A Brief Shopping Guide for Pet Supplies
- Shopping Guides
- Published on Friday, 19 February 2021 20:34
- Last Updated on 19 February 2021
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Shopping has its perks, but it can also be quite overwhelming at times. You may think that this won’t apply to pets because of their simplicity, but you would be wrong to think so. In fact, since animals have little to no idea regarding what’s good for them and can’t express even the very little that they do know by instinct, shopping for pets can be tricky! If you are a new pet owner, then you will really appreciate the little guide we have put together for you today, but even if you have had pets since childhood, a few of the tips might actually surprise you.
Don’t Assume Things About Your Pet’s Diet While Shopping
We assume a lot of things about our pets, which is a bad idea when it comes to animals. For example, if you had a Scottish terrier before, do not assume that your new English Mastiff will make do with same diet. Dogs need more or less the same nutrients, with slight variations between how much of which nutrient is included per meal, depending on sex, age, species, activity, etc. However, that difference in nutritional needs, along with the amount of food, and the number of meals necessary, is huge between big and small dog breeds. There will also be significant changes in their diet as they grow from a puppy to an adult dog.
This does not just apply to dogs, but most other pets as well. For example, guinea pigs and rabbits are often kept together, and they are even put on the same diet. Unfortunately, guinea pigs cannot biosynthesise vitamin C, while rabbits can. This would eventually lead to scurvy, unless they are supplied with the additional dose of vitamin C every day by either supplementation, and/or by offering that extra cup of fresh, green veggies. The issue with rabbits is that they will eat that extra cup of veggies before the guinea pig can get to it, only to make themselves sick from overeating! On the other hand, guinea pigs have amazing intuition regarding when to stop eating in order to not get themselves sick. They can still end up eating too much from time to time, so portion control is still advised.
As should be clear by now, food shopping lists for pets need to be species, breed, health condition and age specific. Do not just assume things about your pets, but first go to the right kind of vet (avian vet for birds, aquatic vet for fish, etc.) and understand what they need to eat before making that shopping list.
Food is Not the Only Thing that Should be On Your Shopping List
Other than food and treats, you may also need to restock on several other items, which will vary widely depending on the pet itself. Some of the usual stuff includes:
- Vitamins, calcium and other nutritional supplements, based on your vet’s suggestions
- Soaps and/or shampoos, depending on the pet – dogs need baths, cats don’t, except in special circumstances
- Bed/cage/crate/cushions/perches or anything else needed for their sleeping arrangements
- Collars, tags, harnesses, leashes, etc.
- Feeding bowls, litter boxes, scoops, latex gloves (you will need them!)
- Nail clippers (nail sizes vary widely, so pay attention to the size information if you are ordering online)
- Tooth cleansers for cats and dogs
- Brushes (make it appropriate for the fur type and the size of your pet)
- Pet-safe plushies, balls, chew toys and soft toys
- Any veterinary supplies that your vet does not have at the clinic
These are just a few examples of course, and so much depends on the pet itself. However, some of these hold a lot more importance than people give them credit for. For example, without regular clipping, dogs, cats and even big birds will grow long claws, which will ultimately end up hurting themselves and those around them. If we take the tooth cleanser on the other hand, most pet owners rely on vets only to have their pet’s teeth cleaned, and some do not even consider it an essential part of their cat’s or dog’s hygiene for some reason. They would only go to the vet after the stench from their dog’s or cat’s mouth becomes too unbearable for them.
In a guide for teaching people how to clean their pet’s teeth regularly, YuMOVE explains the reason why dogs get what we know as “doggie breath” in the first place. Just like human beings, dogs also develop plaque on their teeth (bacteria + food) and when they are not cleaned regularly from the dog’s teeth, that bacterial plaque solidifies into tartar. Over time, their teeth also start rotting away after being in constant contact with bacterial digestive acids.
This issue, alongside other painful dental health issues such as gum disease can make your beloved pet very sick and sad. YuMOVE’s guide can help you to understand how to clean your pet’s teeth safely and effectively, reducing the chance of this issue occurring and helping you to treat it if it does. The company also offers a wide range of grooming products for your dog, so you can get all of the advice and solutions that you need from this innovative organisation.
Buy Toys from an Authentic, Safe Source
Random pet toys can be deadly for pets if you are not careful. For example, there could be toxins in a chew toy, and parakeets may end up eating a piece of plastic after happily breaking a toy down. A few warnings such as the ones as mentioned next should be able to help you add only pet-safe toys to your basket:
- Styrofoam stuffing is particularly bad for dogs
- None of the toys should be small enough for your pet to be able to swallow them
- They should not have easily breakable parts
- Throw balls should never be small enough to swallow for dogs either, although they often are!
- If you have a giant dog and the throw balls are too small, buying a frisbee will do just fine
- Cats love playing with strings, ribbons, wool, rubber bands etc. and unfortunately, kittens choke on them quite regularly as well, so any such toys are a no-go
Change the toys every now and then as this ensures that they do not become too brittle and start breaking off.
The prime idea behind shopping for pet food, accessories, toys and other supplies is to not guess or assume. Do your research, talk to a vet, and use your own intelligence, common sense and understanding about your pet to make the best decisions.
Do not walk into a pet shop at random and ask for the staff’s opinion about things that they may have no experience with at all. They can only sell you what they have and asking them for an honest opinion is not the best way to go about it. There is a clear conflict of interest here, not to mention the fact that they may, in reality, have no clue about what you are asking! There are exceptions, of course, but try to rely on more authentic sources of information about your pet’s needs before shopping, rather than the random store clerk for obvious reasons.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums