March 3, 2024 Home

9 Essential Puppy Items To Buy For The First Week with A New Dog

Getting my first puppy was overwhelming - a few dog-loving friends sent us long lists of everything we needed to get, and it came out to way, way more than I wanted to spend or figure out how to source overnight. But you really don't need EVERYTHING for the first few days and weeks. These nine items are the ones we used and were glad we had THE MOST, and are simplest, most essential way to start.  

Or skip ahead to my entire Amazon Shopping List here!

1. Sound Machine for Babies

Hatch Rest Go Portable Sound Machine

A white noise machine from the baby department is one thing we never would have thought of (especially as a childfree couple) but a friend recommended we get to help our puppy sleep through the night - and this made THE BIGGEST difference. When we put her into her crate at night, we turn this on to ocean sounds - we actually have been finding it quite calming ourselves - and she has been sleeping almost completely through the night since day 1. I heard so many horror stories of puppies that cry all night like babies, and getting a sound machine can save you so much pain and suffering.

We chose this portable model from Hatch because it not only was it the best looking, it's portable and easy to take with us anywhere we might take her, USB rechargeable, and just works with holding down a single button. We've also been using this device as we've been practicing leaving her alone in her playpen for a hour at a time, and found that it helps keep her calm and not cry out for us, opposed to the times when we've left her without it. Of everything, THIS is the only you should get - the difference in sleep and puppy's comfort would be worth it at even a much higher price.

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2. A cozy blanket to bring her home

Extra Large Fleece Throw Blanket

This blanket will become hers permanently, so we went out and bought an inexpensive fresh one for her to use. We cuddled her up in the blanket to comfort her as soon as we put her in our car - and she fell right asleep in our arms. When we arrived home, we placed that same blanket into her crate, and she walked herself right in a couple hours later - we assume that from the familiar smell, she was already associating that it was hers. I would highly recommend this method!

These super cozy microfleece blankets come in 20 colors, to match every vibe and are less than $15.

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3. A Small Crate

Small Dog Crate with Double Doors

Everything we read recommended starting crate training from Day 1, so your puppy will always know and get comfortable with her crate. We started with a simple, inexpensive one like this, and draped a blanket over top to make it cozier. In the day, we leave the blanket off the door side so she can go in and out and use her bed for naps, and when it is bedtime, we pull the blanket completely over to create a cozy den. Dogs are naturally den animals and innately drawn to find a protected place to sleep. 

To get your puppy to like their crate more, you can put some toys in, and scatter kibble and a few treats around the crate and in the blanket for them to find - it really helps create a positive association for them. 

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Kindtail Modern Collapsible Crate

After a bit of time, we upgraded to a more stylish Kindtail Crate, which is designed to fit in with your home decor as a more permanent bed for your dog. These also break down flat very easily so you can take it with you anytime you travel with your pup - we love ours! 

4. A Cozy Bed For Their Crate

24 Inch Pet Fleece Bed

Don't forget to get a cozy bed for your dog's crate! Most don't come with one, and they need a soft, cushioned place to curl up, sleep and feel comfortable.

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5. High Quality Dry Puppy Food

Royal Canin Dry Puppy Food

Obviously, puppies need to eat from day 1, so you will want to have some food on hand as an essential. Many breeders or shelters will give you some of the food they are currently eating to take with you, and it is recommended to start mixing your preferred food in and slowly transition them, as puppies can have very sensitive stomachs and going straight to a different food can sometimes upset them. 

Our vet recommended to stick with kibble (and mix in some wet food because they love it - we get ours from the same brand) for the first few months, and not start her on a fresh food diet until she is older. Our vet highly recommended a puppy formula to give them the right balance of nutrients, and specifically mentioned Royal Canin as a great brand to start with. Our dog loves it!

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6. A Bowl Mat to Contain Messes

 Stainless Steel Dog Bowls with Silicone Mat

A friend recommended this and we were grateful she did! Puppies are very messy eaters, and at every meal food and water get splashed everywhere. This exact mat and bowl set is inexpensive and keeps about 97% of the mess easily contained.

When she grows up and learns not to make a mess of a dinner, I am very excited to upgrade to more aesthetic dog bowls

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7. A Play Pen She Can't Jump Out Of

Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Playpen

With a new puppy, it is important to keep them contained to encourage potty training and keep both the puppy and your house safe - and most of us can't watch them every second of the day. We bought this exact playpen (which comes in different heights for different sized dogs) and began using it from Day 1. 

I typically leave this set up in my office next to my desk so she can be next to me but not immediately with me during the workday and it has been working great. After the first week, we started leaving her in this playpen (with her dogbed, blanket, toys, and dry food and water) for 30 minutes to 2 hours at a time, to make sure she doesn't develop separation anxiety and learns to soothe and entertain herself, without having to confine her to her crate. Without this playpen I would be significantly less productive! 

You can also repurpose this pen as a gate to block off certain areas of your house to let your dog begin to roam a little more without freely running around the hosue.

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8. An Assortment of Teething Chew Toys

Nylabone Puppy Triple Pack Teething Toy

We got our puppy at 12 weeks, and she was already teething like crazy and wanting to nibble on everything, and we constantly need to distract her with toys so she doesn't chew on our fingers or anything else she can find. This three pack of teething toys was a great purchase and progresses as she gets old (we're saving the last edible bone for when she gets her adult teeth later in the year) - and the pink starter one has been her number 1 toy so far. 

Our dog has also been super into this stuffed parrot plushie and chasing mini tennis balls!

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9. Training Treats for Puppies

Buddy Biscuits Training Bites Dog Treats

The last essential on our list! To have a well trained dog, it's so important to start working on training from the first day, but it can be challenging not to overfeed small puppies with treats. These exact training treats are the lowest calorie option I found (and I can still break them into two pieces to make them even smaller), and the ones our dog likes the most. Not to body-shame our dogs with calorie counts, but small dog breeds need a surprisingly low amount of calories to get to and maintain their ideal weight - for puppies it is around 400-500 in a day and for adult small dogs, their daily needs can be less than 300, so treats can add up quickly. For larger breeds, you have more flexibility with their daily food needs.

We use these regularly for potty training and starting to learn basic commands and she has never gotten tired of them - there are a few other kinds we have that she is significantly less interested in - while it's good to have a variety of treats for your dog, to start out this pack is affordable, enjoyable, and does the job. 

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Bonus: A Membership to Modern Animal Veterinary Clinic

If you live in Los Angeles, Orange County, SF Bay Area, Greater Austin, Dallas Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix or Denver, I cannot recommend Modern Animal enough. A friend referred us the day we brought our puppy home and we have been using their services for everything. In short, Modern Animal is an app-based membership vet and pet urgent care, where an annual membership fee covers unlimited vet visits and urgent care visits, and a 24 hour a day live chat to ask questions. We luckily haven't had to use the urgent care of chat features yet, but just taking our puppy to them for her initial puppy check up and follow up with shots two weeks later would have cost more at a standard vet than the annual fee .

Membership is $200, but you can get $50 off if you Use my code REFER50-32ZGJ, making the entire year $150. I don't have a lot of experience with vets, but multiple friends have mentioned how much more time the vets here take with their dogs, and our first experiences have been great!

Get the Modern Animal app here.

She's a happy little girl ◡̈