Category: Tips & Tricks

How to Be #1 New Pet Parent: Puppy Checklist

So, you’re a new pet parent, eh?! Well, let us be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS! You are about to embark on a wonderfully rewarding journey.

Dogs are the companions we honestly don't deserve! They don't judge and they see us for who we truly are. Our love for pets is the entire reason we do what we do at Ryan's Pet Supplies!

Adding a new member to your family is such an exciting experience but can be daunting if you aren’t sure what you might need. Well, fret not because at Ryan’s Pet Supplies, our mission is to take care of people that take care of pets (and that includes you now!). We have created a checklist to make sure you have all the things you need to become #1 Dog Mom or Dad. Let's go over all of the things that you will need to set course on this whole "New Pet Parent" adventure.

Click here for a downloadable Puppy Checklist.


Wire Crate with Dividers

First things first, your new puppy will need a crate for potty training. You can purchase a wire crate with a divider – this allows the dog to grow into their cage. It is recommended that your dog only have enough room to sit up and turn around and the divider allows you to adjust the size of the crate without purchasing more than one. We also recommend that you feed your dog in their crate so that they associate good feelings with their crate or kennel.

Plastic Vari Kennels

We also carry kennels for traveling with or transporting your pet. These can also be used in place of wire crates once your fur baby is grown or if you prefer this type of crate to a wire kennel.



Pillow Beds, Plush Beds, & Orthopedic Beds

Every new pup needs a bed to call their own! There are all sorts of different bed shapes and sizes to fit your pet. Pillow beds are a great place to start. These beds come in a variety of colors and sizes. For those pups that like to snuggle and be kings or queens of darkness, there are cave beds. To ensure the ultimate comfort, there are many options when it comes to orthopedic beds that help bolster your pet and reduce any joint inflammation.


Coolaroo Outdoor Beds

if you and your new pup like to be outdoors, we carry Coolaroo outdoor dog beds to keep your pet off the hot or cold ground while they’re lounging.

Kennel Mats & Kennel Pads

Don’t forget to get a comfy mat to put in their wire crate or kennel.


Stainless Steel Dishes & Buckets

You will need something to feed and water your new fur baby. Stainless steel dishes are a great option because they are resistant to rust and bacteria.

Decorative Bowls

If you are looking for something fashionable, there’s a number of decorative crock bowls and elevated dishes that will match your home.

Feeders & Waterers

For dogs that are free fed, there are also feeders and waterers that will keep your pet happy and hydrated for longer periods of time. Waterers and coop cups are also great options if you will be kenneling your dog during the day. Coop cups and waterers ensure that your pet always has access to food and water in their kennel.

Slow-Feed Bowls

For those fur babies that eat their food too fast, slow-feeders are a great way to help your pet avoid bloat and slowly digest their food.



If you’re like us, one of the most exciting part about welcoming this new member into your family is customizing their collar and leash! There are a variety of collars to choose from. There are many colors and styles to choose from when it comes to basic adjustable collars. These are great options for puppies as it allows the collar to grow with your pup. Leather collars are also a great option and do not pull or tug on the fur. Whatever collar you choose, don’t forget to get an ID tag with your name and phone number on it. In the event that your pet gets out, you will be easy to contact. We also recommend that you microchip your pet. Any pet microchip can be registered at Found Animals. If the pet turns up at the vet or the pound, they can scan your pet, see that they are not a stray, and easily contact you.


Of course, you will need a leash for all your new adventures! There are a variety of leashes that you can choose from such as chain, leather, nylon, reflectiverope, traffic, and training.


Harnesses are great for training and we also recommend using them to buckle your pet in when you’re driving around.

Wireless Training

You can set up wireless containment systems for your home to keep your pet in your yard. There are additional collars if you’d like to add another pet to the system.

Training Collars

Training collars can be used to help with tugging and pulling while walking. There are also bark control collars that are useful to prevent unnecessary barking.

Pet Gates

Chances are there are some rooms you would like to keep your puppo away from. There are a variety of pet gates available that include decorative gates, pressure mounting gates (to avoid putting holes in the wall), and extra wide gates that allow you to block off a double door.

No – Chew Spray

It is widely known that puppies love to chew, whether it be from teething or from boredom. Keep them away from furniture, carpet, and more with anti-chew spray. These types of sprays make the item(s) in question less enticing by making them bitter or less palatable to your pet.

House-training Pads

Puppy pads are great to keep on hand. Place in your pet’s crate or kennel to make accident clean up more convenient. Housebreaking pads are also useful to for traveling or when puppy can’t make it overnight.

Training Treats

Positive reinforcement with treats and rewards is the best way to quickly train your pet! We have a variety of training treats at Ryan’s. There are cookie/biscuit type treats and meat treats that are sure to delight your new fur babe.


Bathing & Grooming

Shampoo & Conditioner

Puppies get into all sorts of things! You can count on them needing a bath especially while they are learning. We recommend a hypoallergenicshampoo or a puppy shampoo since puppy skin is more sensitive. You can switch to a different type of dog shampoo or conditioners based on their skin and coat conditioner when they’re older.

Ear Cleaner

Depending on the ear type, some dogs experience trouble with ear infections. You can help prevent ear infections by regular cleaning with ear cleaner and ear wipes. Ear powder also maintains pH and keeps your pet safe from bacterial build up. If you notice an unpleasant odor or see a lot of crusty brown, it might be time to take your pet to the vet for a full-on ear cleaning and inspection.

Dental Care & Toothbrushes

Dental care leads to healthier pets overall! Bacterial build up in the mouth can pass to the rest of the body and cause all sorts of internal issues. Protect your pet with regular brushing. There are toothbrushes that make brushing easier like our Paw Brothers Finger Brushes. Choose a pet toothpaste from a variety of flavors. Finally, you can keep your pet’s breath fresh with water additives or pet dental sprays. Get ready for fresh kisses!

Grooming Tools

Nail Care

Whether you have decided to adopt a long-hair or a short-hair dog, your pup will require some sort of routine maintenance. One thing every dog will require is nail trimming every 2-4 weeks. There are plenty of nail clippers ranging from regular clippers to guillotine style nail clippers available. If you are not comfortable with trying to clip your pup’s nails, then a good alternative is a nail grinder. If puppo doesn’t like to have his or her nails touched, you could invest in a nail grooming hammock which enables you to suspend your dog while you trim their nails. In the event that you make a mistake and cut the quick (blood vessel in your dog's nail), make sure you have some styptic powderon hand. This will quickly clot the bleeding. If you are too nervous to cut your pup’s nails (which is perfectly fine), both vets and groomers offer nail trimming services.


There are many brushes available on the market. You can ask the animal home or breeder that you adopted from what type of coat your dog has. A groomer will also be able to tell you and recommend specific tools for your coat.

Pin brushes are good to use on any coat to get rid of tangles and snarls from long-coated breeds. Slicker brushes and greyhound combs will also be instrumental in removing tangles from double-coated and long-coated dogs. Basic brushing for short-coated dogs includes rubber brushes that help remove dander and dead hair.

Shedding Tools

Short hair breeds will require a short hair deshedding brushes. For long hair breeds, there are a variety of tools to help with shedding including coat breakers (for removing mats), rakes(to remove undercoat), and shedding blades (for removing bulk from the undercoat). Shedding blades can be used on both long and short hair.

Pet Hair Clippers

If you are so inclined, you can learn how to groom your own dog. Clippersare good to keep on hand to shave your dog or keep their coat a specific length. If you choose to groom your dog, we recommend you watch some educational grooming videos beforehand. Many are shocked by the price tag of clippers and try to use trimmers to groom their dog. We do not recommend this as trimmers are mainly for cleaning paws and sanitary areas and are not up to the task of a full groom.

Shears & Thinners

It is easy to injure your pet with shears and thinners and should therefore be approached with caution. We recommend shears from PerfectGroom or ComfortSharp. If you’d like to keep some shears on hand to tidy your pet up that is perfectly fine, however we recommend that you view some educational videos before attempting.


Poo Clean-Up

Ahh, the dreaded poop clean-up. If you have a yard, you’re certainly going to need a pooper scooper and you might want to think about some yard clean up products such as NatureVet GrassSaver Biscuits or Spot Repair. Both help to repair yellow spots. If you don’t have a yard, or you take your dog on a lot of walks, you’ll be needing some poo bags. The last thing you want is to be called out for not picking up after your pet (plus animal waste can transmit disease).

Stain Remover & Deodorizer

Accidents happen and that’s fine, we expect it with puppies! Keep the stink at bay with stain and odor remover. Our most popular stain and odor remover is the Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer for Dogs which breaks down the bacteria that cause unpleasant pee pee odor.

Kennel Disinfectant

Don’t forget to frequently clean and sterilize your pet’s kennel and other areas. Our Paw Brothers Disinfectants kills over 90 pathogens and viruses (including COVID-19, canine influenza, parvovirus, HIV-1, rabies, herpes, staph, salmonella, and more. One gallon of this concentrated disinfectant makes 256 gallons! All disinfectants that we carry can be found here.

Toys & Chews

In all honesty, one of the most fun parts of being a new pet owner is picking out TOYS! There are so many to choose from and you can really express yourself through the toys you choose for your pup to play with. Depending on your new pup’s size and energy level you will quickly learn which toys make the cut and which don’t.

Plush/Stuffed Toys

For gentle pups that like to snuggle, plush and stuffed toys are a sure way to win their hearts. If your pup likes to rip stuffing out, no worries – there are also a variety of low-stuffing/no-stuffing toys.

Nylon/Rope Toys

For dogs that like to chew and tug, rope toys are a fun way to increase pet-owner bonding and release energy. They also typically hold up better to tough chewers than stuffed toys.

Hard Rubber

Probably one of the most recognizable dog toy brands, KONG offer a variety of rubber toys for puppies, hard chewers, and senior dogs. Most KONG rubber toys can be stuffed with treats or peanut butter to keep dogs entertained. We also carry a variety of other rubber toys that are sure to entertain.

Interactive Toys

Provide additional enrichment to your pet’s life with puzzles, interactive toys and treat-dispensing toys. Add in some of their favorite treats to make a fun puzzle for them to figure out.

Bones & Dog Chews

We carry a variety of long-lasting treats that your pet will love. Rawhide, bully, and pig ears and bones, hooves, and antlers are a natural way to encourage chewing. Lastly, if you’re turned off by rawhide, there are plenty of rawhide alternatives. Please always supervise your pet when they are chewing on something.


Phew! Well that was a lot of information and you are likely overwhelmed, so we created this entire checklist in an easy downloadable form. You can use this checklist to help get everything ready for your newest family member.

Again, let us say congratulations to you and assist you in welcoming this fluffy bundle of joy to your life. The mission of Ryan’s Pet Supplies is to take care of people that take care of pets and now that you have joined the ranks of “Pet Parents” we want you to know that we are here for you. You can always reach out to us with your questions by calling 1-800-525-7387.

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for fun giveaways, pet humor, and more.