A Cocker Spaniel puppy is a bundle of fluffy energy. Unlike other new puppy checklists, new Cocker Spaniel pup must-have items are a bit unique.
Cocker Spaniels are Velcro dogs who love nothing more than to be by their owner’s side. They aim to please but are very sensitive. Excessive scolding or yelling at a Cocker Spaniel will just make him fear you. No one wants that to happen, especially your new puppy.
With long floppy ears and those big beautiful eyes, pay close attention to both as your Cocker pup grows and develops. If you’re bringing home a Cocker puppy, we’ve put together a must-have list of items.
We’ve raised two Cocker Spaniel puppies so far with our third on the way. We made some mistakes with our first Cocker pup, such as not socializing her soon enough. More about that shortly.
This is everything you’ll need for your new Cocker Spaniel puppy with a printable version of this checklist at the bottom of the post. Happy shopping and enjoy those puppy moments– they grow so fast!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
1. Cocker Spaniel Puppy Toys
Our favorite: Pet Querks Hedgehog Interactive Plush Toy
We are about to welcome our third Cocker Spaniel puppy home. They will be curious and energetic. Stock up on at least five or more puppy toys. Let him experience different textures, shapes, and sounds. Make sure the new toys are puppy-sized for a small mouth.
Pro Tip: If your puppy nips or bites at you, make a “yikes” or “ow” sound and give him a toy that you want him to play with instead. Cocker puppies get bored easily, so one or two toys may not be enough. Stock up to avoid issues.
2. Dog Crate
Most people won’t be spending 24/7/365 with their new puppy. Crate training allows your pup to seek out a crate or kennel as a familiar, quiet, safe space. Many dog breeders and rescue groups recommend and use the MidWest Homes Life Stages crate.
3. Dog Car Crate or Booster Seat
Our favorite: PetMate Vari Dog Kennel
When you pick your puppy up from the breeder or rescue group, he’ll need something to keep him safe in the car. You can use a travel crate or a pet-safe car seat. Eventually, you’ll invest in a high-quality pet seatbelt. Our favorite is the Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Dog Car Harness to keep your dog safe en route.
Pro Tip: Get your puppy used to car rides early so he’ll be happy and calm for all your future trips (i.e. veterinarian, groomer, park, vacations, etc.)
4. Dog Gates
Our favorite: MYPET North States Paws 40″ Portable Pet Gate
A high-quality pet gate will keep your new puppy from getting into mischief. Keep your pup where you want him with a gate that is strong, expandable and locks in place without tools.
5. Teething Toys
Puppy teeth erupt at around two weeks of age. They are usually all filled in by 8 to 10 weeks, with 28 baby teeth total. Between 12 and 16 weeks old, puppies lose their baby teeth. Offer puppy safe chew toys like a – and be warned: puppy teeth are like tiny piranhas. He’ll get his adult teeth by the time he turns six months old, for a total of 42 total (which is 10 more than humans.)
6. Piddle Pads
Our favorite: Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads with Insta-Rise Border
The quilted texture and wet-lock gel in these piddle pads make them our go-to for puppy housetraining. A slight border rises and locks in leaks and runoffs. Whatever piddle pads you buy, make sure they are absorbent. Be sure to train your puppy to pee outside the right way. No scold or yell. Positive reinforcement is key.
7. Puppy Leash
Our favorite: Lupine Pet Leash
We’ve been using Lupine Pet leashes and collars for close to 30 years. The comfortable padded handle and easy swivel snap help avoid tangles. Even cooler, Lupine Pet replaces their collars, leashes, and pet gear that is accidentally damaged during normal use. A Cocker Spaniel should use a 4′ to 6′ leash designed for puppies.
8. Puppy Collar
Our favorite: Lupine Pet Collar
Most Cocker Spaniel puppies will start out with an 8 to 12-inch Lupine adjustable collar. Don’t expect them to wear it beyond four to six months, as puppies grow fast.
9. Puppy Harness
Our favorite: SPORN Non-Pull Mesh Harness
For the past 13 years, I’ve been using a SPORN non-pull mesh harness on my Cocker Spaniels. I found them in a pet supply store and never looked back. They are easy to put on, available in several sizes, and with proper positive training, very helpful in the puppy walking process.
10. Identification Tag
Our favorite: Frisco Personalized Dog Tag
I ordered my Cocker puppy’s nametag online and had it ready for his arrival. You can always visit a pet supply store in your area and make one in the store. Places like PetSmart and Petco have on-site pet tag machines that are done in minutes.
Pro Tip: Start with a small name tag and work up to a larger one once your Cocker has grown a bit.
11. Puppy Bed
A bed is your puppy’s second best friend. The calming dog donut bed is a smash hit with close to 60,000 nearly 5-star reviews on Amazon. We got our Cocker pup two dog beds: One for the living room and one for the home office where I work. The home office dog bed is from SEALY and is an orthopedic foam bed with a machine washable cover and cooling energy gel in size medium to grow with him.
12. Puppy Food
Our favorite: Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health
Our Cocker’s breeder is sending him home on VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food for high-energy and active dogs and puppies. She loves the well-formed poops and digestibility of the food. However, we are lifelong Dr. Harvey’s consumers and plan to start our pup on the Canine Health. You easily prepare it at home with warm water, add a protein and oil, and your pup is set.
Our favorite water bowl: PETish Spaniel Bowl
Our favorite food bowl: Kulmeo Double Dog Bowl with Silicone Mat
Cocker Spaniels have long, floppy ears, so you might want to consider water bowls and food bowls designed with this in mind. Start out with a simple stainless steel water bowl and work up to bigger bones and she grows.
Pro Tip: Have your Cocker Spaniel pup get used to wearing a snood when she’s younger. It will keep her ears dry and out of the bowl.
When you first bring your puppy home, wrap her in this blanket. It will become her blanket of love. The blanket can be placed in her crate or on her doggy bed, too. We’ve gifted the Snuggle Blanket for Pets and can attest to its coziness and durability.
15. Urine and Odor Remover
Our favorite: Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator
Accidents happen, and with a new puppy in the house, there will be accidents. Rocco & Roxie is a staple in our house. It eliminates stains, odors, and residue. It’s safe to use around dogs. Its enzymatic action means puppies won’t sniff out familiar spots to pee again.
16. Puppy Treats
Our favorite: The Honest Kitchen Meaty Littles
A high-quality, made in the USA treat is a staple in a puppy’s training. Make sure not to give too many to upset their tummies, as puppies are bottomless pits. Puppy training treats are a must-have for reward-based training.
17. Stairs or Ramp
Our favorite: Pet Gear Easy Step
Our previous Cocker Spaniels dealt with several orthopedic issues. Namely, a patellar luxation and two ruptured ACLs (ligaments) requiring surgery each time. You want your puppy to run and play but also be careful about too much jumping. Be sure the stairs or ramp are sturdy. Don’t introduce them to your puppy right away–this is something to have in the first few months, but we consider it a priority.
Pro Tip: Teaching a puppy to use a ramp or stairs means you won’t have to train her later in life when dealing with arthritis or mobility issues.
18. Poop Bags
Our favorite: Earth-Rated Dog Poop Bags Lavender Scented
Poop bags are essential from puppyhood through adulthood. Keep a roll on hand whenever you take your puppy outside for potty breaks. I keep a roll of poop bags in our travel bag, first aid kit, our glovebox in the car, and on the deck. You never know when poop bags will be needed.
19. Cocker Spaniel Puppy Wipes
Our favorite: Earth Rated Dog Wipes
Puppies get dirty. From paws to butts, you’ll thank us later for keeping puppy wipes on hand. We keep a packet in our car and in the house. If you travel, take a pack along for those “oops” and “just in case” moments.
20. Dog Toothpaste and Toothbrush
Our favorite: Virbac CET Enzymatic Toothpaste in Vanilla Mint flavor
Start touching your puppy’s gums, teeth, and mouth as soon as possible. The sooner you acclimate her to being touched, the easier it will be to brush her teeth each day. You can start with a puppy toothbrush dipped in warm water and just run it along her gums. Purchase some inexpensive gauze at a local drug store and gradually begin to rub your dog’s teeth with a dry gauze pad to acclimate her as well.
Pro Tip: Never use human toothpaste on a puppy or dog.
21. Puppy Shampoo
Our favorite: Zymox Shampoo with Vitamin D3
Puppies get dirty and love to find messes. Your puppy won’t require many baths, but when it’s time, be sure to use a specially formulated shampoo. Puppies have delicate skin. You’ll want to avoid getting any soap or lather in her eyes and ears. Also, wearing a snood will help keep water and soap out of Cockers’ sensitive ears.
Note: If you shop through Zymox.com, use code FIDOSEOFREALITY10 at checkout to save 10 percent off your order.
22. Training Bells
Our favorite: PoochieBells Dog Training Doorbell
Potty training is something you’ll want to get started on right away with your new pup. We’ve used PoochieBells with success when training our Cockers to potty outside. Teach your dog to hit or tap the bells when she needs to go outside. Start slowly and build up confidence with the instructions provided.
23. Brushes and Combs
Our favorite: PetPawJoy Slicker Brush
The sooner you can get your Cocker pup used to being brushed and handled, the better. Cockers have a thick coat, and daily brushing is a must. Start slowly and praise with each session. Even if you spend 30 seconds a day getting her accustomed to brushing, you’ve got a great start.
Pro Tip: As your puppy grows, she’ll need regularly scheduled grooming sessions or you can learn to groom your Cocker Spaniel at home as I did.
24. Puppy Health and Medical Journal
Our favorite: DogMinder Health and Wellness Journal
Full of space for important information and tips to help dogs stay healthy, this is the resource you will reach for time and again for everyday occurrences and important changes in your dog’s overall health and well-being. Every dog mom and dog dad should have a copy of DogMinder to keep track of each dog’s health and medical information.
25. Food Storage Containers
Our favorite: IRIS Airtight Food Storage Container and Scoop Combo
Keep all puppy food fresh with an airtight container. We feed Dr. Harvey’s food for dogs, which comes in a bag that is resealable. You can place that pouch in an airtight container if desired, too.
26. Paper Towels and Old Towels
We keep old towels in various sizes in the storage closet for cleanup and accidents. Keep an old towel by the door you exit for potty breaks in case it’s rainy, muddy, or snow outside.
27. Puppy Pajamas or Sweater
Get your puppy used to wearing a doggy onesie, pajamas, or a sweater. When it’s time for neuter or spaying or any operation, many pups can wear pajamas instead of the dreaded cone of shame. Also, puppies get cold, so a piece of apparel is handy for after bath and on chilly nights or walks.
28. Heartworm Preventative
Our favorite: Interceptor
Talk to your veterinarian about putting your puppy on a heartworm preventative. In our area, mosquitos are a huge problem. Heartworm is very serious and can kill a dog. Your veterinarian can discuss which preventative is best for your pup and when to start.
29. Flea and Tick Preventative
Our favorites: Natural Flea and Tick Preventatives
When she’s old enough for it and your veterinarian gives you the green light, get started on a non-chemical flea and tick preventative. We aren’t fans of chemicals. Anything we can’t use on our own skin will never be applied to our Cocker Spaniel. The breed has a very sensitive immune system. I almost lost my second Cocker to an autoimmune disease, so I am very pro-prevention without chemicals.
30. Pet First Aid Kit
We go nowhere without a filled canine first aid kit. We also keep a first aid kit for Cocker Spaniels at home. Some first aid kits for dogs come pre-filled, or you can make your own using our handy list of Cocker Spaniel first aid kit items.
Pro Tip: Be sure to include Dr. Harvey’s Healing Cream, which is safe to use on puppies as directed.
Additional Cocker Puppy Things To Get
The above 30 items are absolute must-haves to get you and your Cocker puppy started. However, also recommend you consider these items. Talk to your veterinarian where indicated.
31. Puppy Cam
Our favorite: Furbo Dog Camera
Check-in on what your puppy is up to from your mobile phone. Some dog cameras include a feature that alerts you when your pup is barking. You can also talk to your dog and dispense treats on some models.
32. Pet Insurance
If you don’t plan to have a savings account for your new puppy, or even if you do – pet health insurance is a must-have. We’ve been policyholders with Nationwide Vet Insurance (formerly VPI) for over two decades. There are many different plans available, so make sure to ask questions before you begin the policy.
Pro Tip: Know where your closest emergency veterinary facility is and have a few backup facilities on hand in case they are closed or booked solid.
33. Nail Clippers
Our favorite: Regular nail clippers
When your puppy gets older, you’ll want to use clippers designed for dog nails. Our favorite is the Miller Forge orange handle (size medium.) For puppies, if you don’t plan to clip their nails, be sure to have a groomer or veterinary technician trim them for you. Here’s a good tutorial on how to trim a puppy’s nails.
Pro Tip: Follow our instructions and hacks in How to Clip Dog Nails at Home
34. Treat Pouch
Our favorite: PetSafe Treat Pouch Sport
A treat pouch that you can clip onto your pants, leash, or shirt is ideal for training time. You won’t have to hold the treats in your hand. I also like to take treats on a walk for puppy harness training.
35. Crib Sheets
Crib sheets come in handy to cover your dog’s bed and keep it free of dirt or potty accidents. Instead of washing the dog bed cover, you can pop a baby crib sheet in the washer and dryer with ease.
36. Training and Socialization Classes
The first four months of a puppy’s life are crucial in terms of getting to know her world and being a well-rounded canine good citizen. Your Cocker’s mom and littermates will teach her right and wrong the first 8 to 9 weeks, but then it’s up to you. Ask your veterinarian when your pup can start socialization and training classes.
Pro Tip: Be sure the classes require vaccinations and are positive reinforcement-based.
37. Pet Sitter/Puppy Daycare
If you plan to work outside of the home, your puppy will need someone to check in on her. Never leave a puppy alone for eight hours a day. She needs frequent potty breaks and socialization. Decide who will check in on your pup and how often. If you decide to enroll her in puppy daycare, you’ll have to wait until she’s had several rounds of vaccinations to enroll her. Your veterinarian can share more information about timing.
38. Travel Water Bowls
Whenever you have your puppy in the car, she needs access to cool, clean water. If you plan to travel, keep one in your vehicle and one in your travel bag. Our favorite
39. Tick Key
Remove any nasty ticks the moment you see them with a tick key We keep one in our purse, in the travel bag, the poop treat pouch, and the first aid kit.
40. Indoor Tunnel for Confidence
Our favorite: Hide N Side Crawl Through Play Tunnel
Help your Cocker Spaniel pup gain confidence and explore her world with a play tunnel. I’ve used these with our pups, and they love playing in them. Toss a ball, toy, or treat in to help her gain confidence.
BONUS ITEM: Cord Protector
Protect pets from chewing on cords with these cord sleeve covers. The last thing you want is an emergency room visit because your puppy was electrocuted.
Your First Week With A New Cocker Puppy
The first week is a crucial time for you to get to know your puppy and your pup getting to know you and her routine, home, and new life. Here are the must-dos to do and expect in your pup’s first week with you:
- Purchase Cocker Puppy Essentials: Have everything you need ready to roll.
- Potty Training: This is the most important thing you can do right away. The way I train my Cocker pup to relieve themselves outside has worked for me every time. You can train an adult dog the same way if she’s having accidents.
- Crate or Playpen Training: If you plan to crate train your pup, get started right away. Fun fact: My wife and I use a play pen or X-pen and have never crate trained our pups.
- Manners: The proper do’s and don’ts such and teaching puppy rights and wrongs. Fun and cute is one thing, but you don’t want your Cocker to bite you or not be redirected to proper behavior with positive reinforcement. NEVER spank, hit, or slap your puppy. Ever.
When Can I Socialize My New Puppy?
You might be tempted to walk your puppy and be around strangers, visit with family and friends, and get him out into the world. You can, however, socialize your puppy in the home.
Things you can do right away include: going for car rides, having different people visit you, and talking to your veterinarian about the timing of puppy socialization and training classes.
Once your puppy is cleared, introduce her to new sights, sounds, dogs, and situations.
More Cocker Spaniel Resources
Check out these articles to help you learn all you can about your Cocker Spaniel:
Download Our Cocker Spaniel Puppy Checklist
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