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New Puppy Shopping List: Shop for the Essentials Before Bringing Your New Puppy Home

Updated: Apr 16

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goldendoodle australian shepherd aussiedoodle standard poodle on a walk
A well-dressed pack, ready for adventure

Getting your home ready for a new puppy will require some up-front investment, but invest in the right supplies and you will have a much easier time helping your puppy adjust in his new home.

This new puppy shopping list covers all of the essentials. The items on this list should be purchased before you bring your new puppy home. That is because you will need all of these items the second your puppy sets foot into your home!

We have split our shopping list into several different blog articles because it's just too much information for one post.

Below you will find links to all of our shopping list articles. Scroll down more and you will find a table of contents for this article so that you can skip to whatever section you would like.

New Puppy Shopping Lists

Table of Contents

Click on a section to view the items in that section.

Food & nutrition

High-Quality Puppy Food

tlc whole life puppy food for goldendoodles

The first investment you should make is in your puppy's nutrition. When you purchase a Rebecca Creek Retriever puppy you are investing in great genetics and initial health. However, once you bring your puppy home it is up to you to uphold the same standards we have set in place.

Do not underestimate the importance of a high-quality diet for your puppy for life. We feed and recommend TLC dog food because we know it is one of the best kibble formulas available today.

You should order at least one bag of TLC Whole Life Puppy Food to make the transition from our home to yours as smooth as possible.

tlc dog and puppy food for rebecca creek retrievers

Immune system support

nuvet labs for rebecca creek retrievers

We've already mentioned that we should never underestimate the importance of a high-quality diet for the life of your puppy. With that comes a need for immune system support that commercial, shelf-stable dog food diets cannot provide.

We use and recommend NuVet Plus because we know that this supplement offers high-quality immune system support as well as supplies your puppy with nutrients that fight inflammation.

nuvet plus powder for goldendoodles

We use and recommend both the powder and the wafer, and it is up to you which you choose. The powder makes a great food topper and has an irresistible taste. Mix with a little water and plain canned pumpkin and you can make a super-yummy gravy.

The wafers are equally delicious and our puppies think that they're treats! These are easy to administer on the go. So you can see that both the powder and wafer are simple to use and puppies love the taste of both.

nuvet plus wafers for goldendoodles

Food & water bowls

First, please do not use raised food and water bowls. These bowls are sometimes believed to prevent a condition called bloat. However, there is no substantial evidence available that supports this and in fact, there is evidence that shows that raised food and water bowls can increase the risk of bloat.

We recommend stainless steel or ceramic bowls for everyday use. Sturdy, heavy-duty bowls will last a lifetime.

We also recommend keeping a slow-feed bowl on hand. You should use this bowl if your puppy scarfs down his food, or use it a few times a week to give your puppy some mental stimulation while eating.

Food storage container

Your TLC Whole Life Puppy Food will come in a high-quality resealable bag. This is one of the best places you can keep your puppy's food—right inside the bag that it is delivered in! Pet food bags are specially designed to keep the food fresh and properly kept.

However, depending on where you store the food, you may want a more protective container so that your puppy or other pets are not tempted to tear the dog food bag open.

In this case, we recommend choosing a hard, fully enclosed container.


We have never been a big fan of giving our puppies and dogs lots of treats. Do you know why? Because dog treats are often the dog version of human junk food.

You can also help your puppy develop bad habits if you use treats inappropriately during training, or if you use treats to bribe or comfort your puppy.

Our very favorite treats to give as special bonuses now and then are things that you can get from the grocery store. Start giving these things to your puppy while he is young so that he doesn't develop a taste for puppy junk food (commercial treats) instead:

  • Baby carrots

  • Blueberries

  • Sliced apple

  • Frozen green beans

  • Plain Cheerios

We feel that treats should serve at least one of two purposes-

  1. They should offer some sort of nutritional or physical benefit, such as teeth-cleaning properties or perhaps joint or immune support.

  2. They should be a way to bond with your pet, rather than to bribe them to do something.

In our home treats are given at bedtime when dogs get inside their crates for the night. During the day, our dogs are given hard, natural things to chew on and healthy treats from time to time such as frozen blueberries or raw carrots.

TLC makes wonderful, everyday dog biscuits. They are healthy and affordable, and you can order them with your puppy food.

tlc whole life dog puppy biscuits treats

We prefer any treat that is a limited ingredient or single ingredient. For example, freeze-dried treats are a healthy choice as they are often made from just meat and vegetables.

Avoid treats that contain a ton of ingredients, especially ingredients that have names you can't easily pronounce. Feeding junk to your puppy will not only help him develop bad habits, but it will not serve his health well in the long run.

Training treats

While your puppy is young, we recommend using his TLC Whole Life Puppy Food as treats! The little pieces of kibble are just the right size for training treats.

Young puppies are always hungry, therefore, using their kibble for training is a perfect way to avoid junk foods and keep your shopping list simple.

If you ever find that your puppy becomes bored of his kibble during training, it's time to upgrade your treats! Again, stick with all-natural limited ingredient options when possible. Training treats need to be very tiny, or easy to break into tiny pieces.

If you're using puppy kibble, you can place a small handful into your pocket. If you're using either training treats, we recommend getting a treat pouch. We prefer silicone options because they're easy to clean.

Household containment

Crate for sleeping

We highly recommend crate training your puppy. We start this training for you before your puppy leaves us. It's truly a shame to skip out on crate training your puppy so please plan to get a crate and use it.

Crates keep your puppy safe when you can't supervise them. Crates also give your puppy a safe and quiet space to rest.

When your puppy is older, you may still want to put them in their crate when you're not able to supervise them. It is safe and it should become a place of comfort and tranquility for your dog.

Wire crates are a great option for inside the home, as they collapse and store easily. We recommend a 36-inch crate size for our Aussiedoodles and a 42-inch crate size for our Goldendoodles. We prefer wire crates with double doors

Collars should be removed from your puppy or dog at all times while inside a crate or kennel. Collars can get caught on parts of the crate or kennel and cause serious injury or death by strangulation.

Plastic crates are also a suitable option for the home but are an exceptional option for car travel. Plastic crates provide a higher level of containment, privacy, and safety.

Do you travel often? Want the BEST OF THE BEST? Get a Gunner kennel.

Your retriever will most likely need an Intermediate sized kennel as an adult.

We do not recommend large, plush beds inside your puppy's crate. Typically, Goldendoodles and Aussiedoodles prefer to lay on the plastic tray that comes with the crate because they tend to get hot with all of their fur.

If you would like to try out a bed inside the crate, we recommend something low-profile. We are huge fans of Wash N' Zip Pet Beds. These beds unzip and unfold into blankets, and they wash in your washing machine nicely.

They last forever if you care for them properly.

Be sure to get a puppy proofer cover! Puppies love to chew on the zippers.

Use our exclusive discount code RCR to receive 15% off of your order.

wash n zip pet bed for goldendoodles

Playpen set-up for semi-supervised use

While it is not a necessity, a well-designed playpen setup will certainly make potty training and puppyhood much easier!

This complete setup includes:

  1. A playpen to contain your puppy when you want him to have room to play, rather than putting him in his crate to nap.

  2. A waterproof pad to protect your flooring in case of accidents.

  3. A re-useable potty tray for potty training.

  4. A few special toys that your puppy can only play with while in the play pen.

Puppy playpen

We do not recommend wire playpens as they are often unstable and flimsy. We recommend North States Petyards and we use them ourselves inside our home and on field trips!

These yards are very stable and durable, and they're easy to move around and travel with! We move these all around our home while puppies are weaning, and we bring them with us on field trips because they're so simple to set up and they keep puppies safe.

We recommend a petyard that has 6-8 panels. The pet door addition could be useful but we don't feel it's necessary.

Waterproof pad

The waterproof pad is recommended to protect your floor in case your puppy has an accident while in the playpen. Make sure the pad is larger than the pen so that the puppy cannot pull up the corners of the pad and make a mess.

Re-useable potty tray

Finally, we recommend giving your puppy a spot to use the bathroom inside the playpen. We only recommend this for the first few weeks home, as your puppy will be able to hold it for longer periods by 12-16 weeks of age.

We like this large plastic potty tray and the pads linked below fit fairly well inside. We like the "XL" size.

Baby gates

Use baby gates to block any stairs in your home, as stairs are not good for the joint development of young puppies.

Use baby gates to block off any areas of the home where you do not want your puppy to wander, such as children's bedrooms where there are plenty of things for the puppy to get into. Additionally, use baby gates to contain your puppy in the same area or room as you!

Bed for supervised use and training

If you would like for your puppy to develop a habit of "going to his place," this can be most easily accomplished with a bed that can be easily moved around and placed wherever you are.

For this we love raised pet beds. They stay clean and our doodles love the ones made with mesh material because it keeps them cool. They are lightweight and easy to move around. They are great for traveling because they keep your puppy up off of the ground if it's cold or wet.

a woman sitting on the ground next to a goldendoodle puppy laying on a kuranda pet bed
Liza with a Goldendoodle puppy on a Kuranda pet bed.

We use and recommend Kuranda pet beds. The PVC beds are a long-lasting, durable option. The aluminum frame beds last a lifetime.

kuranda pet beds for goldendoodles

Walking Gear


A properly fitted, high-quality harness is a solid investment for your new puppy. There are many different options on the market and choosing the right harness can be daunting.

We recommend using a harness for securing your dog on a leash rather than a collar. A properly fitted harness offers a much higher level of comfort and safety for your dog than a collar.

Harnesses do not encourage dogs to pull on the leash. Loose-leash walking is a skill that dogs aqcuires through proper training, not through the use of particular equipment.

Here is some info on how to choose a harness that will be most comfortable for your dog:

We recommend Ruffwear for the best-fitting, longest-lasting gear.

Your new puppy will need an X-Small in the Front Range® Dog Harness style. Your puppy will outgrow this harness in a few months and most likely need a Small as an adult.


We love Ruffwear's Switchbak™ Multi-Function Dog Leash because of its durability and functionality.

We do not recommend retractable leashes! These leashes can be very dangerous if not used correctly. You can lose control of your dog very easily on a long line such as these, and the line can quickly wrap around people or other animals and cause serious bodily harm.

If you will be using the tether-training method with your puppy for potty training and house training, please be sure to monitor your puppy so that they do not chew up a brand-new leash!


In general, we do not recommend the use of collars. Your puppy will come microchipped and this is a sound form of permanent identification.

Collars can pose serious safety threats to dogs.

  • We do not recommend using collars for walking, as the pressure applied to a dog's neck is not comfortable for the animal.

  • Dogs playing together can become entangled in each other's collars, causing strangulation or other injuries.

  • Dogs can become entangled in their own collar if it is fitted too loosely, causing a broken jaw.

  • Dogs can become stuck on fencing or other objects and succumb to strangulation or other injury.

The fact is, over the years, we have witnessed all of the above accidents. Luckily, we have not suffered any serious injuries or loss because we have been present during all of these instances. Had we not been present to help the dogs, the outcome could have been drastically different.

Dogs should NEVER wear collars inside wire crates. Strangulation and death can easily occur due to collars becoming hung on pieces of wire crates.


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