7 Essential Accessories New Pet Owners Need to Be Prepared

If you’ve been thinking about bringing a pet into your home, you may already be aware of what a tremendously rewarding experience you are in for, assuming friends or relatives have been sharing their own experiences with you. There’s no doubt that owning a pet can be one of the most satisfying and fulfilling kinds of activities that you ever embark on, but in order to get the most out of your time with the new household addition, you should be as prepared as possible.

For instance, if you’re thinking about purchasing a dog from your local pet store, you can browse around and see which types are available here, or you can take a different approach and research which kind of dog you’d like to have, and then see where you can find it.

Either way, regardless of the type of dog you are going to purchase, you should learn a little bit about its characteristics and its traits so that you know what to expect once it arrives in the household. Some dogs, for example, require a great deal of exercise because they’re very active, whereas others are much less active, and prefer a more passive lifestyle.

Once you’ve selected the type of dog that you want to have, and you know a little bit about its breed, you’ll want to be prepared in your household in other ways for the coming of your new friend. That means you’ll have to go out and make the necessary purchases to accommodate the daily needs of your new pet so that you both can enjoy your time together. Below you’ll find a checklist of those items which you should purchase, to be well prepared for your new arrival.

Collar and Leash to be prepared

Most dogs require at least some kind of exercise, and you’ll want to take your dog for a walk every day at least once or twice, simply so they can relieve themselves after the stimulus of walking. You’ll need to have a collar and leash for these walks, and you might even enjoy the process of searching around for one which looks good on your pet, and which has a style that you appreciate. Your collar and leash can be a combination of useful necessity and style, but it will also be the place where your dog’s identification tags are attached.

Leash Bag

The leash bag can be clipped to the end of the leash, and its purpose is to contain several plastic bags which can be used on your walk through the neighborhood. Most towns and cities have rules and regulations about cleaning up after your pets, so you’ll want to be prepared with the necessary equipment to make this as painless as possible.

Coats and Sweaters

Some breeds of dogs have very thin coats, which means they have little natural protection against cold weather. Unless you intend to stop taking your dog for walks as soon as the temperature drops, you’ll need to prepare your dog for cold weather walks, so it can stay comfortable regardless of the weather outside.

The good news is that there is an enormous variety of coats and sweaters available in pet shops and elsewhere, so you’ll certainly have no trouble finding them, even if you do have trouble picking out exactly the right style you want.

A good dog is prepared to go on walk with his  new leash his owner just purchased in his mouth.

All new dog owners will need to buy leashes to be prepared for walking your new friend.

Dog Bed

You’ll definitely want to get a nice, comfy dog bed for your pet, even if it seems to prefer resting on your sofa most of the time. Dogs need to feel safe and secure, and having their own bed will also satisfy their territorial instinct, having their very own resting place that no one else uses. It’s also a good idea to provide your pet with a good dog bed so that you have a single location in the house which collects the hairs and dog fur, when shedding time comes around.

Food Bowls

You’ll need to have a bowl for water, a bowl for food, and it’s probably even a good idea to purchase a mat upon which both of them can be placed, so spills and messes can be isolated to the mat rather than on your kitchen floor. The mat will also help to avoid the possibility of having bowls sliding all around the floor, especially when your pet gets a little enthusiastic at feed time.

Umbrella Leash

When you get caught in the rain once with your pet, you’ll probably have a strong incentive to not let it happen again, because you may get soaked yourself, and your pet will have the wet dog fur syndrome. By including an umbrella leash along on your daily walks, you’ll always be prepared to pull out some protection for you and your pet against those unexpected showers.

Collapsible Water Bowl

The need for this might not be obvious, especially since you’ve already purchased a food bowl and a water bowl for your pet. However, when you’re out and about with your dog, especially on a very hot summer day, it could happen that your pet becomes somewhat dehydrated from the heat and humidity.

If you have a collapsible water bowl with you, you can quickly pour some fluid from your water bottle into the bowl, and let your pet re-hydrate. When thirst has been quenched, the bowl can be collapsed and replaced in your pocket.


Picky Canine: Getting Your Dog to Eat

A dog with leather leash in his mouth is waiting to go for a walk.

There are a few methods for taking care of your dog when they won’t eat.

Our canine companions are truly man’s best friend. But sometimes they can be prima donnas when it comes to eating their food. It’s important for your dog to eat right and eat often. For their own good, here’s how to take care of your picky eater.

Mixing Their Dog Food

Sometimes, your dog is just tired of the plain old dry food. Without having to break to bank to find them something new, make some changes to the dish. The first method is to mix some wet food or peanut butter with the dry food. Canines love both of these. Their nose will instantly be attracted the smell and they will eat all of their meal.

The second method is to mix some warm water with your dog’s dry food. This is perfect if your dog is used to wet food. When the dry food absorbs the water, it gives it a softer texture, making it similar to their old food.

Keep a Schedule

A little training can go a long way. It is pretty easy to train your pet dog to eat their food. You just have to get them used to a certain schedule. Your furry, four-legged friend should be eating twice of a day.

Set a time in the morning and night when for when you are going to present them with food. If you do it every day, they will know when to expect food. Make the feeding times 12 hours apart to build up their appetite.

If you are still having trouble, then become a little stricter. If they don’t eat the food within 30 minutes, take it away until the next feeding time. They will learn to eat their food fast, otherwise, it will go away.

Give Your Pet a Walk

You should walk your dog for various reasons. It gives them exercise and some peace of mind. If you walk your pet before feeding time, it should build up their appetite. When you get home, they should be more than ready to eat.

Bringing Home a Pet Bird: What You Need to Know

Colorful parrot bird sitting on the perch, which makes for a wonderful pet bird.

Looking for a pet bird to bring home? Here’s what you need to know.

Does anything look more majestic than a bird flapping its wings through the air? We didn’t think so. Birds are fascinating creatures and having them as pets can be a wonderful journey. However, like any other animal, a pet bird is a responsibility. So, here are a few things to keep in mind as you take care of your brand-new pet bird.

Know Your Bird, Know It’s Species

Taking care of a bird is not as simple as just bringing it home. It’s important to know what kind of friend you are bringing home with you. Whatever feathery little friend you have your eye on, be sure to ask the pet store owner about its species. Inquire about food, temperature, and personality traits. You are not just bringing a pet home but you’re introducing a friend into your life. Be prepared.

Already Own a Pet Bird? Consider a Few Things

If you already own a pet bird and want to get another one, we can’t blame you. Birds are fantastic creatures. On the other hand, you have to once again consider its species. While some birds get along just fine, other do not. Some can be aggressive or possibly dangerous towards others. Do some research and figure out if the two need separate cages.

Buying a Cage

Along with the purchase of a new pet comes its living area. For most pets, this comes in the form of a cage. You have to remember; a bird will end up spending most of its life in its cage. That cage needs to be comfortable, safe, and most of all, it needs to keep them happy.

That means that they need enough room to fly around in, especially bigger birds. You also have to think about the bars on the bird’s cage. If they are too close together then your feathered friend can potentially get caught in it and hurt themselves. Last but not least, if you find two birds that are friendly with each other, then buy a cage big enough for two.

Enjoying Some Recreation With Your Pet Ferret

Close up of one pet ferret laying down on a couch, while the other is inside a glass jar.

There are many benefits to both you and your pet ferret enjoying some quality time together.

Ferrets are fun-loving pets, and they will find ways to enjoy themselves, whether it be jumping around, doing a dance, or simply running into stuff. So why not join your pet ferret in the fun, and get in a little bonding time?

The Necessity of Spending Time With Your Pet Ferret

Here are some of the benefits that both you and your ferret will derive from enjoying this quality time together.

  • Ferrets need to be more than just physically stimulated by their recreation. Make them exercise mentally as well. This will keep your pet happy.
  • Recreation has the same effect on both humans and ferrets. Endorphin levels are increased. This is what makes us and our pets feel good after exercise, and it helps to build the bond.
  • If laughter is the best medicine, playing with your ferret will be good for your health. Seeing the antics of these delightful creatures can result in some hearty laughter and an overall good time.

In reality, both you and your ferret will benefit equally from such activity. To plan out activities, remember these two things:

  1. Don’t repeat the same activities every time. Ferrets get bored pretty easy, so be original. You can repeat things your pet seems to enjoy—but not day after day.
  2. You could get some ferret toys at the store, but it can be much more enjoyable coming up with an idea and making some yourself at home. Plenty of things are available in your home that could easily become a game to a ferret, such as something to crawl through, chew on, or toss around.

The primary thing to remember is how smart these little creatures are. It’s not enough to just let them out of the cage for a few hours per day. They need some stimulation. A ferret that becomes destructive is more than likely a really bored ferret. Your interaction can make the difference in whether or not your pet ferret feels a meaningful connection to you and a sense of happiness in your home.

What to Think About Before Getting a Lizard as a Pet

A number of lizards make great companion pets. Several types of reptiles are becoming more mainstream than ever before, especially the bearded dragon and certain types of geckos. However, you need to think about a few things before you select and bring your first lizard home.

Where Did It Come From?

You want your pet lizard to have been bred in captivity. That means it was not taken from the wild—whether legally or illegally. It’s much easier to care for a captive-bred lizard because they have fewer diseases. It is also good for that species to not have wild populations that have been harvested for pets.

Do You Want to Hold It?

Some lizards are excellent companions that don’t mind being held or even sitting on your lap, shoulder, etc. Other lizards should stay in their habitat with the lid tightly sealed, or they will make a quick getaway. Choose your lizard based on how much you want to be able to handle it.

How Interesting Do You Want Your Lizard to Be?

A lot of lizards pretty much do nothing but sun themselves and sleep except when it is feeding time. If you want an active pet that will provide you with entertainment, you have to choose your reptile wisely. Also, a larger tank will give your pet lizard more room to be active.

How Much Will It Cost?

The type of lizard will determine the initial cost of the animal itself, and will dictate the size tank needed as well as the kind of food. These factors can result in a significant variance in costs, so know your budget and choose your lizard accordingly. Also, make sure that there is a vet nearby who can care for your pet since many vets know very little about reptiles, or at least have little-to-no experience with them.

Your Pet’s Needs

Finally, you need to learn what your pet’s needs will be. From habitat to diet, every lizard is a little different. Make sure you have the time to commit to necessary tasks like tank cleaning. Plus, remember that some lizards live for decades, so you are making a long-term commitment.

The Best Greens for Your Turtle

Dark green veggies are important, especially for certain varieties of turtle. Wood and box turtles are a couple of examples of those that require some vitamin-rich roughage. How can you make sure that your turtle is getting enough calcium without taking in too much phosphorous? Here are some examples.

Maintaining the 2-to-1 Ratio

The optimal ratio for most pets is having twice as much calcium as phosphorus. That makes endives and radicchio two of your best options. Both are in the 1.9–2.1–to–1 range. A spring mix can also be beneficial since most will contain endives and chicory, which is also in the right range. While romaine is high in phosphorus, leaf lettuce is high in calcium, so they will even out in the blend. Kale is another good option, but be careful of the high-oxalate level.

What Are Oxalates?

Oxalates are an organic acid that binds calcium molecules. If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, it was likely the calcium-oxalate variety. While it is obviously bad to combine too much of these two elements, some oxalates are vital. One way to add oxalates to your turtle’s diet is with kale. Noted above for its calcium ratio, kale is also high in oxalates, so use it a little more sparingly. Mustard greens, watercress, dandelion greens, and escarole are also acceptable. You can use parsley on occasion. Parsley has a great calcium-to-phosphorus ratio but is a little higher in oxalates.

Foods like spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard are very high in oxalates. They have 7–10 times the amount of some of the greens noted above. That means these greens should only be used occasionally, if at all.

For Picky Eaters

If your turtle isn’t into salad, you may have to get creative. Don’t feed your turtle junk just because it won’t go for the good stuff. Try putting a few mealworms on the salad to get your turtle’s attention. Or you can sparingly use some fresh berries like strawberries or raspberries; most red fruits are okay.

Is It Enough Calcium for Your Turtle?

Even if you can get your turtle to eat some salad, it may not be the right amount of calcium. Powdered supplements are available that you can sprinkle on your turtle’s meal a couple of times per week.

A Companion Pet: The Secret to a Healthier You

Are you wondering if having a pet is worth the hard work of caring for it on a daily basis? Researchers have identified and examined the many pluses of owning a pet. Consider some of the health benefits you can obtain by getting a companion pet.

  • Stay Active – Pets help people stay active. Playing with a pet, feeding a pet, and even cleaning up after a pet, all get a person off the couch and doing something. In a world where a sedentary life is causing health issues for many, a pet may be the solution you’re looking for.
  • Reduce Stress – Pets can help lower your stress levels. They give you a buddy who loves you unconditionally. In fact, a study from 2011 revealed that pet owners with coronary disease have a greater survival rate.
  • Allergen Control – Usually, pets get a bad rap when it comes to allergies, but a pet can actually help a young child develop fewer allergies later in life. According to one study, it is particularly beneficial for children to be exposed to pet dander before their first birthday.
  • Social Benefits – Pets often help a person become more socially active. This is especially true when it comes to unique and exotic pets. Close communities develop over the care of such beloved companions.
  • Increased Life Expectancy – A longer life isn’t something only cardiac patients enjoy from owning a pet. Experts believe that pets help any person live longer because they contribute to a higher quality of life and make the pet owner feel happy and fulfilled.
  • Greater Self-WorthResearch has also shown that pet owners may feel better about themselves. Taking care of a pet leads to happiness, a feeling of accomplishment, a sense of being needed, and thereby improves the pet owner’s self-esteem.

Caring for a pet is a responsibility, but it is one from which great benefits can be derived. If nothing else, many companion pet owners feel they have received a great friend in their beloved pet.