When bringing home your new four-legged companion, you will probably feel a clutter of emotions. One minute you feel excited to bring home your adorable new fur baby; the next minute, you feel anxious about the new adjustments and whether or not you are prepared for the responsibilities of being a pet parent.
Whether you are bringing home a cat or a dog, it’s best to be prepared with the basic essentials your pet needs. While cats are more independent and low-maintenance, dogs are loyal and obedient but tend to require more time, attention, and money. Check out these resources for dog owners and see how they can help on your new journey!
In the meantime, here are ten pet essentials every pet owner needs!
This is a no-brainer. It’s the number one essential for all living things. Like humans, pets also need healthy food. So, make sure whatever you feed your pet has all the nutrients your pet needs. It is important to remember that puppies and kittens have different nutritional needs than their adult versions.
2. Food and Water Bowls
Clearly, you can’t just have your pet eat food and drink water off the floor; you need bowls! While plastic bowls appear more stylish and come in various colors and designs, they are not always the best choice.
Sometimes, cats and dogs like to playfully nibble on the bowl, which could expose them to certain bacteria housed in these plastics. Avoid breakable bowls like ceramic, too. Stainless steel bowls, on the other hand, are a great option. They are relatively durable and easy to clean. Look for a stainless steel bowl with a non-skid rim on the bottom to prevent it from moving around as your pet tries to eat, making his meal experience more comfortable. These bowls may not come in colorful designs but are more practical.
Nevertheless, proper care of these bowls is still important. Stainless steel is rust-resistant but only to some extent. Even the highest quality stainless steel won’t be completely rust-proof.
For large dogs, you may want to consider raised bowls. Collapsible bowls are a good option if you often travel with your pet.
If you work long hours at the office, pet water fountains are a great option to ensure your pet is hydrated. Plus, cats and dogs prefer to drink running water because it’s fresher and cooler.
Avoid bowls made of plastic, as they may contain BPA, a carcinogenic chemical. In addition, pets may scratch them and create marks and openings for bacteria to grow and thrive, which is likely to make your pet sick.
3. Grooming Kit
Both cats and dogs need regular grooming. Although cats self-groom themselves, they can still get matted fur like dogs. Brushing them, especially if they have long fur regularly is important. Bathe your pet regularly to help maintain a healthy coat and skin. Use pet nail clippers to trim your pet’s nails.
The grooming kit includes shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush or dental chews, brush, nail clippers, hair scissors, thinning shears, and ear cleaner.
4. A Comfy Bed
Plush and comfy beds are usually what come to mind for most pet owners, but you may want to shift on the side of caution if you are unsure whether your new dog is a chewer or not. To be safe, get one of those elevated dog beds instead.
5. Poop Essentials
The nasty part of owning a pet is the clean-up. Hence, it is essential to have these poop essentials ready at your disposal.
If your dog prefers to do his business outside, poop bags and pooper scooper are best for the job. Potty pads are ideal if you are potty training them or if they are left home alone for hours during your workdays. There is no other obvious choice for cats—a litter box with litter pellets and a scooper.
6. Collar and Tag
Every pet should wear a collar and tag with their name and owner’s information, such as name, address, or phone number. If your pet gets lost, this will help them find their way home. You can have the collar and tag customized to fit your furry friend’s personality. Your pet should be comfortable wearing the collar and tag, so make sure to get the right size.
7. Leash and Harness
Dogs love going for walks—it’s also a way to exercise! So, leash and harness should be on your list. Although most dog owners prefer just a leash, a harness gives more comfort and security.
8. Fun Toys
Whether you have a cat or a dog, they both need fun and stimulation. Dogs enjoy Kong toys while cats enjoy catnip-infused mouse-shaped toys. Avoid toys with small parts that can easily be bitten off—they are a choking hazard.
Pets can get most of the nutrients from their healthy pet food. But sometimes, they can be picky eaters. So it is best to give them an extra dose of those nutrients through supplements.
Treats are very helpful when you start training your pet. They can serve as a reward for any good behavior.