Did you happen to have a new addition to the family this Christmas? And by that, we don’t mean a baby, but a furry, loveable pet!
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas
Whether you've welcomed a cute little dog into your home this winter or an adorable cat, when you get a pet for Christmas, (and especially if it’s your first), it’s easy to fall in love and get carried away by buying treats and accessories which you think your pet will need.
But, sadly, as time goes on, you find that your furry friends haven't even touched or played with half of these nifty products, even though you could have sworn they'd love wearing that red, white and green bow tie!
As the old expression goes, ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, and this applies not just to dogs but to all pets as well.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: "Before picking up a new dog or cat, new owners should ensure they have all the necessary things such as: food, bed, travel equipment, collar, lead, toys and treats, as well as an identification tag.
"It is a legal requirement that dogs over the age of eight weeks are microchipped and owners up-to-date details are registered with a database."
So to help you care for your pet and make sure you give them the best possible life in their new home, we’ve put together some handy essentials which will have you and your pet wondering how you ever lived without them!
Pet Waste Bag dispenser
Because nobody likes to see dogs' mess on the floor, especially in a public space.
Grab this bag dispenser, which you can attach to your belt or trouser loop, whilst you're out walking your pet and you'll be covered in all situations. These waste bags are scented to help mask odours and come complete with a tie handle for convenience and ease of use. Or try these antibacterial degradable bags, which will help to improve your carbon paw print!
Getting a good sleep is just as important for your pets as it is for us. How else are they going to recharge their batteries to make sure they can play fetch the following day?
Although every pet's preferences and needs are different and can depend on their breed and size, looking for a comfy bed for them shouldn't be an arduous task. This grey dog bed is a neutral colour, so will look great in any home, and it comes with lots of padding and a soft furry lining - perfect for these cold chilly nights!
And for all those cat owners out there, this little igloo, which looks good enough for us to sleep in, is sure to go down a treat with your feline friend.
Who's been a good boy then? We all like to treat our pets every now and again - we do love them after all.
These 'Tasty Bones', which are packed with chicken and liver, look like they'll do the trick! For cats, a little birdy told us that they'd love these Felix Goody Bag 'Mixed Grill' treats. Because who doesn't love having a mixture of beef, chicken, and salmon on their plate?
A RSPCA spokesperson said: "It’s nice to treat our pets but it’s important to use pet-friendly treats and not to feed cats and dogs foods made for humans as they can be poisonous. Using treats and toys are a great way to help with training your dog or puppy.
"The RSPCA encourages all pet owners to use positive, reward-based methods of training so treats can be a great way to do this. It’s important to take treats out of your dog’s daily food ration to prevent weight gain and obesity, which can cause serious health problems like arthritis and diabetes."
Shampoo and conditioner
Squeeze a dollop on your hands, rub it into their fur, then rinse and finally, repeat!
Even though most household pets like dogs and cats won't mind being dirty, being able to smell that distinctive pet odour as soon as you walk into your home can be unpleasant. Make sure you stock up on shampoos and conditioners for your pets, as regular grooming is good for their coat and skin. Just make sure you keep your pet's ears safe, along with its eyes and mouth by washing from the neck down.
To make sure your pet is happy being groomed, you should use 'reward-based training methods to introduce them to it', according to an RSPCA spokesperson.
They said: "It’s important to be patient and teach them that bathing and grooming isn’t scary. If you are having any problems, the RSPCA advises contacting a vet or animal behaviourist for advice."
Just like us, our pets (more often than not) shed hair.
And when it comes to cats, even stroking your cat can result in loose hairs on your hand or sofa. Regularly grooming your cat and dog, with brushes and washing their coats should minimize the inconvenience of shedding but for your clothes, where do you even start? To get rid of those unwanted hairs we'd recommend a lint roller.
Make sure you welcome your pet into your home. For dogs, things like a familiar smelling item may help your dog settle in and feel more comfortable in their new home. You could also try creating a safe haven for your dog by creating a place they can go whenever they choose where they feel safe and they can rest undisturbed.
A RSPCA spokesperson said: "It should be somewhere out of the way such as a corner or under a desk and out of direct sunlight or draughts. It could be a bed or a crate and you can leave toys, chews and treats inside so they learn it’s a nice place to be."
For cats, according to the spokesperson, your feline friends like to be up high, so a safe and secure shelf might make a nice place for your cat to watch from as they find out more about their new home. The spokesperson also advised that clearing mess from their litter trays at least once a day and cleaning the whole tray at least once a week also helps your pet to feel at home.
Stock up on this lightweight litter tray.
In need of some essentials for your pet? Make sure you head online or pop into your local store as the Asda Pet Event is now underway. You'll find lots of products and accessories to treat your furry friend. And if you're in need of some pet insurance, head to Asda Money.