We’ll help you navigate the exciting journey into pet parenthood with helpful tips, shopping checklists and more!

Welcome home

Adding a dog to your family is a fun-filled occasion that can also raise a lot of questions. Be sure you're prepared by taking the right steps before and after bringing them home.

  • Before coming home
  • the first few days

Set up the essentials

Set up your dog’s space, including their food and water bowls, bed and crate.

Dog-proof your home

Dog-proof your home by picking up objects such as shoes and removing toxic plants from inside and outside the home.

Research their food

Ask what food your dog has been eating so you can continue feeding the same or transition slowly to a new brand.

Check for health concerns

Ask about any special health concerns the shelter or breeder is aware of regarding your new pet. If you suspect any issues, contact a vet.

Make their crate familiar

Get your dog used to their crate for short periods of time at first, and build from there.

Don’t skip potty breaks

Accidents happen. Take your new dog outside frequently, and clean up thoroughly inside to prevent smell triggers.

Keep an eye on habit changes

A change in eating or bathroom habits may occur. If it lasts more than one day, consult a veterinarian.

Introduce them slowly

Take your time introducing a new dog to family members andother pets.

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New dog checklist

We’re to help with the essentials your new dog will need. Get started below.

How to pick the right-sized crate for your dog

The perfect crate will let your dog lie down and turn around comfortably while having extra head space when sitting or standing.

Step 1:

Measure length

Measure your dog from the tip of their nose the base of their tail while they are standing.

Step 2:

Measure height

Measure your dog from the top of their head to the floor while they are sitting.

Step 3:

Add inches

Add four inches to your dog’s length and height, then use these measurements to pick a crate.

Step 2: Serve up the right nutrition

Start with dry or wet food, then make sure to add tasty treats to their bowl to tie it all together.

Dry Food

Wet Food


Food & Water Bowls

  • Dry Food
  • Wet Food
  • Treats
  • Food & Water Bowls
Right Food Finder on phone


Answer a few simple questions in our NEW Right Food Finder to find the right food for your dog’s unique needs.

Step 3: Good to go

There are plenty of choices when it comes to supplies to match your dog’s personality, energy level and specific needs.




ID Tags

  • Collars
  • Leashes
  • Harnesses
  • ID Tags

Pet parenting made easy

Discover plans that help make caring for your pet easier—and more rewarding.

Petco Vital Care

Routine wellness
made affordable

Routine care makes a lifelong difference. Our experts developed an annual plan dedicated to your pet’s wellness needs with savings on full-service grooming visits, routine vet exams and more for $19 a month.*

Enroll Now

*Annual commitment required.

Petco Protect

Trusted insurance protection from pet experts

From accidents to illnesses, be ready for anything with insurance coverage that helps ensure you don’t have to choose between quality care for your pet and paying your bill.

Get A Free Quote

Petco Pay

Meet the credit
card for pet lovers

Earn 8% back¹ in Pals Rewards at Petco plus get 20% off your first purchase⁴ when you use your Petco Pay credit card the same day you open an account.

Learn More

Services that support their health

We are your one-stop destination for everything you and your new friend need to enjoy a happy, successful life together.

Training classes

We offer positive reinforcement classes online and in store to support your dog’s total well-being.

Learn More

Vet services

We are committed to delivering compassionate vet care with a broad range of affordable, personalized solutions.

Find a Vet


The grooming destination that puts your pet’s health first with personalized solutions.

Learn More

Training takes positivity

We believe in the power of positive reinforcement training, guided by expert tested methods meant to build trust and support your dog’s physical, social, and mental health.


Puppyhood is hard.

PupBox makes it easier.

Toys, treats and training guides customized for your puppy and delivered monthly.

New dog tips and tricks from the experts

Set yourself up for success with these useful resources.

How to potty train a puppy: Tips for new pet parents

Read More

How to transition your dog or cat to a new food

Read More

Dog behavior training: 12 habits to change

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

If you're welcoming home a new puppy, having the right supplies on hand will help you both feel more comfortable. We recommend the following puppy products: puppy food, puppy treats and food and water bowls, potty pads, waste bags and cleanup products; toys; a collar, harness, ID tag and leash; a crate; a bed; puppy shampoo and appropriate grooming tools.

Whether you've adopted or are welcoming an older dog into your family, there are a few essential supplies that will help your new dog feel right at home. We recommend getting dog food, dog treats and food and water bowls; waste bags and cleanup products; toys, including interactive puzzle toys; a collar, harness, ID tag and leash; a crate; a bed; shampoo and appropriate grooming tools.

Entering a new environment can be overwhelming for a new dog or puppy. Meeting new people, smelling new things and experiencing a new environment can be overwhelming, so if you can plan to have the first full day at home with your new pooch, that would be best. To help them make the transition to their new space, start by creating a welcoming space before they arrive. Be sure to at least have a comfortable bed, size-appropriate crate, some toys and food and water bowls. When they come home, allow them to explore their new home under supervision, taking it one space at a time. Keep new meetings, of both people and other pets, to a minimum until they begin to gain confidence.

How quickly a dog bonds with their pet parent will differ for each dog. However, you can help build trust and forge a bond by spending more time with your dog through playtime (both indoors and outside), giving them treats (ensure treats do not make up more than 10% of their overall diet) and training them.

It’s best to keep your dog in a crate in your bedroom for the first few nights. This helps establish important boundaries while also letting your puppy know that you are nearby should they need you. Crate training can also help with the potty training process.

Many factors will impact how long your puppy can hold their bladder. To reduce the likelihood of nighttime accidents, try crate training your puppy so they can tell you when they need to go. Be sure to reduce their food and water intake right before bedtime and take them outside right before they go to sleep. Within a few months, you'll notice your pup being able to go longer stretches before needing to go outside.

Puppies who are 10 weeks old or younger will likely need to wake up in the night to go to the bathroom and, if left to their own devices, may decide the middle of the night is a great playtime! However, by beginning crate training early, your pup will be more likely to associate time in their crate with rest time, only waking you up when they need a potty break.

Before bringing home your puppy, be sure to stock up on the basics like puppy food, puppy treats and food and water bowls, potty pads, waste bags and cleanup products; toys; a collar, harness, ID tag and leash; a crate; a bed; puppy shampoo and appropriate grooming tools.

You'll also want to consider booking their remaining vaccinations with a veterinarian and looking into dog training options.