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New puppy checklist

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Getting a new puppy? Get prepared! A must have list for your new dog.

The shopping list for a new puppy can be long and expensive. When added to the expense of veterinary preventive care, your puppy's new start, can easily top $1,000. But don't panic! Use this checklist to make sure you shop wisely and save money while still having the necessary equipment and supplies on hand.

Puppy food

Your puppy is what he eats and it's up to you to make sure he receives the nutrition he needs.

  • Choose a food that meets guidelines set by the American Association of Feed Control Officials. Look for the AAFCO logo on the food's packaging.
  • Quality foods require smaller portions than lower quality foods and while the lesser quality foods might seem cheaper, in the long run they are quite comparable in price.

Preventive veterinary care

Part of your puppy's routine care will include keeping parasites such as fleas, ticks, and worms at bay. Products are available through your veterinarian and as over-the-counter treatments.

  • Prescription products are effective and have undergone a significant amount of testing for efficacy and safety
  • Over-the-counter medications for fleas, ticks, or worms are available; however, because these products haven't necessarily received the same stringent safety and efficacy testing. Consult with your veterinarian before using.

Collars and leashes

Puppies grow an incredible amount in their first year, let alone their first six months. Before purchasing a one-of-a-kind designer collar (that will be outgrown and/or chewed) and matching leash, consider these more economical products as first choices.


Without some form of identification, a lost or stolen puppy has virtually no chance of being recovered. IDs range in price from truly budget to more expensive options.

  • Non-permanent ID attach to the collar.
  • Permanent IDs such as a tattoo or microchip.
  • Cutting edge IDs can include a Global Positioning System and tracking devices.

Crates and gates

Crates and gates are an essential part of housetraining and though they can add up to more than a couple hundred dollars, being able to partition your home and provide a safe training environment for your puppy could be priceless. When choosing a crate or gate look for durability. Puppies like to chew and it might pay to spend a little more on one than to spend less on one you have to replace.

Toys, toys, and more toys

Toys aren't just for playing - they're also for dental hygiene, teething aids, comfort, physical activity, and mental stimulation. You can go wild with dog toys - but if you've got a limited supply of cash, your money is best spent with products that are safe and durable.


Keep your pup comfortable with a cozy place to sleep. Bedding can be a simple pillow or blanket or bed made for dogs. There are tons of options to choose from that range in price. While it might be tempting to pick a fancier bed that matches the house, you might want to wait till after your puppy is housebroken and past the chewing phase.

Grooming supplies

The most important thing with puppies is that they get used to being touched and brushed so they are comfortable when being groomed. Start with a soft bristle or pin brush, a toenail clipper and a finger brush.

Need vs. want

It's easy to be overwhelmed by a puppy's material needs. Fortunately, most of these purchases are onetime expenses, especially if you keep non-durable items out of reach of your puppy's inquisitive mouth.

"New Puppy Checklist" is provided by with permission from I-5 Publishing, LLC. For the latest cat news, photos, entertainment and tips, check out

All statements and opinions in "New Puppy Checklist" are the sole opinions of the I-5 Publishing and not those of CareCredit. The content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual medical provider with respect to any professional advice presented. Your participation in the presentation constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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