These healthy pet essentials are my top five go-to’s for keeping my five fur babies safe and in tip-top shape at home.
As a Fur Mama of five, and frequent dog and cat foster parent, I’ve had a lot of experience testing out pet products. We’ve tried everything we can get our hands on, because our pets are as much of our babies as our human teenage son. I also spend a lot of time volunteering at my local animal shelter, so I have the opportunity to try new products there, too. I can’t keep all that info to myself, so I want to pass on my top five pet health faves to you, a fellow pet lover.
Five Pet Health Products I Personally Love
1. Allergy Test My Pet
Our rescue pup Winston had been suffering from severe hot spots ever since we adopted him four years ago. The vet tried all kinds of treatments and we got pretty good at catching the flare ups early, but we never could figure out what was causing them.
I don’t know how I stumbled upon Allergy Test My Pet, but I ordered a kit, swabbed Winston’s mouth, and in about three weeks I had a list a mile long of the things he’s allergic to. No wonder he was having hot spots all the time! He’s literally allergic to everything. We changed his diet to only fish and vegetables, and the hot spots disappeared and never came back. No more itchy skin, a healthy coat, and a happy boy. Totally worth it!
Quick story: Our smallest cat Marty had picked up a funny habit. He was sitting with his tongue sticking out ever-so-slightly all the time. I thought it was hilarious to see his little pink tongue popping out. Until I realized that wasn’t his tongue at all. It was a big pink bump on his bottom lip that was super inflamed. It was a Saturday night when I made that realization, and our vet was closed. So I searched the internet for help.
I found out about an app called AirVet, which is basically TeleDoc for pets. You can download it for free on your phone, set up an account and add your credit card, and add your pets’ info to your profile. Then, if you ever need a quick vet assessment, you can pay a flat fee of $30 and a certified veterinarian will video chat with you. In less than 30 minutes I had set up the app and FaceTimed with a doctor who told me how to help the swelling go down and manage his discomfort until Monday when our regular Vet Office opened up.
3. Antimicrobial Bowls
Plastic bowls are bad news when it comes to your fur baby’s health. Plastic can hang onto all kinds of germs, and can scratch inside easily, holding onto icky water slime, even after being washed. I read this article on HowStuffWorks about how dog bowls are breeding grounds for bacteria, along with a ton of other articles, and I switched all my dog and cat bowls immediately.
Apparently stainless steel bowls are the healthiest for pets, which is what we use for our dog. Marty’s mouth problem mentioned above was actually an allergic reaction to his stainless steel bowl, so the cats now eat and drink from porcelain bowls, and I wash them daily.
4. Paw Wipes
We take our dog for a daily walk around the neighborhood, and frequently hike trails and park routes, too. Pair that with his occasional trip to Petco and Home Depot, and his paws definitely make their rounds through the town.
I keep these antibacterial paw wipes in my doggy diaper bag, as well as my car and my purse, so they’re always on hand. The ground has all kinds of toxins on it and if a dog licks his paws, he could be poisoned. You never know what was spilled or dropped on the ground before you walked there, so you can never be too careful.
5. Homemade Pet First Aid Kit
You probably know you should have a first aid kit at home for yourself, but do you have one specifically for your pets? Spoiler alert, the human kit won’t exactly cut it if your pet has an accidental injury. You can buy pet first aid kits online, but I don’t recommend this for your home. These kits are fine for traveling, but they only have basic items inside and don’t really cover the bases of common pet injuries.
I wrote this post about why you should build your own pet first aid kit, what you should have on hand, and where to store it in your house. I even included a link to a video for administering dog and cat CPR. You should watch it with your whole family, a few times if you can, and practice on a stuffed animal toy. Also practice using the splint and dressings you’ll stock in your pet first aid kit so you know what to do in case of a broken bone.
Want More Pet Storage, Organization, & DIY Projects?
I am borderline obsessed with my pets, so I love to share ideas and tips for keeping your own pets happy and healthy, too. Head over to the Pet category archives for more pet organization and storage ideas, including my newly remodeled Cat Room. It’s a must-see if your kitties share their bathroom with your laundry.