We’re getting a new puppy very soon and I couldn’t be more excited! But with great responsibility comes a lot of advice and possibly unnecessary products, kind of like when I was making a baby registry. While pup won’t be getting a wipe warmer, there are some things we’ll definitely need, from the basics to some nice-to-have accessories and toys. But just because I’m dog-focused at the moment, I didn’t leave out you other pet owners! I rounded up stuff for cat parents along with hamster and fish parents, too. My goal was to create a pet parent starter pack so you don’t go out and buy crazy things your pet might not actually like or use (you won’t know until you get more acquainted with your new bestie) while forgetting important essentials!
From the best dog harnesses and leashes to cat condos and scratching posts, here’s what you need to start life as a new pet parent.
This Puppy Teething Toy Will Save Your Shoes
Puppies gonna chew, no matter what you do so why not give them a specialized puppy teething toy to save your house, shoes and everything else from that cute little munching machine? This one’s shaped like a binky (aww!) and you can insert treats or peanut butter in the top so it’ll keep them busy longer till they’re hopefully all chewed out. It’s from Kong, which is a dog toy brand known for their chew toys, so when puppy’s ready to graduate to the next level there’s a bigger toy for that!
These Grooming Wipes Keep Fido Fresh
When pup doesn’t need a full bath, or it’s not convenient to do so, these grooming wipes come in handy to freshen up fur and paws. They’re earth-friendly and made with 100% sustainably harvested bamboo fiber. But even better, they’re filled with good stuff like aloe vera, Vitamin E and Hawaiian awapuhi to condition and give a healthy shine. Good for paws, coats and bums between baths – works for me, since bathing the little rascal is sure to be a trial for both of us!
This Cat Condo Doubles As A Scratching Toy
How cute is this cat condo that looks like a box of milk? It brings back old-school memories of lunchtime in the cafeteria! Not only is it adorable, but the inside has five layers of corrugated cardboard so your kitty can scratch with satisfaction. It even comes with bonus catnip that you can sprinkle into the cardboard to keep them busy for a really long time. Chill kitty that won’t use your couch as a scratching post? Yes, please!
This Dog Toy Set Has Everything You Need
When pup gets a little older, he’ll need more toys to keep him occupied and entertained. I love this dog toy set for the sheer variety, from balls to squeaky animals to rope toys and more. You get 12 durable toys for hours of play with your pet. Oh, and it has over 2,000 glowing reviews for great quality and value. I can’t wait to find out which one is our dog’s favorite!
This Cat Carrying Backpack Is Hilarious
Want to take kitty for an outing but they won’t wear a harness? Pop her right in this cat carrying backpack and go on your merry way! She gets to see a bit of the outside world through the little porthole, and you get to finally take your sidekick on some adventures. Don’t worry about kitty being able to breathe – there’s plenty of ventilation in the front and the back so it’ll stay pretty airy inside.
This Cozy Pet Bed Is Self-Warming
This pet bed looks so cozy I want to curl up in it and take a cat nap! Your pet will too – it’s sized right for cats and small dogs – and it’s an orthopedic dream! The sides offer head and neck support, and the high back is good for sore joints. Also good for achy joints is the fact that it’s self-warming – pets just climb in and the fuzzy fabric envelops them in a warm hug. The best news though is that the bottom pad is waterproof and the whole thing is machine washable, so buh-bye stinky pet beds!
This Angry Orange Odor Eliminator Is A Must-Have
Honestly, this Angry Orange odor eliminator spray should’ve been first on the list of things new pet parents need. My friend with two cats recommended it to me to clean up after the puppy’s inevitable potty training messes because it really gets the smell out. It’s non-toxic and made from fresh orange oil, so it smells heavenly and is safe to use around pets and people. It also has nearly 9,000 glowing reviews saying how well it works and how nice it smells!
These Puppy Treats Are Perfect For Training
So many things to teach a new little puppy, from where to go to the bathroom to how to sit and stay. What’s better for positive reinforcement than some soft puppy treats made with yummy lamb and salmon? An interesting combination for sure, which will probably result in some pretty powerful puppy breath, but according to the over 10,000 amazing reviews puppies can’t get enough of these little morsels. Which suffices to say that my pockets are going to smell like lamb and salmon for the foreseeable future.
This Cat Food Bowl Set Is Mess-Resistant
Got a messy eater on your hands that likes to tip over food bowls or generally make an unholy mess while dining? This pet bowl set with an included base makes it really difficult for pets to make a mockery of your hard work to keep things clean. The raised lip on either side of the base trap food that’s been knocked out of the bowl, the same for water spills. And the fact that they’re raised off the ground a little makes it easier for pets to eat by reducing neck strain. They’re good for cats and small dogs and come in a variety of bright, cheerful colors to jazz up your feeding area!
This Slow Feeder Bowl Helps With Tummy Troubles
You know how dogs will gulp down their food in seconds then maybe overdo it and barf? Yeah, not cute. But this slow feeder bowl pulls double duty – it slows down your pup’s gulping and it provides a food maze to keep them entertained! It comes in a bunch of different colors and maze patterns, from swirly to flower-shaped to waves, all designed to keep your pup from eating too fast. And it’s got over 23,000 rave reviews!
This Pooper Scooper Keeps Your Hands Clean
What goes in must come out, and it’s your responsibility to pick it up unfortunately. I’m going to make this dreaded task a little less disgusting by using this pooper scooper to clean up after pup when I’m on doody duty. Just squeeze the top to open the scoop, clean up the mess, then open to dispose – easy peasy! And you don’t have to touch anyone’s poop with your bare hands, which is a plus in my book any day.
These Greenies Chews Prevent Dog Breath
Puppy breath might be cute, but dog breath? Not so much. I plan to keep our dog’s smelling minty fresh with these Greenies dental chews that my neighbor recommended to ward off dragon breath! They’re natural dog treats with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to keep dog’s teeth healthy by cleaning plaque at the gum line. And if dogs think they are getting a treat when really they’re brushing teeth? Even better!
This Dog Poop Bag Holder Clips Right On Your Leash
If you’re a minimalist when it comes to pet products and don’t want to use a pooper scooper to clean up dog messes, this dog poop bag holder that clips onto your leash is what you need. It’s cutely shaped like a bone and holds up to 20 large-sized bags so you’ll always have what you need on walks or outings or wherever pup decides to do his business!
This Furminator Brush Tackles Hairy Situations
With any pet, some fur is bound to fall. You can make the whole process a lot easier with this Furminator brush, which combs out tangles and removes loose hairs so they don’t end up all over your house, clothes and self! It comes in three sizes and in short or long hair choices, so you can customize the brush to your dog. There’s even a fur ejector button to make clean up a snap. This brush is the real deal – it has nearly 20,000 amazing reviews because it really works well! *Adds to cart*…
This Waterproof Food Mat Keeps Your Feeding Area Tidy
It’s a fact – some dogs and cats are a hot mess when it comes to dinnertime etiquette. If you have a messy eater or drinker, you’re going to want these waterproof food mats that catch spills and drips. There’s a raised lip so it traps food that might otherwise escape, and water will stay off your floors too thanks to that design. We’re planning to put the dog bowls on our wood floor, and wood plus water equals disaster, so I’m definitely picking up one of these mats!
This Hamster House Is Hours Of Fun
The kids had a hamster that recently passed (RIP Nibbles), but when he was alive, he often got bored quickly of the same ol’ same ol’ cage surroundings and toys. This hamster house with slide would’ve been so much fun – pegs to chew on, multiple windows to look out, even a little bell – and keep your tiny friends occupied for hours instead of developing a bad case of cage rage!
This Dog Harness Is A No-Pull Solution
When pups are learning to walk on a leash, they can often pull or strain and hurt their necks on regular collars. This dog harness lets them learn comfortably, since it doesn’t let them pull and choke themselves. It’s even great for older dogs since it’s so easy to use – just slip it over their heads, buckle and adjust straps for a custom fit. It’s made of nylon with cushioning to prevent injuries, and breathable air mesh so pup won’t overheat. We’re getting a medium-sized one for our labradoodle puppy, now the only hard part is choosing a color. Almost 40,000 rave reviews can’t be wrong!
This Durable Dog Leash Is A Basic Necessity
Once pup learns to walk on a leash, this durable leash made of rock climbing rope is one of the best choices you can make. It’s reflective for night-safety, has a comfortable padded handle and heavy-duty clips to keep you and your dog safe since he won’t be able to break free and take off. It’s five feet long, which is a great length for letting the dog feel like they have some freedom but in reality, you’re in total control! The 15,000+ stellar ratings don’t hurt, either.
This Dog Collar Is The Cutest
While we plan to get a boy dog, these super cute dog collars make me wish we were getting a girl! These amazing floral patterns are printed on durable high-density polyester so the collar won’t fade and is easy to clean. They also come with matching harnesses and leashes (squee!) for maximum adorability. It’s kind of the same thing with boy and girl dog product designs as it is with kids’ clothes – I may be biased since I only have girls, but stuff for them is so much more imaginative and colorful than the typical orange/blue/green that sums up boy designs. But who says a boy dog can’t wear florals? This collar may be in our future after all!
This Fishing Game For Cats Probably Works On Kids, Too
I was so happy when I spotted this fishing game for cats – how amazing is this? You fill a little pool (or sink, bathtub, fishbowl, etc) with water then let little LED-lighted fish loose so the cats can bat at them and catch them with sharp kitty claws! The robotic fish automatically start “swimming” when you place them into water, which is sure to attract and keep kitty’s attention.
This Cat Feeder Keeps Them Busy
This cat slow feeder is meant to keep them busy instead of just having a peaceful mealtime. Will they resent you for it? Sure, but what are cats if not generally resentful? Simply place some food or treats in the tree-shaped feeder and kitty has to use their noodle to figure out how to get the food out. It’s a great resource to keep them busy while you’re at work or otherwise occupied, and it’ll prevent them from scratching up your house due to boredom, too!
This Tunnel Cat Bed Is Genius
Cats love small, enclosed spaces, and what’s cozier then a cat bed? One that turns into a tunnel when you open up the sides is what! Kitties can either tunnel when the bed is put together, or you can let out the sides to make an open ended tunnel around the center cushion that multiple cats can play in while another cat naps. Napping kitties will enjoy snuggling down into the washable plush bed in the center, while active ones will run through the tunnels and bat at the included catnip-filled toy for hours!
This Dog Seat Belt Leash Makes Every Car Trip Safe
Did you know you’re supposed to buckle your dog in for car trips? I did not, but it makes a lot of sense from a safety perspective. These dog seat belt leashes make it so easy to stay safe. Simply attach it to your backseat headrest, then clip the other end to your dog’s leash or harness. If you happen to get in an accident or something freaks your dog out, they can’t fly around the car or jump into the front seat, risking further injury to themselves. Even though our vet is a five minute drive away, I’m getting these to protect pup and me in any situation.
This Hanging Fish Bowl Is Modern Art
Before the dearly departed hamster, the kids had Betta fish as pets. While a normal fishbowl is ho-hum, these hanging fishbowls would’ve been amazing and double as modern art! Fill them with some colorful rocks and top with a water plant and Bob’s your uncle – you’ve got a great looking home the fishies are sure to love, too.
This Cat Hammock Is Fit For A Queen
When regular pet beds or couches won’t do for a kitty in need of a nice place to nap, try this cat hammock! It attaches right to your window with heavy-duty suction cups, and provides a fun ledge for kitty to lounge or nap on. They get a great view of the outside world and a cozy spot in the sun while getting pampered along the way. Is that too much for Fluffy to ask for?
This Cat Skate Board Is So Funny
A way for new pet parents to save their furniture is to provide kitty with scratching posts, and what better than this one that’s shaped like a skateboard? It’ll look totally hilarious when the cat is scratching or lounging on it, making it look like she’s zooming along on her board! More good news – it’s made of eco-friendly recycled cardboard. Apparently this scratcher is all the rage among cats with their own Instagram pages, so maybe that’s a bonus point for you if Fluffy’s internet famous. Either way, she’ll be skating into the weekend like…
This Pet Tent Is An Adorable Hiding Space
Cats need adorable hiding spaces for the greater good of everyone in the household, so yes, I’d classify this beyond-cute pet tent as a new pet parent essential. It’s a cozy little safe space that kitties and small dogs will love escaping into when the realities of life with humans get too difficult to deal with. Out of their favorite treats? No one cleaned the litterbox? Kids too darn loud and crazy? Into the tiny lair your pet goes to contemplate life or just chill out for a few.
This Pet Carrier Has Over 5K Reviews
When we can travel again, you’re gonna want this pet carrier to take your bestie wherever you’re planning to go. It’s great for plane travel, car travel since it can be attached to the seat for safety, or just for carrying your pet into the vet’s office. It’s soft sided and collapsible so it won’t take up huge amounts of room to store it, just slip it under a bed or in a closet until you need it again. Over 5,000 ecstatic reviewers love this carrier for its lightweight, easy to carry design and durability.
This Pizza Bed And Blanket Are Too Cute
I love pet products that incorporate food, and this pizza cat bed and blanket are no exception. Seriously, how cute and cozy does that little kitty look all curled up among tomatoes and mozzarella? I like that the bed is a thinner mattress with just the right amount of cotton stuffing to make it comfy without being so bulky you trip on it every time kitty drags it into a heavy-traffic area of the house. The little blanket is just icing on the cake!
These Pet Tags Are Gorgeous
Every pet needs a tag, yes? Instead of going for the utilitarian, expected every-day tag, why not dress it up with a cute graphic and your pet’s name? These are the most attractive pet tags I’ve seen, and I love how you can customize the size and color along with the graphic and name. There’s also room on the back for important info like your name and number in case they get lost. These tags have over 2,000 five-star reviews, too, for great quality and good looks!
This Pet Camera Gives You Peace Of Mind
It can be super stressful the first time you have to leave your new pet to go to work or run errands, but you can have peace of mind with this motion-activated pet camera that keeps you up-to-date on what they’re up to while you’re gone! It has two way audio, so you can tell your pet to get off the couch or just say hi from afar and you can pan, tilt and zoom to get a great view of the space to find out where they are. It also has night-vision and works with Alexa, if you’re the techy type!
This Pet Hair Remover Works Like A Charm
An inevitable fact of pet ownership besides doody duty is cleaning up pet hair. Especially when it’s so thick on the floor that you can’t tell the original color of your rug, you know it’s time to bust out the big guns. I’m getting this pet hair remover basically the same day we get the dog so that it doesn’t get to a scary point when everything we own is covered in fur. It works like a lint roller – there’s no sticky tape or adhesive inside, you simply open the lid to clear out the pet hair.
These Grooming Gloves Trick Your Pet
With these grooming gloves, you can trick your pet into thinking they’re getting lots of loving attention when really you’re grooming them! (Ok, maybe a little love in there too.) The gloves are studded with mini silicone nubs that comb through hair and remove all the loose ones, minimizing chances of their coat matting or your life being covered in pet hair. The amount of loose pet hair these gloves pick up is frankly nauseating, as seen in the image above, but it proves that they really work! As do the 18,000 stellar reviews.
This Cat Harness Makes Walking Kitty Safer
I read some statistic that said the lifespan of indoor cats is significantly longer than that of outdoor cats because of all the dangers lurking in the great outdoors. You can keep kitty safe from some of those hazards by keeping her in a cat harness during walks. She can get some fresh air and you get peace of mind knowing she won’t take off into traffic or get eaten by a big scary dog since she’ll be right by your side. Although getting the harness onto the cat might hazardous for you, depending on how cooperative she’s feeling. God speed.
This Calming Vest Is Great For Anxious Pups
Some pups are naturally afraid of loud noises, from thunder to fireworks, and nothing seems to work to calm them down. Unless you have one of these thunder vests for dogs, that is. It works along the same lines as swaddling a baby – it creates gentle pressure that makes dogs feel safe and secure even in scary situations, like July 4th or summer storms. It attaches easily with velcro tabs and you can throw it in the washing machine whenever it needs freshening up. If you’ve got an anxious doggo, you’re going to want this to soothe their nerves.
This Dog Cooling Pad Is So Comfy
Imagine being covered in fur and unable to sweat (except out your paws) to cool down on hot days. No fun for sure. That’s where this dog cooling pad comes in. Simply place it in their favorite spot on the floor and let them get comfy. It’s made from something called “ice silk” which is a fabric that feels cool to the touch, and the underside is a fine mesh so air can circulate and cool off your pet. Reviewers report that cats love it too on hot, muggy days!
This Dog Towel Is So Absorbent
While I’m sure I’ll love the new puppy unconditionally, the thought of sharing my bath towel with him definitely gives me pause. Now I won’t have to since I found this dog towel that’s made just for them! It’s made of super absorbent microfiber that holds up to 20 times more water than other shammy towels, and dries your pup eight times faster than a regular cotton towel. You can also use it to wipe up mud if they’ve been rolling around like little piggies or got caught outside in a rainstorm, and it’s small enough to store most anywhere. I like the hand pockets that let you really get a grip on a squirmy pup!
I’ve talked all I can about how I love these pet products but if you want more awesome picks, keep reading to see what I think are the best ways to make your home perfect for summer and beyond!