Owning a pet is one of life’s great pleasures, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. From food to toys, pets need a variety of essential items to thrive. You can find all of these items at your favorite pet store.
Every pet needs a quality diet. Whether it is raw food, dehydrated food, freeze-dried food, air-dried food, canned food or kibble, it must contain all the necessary nutrients.
Food and Water Bowls
Whether you feed your pet kibble, raw food, freeze-dried food, canned food or a mix of all of these, you need to have quality bowls. They are one of the most important pet supplies you can buy because they help keep your pet healthy by preventing him or her from overeating and helping to prevent waste.
When a dog or cat is given free access to food, they tend to eat more than they need, which can lead to weight problems and other health issues. Bowls also help your pets eat in a controlled manner, which can promote good digestion and prevent tummy upsets. They also keep food clean and contain it, so that the pet doesn’t drag it around with their paws or make a mess in general.
The most durable, safest and attractive choice for pet food and water bowls is stainless steel. They are easy to clean, dishwasher safe and come in a variety of sizes and designs. If you are looking for something more decorative, there are porcelain and ceramic options as well. These are a little more expensive, but they look better and can be personalized with your pet’s name. Plastic bowls are inexpensive and lightweight, which makes them a great choice in a pinch for temporary situations like traveling with your pet, but they may leach toxins into whatever liquid is in them, so it’s best to stick to stainless steel or porcelain if possible.
Food and water bowls should be washed regularly to keep bacteria at bay. They should be rinsed and then washed with hot, soapy water or placed in the top rack of a dishwasher with a sponge or scourer kept solely for use on pet dishes. It’s also a good idea to store your pet’s food and water bowls in the refrigerator to slow down the growth of contaminating bacteria.
Another essential pet supply is a sturdy, secure leash to help you keep your pet under control on walks or when training. It’s important to find a leash that fits your dog or cat’s size and strength, as they all require different lengths of leash and handles. For example, if you have a small puppy, you’ll want to get a shorter leash so that you can control it better. Other nice features to look for in a leash include a double handle and reflective stitching for safety during walking in the dark.
Pets need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. If you don’t have a large backyard, or the time to let your dog run free, a good-quality exercise pen is an invaluable tool. These pet enclosures come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you can find the perfect one for your home and your pet. Most come with a door for easy access and some even have a roof for outdoor use. Many of these pens also come in different heights so that you can match the pen to your dog’s size.
If you have a young puppy, an indoor/outdoor pen may be a good choice. These are usually made from heavy gauge wire, so you can feel confident that your dog is safe. The gate is secured by metal latches, so you won’t have to worry about your pup escaping. You can also purchase add-on accessories like a potty training floor tray and pee pads, which will work great in most of the exercise pen models reviewed here.
A good-quality exercise pen is also an essential item for pets with separation anxiety. If your dog has separation anxiety, it is likely that he or she will try to escape the house. A pen will confine them to a small area and can be used to help toilet train or housebreak your puppy. This is especially important if your puppy has a tendency to soil the house, as the pen will prevent this from happening.
Another important pet accessory is a leash and harness. There are many different types of leashes, so it’s a good idea to pick up several different styles for your dog to use. Some leashes are slip-leashes that just fit over your pet’s head, while others have a loop at the end for attaching a poop bag dispenser, LED collar lights, or other accessories. You should also look for a harness that fits your dog properly and won’t cause discomfort when walking.
Collars and Leashes
Even a well-behaved dog can get into trouble, so it’s important to have collars and leashes to keep your pet safe on walks or around the neighborhood. The right ones should be comfortable, sturdy and easy to use. They can also be eye-catching and fashionable, depending on the pet owner’s taste.
There are a wide variety of leashes and collars available for pets, from standard nylon designs to leather varieties that can be long-lasting. There are also different types of rings and buckles to choose from, as well as extra features like traffic handles and double clips. Some may be waterproof or have reflective materials for safety, especially if your pet is prone to wandering or playing rough with other dogs.
When choosing a collar, it’s important to make sure it fits properly to prevent choking or your dog accidentally slipping out of it. “Check that it’s not too tight to choke your dog and that you can slip two fingers underneath,” recommends Rachel Barrack, veterinarian at Animal Acupuncture in New York City. A good way to do this is by using a measuring tape and trying on the collar before you buy it.
A few other key points to consider when selecting a collar are material and style, as well as size and design. For example, if you have a small dog with very thick hair or a large, long-haired breed that tends to shed, rolled leather collars can be more comfortable than flat ones because the rounded shape helps prevent the fur from getting caught in the buckle and D-ring. The Coastal Pet Circle T Latigo Leather Collar, for example, is made of strong, durable latigo leather and comes in several classic colors to match your pup’s personality. It also has a tag ring to attach an ID tag and metal hardware to reduce the risk of rusting or scratching.
Another new product on the market is Memopet, a line of nylon collars, leashes and harnesses that have an encased near field communication (NFC) microchip so owners can upload their pet’s medical and wellness information into an app. This can help them keep track of vet and grooming appointments as well as their pet’s location, so they can find their dog if it gets lost on a walk or hike.
Beds and Furniture
A bed is a safe place for your pet to sleep and rest, especially if they get nervous when left alone. Beds are also ideal if you have an older dog that needs extra support for their joints. You can find beds made from all kinds of materials, including foam, memory foam, and padding. Some even have a removable cover that can be machine washed for easy cleaning.
A good collar and tag will help your pet find their way home if they ever run away from home or get lost. You should have your pet microchipped and registered, and the corresponding ID tag should contain your name, address, and phone number so that your pets can be returned to you if they are ever lost. You should also consider getting a “go bag” for your pet, which can be packed and ready to go in case of a natural disaster or evacuation from your home.
If you have a cat, then a cat tower or tree with a scratching post is another must-have. This is a great alternative to letting your cat slash up furniture and carpets, as it will give them a notable space that they can retreat to and will help keep their claws healthy.
There are many different types of pet beds available, so be sure to stock the right ones for your customers’ specific needs. For example, puppies require beds that are chew-proof and have plenty of cushioning to prevent sore spots, while older dogs need more support in the form of memory foam or padding.
This donut cuddler is a great option for larger dogs, as it provides a cozy, plush space that can hold them while they stretch out to nap or curl up for a snuggle. It has a removable, washable cover and is available in several neutral colors to match most interior styles. The bed is also a good choice for older dogs with joint issues, as the 4-inch layer of memory foam offers plenty of comfort and relieves pressure points. It has a skid-resistant bottom to prevent the bed from scooting around on the floor, too.