet training and provide a safe space for your puppy to sleep, as it taps into their natural instinct to create a den. You should also consider your puppy’s current size as well as their full-grown size, as you may need to purchase a larger crate or bed later on.

There are different types of beds to choose from, such as soft and cozy material beds, elevated beds, waterproof beds, calming beds, and kennels. Some beds are even reversible, which can be useful for different seasons of the year.

Dog_with_toys, all the things you need for a puppy

Doggo playtime

Shopping for toys for your puppy is an enjoyable experience! I suggest purchasing a variety of toys and only allowing your puppy to play with one or two at a time. It’s a good idea to alternate toys to prevent boredom with the same ones. Keep in mind that all toys have the potential to be destructible, but some are sturdier than others. If you have a breed with a strong chewing desire, such as a staffy, you should choose toys that can withstand their chewing.

It’s important to note that no toy is completely safe, and ideally, puppies should be supervised while playing with them. There are plenty of puppy-friendly chew toys that can soothe inflamed gums during the teething process and keep them occupied. Additionally, there are soft and cuddly toys that contain a “heartbeat” to help your puppy settle at night by emulating their mother’s heartbeat.

Interactive and fetch toys are also popular choices for puppies. Playing with your puppy can help establish a special bond with them and tire them out.


Collars and Leads

It’s a good idea to get your puppy used to wearing a collar while they’re still young. Ensure that the collar is the right size and not too tight or loose. A rule of thumb for a well-fitting collar is that you should be able to comfortably fit two fingers under the collar when it’s fastened. This early training will help make it easier for your pup to transition to learning to walk on a lead, which is beneficial for exercise and bonding time.

There are many different types of leads and collars available with various materials and designs. For instance, halters that go around their muzzle can help prevent pulling on the lead, and harnesses that go around their chest can be helpful in certain situations. If you’re unsure which type is best for your pup, consult a behaviour trainer. Collars also have the advantage of allowing you to attach a tag with your puppy’s name and your contact information in case they get lost. Although all puppies have to be microchipped, this is another quick and easy way to help identify them if they do go missing.


Treat them well!

Using treats as positive reinforcement is a great way to train and reward your puppy for good behavior. There are many types of treats available, including dental treats, long-lasting treats, and training treats. Training treats can be particularly useful for toilet training, as you can reward your puppy for toileting in the right spot and reinforce good behavior. Consistent use of positive reinforcement can also be applied to obedience and behavior training.


Grooming supplies for dogs

It’s important to have some grooming essentials on hand for your new puppy, including a brush, shampoo, and conditioner for bath time. Starting to bath your puppy when they’re young is a good idea, but be careful not to bath them too frequently (more than once a week) as it can strip the natural oils from their skin and coat. Adding a conditioner will help their coat stay soft, shiny, and smelling great. Depending on your puppy’s breed and coat type, you may need a specific type of brush. It’s a good idea to introduce them to the brush early on and reward them with praise and treats when they let you brush them.

As for nail clipping, it should be done when their nails start touching the ground. Puppies’ nails can be sharp, so clipping them will remove the sharp point. Getting your puppy used to having their paws handled can help with nail clipping when they’re older. Positive reinforcement with praise and treats when they’re calm will help reinforce good behavior.


Puppy pee pads

Puppy pee pads are a great solution for indoor puppies and can be a real lifesaver. When it comes to toilet training, the same principles apply as if you were teaching your pup to go outside. This involves lots of repetition, paying attention to cues that your pup needs to go, and providing lots of praise and treats when they go in the right place. Patience is key, but with time, your pup will eventually get the hang of it!

Puppies generally need to go after eating, waking up, and playing. Keeping an eye out for subtle cues, like sniffing around or appearing unsettled, can help you identify when they need to go. If your puppy has an accident in the wrong spot, it’s important to clean it up quickly with an enzymatic cleaner to prevent traces of urine to discourage them from repeating the same mistake.


Parasite Prevention

Puppies can be exposed to parasites from various sources, including their mother, other puppies, dirt, and other animals. Fortunately, you can prevent parasitic infestations in your puppy by administering preventative medications that cover intestinal worms, heartworm, fleas, and ticks. With so many options on the market, it’s essential to do your research and consult with your vet to determine the best preventative medication for your puppy based on your location. For instance, some locations may not have certain types of parasites, such as the paralysis tick. Preventative medications come in various forms such as spot-on, tablets, and chews, allowing you to choose the option that your puppy prefers.


Veterinary Care

To ensure your puppy’s health and wellbeing, it’s crucial to prioritise their veterinary care. This involves taking them to the vet for regular health checks to ensure they’re healthy and free from any genetic or developmental issues. Additionally, vaccinations are a must to protect them from dangerous diseases. During these visits, don’t hesitate to ask the vet and their support staff any questions you may have about your pup’s health and behaviour, and get their advice on food and other products you might want to purchase.

Typically, puppies require three initial vaccinations given a month apart, but it’s always best to confirm with your vet what’s required for your specific puppy. Also, it’s a legal requirement in Australia for your pup to have a microchip, and you’ll need to update the personal details when you take over ownership.

This is also a great opportunity to discuss pet insurance with your vet and conduct your own research on policies that are suitable for you. Our pet insurance guide and FAQ page can help you better understand what pet insurance covers and how it works.

Written by Dr. Angie, the brilliant veterinary mind behind Pet Circle Insurance. With over 15 years of experience in the veterinary field and hands-on experience in handling insurance claims, Angie is a trusted and reliable source of truth when it comes to all things pet-related. Her passion for small animal medicine, nutrition, and the human-animal bond shines through in her work with the Pet Circle Veterinary Squad, where she provides top-notch advice and support to pet owners.