Essential Items You Need When You Get A New Puppy

Essential Items You Need When You Get A New Puppy

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time. In all the excitement, it can be hard to remember everything you’ll need to have on hand when you bring your new best friend home.

By preparing your home and having all your puppy gear ready for your new arrival, you can concentrate on your puppy rather than stressing over something important that you may forget.

To help you out, here are some essential items that will help you get ready for your new arrival:


Seems obvious but it’s not always as simple as it sounds. You’ll want to ask the breeder, rescue, etc., what your puppy is currently eating and have some of that food on hand, even if you plan to transition your puppy onto a different food. By keeping your puppy’s diet, the same, you can reduce stress on your puppy’s digestive system when they are already undergoing too many changes that can cause stomach upset.

When you choose your food, choose a high-quality food for the growth and maintenance of large breed dogs or food for all life stages, including the growth of large breed dogs.

Food Vault

To keep food away from your puppy and keep it fresh, consider investing in an air-tight food vault.


You’ll want to start showing your puppy the ropes right away. It’s never too early to start age-appropriate training and you can use food as a reward. But you’ll also need higher-value treats to reward your puppy’s good behavior, like going potty outside.

Food and Water Dishes

You’ll want to have food and water dishes that work well for your dog. For instance, stainless steel dishes are easy to clean but tip over easier unless you get no-tip bowls. Glass and ceramic bowls are also easy to clean and can go in the dishwater but can also break. Plastic dishes are cheaper but can easily be chewed and the bite and scratch marks can harbor bacteria since they can be harder to keep clean. Heavy bottom bowls are harder for young dogs to flip but are also made from materials that can break.

Collar, Leash, Harness

A well-fitting adjustable collar or harness with a 6’ leash is a great starting place to keep a grip on your dog and begin training. Since your puppy will grow fast, you’ll want to choose one that has some room to adjust to a larger size. You’ll want to choose one with a durable buckle since German shepherd puppies quickly get stronger and bigger.

Poop Bags/Cleaning Wipes/Rags/Cleaning Supplies

Don’t forget you’ll want to have some poop bags, cleaning wipes for your puppy and you, and plenty of paper towels and rags to sop up messes that your new puppy is sure to make. You’ll be cleaning everything from wiping their face, to cleaning their paws, cleaning up potty accidents, and mopping up spilled water. You’ll want some enzymatic cleaner to remove urine and feces stains.

Pet ID Tag

A pet identification tag is some of the best protection you can buy. If for any reason your dog gets away from you, it will help a good samaritan or animal control to quickly notify you that they have found your dog. Even if you think you won’t lose your pet or plan to get a microchip, shelters and social media pages are full of lost and found dogs that don’t have pet tags.

Your pet’s tag should include their name, your phone number/s, and your address or at least the city where you live.

According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, “ID tagging is an effective method for potentially decreasing the chances that stray dogs will end up in a shelter and instead make their way home. If your dog is ever stolen and dumped or escapes, an Id tag and microchip may be very useful in reuniting you, especially if your dog is taken far away.

Kennel/X Pen

Having a safe place for your puppy to relax is priceless and also trains them to be comfortable should they ever have to be crated after a medical procedure or during an emergency. When you can’t have eyes on your busy pup and at night, being able to crate them will protect them and your home.

An exercise pen is also a great place for your puppy to spend some time. Larger than a crate, it will allow your puppy to move around and play yet still confine them to one area of a room. An x pen is a great way to keep your curious puppy protected while still allowing them some freedom.

Wire crates are nice because they are easy to clean, and your puppy can see out. However, they’re not meant for transporting your dog. Hard-sided, durable crates are best for car rides, transportation, etc. but offer less airflow and can get hot in warm weather so you may need more than one crate and an x pen.


Your puppy might appreciate sleeping on a nice soft bed, but you’ll have to monitor them to see if they can be trusted to not chew up and eat their bed. Soft bedding should not be left with unattended puppies until you know they are trustworthy and even then, you’ll have to evaluate your dog to see if they are safe with bedding.


German shepherd puppies are super busy and also aggressive chewers. You need several types of toys to keep your puppy happy and distracted:

Play toys

Toys are meant to be played with, chewed, and to use as a distraction when teaching your puppy not to chew your hands, feet, and furniture. Look for durable toys that are too big to be swallowed and that can’t be easily torn apart.

Enrichment toys

Enrichment toys are used as a distraction to occupy your puppy and provide them with mental stimulation. Puzzle toys, toys you can stuff, snuffle mats, and other food dispensing toys are perfect for this.

Reward/training toys/tools

Along with your puppy’s toys, you also want some training toys and tools that you only use as a training reward. A ball, tug, etc., are good training rewards and can also be used during training sessions.


Along with toys, your puppy will need chews. There are some good plastic chews but natural chews such as bully sticks, beef trachea, lamb trachea, pig ears, lamb ears, Nylabone Healthy Edibles, and jerky (made in the USA or homemade only), etc. are some natural chews. Always monitor your puppy with chews and use them at your discretion.

Grooming Tools

Teaching your puppy to accept grooming is an important part of training. A soft brush, comb, undercoat rake, and nail trimmer should all be introduced to your puppy from a young age.

Puppy Shampoo

No doubt your puppy will need a bath unexpectedly and when it happens, you’ll want some puppy shampoo and conditioner at the ready.

Vet Care/Preventions

It can take a long time to get a vet appointment, so you might consider making an appointment before you even bring your puppy home. That way, you can take your puppy for a wellness checkup, follow up on their vaccines, and discuss flea and tick prevention with your vet right away. It is also a great time to discuss your puppy’s weight and diet and introduce your puppy to your vet while they are feeling well.

We hope you found this list helps you get ready for your new best friend. As always, please feel free to share with your friends.

You may also like: Your German Shepherd Puppy: 8 Weeks To 1 Year Old

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