Our content is free because we earn a commission when you click or make a purchase from links on our site. Learn more about how we make money.

The 5 Most Important Things You’ll Ever Buy for Your Pet

5 Essentials to Keep Pets Safe, Happy, and Healthy

Pet supplies are a multi-billion-dollar industry, and pet owners have a seemingly limitless number of choices for their pet’s safety, care, and entertainment. Wading through the vast array of collars, leashes, toys, bones, treats – not to mention foods – can be confusing and intimidating (and often quite expensive).

Narrowing the choices down to a few key categories can help pet owners cover the necessities without becoming overwhelmed.

#1    Restraint/Containment Devices

Beagle on long Leash

At some point or another, pets will need to be restrained. Trips to the vet, boarding, emergency situations, or even going for a walk require that a pet is under control and unable to wander. Depending on the pet, an owner might need a collar and leash, harness, cage, crate, or kennel. Ensuring pets are properly restrained and contained will keep them safe and prevent them from becoming a nuisance to the community.

#2    Grooming Supplies

Pet Grooming Supplies

Keeping a pet in good condition includes attending to their grooming needs. Specific grooming tools will vary depending on the type of pet. In general, however, a grooming kit should contain shampoo; brush, comb, or rake; toothbrush; ear cleaner; and nail trimmers or grinders such as PediPaws.

Regular grooming can also detect early stages of potential health concerns.

#3    Food and Treats

Pet food in bowls on the floor

Choosing an appropriate pet food and treats can be an overwhelming task. There is a myriad of manufacturers, many with multiple product lines and highly-paid marketing departments.

Pet owners should understand the basic dietary needs of their pet (carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore) and seek food and treats that best address those needs, with an eye toward a reasonable price and availability.

#4   Toys

Dog toys on white background

While it’s easy for pet owners to go overboard with the variety of toys available on the market, pets do need some toys to keep them active and entertained. Each pet may have different tastes, even among members of the same species or breed.

For the basics, a pet should have a toy it can chase or with which it can interact, a toy that makes noise, and a toy it can chew.

#5   Pet Insurance

little boy walking his puppy

Veterinary costs increase steadily, and severe illness or emergency care can quickly add up to several thousand dollars. While some pet owners may be able to easily set up an emergency fund to cover such contingencies, most would need several years to save an adequate amount.

Pet insurance plans like Healthy Paws reimburse owners 90% of covered services, for a monthly premium as low as $1 per day. Owners should consider whether they have the available funds to put into a pet savings account, or whether they would be better served by purchasing pet insurance.

The options you will face while purchasing pet supplies are endless. Be sure to consider your pet, your budget, and your lifestyle before spending your hard-earned money. These five must-have items will cover your pet’s basic needs and using this shopping list can seriously cut down on your pet-related expenses.

  1. Reply
    Jim Liston 11/17/2015 at 2:55 am

    I enjoy buying toys for my dog and cats. It’s fun to see their excitement when I bring them home. I usually put them away after a week or so, and bring out other toys, it’s like the toys are new again to them. I agree that choosing pet foods and treats is an overwhelming task. But it’s very important to make sure they are receiving all the necessary nutrients, so, I don’t mind spending more for them.

    I’ve never looked into pet insurance, but it sure makes sense. Vet bills can get very expensive, especially if there is any kind of a health problem. Thanks for the information.

  2. Reply
    Andrea Robinson 11/17/2015 at 3:42 am

    I love the common-sense choices presented here, especially the breakdown of the toys, because one can buy a zillion toys and suddenly realize that one is missing one of those types! A zillion squeaky toys do not make up for the lack of chew toys.

    A note about pet insurance: if you’re planning to stick with treatment in case of severe accident or illness, it hardly matters what you’ve saved up. A savings account is something that can be used up quickly and then will take a long time to replace, and that won’t do your pet any good. The best insurance is always preventive medicine, such as a parvo shot that will save you $5,000 trying to save a puppy from parvo. But you can’t always predict what will happen. Parvo is fairly predictable, as most puppies are prone to it and the germs are everywhere. That’s why vaccines were created for it. But there are catastrophic illnesses you can’t predict, no matter how careful you are.

    Great article, as always!


Leave a reply