New Puppy Checklist

Hooray a new puppy! Prepare yourself for endless hours of snuggles and puppy kisses, along with bathroom accidents and the destruction of parts of your home. You’re in for a fun and crazy ride, and we’re here to help.

From the moment you bring your puppy home, they’re learning from you. It’s important to create a foundation for behavior and obedience in order for them to succeed in the world. With the right tools and training, you’ll have the best dog on the block.

Schedule an Appointment with the Vet

Making an appointment with the veterinarian is an important step in keeping your puppy healthy. A veterinarian will do a comprehensive examination to identify any health issues or concerns for your puppy, check for intestinal parasites, and get your puppy on the right vaccination schedule.

If you’re in the SF Bay Area, make your appointment with us today or you can write us at We’ll get your puppy off to the right start in the comfort of your own home.

Make Sure You Have Your Puppy’s Medical Records

Depending on the age of your puppy, they’ll most likely have their first round of vaccinations. Contact your breeder or shelter to get copies of their medical records. This will help determine which vaccinations your puppy will need next.

Need help? We can pull the medical records for you – FREE. Just download our app, and we’ll reach out and get all of their medical records in one place.

Pick a Diet for Your Puppy

When you adopt or pick up your puppy, be sure to find out the diet that they’ve been eating already. If you decide to keep them on that food, great! If you decide to switch their food you’re going to need to transition them onto their new food slowly. You can use this guide to help you transition your puppy:

Switching Pet Food

Remember, if you transition your puppy too slowly it could result in diarrhea and dehydration as a result of loose stool.

Picking a New Puppy Food

When it comes to picking a good puppy food, keep these things in mind:

  • Choose a brand with an AAFCO statement – this ensures that the food is of high quality and meets dietary standards for dogs.
  • Pick something with meat as the first ingredient
  • Foods have different formulations for different sized breeds – if you have a particularly small or large breed puppy there are specific foods for that!
  • Check in with your veterinarian – they can tell you more about the specific dietary needs of your puppy and if they’re getting too much or not enough food.

Some puppy food brands we recommend: Orijen PuppyAvoDerm Puppy, and Horizon Legacy Puppy.

Get Basic Puppy Supplies

Every puppy is going to need different items depending on their breed, age, and behavior. You also have to take into account your lifestyle, home, and philosophy about dog training. Here are some of the basic items that you’ll need for your puppy.

Potty Training & Bathroom Essentials
Every puppy and every puppy parent is different. When it comes to potty training, you’re going to have a lot of opinions – find what works for you. Some basic items you’ll need:

Identification – Microchip & Tag
It’s possible that at some point your puppy may get lost or the two of you may become separated. An ID tag is the fastest way to identify your puppy to someone else, but in the event that they lose their collar and tag a microchip can help them find their way home.

There are a variety of ID tag options out there. Choose one that suits the size of your dog and provides any other relevant information. To learn more about microchips, read our blog here

Leash, Collar, Harness
Even before your puppy has had all of their vaccinations, you’ll want to practice walking with them inside your home. Get them used to wearing a collar, leash, and harness around the house and even practice walking with them.

Chew Toys
Your puppy is going to be teething and chewing up a storm. It might not start the moment that you bring them home, but be prepared for it to happen. Pick up a variety of chew toys for your puppy to provide them with something appropriate to chew on.

Food & Water Dishes
Pick a food and water system for your pet that will work for their size. When they’ve finally received their shots, you’ll be able to travel with them as well so consider investing in a set of travel water and food bowls as well.

Find Training and Socialization

Training and socialization are key for both you and your puppy. A big part of raising an incredibly well mannered and trained puppy is having a well-trained puppy parent.

  • Socialization Classes: These allow your puppy to learn how to properly interact and play with other puppies and people.
  • Puppy Obedience and Manners: Finding a basic group class or 1:1 training sessions are a great way to teach your puppy the foundations of obedience. You’ll cover things like sit, stay, potty training and leash walking.
  • Puppy Socials in San Francisco

Additional New Puppy Resources

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