5 pet products that help prevent problems down the road
Investing in preventative pet care not only contributes to their overall happiness and quality of life, it can also help you steer clear of serious (and seriously expensive) health issues.
With guidance from our team of Animal Care Experts, we’ve compiled a list of key products you might want to integrate into your pet’s routine that will keep them in tip-top shape, while contributing to long-term savings over the course of their life.
1. Toys to stay active
The two most important elements in your pet’s life are exercise and diet.
One of these, of course, is easier to control than the other. Not all pets are keen to leave their sunny corner on the sofa in favour of a long hike or a brisk run. For ageing pets, those who are averse to cold, and most cats, outdoor exercise may not always be an option.
Instead, opt for toys that promote mental and physical stimulation — and keep in mind that you may have to audition a few before your pet finds one they truly love. (Also, don't forget to routinely inspect well-loved toys for damage and replace at the first signs of wear and tear.)
For dogs, some will go gaga over a treat-filled toy they need to chase around and gnaw on, in order to get a reward.
Others will be happy to fetch their favourite textured plush toy as many times as you’re willing to throw it. What your pet wants most is to play with you so look for toys that you can play with together, like the N-Gage Bungee Handler tug toy or Chuck-It’s Indoor Ball.
Encourage your cat to play with items like Jump’s stuffable plush toys, which come with sachets of catnip you can hide inside or Pet Gravity’s motion-sensor-activated flopping fish.
You can also help your cat practice the art of the pounce with a classic cat teaser wand.
2. Dental products for overall wellness
Veterinarians can't emphasize this enough: a pet’s dental health is a strong indicator of their overall wellbeing. Brushing with a pet toothbrush and paste is the best way to care of your pet’s oral health and avoid expensive dental bills.
Consider products like Bluestem’s oral care kit for dogs and cats, which comes with a tube of chicken-flavoured toothpaste and a double-headed brush for small or large mouths.
If you’ve tried brushing and it didn’t go so well, there are several other ways to care for their teeth.
“I have two cats and no one is brushing their teeth,” says Charlaine Lemay, a pet parent and Assistant Manager at Bosley’s. For uncooperative animals, she says, “I would go for something like a water additive or Greenies or a dental gel.”
3. Bathing and grooming products to keep skin and coat healthy
From waterless cleansers to skin-soothing shampoos for dry patches and hotspots, there are lots of options for keeping your pet’s coat and skin in top shape. Matting, an issue for many dogs and cats, should be a priority for pet owners and there are products that help with both prevention and treatment.
Pet parents should regularly brush their BFF with a good quality brush, comb, or deshedding tool. Conditioners can help with detangling and round-tip scissors can safely assist with mats that refuse to budge.
For cats (who are typically fastidious about grooming themselves), it’s a good idea to have a hairball lubricant product on hand. Nutri-Vet’s Hairball Paw Gel is highly palatable and assists in helping your cat to pass hairballs with ease.
4. Supplements for mental and physical well being
While you should always consult your vet first, supplements can benefit ageing pets or pets with specific issues like anxiety or sensitive stomachs.
Some popular ones to consider include: treats containing glucosamine to help animals with hip or joint stiffness, probiotic and enzymatic supplements that ease digestion and elimination, and fish oil supplements, which are anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting.
For mental wellness, our Animal Care Experts recommend calming treats or calming sprays — pheromone-based products that ease anxiety in situations where your pet may feel on edge (think: while you’re travelling, visiting the vet, or hosting a party).
5. Products for parasite prevention
Fleas, ticks and other parasites can become big problems for pets who don’t receive preventative treatment.
With ticks migrating further north and appearing earlier each spring, pet parents with animals who spend time outdoors would be wise to keep a tick removal tool like a Tick Tornado or a Tick Key on hand.
If you camp with your pet or take them on hikes, preventative topical solutions are a great idea too. Flea and tick shampoo or repellant sprays will protect your pet from an infection.