What to look for when buying pet accessories

March 18, 2015

Pet accessories are fun to shop for, and even more fun to bring home for your little furry and feathered family members. While searching for the perfect toys and functional items for your pet, remember that brands and prices don't necessarily play as big a role in pet accessories as they do in electronics and other products. Instead of concerning yourself with the popularity of a pet brand, look out for potentially hazardous designs and materials. The following sections offer a few things to keep in mind while perusing the shelves.

What to look for when buying pet accessories

Physical stability

It can be difficult to be sure a certain cat tree or bird perch is safe, but a personal inspection can help you decide. Large items like scratching posts and carpeted trees should be sturdy and heavy enough to prevent them falling over when kitty climbs and plays. Cute domed beds may seem perfect for your kitten or puppy, but they may tip over and trap your pet inside. If you aren't sure, look up consumer reviews.

Swallowing and inhalant hazards

As adorable and fun as ribboned toys can be, there are a lot of cats and dogs who just love to eat string. Before purchasing toys with long, dangling pieces, make sure that these are attached firmly and will not easily rip apart. Also, make sure the toy doesn't have any small pieces that are easy to swallow since these are usually made of plastic or other materials that shouldn't be eaten. A few accessories, such as bird mite protectors and catnip essences, emit fumes that can be too strong for your little pet. Always avoid fume-based applications unless specifically prescribed by your veterinarian.

Dangerous chemicals

Most pet stores have a large pet care section where owners can buy anything from flea and tick spray to dog vitamins. While any and all of these products can seem like a great idea, they may not be. In fact, tens of thousands of cats and dogs have been made sick from contact with unsafe flea and tick collars and sprays, as well as essential oils and vitamins. When it comes to your pet's health, always check with your veterinarian before buying new products.

The potential hazards shouldn't keep you from spoiling your kitty or puppy or budgie. Everyone loves a new soft bed to sleep on, a tasty packet of soft food and a fun toy to play with. Use your best judgement and your pets will be perfectly safe and happy.

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