Puppy Checklist

I put together a number of items that should be considered/looked at when a puppy gets home. These items are culled from a couple of website, and may not be complete for the basenji in particular. Feel free to add on if you see fit. At this time of the year a number of folks will be getting puppies, so I thought something like this might be useful.

The list is long - sorry about that, but there is lots to think about.



Put up barricades or baby gates across areas where the puppy isn't allowed.

Close doors, cabinets, and drawers to rooms or storage spaces where pup could get into trouble.

Spray a repellent, such as Bitter Apple on objects such as chair legs, that cannot be placed out of harm's way

Houseplants, some of which are poisonous, including the dead leaves. Check with your vet or green house before adding new plants;

Crayons, pens, pencils, paper clips, pins, tacks, staples

Paper shredder

Books, magazines, mail, newspapers, important documents

Money, paper or coin, checks

Electrical cords or wires

Telephone cords, computer cables

Drawstrings from draperies or blinds

Television and other remotes controls

Knick-knacks, figurines, or collectibles, heavy items like lamps that can get pulled down or knocked over

Firewood or debris from fireplaces

Pillows, fabric arm covers, afghans or throws

Candles, potpourri, air fresheners

Food, candy dishes, food crumbs, bones or discarded cooking items

Ovens, cook tops or hot pans

Puppy's food and treats (can overeat and get ill or bloat)

Alcoholic beverages

Trash compactor, garbage and trash cans or bags

Paper towels and napkins, clean or dirty

Tissues or toilet paper

Bed and bath linens

Clothing, gloves, hats, shoes, dirty laundry

Jewellery, combs, toothbrushes, hair ribbons or pins

Medications, drugs, toiletries, cosmetics

Cleaning items, rags, sponges, household chemicals, detergents

Sporting equipment, hunting or fishing gear, craft-working items

Tools, nails, string, fasteners, glue.

Check fencing for weak or broken areas where puppy could escape. Lock fence gates.

Do not let puppy near a swimming pool or pond where he could fall in and drown.

Many outdoor plants, flowers and shrubs are poisonous. Plant only in gardens where puppy will not be permitted. Check with a veterinarian or landscaper about what plants to avoid. Also, don't let puppy eat his way through your vegetable garden.

Don't use fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides on the ground in puppy's area if possible. If these chemicals must be used, keep the pup off the lawn for at least 48 hours afterwards. Check with your vet before allowing puppy back into a treated yard.

Leave puppy in the house while working on the lawn. Put away all gardening tools, such as hoses and rakes, when finished using them.

Keep puppy's potty area clean -- scoop the poop daily!

Always watch puppy when he is playing outdoors and inside.


As soon as puppy arrives, show him where his "potty area" will be and allow him time to eliminate and stretch his legs.

Bring him inside to his crate for some quiet time. While he's in his crate, puppy can look around and start to check out his surroundings.

Do not overwhelm puppy immediately with too many new people, pets or strange situations. Talk to puppy and try to sooth any fears he may have.

After a brief nap, let puppy out for a potty break and some supervised playtime and petting.

If it's time, feed the puppy, take him out again, then let him go back into his crate.

As the day passes, introduce puppy gradually to his new home and family.

Stick to a familiar routine, show him he is welcome and puppy will begin to settle happily into your household.


If there is more than one other pet at home, introduce the puppy to them one at a time, beginning with the alpha (head) dog or cat.

Introduce them first through the crate, allowing them to see and smell each other.

After a few days, let them meet without the crate between them, but have one person hold or restrain each animal.

Hold introductions in a neutral space if possible, such as in the yard or family room.

Don't do introductions at meal time and always separate when feeding.

Each pet must have their own food and water bowls, bed, toys and crate or space.

Show the existing pets that they will still get sufficient food, and still have their own possessions that the new puppy may not have.

Keep the puppy and other pets separated until they accept each other's presence.

ALWAYS supervise all contact until their relationship is reliable and they get along well.

The adjustment will not happen overnight. Give the animals sufficient time to accept each other. Introductions should be done slowly, over a period of at least one to two weeks.

Let the existing pets know the new member of the "pack" is here to stay and should be accepted.

Let the puppy know he is the new kid on the block and should learn to become part of the pack.

Give sufficient attention, first, to older pets, then to the new puppy.

Owner should continue to support the existing hierarchy of the pack prior to pup's arrival, but don't show favouritism to one animal over another.

When old and new pets can be together (supervised of course), play as a group and show them that they can have a good time as a larger pack.


Some puppies may cry throughout the night because they miss their old home and litter mates.

It's best to keep puppy's crate next to your bed for the first week or two.

Put a safe chew toy and a familiar smelling towel or blanket from puppy's first home into his crate.

If possible, hang your arm over the bed so that puppy can lick your fingers or smell your scent until he falls asleep.

In cases where puppy has to sleep in a room away from you, a night light and a ticking clock or soft music may help him to sleep better.

Most puppies will need to be taken outside during the night, and again early in the morning to eliminate.


Bring the following:

Medical records, including vaccination history, and health care instructions that came with the puppy

Any medications the puppy is currently taking

A fresh stool sample

The name of or ingredients found in puppy's food

Information on where and how your puppy was born and raised

A list of questions to ask or issues to discuss.


Books about breed information, home-medical reference for dogs, puppy care and training, dog behaviour

Food , food and water bowls (two sets), food storage containers

Crate, crate padding or bed -- possibly use old blankets or towels

Toys, chew toys

Puppy collar and leash, identification tag

Healthy, bite-sized treats for training and rewards

Baby gate; possibly an exercise pen

Sweater if the puppy is a short-haired or hairless breed and the weather is cold

Cleaners, disinfectants, odor neutralizer, air freshener

Pooper -scooper tools, large outdoor garbage bags, old newspapers

Paper towels, small indoor garbage bags

Puppy-resistant, indoor trash cans

Grooming equipment, such as comb or brush suited for puppies fur type; towels for drying puppy if he gets wet outdoors

A box or container for storing puppy's toys or supplies when not in use

When you travel to pick up your puppy, or even when transporting him to and from the vet's, it's a good idea to carry a bag of dog-related supplies with you. These could include:

Water, water bowl, light snack (healthy treats or small serving of his regular food)

Paper towels, carpet cleaner, sandwich bags (for solid messes), plastic bags for disposing of soiled towels or pooper scooper bags, waterless shampoo (rinse-free) for emergency cleanup if puppy gets carsick and vomits on himself, air freshener spray.

Identification papers and tag; health and shot records if crossing state or country borders.

Extra leash and puppy collar.

Blanket and chew toy for crate.


Mouthing or chewing

Talking" or vocalizing during play

May be cautious but curious; may remove objects from cabinets, closets, trash

Being active, energetic

Avoiding direct eye contact except briefly

Easily distracted, short attention span

Wants to play with everything and anything

Pawing, batting at or pouncing on toys or people

Barking, whining, mild crying

Rolling over on back

Jumping up on people

Wants to be near you, follows you or wants to touch you while resting

Chewing on whatever is in sight, furniture, clothes, books

Sleep patterns: may be frequent, at odd times, and may twitch during sleep

Rolling in smelly objects, such as rabbit droppings

Has to urinate every time he drinks, sleeps, wakes up, plays or goes out.


Biting, snapping or attempting to bite people (and most pets)


Overly shy or fearful; may hide in corner, under furniture or stay in crate



Maintaining eye contact in intimidating manner

Unable to concentrate or focus attention even briefly

Overly possessive of food, toys or bed

Attacking other people or other pets in a non-playful or threatening manner

Excessive or repetitious barking or crying

Cowering and cringing

"Clinginess," afraid to let owner out of sight


Eating or licking feces or vomits

Excessive circling, head shaking, staring at nothing


Wow, what a great list Fran. So much to think about..I know you are bringing Kipawa into a home where he is the only dog, I must say I am a little nervous bringing Pippin here, because we have three other dogs..one which loves everybody and all things (sometimes too much)= Moses, the podengo, one that is a grumpy old man (although not very old, about 6 yrs)=Gus, the doxie and then one that thinks/knows she is the Alpha dog( athough she is the Beta bitch)=Luna, our schnauzer/yorkie mix..huge differences in personalities..I sure hope they will accept Pippin..

Wow, that's a long list!!! I almost get scared to get my pup! 😃 It's good to prepare yourself, but don't forget to also enjoy yourself!! It's not science 😉 And I'm sure you'll be a great B mom!

Thanks, Janneke - for the comment about it not being science! You're right on that account. I need to keep that in mind. I just so want to cover all possible bases, but trust me, this little puppy is going to be hugged and hugged and played with. If I can attain a relationship anywhere near the one you have with Tillo, I will be very happy with myself. 🙂

Petra - yes, you probably will spend a bit of time getting everyone to co-exist and enjoy each other. But I'm sure you will be able to do it, and I'm sure Otis will be watching over everything for you and helping you out.

This may have been on your list but just in case.
HANDBAG get home put it up. Jayden likes to steal money out of mine. Like bills cannot get to change.
Dirty clothes basket they love to take clothes out and place there all over place and it may not be the ones you want out in open just a friend drops in.

Rita Jean

Yes…. GLASSES... they are a total favorite for puppies (and adults..sigh)..... I think it is the human smell on the ear pieces and nose pieces that draws them to glasses. My Eye Doc says they replace more glasses due to "my dog ate my glasses" then most anything else


Thanks, Janneke - for the comment about it not being science! You're right on that account. I need to keep that in mind. I just so want to cover all possible bases, but trust me, this little puppy is going to be hugged and hugged and played with. If I can attain a relationship anywhere near the one you have with Tillo, I will be very happy with myself. 🙂

Petra - yes, you probably will spend a bit of time getting everyone to co-exist and enjoy each other. But I'm sure you will be able to do it, and I'm sure Otis will be watching over everything for you and helping you out.

As long as you put Love, Patience, Time and Common sense on top of the list you'll do fine 🙂 It's great to start with a 'do's and dont's' list, but don't be scared to do things different.. You can't be prepared for everything with a Basenji puppy! Sometimes you need to be creative 😃 (that's the fun part ;))

Oh.. and +1 on the glasses…. sigh.. :rolleyes:

Remote controls and iPods. 🙂

For the first vet visit…if your puppy has an umbilical hernia, don't worry if the vet/vet techs freak out. It is very common in the breed and except in rare situations not an issue. You would have thought my dogs were about to die as much as the vet people kept bringing it up. Good grief!

Glasses on the list…. CHECK! I'm sitting on the couch right now and my glasses are on the coffee table. YIKES. I don't think 'dog chewing' is covered under the warranty. 🙂 And thanks so much for the other items. The remote control is definitely moving from the coffee table too!

Thanks, this is a wonderful resource. It's going to get posted up on my fridge as soon as possible. We are definitely not super messy people, but we do have a tendency to leave headphones/laptop chargers/remote controls/etc lying around, and I'm sure it'll take a harsh reality check once we bring home puppy to get my SO to start putting his things up and away. 😛

another one - if you leave the toilet door open and you have the toilet brush beside the toilet be prepared to loose it. The toilet is the only place we have to block off as she likes to grab the toilet brush and play with it 🙂 -yuckkk- sigh lol (and shred the toilet paper off the toilet roll teehee).

I guess that could go under barricading/blocking off rooms but we never had an issue with the toilet room until a few months after we got her (when she must of finally discovered it)

hi Lysh, oh yes! We are practicing closing the bathroom doors behind us. Thanks for the reminder/heads up.

Maybe your b just thought that was a nice big toothbrush you wanted him to use. 🙂

That'll get you started. You can get grooming supplies like teeth cleaner, nail clippers, etc. later on as you need them, and the same with things like baby gates and bark control tools. Food, collar/ID, a leash, a bed and a kennel should be the big priority.

This is a great list! Thank you for posting! We have a month to puppy-proof our house, this helps a lot!

Fran are you getting another puppy?!?! Cell phone is a good one….Becca ate hubby's cell phone and sunglasses a few years ago. Tucker ate my work cell phone just last summer, I had had my job for like 6 months and my dog goes and eats my cell phone....explain that one to your boss!


Fran are you getting another puppy?!?!

No, we are going to be a one doggie family and spoil Kipawa like crazy!


Fran are you getting another puppy?!?!

This is an old thread brought to the top by a spammer's post (Bush De).

HAHAHA I should learn to read of the dates these things were posted. It is a good reminder for those who are getting pups right now though!

Fran, good for you for having that much self control…. I dont think I can keep myself from getting another.... But for right now Oakley is all I can handle!

First Basenji's

Wow Great list some things I will have to take care of for my babies safety

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