No matter if you have a cat, a dog, every pet has items – like food and toys – that it needs to live a long, happy life. These pet essentials can be found at any pet store, like petrichor, and usually come in tons of varieties so you can find the best match for your pet. Make sure you have all these essentials before bringing a pet into your home; running to the store in the middle of the night because you don’t have pet food is not a good idea. Here’s a list of 10 pet essentials that every pet owner needs for their pet
The first obvious pet essential is food. Whether you choose raw food, dehydrated food, freeze-dried food, air-dried food, canned food or kibble, every pet needs healthy food. Make sure whatever food choice you go with has all the nutrients your pet needs.
Keep in mind that kittens and puppies, as well as elders, will need a different diet from adult cats and dogs.
2. Food and Water Bowls
Pet water and food bowls can be as simple as two stainless steel or ceramic bowls. But if you’re looking for something more elaborate than this, you’ll can definitely find it. Pet stores carry everything from elevated bowls to filtered water bowls. And of course, you can always personalize your water and food bowls with your pet’s name.
3. Leash and Collar
Like with water and food bowls, leashes and collars can be personalized and come in many varieties. There are retractable leashes, leashes with poop bag dispensers, leashes with padded handles, reflective collars, and LED light collars. Find what works with your pet and don’t feel bad about having multiple leashes. Different leashes can serve different purposes and it’s always smart idea to have an extra leash on hand. Slip leashes are excellent for this purpose as you can simply slip it over your pet’s head if there’s not a collar. It’s a great backup to have.
When it comes to collars, the choices are just as endless. Again, it comes down to what best meets yours and your pet’s needs. Keep in mind that when it comes to cat collars, a break-away collar is best in case the collar becomes snagged when climbing.
4. Pet Identification Tag and Microchip
These might seem like things you can put off and take care of whenever you get around to it but that is not the case. According to American Humane, almost 10 million pets are lost each year.1 Make sure to update your pet’s ID tag every time your contact information changes. In addition, if the shelter or breeder where you got your pet from does not microchip your dog or cat, you should have it done by your veterinarian. You never know when accidents or emergencies will happen and you’ll want to protect your new pet immediately.
5. Pet First Aid Kit
You can buy a ready-made kit for your pet or create one yourself. Either way, a good pet first aid kit should have at a minimum the following items:
- Sterile gauze pads
- Adhesive tap
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Cotton balls
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Digital thermometer
- Optionally a muzzle
6. Pet Bed
Unless you want your pet sleeping in your bed, you need to provide an alternative. Our last pet essentials item is beds and furniture. Dog beds are great options for your canine companion, but a great option for your cat is a cat tower or cat tree with a scratching post.
These trees or towers offer sleeping spots and additional vertical space, and they also help your cat focus on scratching that one area instead of your entire house. Keep in mind that cats need to scratch for nail health.
7. Treats and Toys
What’s a precious new pet without treats to enjoy and toys to occupy them? The choices are unlimited but try focusing on treats and toys that serve a purpose—health, training, or stimulation. Keep in mind that overfeeding a pet can lead to obesity which carries health risks like diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension, and even cancer.
A scratching post for a cat is a necessity. Be sure to buy one that is tall enough for your cat to stand on his hind legs and stretch without exceeding the top. Also, check to see that the scratching post has a heavy enough base so that it won’t tip over. If you have more than one cat, buy each of them their own scratching post.
8. Pet Grooming BrushGrooming or brushing your pet’s coat daily removes dead hair and keeps their fur from getting tangled or matted. Regular brushings also help lessen the fur and dander in your home. When you visit a pet store or go online, you’ll find everything from wire brushes to bristle brushes to deshedding brushes and even glove brushes.
A lot of pets don’t like to have their teeth brushed. As a result, some pet owners become lax in keeping up the oral hygiene of their pets. This can become detrimental to your pet’s health and turn into a costly visit to the veterinarian’s office. In addition to periodic professional dental cleanings, you should ideally brush your pet’s teeth every day, and at a minimum three times a week. Pet stores sell special toothpaste for cats and dogs that make the taste more desirable to them. Some pet owners find it easier to brush their dog or cat’s teeth with a finger brush rather than a traditionally shaped toothbrush.
10. Nail Trimmer
Many pets don’t like their paws being touched and consequently nail trimming an become a chore for pet owners. That said, it’s important to trim your pet’s nails every three to four weeks. For pet owners, there is always the fear of cutting the animal’s quick where blood vessels and nerve endings are located. Doing this will cause the nail to bleed. Styptic powder is a good product to have on hand in the event that this occurs. A good way to avoid cutting the quick is to cut your pet’s nail a little bit at a time.