Pet Supplies Buying Guide

by Stephanie Petersen
Published April 28, 2010 | Updated February 17, 2015

Pets are more than just animals; they are friends and companions. Studies have shown that having pets can reduce stress, relieve depression, lower blood pressure, and even reduce health-care costs. Show your gratitude to your pets with the best pet supplies. This pet supplies buying guide will help you understand what you need to show the animal companions in your life that they are welcome in your home.

Pet Supplies for Dogs:

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  • Kennels:

    Use a kennel for your dog to sleep in at night or spend the day in while you're gone. You may also want to purchase pet supplies and kennels for your car to protect your dog in accidents.

  • Dog beds:

    Dog beds come in different sizes and shapes, so choose one that is right for your dog's sleeping habits and for his breed.

  • Dog toys:

    The bigger your dog is, the tougher the pet toy needs to be. Remember to replace dog toys when they have been chewed up -- before they start falling apart -- to avoid choking hazards.

  • Dog treats:

    Use dog treats for training, for cleaning teeth and for supplementing your dog's diet.

  • Feeders and dishes:

    Vets recommend ceramic or stainless steel dishes over plastic ones because plastic can get scratched and harbor bacteria. A raised pet feeder is especially healthy for dogs because standing while eating makes digestion easier.

  • Dog collars and leashes:

    Collars are very important for every dog. By attaching identification tags to the dog collar, your dog can be easily identified and returned if she runs away. You can attach a dog leash directly to the collar or to a harness.

Pet Supplies for Cats

  • Cat beds:

    Since most cats sleep curled up, cats often only need round cat beds. Note all the spots in your house where your cat likes to sleep and put pet beds in each of those spots.

  • Litter boxes:

    Other than food and water, litter boxes are the most important things for cats to have to be comfortable. Choose between standard, covered, or self-cleaning litter boxes, and fill them with a safe, non-toxic litter.

  • Cat collars:

    Cat collars usually have either a stretchy section of elastic or a break-away collar to keep your cat from choking if she snags her collar on a branch. It's very important to your cat's safety that you purchase pet supplies designed specifically for cats.

  • Scratching posts:

    Kitties have a natural instinct to scratch, and if you don't provide your cat with scratching posts and other cat furniture, she'll likely start scratching your furniture and drapes.

  • Cat toys:

    Cat toys can range from little toy mice to large cat towers. Having a few small toys around when you are not home can keep your cat entertained. Cats love to interact with you when you play with dangling toys.

Pet Supplies for Fish

  • Aquarium:

    Aquariums range from small desktop fish bowls to large wall-sized tanks. Contrary to what you may expect, maintaining the water in a large aquarium can be easier than in a small one.

  • Filter and air pump:

    Fish tank filters and air pumps remove particles and impurities from the tank and provide oxygen, keeping the water clean and healthy for your fish.

  • Landscaping and plants:

    Landscaping and plants beautify your aquarium, and live plants also add oxygen to the water. Some types of fish like having places to hide, so be sure to provide the right pet supplies in your landscaping.

  • Thermometer and heater:

    Thermometers and heaters regulate your aquarium's temperature. Depending on the fish breeds you choose, you will need to maintain your aquarium at a specific temperature.

Pet Supplies for Birds

  • Cages:

    Choose bird cages and perches based on the size of your bird. Make sure she can spread her wings in her cage.

  • Bird toys:

    Bird toys are important for keeping birds entertained, especially for large breeds, like parrots.

  • Bird treats:

    Treats for birds can range from millet to dried fruit. To ensure you get the best bird treats for your specific breed, be sure to do some research or check with your veterinarian.

Pet Supplies for Reptiles

  • Aquarium or terrarium:

    Landscape an aquarium or terrarium with reptile supplies, like sand, plants, heating rocks, and hiding places.

  • Treats and food:

    Reptile treats range from pellets to live insects or rodents. With so many variations in species and breeds, you'll want to be sure to research your reptile's preferences before purchasing pet supplies.