Essential Puppy Supplies

Do you have everything you need for your new puppy? Our useful puppy supplies checklist will make sure you do, leaving you to concentrate on important things like chilling out and enjoying your new Cocker Spaniel puppy.

Dog Supplies: The Very Basics!

At the very least, these are the basic supplies your puppy will need before you can bring your new puppy home.

Black and white sketch of essential puppy supplies for your Cocker Spaniel, bowl, chew toys, collar, brushes, treats.Basic puppy supplies for your new pet
  • Good quality puppy food,
  • Food and water bowls,
  • A friendly vet,
  • Puppy crate,
  • Comfortable bedding,
  • A grooming brush and comb,
  • Puppy toys,
  • Puppy collar and lead,
  • Identification tag,
  • A selection of training treats,
  • A poop scoop and doggie bags,
  • A reliable cleaning product to get rid of doggie smells which will stop your puppy peeing in the same place, your best rug for example.

Scroll down to see what additional dog supplies you'll need as your puppy gets a little older.

Puppy Supplies: Quality Food

It's essential that you have at least a small bag of good quality puppy food in store; it's probably the most important thing your puppy will need to help him grow strong and healthy and get off to a good start in life!

Your breeder will probably have given you a diet sheet and a small supply of carefully chosen puppy food.

A close up of good quality puppy kibble, essential for the development of a young puppy. Very colourful!Feed your puppy good quality kibble

I strongly recommend that you continue feeding your Cocker with this particular puppy food so that you don't interrupt his development or upset his little tummy.

However, if you decide to change brands later, check the ingredients label of the new brand to make sure your puppy is still getting the exact balance of nutrients his little body needs.

Don't change foods overnight otherwise you risk upsetting your puppy's delicate digestion. Instead, feed him with a mixture of both new and old, and gradually replace the old puppy food with the new.

This way, your pup won't notice any change in his diet and it will give his little tummy a chance to get used to his new food without upset.

Puppy Supplies: Food And Water Bowls

Two colourful puppy food bowls with bone shape in the bottom.Ideal food and water bowls for your new puppy

On our puppy supplies checklist you'll find a food bowl and a specially shaped bowl for your puppy's drinking water.

If possible, the sides of the water bowl should slope inwards so that the pup's long ears don't dangle in the water when he drinks.

Ceramic bowls are better than the light plastic ones as they can't be tipped over very easily.

Puppy Supplies: A Comfy Bed!

You might want to put off buying an expensive dog bed for your Cocker, at least until you've managed to control his chewing, otherwise you may come home one day to find that very expensive bed in shreds!

However, when your puppy has passed the chewing stage and you're ready to buy his 'Big Boy' bed, here's some useful info on choosing your dog's bed.

Of all the puppy supplies on this page, I'd say that vet bedding is the most useful. It's ideal for a young puppy!

Puppies chew! This puppy has chewed all the stuffing out of his teddy! The photo is taken against a pink background.Puppies chew so don't buy an expensive bed just yet!

It looks a little like a square of sheepskin, but it's a machine-washable thick pile made from strong polyester fibres which make it harder to chew, and as a bonus it's non-toxic, non-allergenic, and resistant to bacteria.

It also has a latex-coated open-weave backing which lets moisture through, keeping your puppy dry and you pick it up from any pet shop, or your vet may stock it. It can be expensive, but its strength and durability mean it can last for quite a long time. 

In addition to domestic use, it's also used in vet clinics to provide warmth and comfort for sick animals, or for those recovering from surgery.

You can get it cut to size and line your puppy's crate with it. I bought two pieces, one for use in Max's crate while the other was being washed, and nine years later they're still going strong!

When your puppy has been trained to chew his own chew toys you might then like to consider buying him his first 'big boy' dog bed.

Puppy Supplies: Grooming Tools

Your puppy's coat won't yet need the same grooming as an adult Cocker Spaniel, however, I recommend you begin brushing him and prepare him for grooming as early as possible.

A selection of grooming brushes for a Cocker Spaniel, photographed against a white background.Your puppy will need a couple of brushes

Gentle brushing will help your Cocker pup get used to the feel of a brush and a comb, of being handled frequently, and as a bonus, it will also help to keep his coat healthy and shining!

Regular grooming is especially important for adult Cocker Spaniels because their feathers are a magnet for burrs and twigs. Their coats need to be brushed often.

At the very least, when you return home from your walk, I recommend you check for (and of course remove) any vegetation stuck in his fur. Even better, if you've time, give him a quick brush down.

All you'll need for the moment is a soft puppy brush and perhaps a small metal comb, but as your puppy's coat and feathers develop you'll need a larger selection of grooming accessories.

Puppy Supplies: Puppy Toys

Your puppy will need some toys to play with and to chew on but make sure you buy the right size for him and check that they are suitable and safe for young puppies.

Every puppy needs a soft toy, for comfort, just like a baby uses a teddy bear.

Your pup will also need a couple of chew toys to help him with his teething and you might like to stretch his mind with a toy that drops small treats out of a ball, the trick is to learn how to roll the ball to get at the treat!

While Max was a puppy, I always preferred to stuff the Kongs with his kibble to ensure he had all the necessary nutrient a puppy would need.

Nowadays, I have several Kongs and I stuff them with either rice and lamb, or paste, rice and a little peanut butter (the possibilities are endless!) and Max loves them. It slows down his eating, which is good for his digestion and keeps him occupied for ages.

However, I always reduce the amount I feed Max when I give him a stuffed Kong. I don't want him to become overweight!

Tip: When buying from stores that offer discount pet supplies, check the quality of the product and really scrutinize it. The last thing you want to do is buy your puppy substandard toys or chews.

Puppy Supplies: Choosing A Friendly Vet

Hopefully your puppy won't need to visit the vet too often (other than for vaccinations and regular health checks), but you should take some time to choose a vet you feel comfortable with.

Do this well in advance of your puppy's arrival so that you can give the vet at least one weeks' notice of an appointment.

Most good breeders recommend that you arrange to have your puppy examined by your vet (usually within 24 hours of bringing him home) to check that he's healthy.

In the unlikely event that there's something wrong with your puppy, you may be entitled to a full refund or to choose another pup, depending on your contract with the breeder.

Before deciding which veterinary practice you're going to use, why not phone a couple of surgeries and ask to speak to one of their vets. If they're busy, they may ask you to call back later when it's quiet and they have more time to talk, but that's fine.

Don't bother with those who make you feel intimidated, or stupid.

Choose a vet that you feel comfortable speaking to, who will listen to you, and one who will take the time to explain to you what (s)he's doing, and why.

Most important of all, your vet should take a genuine interest in your puppy and handle him gently and kindly.

Puppy Supplies: Identification Tag

Of all the puppy supplies listed, an identification tag is probably one of the most important.

A silver, bone-shaped dog tag, engraved. The photo is taken against a white background.A dog tag is very important if your puppy gets lost!

Depending where you live, it's a legal requirement for your puppy to wear an identity tag on his collar. It makes sense too. I recommend you have it engraved with your name, address and zip or postcode.

It seems strange that your telephone number is not required by UK law, but I would highly recommend that you do include it to make it easier for someone to contact you if your pet is lost.

It's your choice whether you add your puppy's name or not, but I wouldn't recommend it as it can make life easier for dog thieves.

I strongly recommend having your puppy micro-chipped.

It's so tiny (the size of a grain of rice) that it can be injected into your puppy by your vet. Should your puppy ever wander off, a shelter, dog warden, vet (and sometimes the police) will be able to scan your puppy for a chip. Once they have the code, they will be able to obtain your contact details and get in touch.

It's really worth the extra expense and effort.

Puppy Supplies: Collar And Lead

Once your puppy has settled into his new home you can introduce him to his new puppy collar and a soft pliable lead.

Orange puppy lead with paw prints, taken against a white background.You'll need a dog lead for your new puppy

It's best to put a collar on your puppy as soon as you get him home, just in case he ever escapes (heaven forbid!). Let him wear it during the day, but not when he's in his crate, and take it off at night.

It's also a good idea to introduce your puppy to the feel of being on a lead at such a young age.

If you take it gently and slowly he'll soon get used to his collar and leash and in no time at all he'll let you put them on and take them off without any fuss.

Learn more about leash training your puppy, and enjoy long gentle walks with your little boy sooner that you think!

Puppy Supplies: Buy Him A Crate

In my opinion, a crate is a must for a young puppy!

Golden cocker spaniel puppy in his new crate, peeking through the bars.Hello Mum. Can I come out now?

He'll soon see it as his very own den, a place where he can be safe and comfortable. Your puppy will often use it as a 'safe haven' away from our human world when things get too much, especially if there are loud, excited children around.

Your breeder will almost certainly have kept their puppies in a crate, in which case your little one should feel totally relaxed about sleeping in one in his new home.

Teaching your puppy to use a crate will be necessary if he's to settle in quickly. If you have to go out for a couple of hours or you need to do some housework, you will be able to place him inside his crate, safe in the knowledge that your new puppy won't come to any harm.

Extra Puppy Supplies

You might also like to have a packet of training treats handy for when you begin his training - it's never too early to begin his obedience training - the sooner the better!

And of course, you'll need a ready supply of poop bags, a poop scoop, and a good cleaning agent, one which gets rid of puppy urine smells and doesn't just mask them.

Nice To Have But Not Essential Just Yet!

Puppy supplies you may not need right now, but you will need later are:

  • A nice plush dog bed for when he's past that chewing stage.

  • A food scoop and good solid container will come in very useful, especially if the container is puppy proof. Don't under-estimate your Cocker, between his determination to get at food and his sharp little puppy teeth, he'll soon make mince meat of a plastic or cardboard kibble packet!

  • A few extra dental products such as a puppy toothbrush (I recommend you get him used to the idea now) and a couple of rawhide or chew toys which are especially good for a puppy who's teething!

  • Extra toys to play with so that he doesn't become bored.

  • Flea and tick treatment, but check with your vet so that you use a product that's suitable for your puppy and for his age because there are some medications that shouldn't be given to a puppy under 6 months.

  • You might want to consider a dog carrier so that you can transport him safely to and from the vet and you might also want to provide him with an outdoor dog kennel to shelter him from the elements if he's left outdoors for longer than an hour or so.

  • Last but not least, you'll need to buy a further selection of grooming tools if you are to keep your pet in tip top condition.

Photo credits for Puppy Supplies:
1. kytalpa at (sketch dog supplies)
2. Author's own photo of puppy kibble
3. Dog Bowls - Unknown
4. Willeecole at (puppy chewing toys)
5. Birgit Reitz-hofmann at (grooming brushes)
6. Tombaky - (dog tag)
7. Chris Lester at - 71506456_d3e9ca0324_c Chris Lester-Flickr (puppy peeking out of crate)
8. Andrew Burgess at