New Pet Owner Checklist: Top Ten Tips - The Trupanion Blog
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New Pet Owner Checklist: Top Ten Tips

Discover what you need to know with this new pet owner checklist.

Before bringing a furry friend home, a new pet owner checklist may help prepare you so you have exactly what you need when you first bring home your new pet.

With the excitement of bringing home your new pet for the first time, it might be easy to forget an essential item or two. Besides everyday items like food and water, some checklist items might be dependent on what type of pet, like a dog or cat, or whether you have a puppy or a loving senior.

So before you pick up your new best friend, check out this new pet owner checklist for the must-have items to have ready for your special day.

New pet owner checklist: ten must-have items

A new pet owner checklist can help assist bringing a new kitten into your home. Preparation is key.

1. Comfy bed

Moving to a new home can be tiring for the entire family. Your new pet is going to want a comfy warm place to curl up and rest after they’ve explored their new home. By having a comfy bed all ready for them, there’s no doubt they’ll feel right at home in an instant.

2. Tasty treats

A great way for your pet to become familiar with their new home is to provide some tasty treats for encouragement. You want this initial bonding time with your pet and their new home to be a positive experience, and some snacks can assist your pet feeling more comfortable in their new surroundings.

3. Collar and pet identification tag

A wonderful way to officially welcome your pet into the family is to have a collar and pet identification tag all set and ready when you pick up your furry friend. Also, as an added security measure it’s best to have your collar on your pet at all times. Certainly, a new pet owner checklist must-have!

4. The basics

Basic necessities might be easily missed in the rush to go pick up your new furry friend. Also, by having basic items such as food and water bowls, litter boxes, litter, doggy bags, harness, and puppy pads all accessible, it’s more time you have to focus on settling in with your new forever friend. You definitely don’t want to run out of puppy pads or doggy bags with a new puppy in the household.

5. Enrichment toys

Interactive play is a way to bond with your new best friend. Also, using enrichment toys can help with mental, physical, and mental stimulation. In addition, any pets exhibiting stress or anxiety due to an environmental change can benefit from the use of enrichment toys to re-focus and reduce the pressure.

6. Pet furniture

Your furry friends need furniture to relax on, just like we do. Also, pet furniture can be a way for pets to release stress, such as a cat tree or cat scratching post. Essentially, a cat scratching post can provide a healthy way for your cat to scratch and play, without scratching up your own furniture.


As a new pet owner, it is increasingly important to do your research in regards to your new pet. For instance, what if you need to take your kitten to the emergency room or need a last-minute dog sitter. Certainly, by having the resources available at your fingertips, it can lessen the stress of the situation. Consider adding your veterinary and local emergency clinic to your phone contacts. In addition, apps like Wag! and Sniffspot are valuable resources for dog-related services such as dog walking and safe play spaces. Take time to consider the type of pet you are bringing home, and what works best for your lifestyle.


You want nothing more than to keep your pets safe, healthy, and happy. Consider having a safety plan in place, before picking up your new pet. For example, items like gates, crates, and pet-tech devices can allow for a safe and fun pet space while you’re away from home. Definitely, a new pet owner checklist would not be complete without some pet tech adding safety precautions. For an additional resource on entertaining your pet while you’re away, check this out.


Pet-proofing your home is absolutely necessary if you have a new puppy or kitten. Certainly, the last thing you want is to discover your new puppy has chewed through something and results in a trip to the emergency room. Consider taking the week prior to your new pet’s arrival, to map out each room and identify any trouble-spots that your pet could encounter. Also, always keep trash cans tucked away to avoid any hungry furry friends. Certainly, a fundamental new pet owner checklist item to include.

10. Protection for your pet

Part of being a responsible pet owner is properly protecting and caring for your furry friends. In addition, your pets may have a habit of getting in accidents or becoming sick, sometimes without any notice. Certainly, you want to provide the best care possible for your pet, so consider giving your pet the gift of medical insurance.

New pet owner checklist: providing the best for all

Following a new pet owner checklist can help empower you to take the best care of your pet but also helps you plan for the new responsibility of becoming a new pet owner. Amidst the stress, excitement, and anxiety of bringing home a new addition, it can help you stay on track and pinpoint additional resources to consider when caring for your furry friend.

What are some of the items you would include in the new pet owner checklist when bringing home a furry family member?

For more on pet adoption, read I Adopted a Dog during COVID-19 (and here’s What I learned)

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