Cocker Spaniel puppies

Ultimate Cocker Spaniel Puppy Checklist: Everything You Need

A Cocker Spaniel puppy is a bundle of fluffy energy. Unlike any other Cocker Spaniel puppy checklist online, our 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 list of the most important things you need. After all, bringing home your new bundle of joy is a big day!

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am also an Etsy and Chewy affiliate.

Alvin has little puppy teeth
Alvin has cute puppy teeth and very sharp

Cocker Spaniel Puppy Checklist

This is everything you’ll need for your new Cocker Spaniel puppy, with a printable version of this new puppy checklist at the bottom of the post. Happy shopping and enjoy those puppy moments– they grow so fast!

Be sure to keep an eye out for a product we created just for you for under $10 on Amazon. It’s the best thing to track your puppy’s progress and veterinarian visits. We’ve included it on our list below.

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.

We also wrote an article about the 20 best Cocker Spaniel puppy toys, so happy shopping!

2. Dog Crate

Our favorite: MidWest Lifestages Double Door Collapsible Wire 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.

You’ll want to put a fleece dog crate mat inside for comfort along with the next item on our list.

3. Plush Puppy Heartbeat Toy

Our favorite: Calmeroos Puppy Heartbeat Toy Sleep Aid

When puppies first come home, they will miss their littermates and mama. Ease their separation anxiety and help encourage restful sleep with Calmeroos’ plush puppy heartbeat toy. Put these plush toys next to your puppy or in their crate as a snuggle buddy.

Bonus: The heart stimulator replicates a real heartbeat to provide comfort. Comes with two long-lasting disposable heat packs to keep your little one comforted.

4. 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.)

5. Dog Gates

Our favorite: MYPET North States Paws 40″ Portable Pet Gate

A high-quality dog 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.

6. Teething Toys

Our favorites: Sensory Spider Squeaky Safe Puppy Teething Toy and Nerf Dog Multi-Ring TPR Tuff Tug Dog 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 sharp 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.)

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Puppy Collar

Our favorite: Lupine Pet Collar

Your puppy’s collar will likely be an 8 to 12-inch Lupine adjustable collar. Don’t expect them to wear it beyond four to six months, as puppies grow fast.

10. Puppy Harness

Our favorite: SPORN Non-Pull Mesh Harness

For the past 15 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.

11. Dog ID Tags

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. Be sure to include your dog’s name and contact information on the tags like telephone numbers, emergency contact name, etc.

Pro Tip: Start with a small name tag and work up to a larger one once your Cocker has grown a bit.

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    12. Puppy Bed

    Our favorites: Best Friends by Sheri Calming Donut Dog Bed and SEALY Lux Pet Dog 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.

    13. 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 switched our puppy to Canine Health. You easily prepare it at home with warm water, add a protein and oil, and your pup is set.

    14. Bowls

    Our favorite water bowl: PETish Spaniel Bowl

    Our favorite food bowl: Hubulk Pet Bowls Set with Non-Skid 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.

    15. Blanket(s)

    Our favorites: SmartPetLove Snuggle Blanket for Pets or Personalized Etsy Dog Blanket

    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.

    16. 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.

    17. Puppy Treats

    Our favorite: Bocce’s Bakery Training Treats

    We love Bocce’s Bakery’s high-quality, made-in-the-USA treats for puppy training and beyond. They are wheat-free, available in many flavors, are low-calorie.

    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.

    18. Stairs or Ramp

    Our favorite: Pet Gear Ramp

    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.

    19. 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.

    20. 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.

    puppy teeth cleaning instructions
    Alvin’s puppy teeth at 7 months

    21. 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.

    22. 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 dog shampoo. Puppies have delicate skin.

    You’ll want to avoid getting any soap or lather in her eyes and ears. Also, wearing a waterproof snood will help keep water and soap out of Cockers’ sensitive ears.

    23. 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.

    24. 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.

    25. 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.

    26. 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.

    27. Paper Towels and Old Towels

    We keep absorbent dog 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.

    I recommend you always have paper towels on hand.

    28. Puppy Pajamas or Sweater

    Our favorites: Fuzzyard Dog Pajamas

    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.

    29. 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.

    30. 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.

    31. 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 The Blissful Dog tin of Cocker Spaniel Boo Boo Butter on hand for minor skin irritations, rashes, and abrasions.

    young puppies are susceptible to parvovirus
    My beloved Dexter.

    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.

    32. 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.

    33. 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.

    34. 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

    35. 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.

    36. 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.

    37. 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.

    38. 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.

    39. Travel Water Bowls

    Our favorite:  BPA-free collapsible water bowls and food 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.

    40. 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.

    41. 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:

    1. Purchase Cocker Puppy Essentials: Have everything you need ready to roll.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

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      More Cocker Spaniel Resources

      Check out these articles to help you learn all you can about your Cocker Spaniel and good luck with your new family member:

      Cocker Spaniel Eye Problems and Solutions

      How to Manage Cocker Spaniel Shedding

      How to Find a Good Cocker Spaniel Groomer

      Download Our Cocker Spaniel Puppy Checklist

      Print our Cocker Spaniel puppy checklist so you can refer to it as needed. You can also save a copy of this checklist to your phone.

      Cocker Spaniel puppy checklist


      1. I used to always use fleece blankets for puppy bedding but with Tuxedo I have a much more comfortable solution to “easy-to-wash” bedding—WashNZip pet beds:
        This large quilt folds and zips into a cushiony bed that doesn’t bunch up yet is easily washable like any blanket.

        Good luck with Alvin!

      2. Wowza what a comprehensive list!!! Now, I don’t know about Cocker Spaniels, but a friend of mine lost her young dog due to having a blanket in the crate. The dog chewed (ate) the blanket, (it was a puppy but a larger breed and an older puppy), my friend couldn’t afford $5000 surgery to have surgery for the dog and the poor dog passed. Never, ever will I put a blanket in with any dog actually (in their crate, unless I am there to supervise). I never used a blanket in the crate for Dakota and I never did for Levi. (both Shetland Sheepdogs which are medium sized….Levi is on the high end of the spectrum for Shelties but is still considered to be medium sized). No blankets, no pillows in the crate. I always read the only thing that should be in the crate is the dog 🙂

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