First-time pet owners’ shopping guide: 5 things you absolutely need to get

If you’re planning to get a pet for the first time, there are a number of supplies your new friend will need. While you can always add items to enhance the life of your pet, these are must-have recommendations from the folks at VanPet.

1. Pet food and dishes

The food you’ll need will depend on a variety of factors such as type of pet, age and health, as well as your budget. Speak to your veterinarian or pet supplier to determine your pet’s exact needs. A good rule of thumb is to purchase the most-nutritious options you can afford. At VanPet, you’ll find a large selection of raw, frozen foods that are full of the nutrients pets need.

2. Feeding and grooming supplies

Bowls that made from non-porous and substantial materials are appropriate for many pets. Larger pets may appreciate raised dishes that are easier for them to reach, and a drinking fountain is ideal for providing a clean, consistent source of water. Rabbits, rats, ferrets and other such creature typically drink from a water bottle.
When it comes to grooming, furry friends usually require brushing. Many will also need bathing supplies, like special shampoo or wipes for quick clean-ups. Nail trimmers are useful if you’re brave enough to do the job yourself.

3. Bathroom necessities

Cleaning up after your pet is a necessity. For dogs, add a scoop, waste bags and puppy pads to your list. Don’t forget a leash for taking your buddy outside safely. Cats will need an appropriate-sized litter box, mat, litter and a scoop. Rodents and such require bedding for their cage that should be changed regularly.

4. Toys and bones

While they may seem like something that’s just for fun, toys are an essential item for any pet. They provide stimulation that is good for their mental and physical well-being. Be sure to look for sturdy toys without small pieces that could pose a choking hazard.

5. Cages, carriers and bedding

A cage or crate is something dogs appreciate. It can keep them safe when no one is home and also provides a den-like environment for a sense of security. A carrier is a must-have for transporting kitty to the vet or kennel. Consider a soft bed or hammock for dogs, cats or rodents.

You’ll find these supplies and more at VanPet in Lynn Valley Centre. The knowledgeable staff there can help you find the items to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy.