19 supplies that will help your new cat feel at home, according to cat rescuers and a veterinarian

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

bring home a new cat
  • Before bringing a new cat home, prepare for a smooth transition with these essential cat supplies.
  • We consulted cat rescuers and a veterinarian to come up with this new cat checklist.
  • You’ll need a litter box, food, and toys to keep them comfortable, stimulated, and healthy.
  • For more expert reviews and buying advice, check out the Insider Reviews homepage.

The day you bring home your new cat is full of joy. But while you may be ready for snuggles and play from the moment your kitty arrives, most felines aren’t as excited about moving day. Just when they were getting used to the shelter or foster home – bam – here comes another transition. And cats, they aren’t the best at dealing with change.

Preparing for the arrival of your new cat ahead of time will help smooth their transition to your home. While it’s a no-brainer that cats require a litter box and food, new cat owners may not realize that items like scratching posts, cat trees, calming pheromones, and toys can reduce stress and provide your pet with an enriching environment.

With the help of cat rescuers and a veterinarian, we compiled this new cat checklist to ensure you have the right supplies on hand.

Here are 19 cat supplies to stock up on when you adopt a new pet:

A cozy cat carrier for your cat’s freedom ride and beyond

mr peanuts platinum cat carrier

Mr. Peanut’s Gold Series Expandable Carrier, available at Chewy, $50.99

A cat carrier is mandatory for bringing your cat home from the shelter, said Franušić. We love Mr. Peanut’s refined, comfortable tote, which can unzip to expand to almost three times the size of a regular carrier, making it more comfortable for long travel days. 

A calming pheromone diffuser to decrease stress

FeliwayClassic

Feliway Classic Diffuser, available at Chewy, $29.99

You’ll want to decrease stress and unwanted behaviors like urine spraying during your cat’s first weeks at home. Veterinarian Andrea Moore, medical director at Pinnacle Animal Hospital in San Jose, California, and Danielle Carr, shelter manager at Town Cats in Morgan Hill, California, both recommend a calming pheromone like Feliway. Feliway mimics the F3 facial pheromones cats deposit when rubbing their cheeks against surfaces in order to mark them as safe.

A simple litter box for your cat to do their business

natures miracle hooded litter box

Nature’s Miracle Oval Hooded Litter Box, available at Chewy, $29.99

When it comes to a litter box, all of our experts agree that simple is best. You want a box your cat can use “without having to do any tricks,” said Moore. And even though self-cleaning litter boxes are convenient, Moore advises against them because the noises they make can frighten cats.

At the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, Libby Farel-Friedman, who is the supervisor of adoption programs, recommends using a simple uncovered litter box. If you prefer your box to be covered to reduce smells or prevent your dog from getting inside, buy one like Nature’s Miracle Oval Hooded Litter Box, which has a removable lid that can be added later on. 

Regular flea treatment to keep the itches away

Seresto

Seresto Flea and Tick Prevention Collar, available at Chewy, $59.98

Flea control is important regardless of whether a cat is indoor-only or goes outside. Most flea treatments are topical, but Seresto also makes a flea collar that many cat owners and veterinarians like. Not all cats will be comfortable wearing a flea collar, but for those that tolerate it, Moore said it’s a good option.

A March 2021 investigation by USA Today reported 1,700 animal deaths and other adverse reactions linked to Seresto flea collars. It’s unknown if the EPA-approved pesticides used in the collar caused these incidents and this story is still developing. Always speak to your veterinarian if you have concerns before using a product and only purchase Seresto collars from authorized retailers.

An unscented natural litter to make using the litter box appealing

worlds best multiple cat litter

World’s Best Multiple Cat Unscented Litter (14 lbs), available at Chewy, $15.44

Moore avoids dusty litters, which can cause respiratory issues, as well as perfumed litters with a strong scent. All three of our shelter experts like litters made of natural materials like corn or grass, and Carr’s favorite litters are made from pine wood. “I think they’re really efficient at neutralizing odors and are really easy to scoop,” she said. For more ideas, check out our guide to the best natural cat litter.

A flat, wide food dish to prevent whisker fatigue

CatFoodBowl

Dr. Catsby Cat Food Bowl, available at Amazon, $19.95

For cats with sensitive whiskers, brushing up against the side of a food or water bowl can cause pain and make eating stressful. To prevent “whisker fatigue,” Moore suggested using a flatter dish without steep sides. 

Nutritious dry and wet cat food that your pet will love

HillsScience

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats, available at Chewy, from $15.99

While many cats prefer dry foods, they are high in carbohydrates and calories. Feeding a diet that includes wet food can help to maintain weight and overall health, according to Moore. “Wet food is great for cats because it provides more moisture,” she said. “It’s especially important for males because you want them producing urine so they don’t have urinary issues.”

Franušić and Farel-Friedman recommended Hill’s Science Diet, which comes in several varieties for cats with different needs. There are plenty of other high-quality options, including Nom Nom, a human-grade monthly cat food delivery service. 

Irresistible treats for training and high-stress situations

Churu

Inaba Churu Lickable Puree Natural Cat Treat, available at Chewy, $17.96

“We use Churu for clicker training and it works wonders,” said Carr. Clicker training, a form of positive-reinforcement training that marks correct behaviors with a distinct clicking sound, is an excellent way to teach tricks and address behavior challenges in cats. Churu is great for stressful situations, too. “We have cats who are super stressed and we give them Churu, and it works so well to distract them from what’s going on,” said Carr. For more ideas, see our guide to the best cat treats.

Earthquake putty to keep knickknacks, vases, and picture frames from becoming playthings

QuakeHold

Quakehold! Museum Putty, available at Amazon, $3.97

Adhering your knickknacks to shelves and tables using earthquake putty ensures that your favorite picture frame or vase won’t end up in pieces on the floor. “When you actually get a cat into your home, you find that they love to explore and get on top of things,” said Lindsay Franušić, assistant manager of adoption programs, at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley in Milpitas, California. She told us that putty was a lifesaver for her.

 

Tasty dental treats to help promote a happy, healthy mouth

Feline

Feline Greenies Natural Dental Care Treats, available at Chewy, from $2.35

Keeping your cat’s mouth clean is essential to its overall health. “Ideally, you should try to teach your cat to have its teeth brushed,” said Moore. But if that proves too challenging, dental treats are the next best thing. She also recommended using a water additive for stress-free dental care. For more options, check out our guide to the best dental products for cats.

A reflective breakaway cat collar to hold your their ID tags

Rogz

ROGZ Reflective Cat Collar, available at Amazon, from $9.95

If your cat goes outdoors, they need a breakaway collar that will come undone if they get caught on a tree branch or fence, said Moore. We like this durable reflective collar by Rogz, which is the top pick in our guide to the best cat collars.

Stainless steel ID tags to make sure your cat gets home safely

GoTags

GoTags Stainless Steel Pet ID Tags, available at Chewy, $7.95

Even if your cat is microchipped, ID tags engraved with their name and phone number can help them make it home safe and sound. If your cat is indoor-only, Moore said they don’t need to wear a collar or ID tags. Instead, microchip your cat so that they can be easily identified if they escape.

A comfy harness and leash set for taking your cat on a walk

CatHarness

Rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash Set, available at Amazon, from $14.98

For indoor cats, the outdoors is a fantasy world of sights, sounds, and smells that many find delightful. According to Moore, leash training “is a safe way to have [a] cat outside and a good activity for the cat and owner to do together.” But because being on a leash is not a natural behavior for cats, guardians need to take the time to acclimate their cat to the leash.

A cat brush for removing excess hair and preventing hairballs

5eb032d0204ad3739e3594c7

Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush, available at Chewy, from $12.99

Cats are fastidious, and in the process of grooming, they consume a lot of hair. For long-haired cats, especially, “brushing is really helpful to remove the loose hair that is ready to shed that may get matted if not removed,” said Moore. A good cat brush like the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush can help remove the excess hair and may reduce the frequency of hairballs. 

A scratching post for your cat to claw

On2Pets Skyline Scratching Post

On2Pets Skyline Sisal Cat Scratching Post, available at Chewy, $44.99

“Cats scratch as a scent marker, to help with their nails, and to relieve stress,” said Moore. Plus, your cat will be less likely to scratch your furniture if they have other options. This cat scratcher from Max & Marlow includes a 26-inch scratching post plus two attached toys. For more ideas, check out our guide to the best scratching posts.

A cat wand for chasing, pouncing, and play

DaBird

GoCat Da Bird Pull Apart Wand, available at Petco, $8.95

“The best toys are the ones where you can interact with your cat. Playing with them helps you to bond better,” said Farel-Friedman. Cat wands are a classic kitty favorite, and Carr recommended both Da Bird and Cat Catcher by GoCat. See our guide to the best cat toys for more options.

An interactive food puzzle toy to stimulate your cat’s hunting instincts

Petsafe Egg Cersizer toy

Petsafe Egg-Cersizer, available at Chewy, $5.99

“I think food puzzle toys are great,” said Carr. “They’re really good for cats who are overweight and for cats who are overstimulated. It’s more natural, too, because [it mimics the way] cats have to work for their food in the wild.” Moore suggested feeding kibble out of interactive food puzzle toys as well as — or instead of — treats.

A cardboard cat scratcher to promote independent play

TurboscratcherCatToy

Bergan Turboscratcher Cat Toy, available at Chewy, $17.98

All of our experts agreed that there is no such thing as too many scratchers. Carr likes the Bergan Turboscratcher which has a ball in the frame. “Cats get their scratch on while playing with the balls inside,” she said. “They can play and entertain themselves so even if you’re not home they have stimulation.”

A cat tree tower for climbing, scratching, and play

Armarkat

Armarkat Classic Cat Tree, available at Petco, $55.06

“We definitely recommend cat trees,” said Farel-Friedman. “They not only provide cats with the ability of choice, but they also provide them with exercise and stress relief.” Dr. Moore agreed: “You want to have vertical space, especially people who have a small living area.” The ideal tree has built-in scratching posts and plenty of spots to snuggle up. That’s why we like the classic cat tree from Armarkat, which is the budget pick in our guide to the best cat trees.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best dog raincoats in 2021, according to professional dog walkers and our testing

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • We consulted five professional dog walkers to find out what’s most important in a dog raincoat.
  • According to our experts, the best dog raincoats have belly coverage and put function over style.

Many dogs hate rain. Even those with fur thick enough to protect them from stinging cold rain hate the stuff, let alone those with little to no fur. In my decade of experience as a professional dog trainer, I’ve found a raincoat is a necessity for getting many a dog out for a walk on rainy days and saving them from total wet-dog misery.

To learn about what features to look for in a dog raincoat, we went straight to the professional dog walkers who spend their days in weather of all types. With their preferences and criteria in mind, we came up with a list of 11 jackets to test. Our choice for best overall dog raincoat, the Ruffwear Sun Shower Rain Jacket, not only provides waterproof coverage for the whole body, its nylon exterior helps to prevent mud from collecting on its surface.

Here are the best dog raincoats in 2021

Updated on 3/26/2021: We rewrote this guide after extensive research, expert interviews, and testing.

The best raincoat overall

Ruffwear Sun Shower Dog Raincoat

The Ruffwear Sun Shower Dog Raincoat has all of the features a dog needs to stay dry and none of the less-functional features they don’t.

Pros: Waterproof, significant belly coverage, reflective piping for visibility, mud repellent, multiple sizes, machine washable

Cons: Harness must be worn over the jacket, limited color options

The vest-style Ruffwear Sun Shower Dog Raincoat keeps dogs dry in both summer showers and winter storms.

Two of the experts we consulted — Fern De Santos, owner of A Dog’s Life HTX in Houston, and Matthew Condrin, owner of Urban Canines in San Francisco — love Ruffwear’s canine apparel. Our testing confirmed its quality.

The Sun Shower has a number of elements De Santos looks for in a dog rain jacket. First off, the lightweight jacket is unlined and uninsulated, so it can be worn in warm weather or layered with a sweater in colder temperatures. The vest-style raincoat slips over the head and buckles on either side of the belly, providing good coverage from puddle splashes and mud. It also has a wide collar and reflective piping to keep pups visible in low light.

In our cleaning test, the Sun Shower did better than most in preventing mud from clinging to the exterior fabric. When machine washed and hung to dry, it came out completely clean.

The only thing we don’t like is that there’s no hole at the back to attach a leash or harness. It is low profile enough, however, to put a harness on over top.

While it’s not as affordable as some of the jackets we considered, the Sun Shower is a great price for the quality and durability Ruffwear is known for.

The best budget raincoat

blueberry pet dog raincoat

The affordable Blueberry Pet Two-Legged Reflective Dog Raincoat has significant belly coverage and reflective piping to keep your pup dry and visible in wet weather.

Pros: Waterproof, significant belly coverage, reflective piping for visibility, four points of adjustment, mud repellent, comes with carry sack, multiple sizes

Cons: Hooded, dogs who are sensitive to handling may have difficulty with fitted legs, handwash only, limited color options

Blueberry Pet’s Two-Legged Reflective Dog Raincoat is proof that excellent canine rain gear doesn’t have to cost a fortune. This lightweight polyester jacket repelled mud better than all but one of the other raincoats we tested.

It protects a dog’s undercarriage, including the front legs and chest, a feature most of the walkers look for. It also comes in a four-legged version, which may be better for extremely wet climates or dogs who need extra warmth.

This raincoat fastens from neck to ribs with a Velcro closure and has four points of drawstring adjustment. Its hood may seem functional, but it’s something our experts avoid. “They annoy the dogs by sometimes covering their eyes and interfere with leashing — plus they rarely stay up,” said Condrin.

The Blueberry Pet Raincoat also has reflective piping and accents, a hole at the back for attaching a leash to a harness, and elastic straps that can be used to keep the end of the jacket in place while walking. We found it wiped completely clean just using a dry cloth. After handwashing, it dried quickly and looked brand new. When not in use, it can be packed into its drawstring stuff sack and stashed away.

The best raincoat for small breeds

Canada Pooch Torrential Tracker

The Torrential Tracker’s size range, combined with a slim fit and a soft lining, make this the ideal rain jacket to keep little dogs from getting soaked.  

Pros: Waterproof, significant belly coverage, reflective trim for visibility, comes in 11 sizes, machine washable

Cons: Runs a little small, collects mud easily, only two colors available

Finding a raincoat that fits a small dog without overwhelming them with too much fabric can be a challenge. But at Canada Pooch, where the Torrential Tracker Raincoat is made in sizes as short as 7 inches long, the science of canine apparel is an art.

The Torrential Tracker is made from a slick waterproof polyester reminiscent of classic, ducky-yellow children’s rain gear. It has holes for the front legs and a double Velcro closure that runs from chest to ribs, a feature that Leah King, owner of Happy Tramps in San Francisco prefers. “Velcro closures at the neck and chest make it easy to get a custom fit and to take the jacket on and off without sliding anything over their head,” she said.

An expandable collar can provide extra coverage for the back of the neck. Inside, the jacket’s soft fabric lining helps keep a pup toasty in cold weather. The material is less breathable than some of the raincoats we considered and may be a bit warm for summer storms.

The jacket also has a hole at the back for connecting a leash to a harness and two small pockets at the hind end for stashing poop bags or an ID. The lower portion of the jacket is trimmed in reflective piping. The Torrential Tracker is machine washable, which is ideal since mud spread on it quite easily.

While the length of the jacket we tested is as advertised, it has a tighter fit than other jackets of the same size. If you have a dog with a broad chest or who’s packing some extra pounds, definitely size up.

The best raincoat for freezing rain

Teckelklub Winter Trench Waterproof Dog Coat

With its highly functional design, the fleece-lined Teckelklub Winter Trench Waterproof Dog Coat will protect dogs of all shapes and sizes  from cold, wind, and rain.

Pros: Waterproof, reflective trim for visibility, fleece lined, multiple sizes and color options, machine washable, dryer-safe

Cons: Partial belly coverage, harness must be worn over the jacket, collects mud easily

When rain comes with a healthy dose of wind and cold, the fleece-lined Teckelklub Winter Trench Waterproof Dog Coat keeps dogs not just dry, but warm too.

King is a fan of the Teckelklub Winter Trench, which has a simple wraparound design with a broad collar. The jacket fastens with Velcro at the neck and with a wide strap under the belly. While that’s the only belly coverage it provides, it is a good option for sensitive dogs because it does not need to be slipped over the head or legs. “Some jackets have a pullover design and many dogs are not comfortable putting them on,” explained Jeff Chebul, owner of Ranger’s Squadron in San Francisco.

The raincoat is made from 100% waterproof nylon and the entire perimeter is trimmed in 3M reflective piping. It does not have a hole at the back for attaching a leash to a harness, but the jacket is slim-fitting enough for one to be worn on top.

Although this raincoat collected a significant amount of mud, it easily wiped clean, and after machine washing and hanging it to dry, it came out looking brand new. It will also stand up to machine drying in low heat.

It can be embroidered with a monogram or your dog’s name or phone number for an additional $15.

The best raincoat for wet outdoor adventures

Best dog raincoats in 2021

The Hurtta Monsoon Coat provides full coverage and freedom of movement for all-day adventures in the rain.

Pros: Waterproof, significant belly coverage, reflective trim for visibility, three points of adjustability, many sizes, machine washable

Cons: Limited color options

Hurtta’s Monsoon Coat will keep weekend warriors comfortable and dry no matter what the weather has in store. The brand  is expert at producing jackets that won’t compromise movement or weigh down an athletic pup. 

The Monsoon Coat has the most coverage of any of the raincoats we tested, with the exception of the brand’s Rain Blocker, and the collar is built with a flexible rain trap that prevents water from seeping in. Drawstrings adjust the fit at the collar, shoulders, and hips. The wraparound buckle design allows adjustment around the belly and elastic leg loops at the back end hold the jacket in place. While getting the jacket properly fitted can be a bit of a hassle, De Santos said it’s worth it for the great coverage.

This jacket has reflective accents from head to tail and a covered loop for attaching a leash to a harness worn underneath. It did a good job repelling mud and cleaned up well with machine washing and air-drying. It also comes in four colors, including an ECO version made from soft recycled material.

With far more coverage than our overall best pick, the Ruffwear Sun Shower, the Monsoon Coat will keep a dog’s entire torso dry even after multiple hours hiking in the rain without restricting movement. While this jacket is among the most expensive we tested, it’s extremely durable and likely to last a lifetime.

What else we considered

dog rain jackets

With the help of the professional dog walkers we consulted, we narrowed down the crowded field of dog raincoats to to 11 options. Here’s why six of them failed to make the cut:

RC Pets Packable Rain Poncho: Fontaine likes pairing this affordable, lightweight rain poncho with a doggy sweater for cool, wet weather. It performed well in our tests, drying more quickly and collecting mud less easily than most other brands. It was its lack of belly coverage,  that kept it from the top spot in our budget raincoat category.

Pepper Pet Wear Basset Hound Dog Raincoat: This customizable rain jacket is meant for dogs with unique proportions such as long bodies and broad chests. The custom design and high-quality fabrics made this one of the two most expensive jackets we tested. Unfortunately, the jacket didn’t quite fit when it arrived, but the brand will make additional alterations free of charge.

Wildebeest All Weather Dog Jacket: Although attractively designed and lined with soft microfleece, this jacket was not completely waterproof and had minimal belly coverage. In our soak test, water seeped through a strip of webbing that runs along the spine and moistened the interior lining.

Ruffwear Vert Dog Jacket: This is another great rain jacket by Ruffwear. The fit is similar to the Ruffwear Sun Shower but with the addition of warm fleece lining, a leash hole, and elastic loops for the back legs. But the Vert is significantly more expensive than our other fleece-lined option, the Teckelklub Winter Trench, and it requires slipping the jacket over the head, which may trouble handling-sensitive dogs.

Hurtta Rain Blocker ECO Raincoat: This waterproof jacket made from recycled plastic bottles provides excellent coverage of the chest, belly, and front legs and comes in 10 sizes with several points of adjustment. Its design, which includes leg holes and a long zipper down the side, made it a major challenge to get on and off.  

Kurgo Portsmouth Foul Weather Rain Jacket: I liked the design of Kurgo’s rain jacket which, like Ruffwear’s Sun Shower, is a vest style with buckles on either side of the belly. But by the end of the testing period this jacket had gone from looking brand new to shabby. 

What we are looking forward to

Some of the raincoats identified by our experts or in our research as possible contenders for this guide did not arrive in time to be included. We look forward to testing the following jackets in the future.

WeatherBeeta 300D Deluxe Reflective Jacket: This waterproof jacket wraps around the chest and belly to protect a dog from water and mud. It comes in 12 sizes, from 10- to 32-inches long, and two bright colors accented with reflective material.

Petcee Waterproof Dog Jacket: This ultra-affordable raincoat is lined with fleece and covers both the chest and belly. Built-in elastic helps to assure the right fit in 13 sizes.

How we tested

testing dog rain jackets

We tested 11 different raincoats based on recommendations from professional dog walkers. The jackets were provided as review samples by their manufacturers, with the exception of the Blueberry Pet, Canada Pooch, Pepper Pet, Wildebeest, and Teckelclub coats, which Insider purchased.

Due to dry weather and COVID-19 restrictions, I was unable to test these jackets on dogs of multiple shapes and sizes in real rainy weather. Instead, I came up with a few tests to simulate the rainy conditions. 

Fit test: I was able to verify the measurements of each by assessing their length from shoulder to tail and their girth, the width of the jacket at the chest’s widest point. I took note of any jackets that differed from their advertised size or that appeared to fit more tightly than expected.

Soak test: The soak test illustrated how each raincoat would stand up under heavy rain. Using leftover two-by-fours, we constructed a wooden dog with a belly 13 inches off the ground and a length of 20 inches. When Woody was ready, I wrapped a dry towel around its belly and dressed it in each jacket. I sprinkled the dog and raincoat with water from a hose for two minutes, then carefully removed the jacket to look for any spots where the water had seeped through. I also checked the interior lining of the jacket to see if moisture had penetrated without actually wetting the towel.

Cleaning test: The cleaning test had three parts. First, I wiped a handful of mud on the exterior of each jacket and let it dry overnight. Next, I attempted to wipe off the mud using a clean, dry cloth. Finally, I washed the raincoat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, looking for any stains or other changes in the material.

How to fit your dog for a raincoat

Dogs come in so many different shapes and sizes that fitting one for a raincoat can be a lengthy process of trial and error. Since there’s no such thing as universal sizing, what one brand considers a small could easily be considered large by a competitor. So what’s the best way to get the right fit? Grab a measuring tape and follow our instructions.

Length: The primary dimension used to determine the size of a raincoat is the length of a dog’s back. Measure your dog from top of tail to shoulder blades while they are standing in a relaxed position. If your measurement falls between sizes, size up. Some brands may recommend a specific size for certain breeds. This may be helpful, but don’t go by their suggestions alone as sizes can vary among a single breed.

Chest girth: Dog raincoats are also commonly measured by chest girth. This is an important figure to get right because many jackets are not adjustable around the chest. That’s doubly true if you have a broad- or barrel-chested pup. To get this figure, measure the circumference of your dog’s chest while they are standing in a relaxed position, wrapping the tape right behind the legs at the chest’s widest point. If your dog’s chest girth falls between sizes, choose the larger option, especially if your dog does a lot of running and jumping. A highly active dog may benefit from a jacket that is an inch or two wider than their actual measurement because it will allow their front legs more freedom of movement.

Neck girth: To make sure your jacket won’t be too tight around the neck, measure around the thickest part right below the collar. This is particularly important if the coat’s neck does not have an adjustable opening. When in doubt, size up!

Drop: Occasionally brands offer a drop measurement to help you get the right fit. The drop is how low a jacket hangs on a dog’s body and legs. Too long and it may restrict movement; too short, your pup may end up wet by the end of a walk. Your dog’s raincoat should extend no more than halfway down the leg. To figure out how a jacket will lay on your dog, compare half its width to the distance between the top of your dog’s tail to the ankle of their hind leg just above the paw.

How do you walk your dog on a rainy day?

If your dog hates to leave the house when the rain starts to fall, these tips for wet-weather walking will make sure you get their most important daily needs met.

Get the right gear.

Make rainy day walks more enjoyable by getting your pup the right gear to keep them dry. A properly fitted raincoat that covers both the chest and belly will prevent your dog from splashing water against the most sensitive parts of their body. If your dog has sensitive paws, you may also want to consider getting them a set of dog boots.

Plan ahead.

Unless the forecast calls for extreme weather, most rainy days have at least a couple of periods in which showers slow to a sprinkle. Use a weather tracking app or website to help you predict when a storm will lighten up.

Encourage, don’t force.

Even if you have the right rain gear for your pup, they may still avoid the rain at all costs. These dogs will likely require an extra incentive. Before getting ready to go, stuff your pockets full of treats and begin offering them before you’ve stepped out the door. If putting on rain gear predicts that treats will follow, your dog will be more likely to allow you to get them dressed. Use your treats to entice your dog out the door instead of forcing them to go out into the rain, which will only make them more frightened and stressed-out.

Play the Find It game.

Once outside, keep the treats flowing. Try encouraging your dog to walk with the Find It game. Throw a treat a few feet in front of your dog and say “Find It” in a happy tone of voice. Let them gobble up the treat then throw your next one, repeating the phrase. Play the game as much as necessary during the walk to get your pup’s mind off of the water falling from the sky.

Don’t expect a regular walk. 

Even with plenty of treats and encouragement, dogs who really hate the rain aren’t likely to want to stay outdoors for long. If they go potty and then refuse to go any farther, that’s okay. Bring them back inside and make up the missed exercise with play or training indoors. Read more on backup plans below.

Stick to quiet streets.

On rainy days, when cars zoom through puddles, the busier the street, the louder it will be. And the more noise, the more frightened your dog is likely to feel — not to mention all that potential for being splashed by passing vehicles. When it’s raining, stick to quieter streets where there is less noise and where it is less likely you and your dog will get soaked.

Avoid walking at night. 

It can be a huge challenge for drivers to see dogs on dark, wet nights. When it’s raining, stay safe by taking your daily walks before the sun sets. If you must go out in the rain at night, stick to well-lit areas and avoid busy streets.

Have a backup plan. 

If your dog refuses to walk in the rain, you’ll need a backup plan to get their daily exercise and toileting needs met. Both training and play inside the home is a good alternative and can include multiple 5-to-10 minute training sessions, games of hide-and-seek, indoor fetch with a soft toy, and mental stimulation via puzzle toys. For the latter, you may have to get creative. Try a fresh grass indoor potty or select a sheltered location immediately outside your home where your dog can quickly do their business, then come back inside.

Be gentle with post-walk drying.

Whether you’ve managed to get your dog out on a long walk or a short one, it’s likely that their paws, head, and belly will need a bit of toweling off. Unfortunately, these are also some of the most sensitive parts of a dog’s body. Unless you have a dog that loves to be wrapped up in a towel, be gentle and go slow when wiping them down. It may help to ask them to lay down so you can easily access their paws without knocking them off balance. Reward them for each body part you towel off. Each foot earns one treat, each ear earns another, and the belly gets two. Don’t be surprised if your dog gets the zoomies after being dried off. It’s a natural release of pent-up energy that commonly occurs after a stressful experience.

Who we consulted

To come up with the selections for this guide, we consulted with five professional dog walkers. Each answered questions via email or instant messenger between September 2020 and February 2021. Our experts include:

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to care for your dog’s cracked or dry paw pads step by step and the supplies you need to do it

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

dog with dry and cracked paw pads
Dry and cracked paw pads are especially common in fall and winter months.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • An injured paw pad can really dampen the spirit of an active dog.
  • My dog has had multiple cuts and cracks on his pads, so I’ve learned how to tend to injured and cracked pads at home.
  • Further injuries can be prevented by investing in a nice pair of dog boots and washing your dog’s paws after walks.
  • Before administering any treatment to your dog, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Karie Johnson, veterinarian and co-founder of VIP Vet Visit, a mobile vet service in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Picture this: It’s a cold November day. The sun is reflecting off a fresh layer of snow, and the family is gathered together for Thanksgiving. Everyone is watching the dogs play outside before heading in for dinner. It’s a beautiful fall scene – until someone notices bloody paw prints in the snow. Leave it to my German Shepherd Silas to slice open the pad on the bottom of his paw on Thanksgiving Day. 

So what did I do? What any self-respecting dog mom would do in this situation: freak out. After I calmed down, we corralled Silas into the bathroom to assess the damage and contain the blood. Then we called the vet and got the lowdown on what to do for an injured paw pad. Unfortunately for Silas but fortunately for you, this wasn’t the last time he cut or cracked his pads, so I’m now an expert in injured dog pads. Below, I’ll walk you through the steps to take care of your dog’s pad and get it back to playing fetch in no time.

Call the vet

Every situation and every dog is different, so the first thing you should do is call your dog’s vet. If bleeding is severe or the pad is completely cut off, you might need to take your dog to its vet or to the nearest emergency vet if it’s after-hours. Taking Silas to the vet usually causes him more anxiety and trauma than whatever is bothering him in the first place. Luckily, we were able to save a trip, and his vet talked us through what to do over the phone. 

Clean the injured paw pad

Run your dog’s pad under warm water or use a saline solution to clean out any dirt or debris. (Note: The American Kennel Club advises against using hydrogen peroxide because it can be damaging to healthy tissue.)

Superglue the cut

How to care for a dogs pad 3
Apply superglue to larger cuts.

You read that correctly. It seems strange, but this is what our vet advised us to do, and it worked perfectly. For smaller cuts or cracks, you can skip this step, but for a larger cut, manually hold the cut together and apply superglue. Hold the cut together until the glue dries. This acts in the same way a surgical glue would to hold a cut together. 

Apply a balm

A pet balm or dog paw cream like Vermont’s Original Bag Balm can help the cut heal and soften its dry pads. Make sure the superglue is dry before this step. 

Bandage the paw

In a pinch when this first happened to Silas, we used a paper towel and a clean sock, but once we were able to get the proper materials (gauze and self-adhering tape), we found they worked much better. Securely wrap the gauze around the cut and the dog’s entire foot. Then wrap the tape around the foot and partially up the leg. Self-adhering tape works well because it won’t pull your dog’s fur. Make the wrap tight enough that it won’t slip off, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation. If you notice that your dog’s leg or paw looks swollen, the bandage is too tight and should be loosened or removed.

Optional: If your dog is biting at the dressing, you can cover it with a sock or buy your dog a dreaded cone of shame

Change the dressing

At least once a day, change the dressing and clean the injury again until the wound is healed. If you stop wrapping it too soon, it could reopen or get infected. 

Try to keep your dog off the injured paw pad

How to care for a dogs paw 4
Wrap your dog’s injured paw in surgical gauze. Or in a pinch, use a paper towel and clean sock.

For an active dog like Silas, this is the hardest step. One of the most effective ways to do this is to work on mentally stimulating activities to tire your dog out. 

How to prevent this from happening in the future

  • Keep your yard free of sticks and other sharp objects.
  • Use dog boots if walking in hot weather or on salted surfaces in the winter.
  • Rinse your dog’s feet regularly in the winter. Cleaning Silas’ paws is so easy with our MudBuster.
  • Use a paw protection wax on your dog’s pads before taking it out in the elements. 

Products that can help you take care of your dog’s paw pad

Read the original article on Business Insider

19 things that will help your new cat feel at home, according to cat rescuers and a veterinarian

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

bring home a new cat
  • Make your cat’s transition to their new home as seamless as possible by stocking up on the essentials before their arrival.
  • Cats need supplies like a litter box, food, toys, and scratchers to make them feel safe, encourage healthy habits, and provide them with stimulation.
  • We consulted with two cat rescue organizations and veterinarian Dr. Andrea Moore of Pinnacle Animal Hospital in California to determine the most important supplies to have when bringing a new cat home.

The day you bring home your new cat is full of joy. But while you may be ready for snuggles and play from the moment your kitty arrives, most felines aren’t as excited about moving day. Just when they were getting used to the shelter or foster home – bam – here comes another transition. And cats, they aren’t the best at dealing with change.

Preparing for the arrival of your new cat ahead of time will help smooth their transition to your home. While it’s a no-brainer that cats require a litter box and food, new cat owners may not realize that items like scratching posts, cat trees, calming pheromones, and toys can reduce stress and provide your pet with an enriching environment.

With the help of four experts, we’ve come up with a list of essentials to have when you bring a new cat home. For a veterinary perspective, we consulted Dr. Andrea Moore, owner and medical director at Pinnacle Animal Hospital in San Jose, California. Staff at two cat rescue organizations also lent their expertise on how to transition a cat to a new home: Danielle Carr, shelter manager at Town Cats in Morgan Hill, California, and Libby Farel-Friedman and Lindsay Franušić, supervisor and assistant manager of adoption programs, respectively, at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV) in Milpitas, California.

Here are 19 pet supplies to have on hand when you bring your new cat home:

A cozy carrier for your cat’s freedom ride and beyond

MrPeanutsCarrier

Mr. Peanut’s Double Expandable Carrier, available at Amazon, $56

A cat carrier is mandatory for bringing your cat home from the shelter, said Franušić. We love Mr. Peanut’s refined, comfortable tote, which can unzip to expand to almost three times the size of a regular carrier, making it more comfortable for long travel days. 

A calming pheromone diffuser to decrease stress

FeliwayClassic

Feliway Classic Diffuser, available at Chewy, $35.99

To help decrease stress and unwanted behaviors like urine spraying that go with it, both Moore and Carr recommend using a calming pheromone like Feliway during your cat’s first weeks at home. Feliway mimics the F3 facial pheromones cats deposit when rubbing their cheeks against surfaces in order to mark them as safe.

Earthquake putty to keep knickknacks, vases, and picture frames from becoming playthings

QuakeHold

Quakehold! Museum Putty, available at Amazon, $3.66

Adhering your knickknacks to shelves and tables using earthquake putty ensures that your favorite picture frame or vase won’t end up in pieces on the floor. “When you actually get a cat into your home, you find that they love to explore and get on top of things,” said Franušić, adding that putty was a lifesaver for her.

A safe place for your cat to do their business

natures miracle hooded litter box

Nature’s Miracle Oval Hooded Litter Box, available at Chewy, $32.99

When it comes to a litter box, all of our experts agree that simple is best. You want a box your cat can use “without having to do any tricks,” said Moore. And even though self-cleaning litter boxes are convenient, Moore advises against them because the noises they make can frighten cats. At the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, Farel-Friedman said they recommend using a simple uncovered litter box. If you prefer your box to be covered to reduce smells or prevent your dog from getting inside, buy one like Nature’s Miracle Oval Hooded Litter Box, which has a removable lid that can be added later on. 

An unscented natural litter to make using the litter box appealing

worlds best multiple cat litter

World’s Best Multiple Cat Unscented Litter (14 lbs), available at Chewy, $14.45

Moore avoids dusty litters, which can cause respiratory issues, as well as perfumed litters with a strong scent. All three of our shelter experts like litters made of natural materials like corn or grass, and Carr’s favorite litters are made from pine wood. “I think they’re really efficient at neutralizing odors and are really easy to scoop,” she said. For more ideas, check out our guide to the best natural cat litter.

A flat, wide food dish to prevent whisker fatigue

CatFoodBowl

Dr. Catsby Cat Food Bowl, available at Chewy, $19.95

For cats with sensitive whiskers, brushing up against the side of a food or water bowl can cause pain and make eating stressful. To prevent “whisker fatigue,” Dr. Moore suggested using a flatter dish without steep sides. 

Nutritious dry and wet food that your cat will love to eat

HillsScience

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats, available at Chewy, from $15.99

While many cats prefer dry foods, they are high in carbohydrates and calories. Feeding a diet that includes wet food can help to maintain weight and overall health, according to Moore. “Wet food is great for cats because it provides more moisture,” she said. “It’s especially important for males because you want them producing urine so they don’t have urinary issues.”

Franušić and Farel-Friedman recommended Hill’s Science Diet, which comes in several varieties for cats with different needs. There are plenty of other high-quality options, including Nom Nom, a human-grade monthly cat food delivery service. 

Irresistible treats for training and high-stress situations

Churu

Inaba Churu Lickable Puree Natural Cat Treat, available at Chewy, $17.96

“We use Churu for clicker training and it works wonders,” said Carr. Clicker training, a form of positive-reinforcement training that marks correct behaviors with a distinct clicking sound, is an excellent way to teach tricks and address behavior challenges in cats. Churu is great for stressful situations, too. “We have cats who are super stressed and we give them Churu, and it works so well to distract them from what’s going on,” said Carr. For more ideas, see our guide to the best cat treats.

Tasty dental treats to help promote a happy, healthy mouth

Feline

Feline Greenies Natural Dental Care Treats, available at Chewy, from $2.35

Keeping your cat’s mouth clean is essential to its overall health. “Ideally, you should try to teach your cat to have its teeth brushed,” said Moore. But if that proves too challenging, dental treats are the next best thing. She also recommended using a water additive for stress-free dental care. For more options, check out our guide to the best dental products for cats.

A reflective breakaway collar to hold your cat’s ID tags

Rogz

ROGZ Reflective Cat Collar, available at Amazon, from $9.95

If your cat goes outdoors, they need a breakaway collar that will come undone if they get caught on a tree branch or fence, said Moore. We like this durable reflective collar by Rogz, which is the top pick in our guide to the best cat collars.

Stainless steel ID tags to make sure your cat gets home safely

GoTags

GoTags Stainless Steel Pet ID Tags, available at Chewy, $7.95

Even if your cat is microchipped, ID tags engraved with their name and phone number can help them make it home safe and sound. If your cat is indoor-only, Moore said they don’t need to wear a collar or ID tags. Instead, microchip your cat so that they can be easily identified if they escape.

A comfy harness and leash set for taking your cat on a walk

CatHarness

Rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash Set, available at Amazon, from $14.98

For indoor cats, the outdoors is a fantasy world of sights, sounds, and smells that many find delightful. According to Moore, leash training “is a safe way to have [a] cat outside and a good activity for the cat and owner to do together.” But because being on a leash is not a natural behavior for cats, guardians need to take the time to acclimate their cat to the leash.

A brush for removing excess hair and preventing hairballs

5eb032d0204ad3739e3594c7

Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush, available at Chewy, from $14.99

Cats are fastidious, and in the process of grooming, they consume a lot of hair. For long-haired cats, especially, “brushing is really helpful to remove the loose hair that is ready to shed that may get matted if not removed,” said Moore. A good cat brush like the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush can help remove the excess hair and may reduce the frequency of hairballs. 

A scratching post for your cat to claw

On2Pets Skyline Scratching Post

On2Pets Skyline Sisal Cat Scratching Post, available at Chewy, $44.99

“Cats scratch as a scent marker, to help with their nails, and to relieve stress,” said Moore. Plus, your cat will be less likely to scratch your furniture if they have other options. This cat scratcher from Max & Marlow includes a 26-inch scratching post plus two attached toys. For more ideas, check out our guide to the best scratching posts.

A cat wand for chasing, pouncing, and play

DaBird

GoCat Da Bird Pull Apart Wand, available at Petco, $8.95

“The best toys are the ones where you can interact with your cat. Playing with them helps you to bond better,” said Farel-Friedman. Cat wands are a classic kitty favorite, and Carr recommended both Da Bird and Cat Catcher by GoCat. See our guide to the best cat toys for more options.

An interactive food puzzle toy to stimulate your cat’s hunting instincts

Petsafe Egg Cersizer toy

Petsafe Egg-Cersizer, available at Chewy, $5.99

“I think food puzzle toys are great,” said Carr. “They’re really good for cats who are overweight and for cats who are overstimulated. It’s more natural, too, because [it mimics the way] cats have to work for their food in the wild.” Moore suggested feeding kibble out of interactive food puzzle toys as well as — or instead of — treats.

Regular flea treatment to keep the itches away

Seresto

Seresto Flea and Tick Prevention Collar, available at Chewy, $57.98

Flea control is important regardless of whether a cat is indoor-only or goes outside. Most flea treatments are topical, but Seresto also makes a flea collar that many cat owners and veterinarians like. Not all cats will be comfortable wearing a flea collar, but for those that tolerate it, Moore said it’s a good option.

A cardboard floor scratcher with tracking balls to promote independent play

TurboscratcherCatToy

Bergan Turboscratcher Cat Toy, available at Petco, $14.99

All of our experts agreed that there is no such thing as too many scratchers. Carr likes the Bergan Turboscratcher which has a ball in the frame. “Cats get their scratch on while playing with the balls inside,” she said. “They can play and entertain themselves so even if you’re not home they have stimulation.”

A cat tree tower for climbing, scratching, and play

Armarkat

Armarkat Classic Cat Tree, available at Petco, $55.06

“We definitely recommend cat trees,” said Farel-Friedman. “They not only provide cats with the ability of choice, but they also provide them with exercise and stress relief.” Dr. Moore agreed: “You want to have vertical space, especially people who have a small living area.” The ideal tree has built-in scratching posts and plenty of spots to snuggle up. That’s why we like the classic cat tree from Armarkat, which is the budget pick in our guide to the best cat trees.

Read the original article on Business Insider