New Puppy Essentials – Welcome Miss Hillie Mae!

6 Mins read

I can’t believe I am writing this post. We have welcomed a new family member into our home. Miss Hillie Mae joined our family on November 4, 2021. We got her from Iowa Meadow Labradoodles. Gabrielle has been begging, writing essays, making presentations, and everything in between to make her argument for getting a puppy. It is something we never thought we would do. Then, Matt came home one day and said I think we should get one. The adjustment took me by surprise. It is not a surprise I saw coming. It affected me in a way I never saw coming and didn’t know how to handle it. I talked all about it on my podcast. You can find it HERE. Today, I am going to talk about the new puppy essentials that have been amazing in the transition of bringing Hillie into our home and family. 

Welcoming a new puppy into your family and home? These new puppy essentials will make the transition a positive one for pup and the family.

{Affiliate links are used in this post. Click on any of the underlined links to find the products I am talking about. You can read my disclosure HERE.}

FYI – This list is not in any particular order. I just made a list of everything we got and that we loved, what we didn’t, and/or Hillie loved. 

floppy fish

Floppy Fish

If you are ever on TikTok, you have seen the floppy fish phenomenon that has gone viral. When we brought Hillie home, I had to get one to see what all the hype was about. SHE LOVES THAT THING! It is not something we give to her all the time. We bring it out when we need her to stay entertained. That way, she is never bored of it. She is always excited when it comes out. 

dog bed

New Puppy Essentials – Dog Bed

One of my team members sent Hillie this bed. She said that her dog loved it. Hillie has loved it so much. We got her the medium size, but I would recommend the large size unless you have a tiny dog. Hillie will not get over 35 pounds. She fits it nice now but we may have to get her a bigger one as she grows. She has her favorite spots to nap throughout the day and this bed it one of them. 

Kong Toy

We have not had to put anything inside of this yet. Hillie loves to chew on it as it is. As she gets older, I may put something inside. Right now, she is happy with it as it is. 

New Puppy Essentials – Paw cleaner

The paw cleaner helps clean her paws when it is wet and muddy outside. We started using this right away so she would be used to it by the time winter is here. It is so much better than just using a towel. I dip her paws in the cleaner. Then, use a towel to dry and rub them clean.



We are kennel training Hillie. She has done a phenomenal job with it. She was kenneled at the breeder we got her from. From the third night on, she has slept through the night. We do kennel her when we are away from the house as well. It is her safe zone. She doesn’t mind being in it at all.

Cover For Kennel

You don’t have to get a cover for the kennel. You can always use a blanket. I just like how this fits the kennel perfectly. Having a covering over the kennel makes it feel like a “den’ to the puppies. It is safe. It is cozy. 

Retractable Leash

We have been taking her on walks at least twice a day. We started out with the retractable leash. I will be getting a lead leash as well for more training.

new puppy essentials

Regular Leash

I would suggest getting a lead leash or “regular” leash for training. Sometimes the retractable leash malfunctions. I like that we can adjust the leash size depending on where we are and what she is doing with the retractable leash. 

Folex Cleaner

I have used this stuff for years. I used it before we got Hillie and loved it. Now that we have Hillie and are potty training, it is even more amazing. I can’t recommend this stuff enough without a puppy, but if you have a puppy, it is a staple to have on hand during the potty training stage. Find it HERE.  

Reflective Harness

I love having the harness for walks. The harness makes it so her neck isn’t being pulled as it may with a collar. We keep the collar on when we put the harness on. The leash is attached to the harness and not the collar. This harness is reflective. It’s good to have when you are walking in the dark. 


You will need some kind of collar for the dog when you bring her/him home. You can find really inexpensive ones at The Dollar Tree and much more expensive ones online and in other stores. We grabbed one from The Dollar Tree right away so we had one.

Welcoming a new puppy into your home? These new puppy essentials will make the transition a positive one for the puppy and the family.


This is where we ordered her tag. It was inexpensive. It took some time to get to us, but for the price, I couldn’t beat it. 

Tennis Balls/Footballs/Basketballs/Frisbees

Hillie will be surrounded by all kinds of sports balls. One of her favorite things right now is the frisbees in the backyard and Landen’s smaller football.

New Puppy Essentials – Blanket

We designated a blanket for Hillie as soon as she came home. Since then, that has been the blanket she sleeps on in her kennel. I think it is important to have something the puppy can attach to from the first day. They did give us a toy she was playing with at the breeders to go home with. I think that was really important. She still has it and plays with it often. Wherever you get your puppy from, ask if there is something you can take home with the puppy that smells like where he/she came from. I think it helps with the transition. We also have the blanket in the car that we had when we drove her home the first day. Now, when she rides in the car, we put her on that blanket. 

new puppy essentials

New Puppy Essentials – Plastic Boot Tray

These are so inexpensive. They are great underneath the food and water bowls. They catch all the water splashes and drops after the puppy gets a drink. 

Water & Food Bowls

I LOVE these bowls from Target. I can remove the steel bowl inside and wash it. 

Snuggle Puppy

Who knew this thing would be so effective? I had it on the day we brought Hillie home. As soon as we got her in the house, I turned the heartbeat on and set it in her kennel. That was the first time she really settled down and actually fell asleep. It was the cutest thing ever. She still sleeps with it every night. 

Brush and Comb

I told the kids that we need to get Hillie used to brushing. We need to do it every day. The brush and comb combo is great because in some areas we brush her and in other areas, we need the comb. 

Tuffy® Giraffe Extra Tough Dog Toy

This giraffe toy has stood the test of time. It is supposed to be indestructible and so far, Hillie has not been able to destroy it. She is a small puppy so I am not sure how much destructing she could do. But, the smaller areas like the tail are still intact. The black piping around the giraffe is still intact. This is a big toy. Probably suited best for a larger dog, but Hillie pulls it around and loves it. 

new puppy essentials

Jojo Modern Silicone Travel Water Bottle

We just used this the other night. Matt took Hillie for a walk near Gabrielle’s volleyball practice. He took the water bottle with him. He said it was convenient and so good for her to get a drink.

New Puppy Essentials – Nina Ottosson MultiPuzzle

It is so much fun watching Hillie with this puzzle. You can see her brain working when you put something in it. I would highly suggest some kind of “brain” toy like this for your pup. It didn’t take her long to figure out how to work the pieces to find food inside. 

new puppy essentials

When we went to pick up Hillie, we already had some of these things. We learned about the other things as time went on. I am hoping this list of new puppy essentials is helpful to those who are welcoming a new puppy into the family. I wish I had this full list when we got Hillie. It would have helped so much. 

We have created an Instagram account and TikTok for Hillie. We would love to have you follow along with her adventures HERE and HERE


Welcoming a new puppy into your home? These new puppy essentials will make the transition a positive one for the puppy and the family.

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