- This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
So you’re adding a puppy to your family—congratulations! Bringing home a new puppy is easily one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do. There are so many things to look forward to, from introducing your new dog to your other family members to taking your puppy on a tour of his new home.
On average, bringing home a new puppy can cost parents between $1,050-$4,480 in the first year, according to Rover’s Cost of Pet Parenthood Survey. The range may seem like a lot, but many of the costs are one-time spends. But what, exactly, does that cost include? Let’s take a look at everything you need to do, buy, and prepare for as you get ready to bring your puppy home for the first time.
Get Your Home Ready
Once you decide to get your puppy, the very first thing you need to do is look into new puppy supplies that’ll get your home ready.
Puppies are naturally curious, and they have a tendency to get into everything—including things they shouldn’t. Puppy proofing your home is a must, both to protect your new dog and to protect your home!
Invest in a puppy playpen or some dog gates that allow you to block off doorways and keep your new puppy contained to a certain area of your home. That way, you can keep an eye on your dog and make sure he’s not only safe but isn’t getting into any mischief (like chewing on your favorite pair of shoes).
Before you bring home your new puppy, you should also do a sweep of your entire home to identify and remove any potential safety hazards. Could your dog get into the pantry and chow down on potentially hazardous foods (like chocolate)? If so, invest in a lock or gate to restrict access to the area. Do you have a number of plants in your home? Do your research to make sure none of them are toxic to dogs—and if they are, get rid of them.
Remember—your new puppy won’t be able to identify any safety hazards, so it’s up to you to remove them from your home before your puppy arrives.
Get the New Puppy Supplies Basics
Once you’ve puppy-proofed your home, it’s time to stock up on the new puppy supplies your dog will need to be happy, healthy, and comfortable.
Here are some of the essential items you’ll need to get before you bring home your new puppy:
- Dog crate. When you first get your puppy, chances are they’re not going to be housebroken. Crate training is a great way to not only help your dog learn house rules (and where and when to use the potty) but give them a way to feel safe and comfortable in their new home. Just make sure to buy a crate that your puppy can grow into! When choosing a crate, buy based on how large your dog will be when fully grown—not how big he is now as a puppy. Cost: $10-330
- Dog bed. You like a nice, comfortable bed to sleep in—and your new puppy deserves the same! Before you bring your new puppy home, make sure to invest in a dog bed. (If you’re going to crate train your dog, make sure to choose a bed that will fit comfortably inside the crate.) Cost: $10-630
- Dog bowls. Your puppy will need to eat and drink from day one—so make sure you have food bowls and water bowls on hand before you bring your new best friend home. Cost: $10-120
- Dog food. High-quality dog food is an essential part of raising a happy, healthy pet. Because puppies have different nutritional needs than full grown dogs, make sure to buy puppy food specifically formulated for young dogs. Read up on wet and dry options to figure out which one works best for you. Cost: $210-2,340 annually
- Dog collar, leash, poop bags, and a poop bag holder. Want to take your new puppy on a walk? You’ll need some supplies, including an adjustable dog collar, sturdy leash, poop bags, and a poop bag holder are all must-haves before you head out on your first walk. Cost: $10-150
- Dog ID tags and a microchip. Getting the proper identification for your new puppy is an absolute must. Make sure your new pet has dog tags (with your contact information) and a microchip from the very start. Cost: $80
Connect with a Vet…
As your puppy grows, he’s going to need to check in regularly with a qualified veterinarian. And if possible, you should try to find that veterinarian before you bring your new puppy home.
If you have other pets, you likely already have a vet on speed dial. If not, do your research, find a reputable vet in your area, and call for more information about their services. Once you find a vet you like, schedule an appointment and bring your puppy in for his very first check-up.
…and a Dog Trainer
As mentioned, you need to find a vet for your new puppy. And if you want your puppy to grow up to be a well-adjusted, well-behaved dog, it’s not a bad idea to find a dog trainer, too.
Puppy training can be a great way for your new puppy to learn everything from basic commands and how to walk on a leash to how to interact with other dogs. And if you get in on the training sessions, it can also be a great way for you to start building a bond with your new pet!
Before you commit to working with a trainer, it’s important to make sure they’re the right fit for you and your new dog. Ask about their training style—you want to work with a trainer who uses positive reinforcement to train your dog, not punishment. Referrals to other clients are a good idea too, since they’ll help you can get the inside scoop on how effective someone is at puppy training before you sign up.
Stock Up on the Right Toys…
Puppies are playful—and you want to make sure you engage that sense of play with plenty of fun toys!
As you figure out what your new friend likes, we suggest having a variety of toys on hand, including:
- Puzzle toys. Puppies are curious—and these toys are a great way to engage their curiosity, develop their skills, and challenge them to solve a fun puzzle.
- Chew toys. Puppies will chew everything and anything they can get their paws on, which is why chew toys are so important. Chew toys allow your puppy to engage their natural chewing instinct without damaging your furniture, shoes, or home.
- Chase toys. If your new puppy loves to run, chase toys are a great way to help them work off that energy and have fun at the same time!
- Heartbeat toys. These warm plushes with real heartbeats aren’t for every pup, but some pet parents swear by them. They can be excellent calming tools for an anxious newcomer.
…and New Puppy Supplies Tools
Some tools you’ll want to have on hand before you bring home your new pet include:
- Dog treats. Treats are a must for puppy training—and if you want to train your puppy successfully, you should plan to have plenty of treats on hand. You can buy healthy treats at your local pet store—or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your own! Cost: $10-60
- Training pouch. You’ll have your hands full—literally—when training and walking your puppy. A pouch that’s easy to attach or carry can help keep your hands free, while also keeping treats, poop bags, and training clickers nearby.
- Dog toothpaste and toothbrush. Taking care of your dog’s oral health is part of being a responsible pet owner, so make sure you brush your dog’s teeth regularly.
- Brush. If your dog has lots of fur, brushing needs to be part of your daily grooming routine to avoid tangles and matting. Cost: $10-60
- Shampoo and pet wipes. You should plan to bathe your dog regularly—and when you do, you’ll need dog shampoo to get him nice and clean. You won’t want to use human shampoo, since it has ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. In between baths, grooming wipes are a great way to keep your new puppy clean, fresh, and dirt-free.
- Enzyme spray and carpet cleaner. Chances are your new puppy is going to have an accident or two during the house training process. Enzyme spray and carpet cleaner will help keep odor and pet stains at bay.
- Pooper scooper. Poop happens! And to keep your yard and driveway looking less like an open toilet, a reliable scooper is a big help. Bin and rake models mean you don’t even have to pick up your new friend’s droppings. Win! Cost: $10-70
Consider Pet Insurance . . .
It’s hard to think about an accident or serious heath issues affecting your young pup, but they happen. The good news is that veterinary medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last few years, and lots of once-fatal conditions are now treatable. But many of those treatments come with hefty price tags, and it’s important to make sure you’re financially prepared. The average cost of pet insurance a year is between $360-720 according to our Cost of Pet Parenthood Survey.
Pet insurance is a great way to do that, and there’s no better time to get a policy than when your dog is young. That’s because pet insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions—so the longer you wait to get insurance, the more likely it is your dog’s medical record will work against them. For a dog who gets insurance as a brand-new puppy, you can rest easy knowing most major medical catastrophes will be covered.
. . . and Services Like Pawp
If you’re new to pet parenthood, there’s a good chance your puppy is going to give you a few scares here and there. You might have a lot of questions about what’s normal and what’s not: Itching? Paw-licking? Reverse-sneezing? It’s also tough to know what’s cause for a visit to an emergency clinic and what can wait for an appointment with your regular vet (think vomiting and diarrhea).
That’s where services like Pawp come in handy. For $24 per month, Pawp offers telehealth consults any time, day or night. They can’t prescribe medicine or examine your pet in person like a vet can, but they can offer valuable guidance right when you need it. Members also have access to an emergency fund of $3,000 that a Pawp vet can release in life-threatening situations.
It’s a good investment for first-time dog owners or pet parents with a special case on their hands (you know the ones—lovable pups with a gift for nosing their way into trouble). We’ve tried it ourselves and give it two paws up.
Get Recommendations for Additional Puppy-Centric Services
If you have friends or family members with dogs, ask them for recommendations for your new puppy! Do they have a dog groomer they love? A pet sitter they swear by? An amazing dog park where your pet can socialize? Get the scoop before you bring your puppy home!
Enjoy Your New Puppy!
The first few months with your new puppy can be some of the most fun, exciting, and joyful of your life—if you’re ready. And with this new puppy checklist, you’re more than prepared to welcome them into your family—so go and enjoy your new puppy!
- The New Puppy Checklist: Essentials for New Pet Parents
- The Right Way to Give a Puppy as a Gift
- How to Survive the First 24 Hours with Your New Puppy
- 50 Puppy Training Tips to Help You Stay Sane
- Your Complete Guide to Puppy Potty Training
- How to Crate Train Your Puppy to Keep Them Happy, Cozy, and Safe