Hey, pet parents! It’s time to get serious about taking care of your furry friends. No more buying just any old product off the shelf. Instead, it’s time to do some research and find the best ones for them. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a guide on how to do just that. So read on and find out how to make sure your pet is getting the best possible natural pet products and care that they rightfully deserve for all that unconditional love they give you each and every day.
What Are Pet Care Products?
Let’s start with the basics. Pet care products are anything you buy for your pet to make them healthier and happier. This includes everything from food and supplements to beds, leashes, and toys. So knowing which products to buy is important for your pet’s health. Let’s take a closer look at each major category of pet care products.
Possibly the most essential aspect of taking good care of your dog or cat is ensuring they’re getting the right food. There are plenty of healthy food options for dogs and cats. In addition to choosing the kind of food you’ll give them, it’s also important to read the ingredient lists. Food made with high-quality, healthy proteins and free from fillers should be your aim. Here are some popular food types you’ll find at the pet store and online:
- Kibble – A dry kibble is a good option for many pets. It’s a balanced blend of protein, fat, and carbs that your pet needs. It has a good shelf life and is convenient for most owners to use.
- Raw Food – Many people swear by raw foods for their pets. It requires more planning and prep than other diets, but it can benefit pet health. Raw food is usually homemade and made up of raw meat, bones, vegetables, and supplements like probiotics and enzymes. Some ready-made options are now available, but they can be pricey.
- Dehydrated – Dehydrated foods are another excellent option for pets. They offer rich flavors and can be used to entice picky eaters. Easy to store, they’re brought back to life by adding water.
- Freeze-Dried – This kind of pet food undergoes a dehydration process where sublimation takes moisture out. This food keeps the nutritional value high, and, like dehydrated options, it is easy to bring back to life with a little warm water.
- Canned Food – These foods have a lot of moisture and generally smell great to pets. So they’re ideal for dogs or cats that are dehydrated, losing weight, or sick.
- Allergen-Free Recipes – Pet foods that are allergen-free can come in any of the above forms. Their ingredients generally leave out some or all of the common allergens, including beef, chicken, egg, wheat, soy, and more. Read the labels carefully to ensure the one you’re choosing is suitable for your pet.
Pet supplements come in a wide variety of different forms. They can be pills, liquids, or powders. Supplements are a good choice for a variety of pets. Unfortunately, many owners wait to start using supplements until a health issue has developed. Still, they work great for preventative care as well. Just be sure to buy from trusted, reputable brands as oversight and regulation remain limited compared to human dietary supplement regulations. Pets commonly need supplements for the following:
- Hip and Joint – Glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) are common supplements for pets suffering from hip or joint issues or those likely to develop problems. These products support healthy joints and hips in dogs and cats of all ages.
- Skin and Coat – Several supplements can help with skin and coat problems in pets. These include essential fatty acids like omega 3, vitamin B, and vitamin E.
- Gastrointestinal Health and Digestion – Pets with digestive problems can benefit from probiotics and prebiotics found in supplements. These help to support a healthy gut and maintain optimal digestion.
- Anxiety – Some pets require natural calming support. These supplements can improve relaxation, reduce behaviors like excessive barking and meowing, and lower other symptoms associated with anxiety. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a typical example of a calming supplement for pets.
- Immune System and General Health – Pets can benefit from supplements that strengthen their immune system. This type of supplement is often made with antioxidants, essential vitamins, and other ingredients that help to increase their body’s ability to fight off free radicals that cause disease.
Pet Hygiene and Grooming
High-quality dog grooming products and cat grooming products and services are essential for your furry friend. Therefore, having the right products on hand or guiding your groomer to use the right ones is very important. Here are some common considerations for pet hygiene and grooming products:
- Bathing – Some people prefer to bathe their pets themselves, while some take them to the groomer. Regardless of who’s doing the work, be sure they’re using a shampoo for dogs or cats that is suitable for their coat and skin type. For example, some will need a sensitive skin shampoo to prevent irritation.
- Teeth – An excellent way to prevent tooth issues from developing is regularly brushing your pet’s teeth. For this, you’ll need pet toothpaste and a special pet toothbrush. Never use human toothpaste for dogs or cats. Your veterinarian may also recommend supplements or special foods to help maintain dental health in your pet. Speak to them on your next visit to learn more about the products they recommend.
- Ear Cleaning – Many pets need their ears cleaned from time to time. Items you’ll need are soft cloths, cotton balls, and a gentle vet-recommended ear cleaner. Ask your vet for a tutorial on how to clean your pet’s ears the next time you’re in.
- Nose and Paws – If your pet has dry or cracked paw pads, nose problems, or other issues with their feet or face, you may need to look into special balms to help them out. These will help soothe, heal, and repair the areas where your pet needs it most.
- Claws – Keeping nails trimmed and in good condition is a big part of general grooming for pets. Clippers will cut the nails, while sandpaper-like tools file them down to prevent discomfort. Talk to your vet or groomer about what types of products they recommend for keeping claws healthy and strong
- Grooming – You can choose to groom your pets yourself using brushes and combs, or you can take them to the groomer for this type of work. Clippers and shavers can also be used depending on your pet’s breed and coat type.
Pet Exercise, Play, and Comfort
The last category we’ll touch on is the more recreational side of pet life. Many of us like taking our pets out on walks, playing with them in the yard or living room, and cuddling with them when they need it most. Here are some everyday products that can help your pet live their best lives:
- Walking – A pet carrier or harness will help your pet comfortably and safely get around. You’ll need a leash as well as a collar with ID tags to further ensure their safety.
- Paw Protection – As we mentioned above, keeping your pet’s paws in good condition is a big part of general grooming. Paw palms, as well as boots or shoes, help keep paws healthy and clean.
- Toys – Toys come in all shapes and sizes. When choosing them, it’s important to think about how and when your pet plays so you can pick the right one. Toys for dogs and cats serve different purposes, and it’s important to keep in mind that not all pet toys are created equal.
- Sleeping – When it comes to comfort, your pet will appreciate a good bed in which to curl up and rest. Look for one that is soft, comfortable, and big enough for them to fit in easily. You may also consider a crate or pet house of some type where your furry friend can sleep when you’re not around.
Pets are a huge responsibility, but one that is often very rewarding. Keeping them healthy, groomed, and comfortable is the goal of every pet owner. Unfortunately, knowing what products help and how to find them can sometimes be a challenge. Still, hopefully, our guide will help improve your knowledge and provide some insight into the pet world.
Photo credit: Source: PinkCoffee Studio/Shutterstock.com
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