A pet can be a great companion at any age. And today’s market of pet products has made it easier than ever to keep your pet happy and healthy regardless of your physical condition or vacation schedule. High-quality pet care doesn’t have to be complicated or tough on the body. Check out some of the must-have best pet care products and services you’ll want to have available to meet your changing schedule and health needs.
1. Self-cleaning litter box
Those big boxes of cat litter from the store are heavy. You have to haul them home, carry them up the stairs, discard your old litter and then bend down and scoop out the new litter. If you’re not as mobile as you used to be or are dealing with joint pain, a self-cleaning litter box could provide relief. CatGenie, a smart cat box, needs only one or two packages of washable granules and a few cartridges of cat-safe cleaner per year. This ingenious device actually cleans and flushes itself, and it’s compatible with all types of sewage and septic systems. Packages (including the box and cartridges) run from $249–$369 on CatGenie.com. All units come with an easy-to-read manual for setup and a two-year warranty.
2. Pet sitting and day care
Of course you’d love to always have your pet at your side. But if you’re planning a big trip or a day with your grandkids out of town, you’ll need someone to keep watch. Pet sitters who visit the home or care for your pet in a day care setting are trained to handle your beloved friend while you’re away. Fetch! Pet Care is the largest network of professional pet sitters and dog walkers in the country. The center provides a large range of services for creatures with fur, feathers, fins or scales. The average cost for a day of pet sitting for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, fish and reptiles is $16–$65. Learn more at Fetchpetcare.com.
3. Automatic pet water fountain
If there’s one thing you do most often for your pets, it’s probably feeding them and changing their water. But that requires bending down, picking up the bowl, washing it, refilling it and bending back down to set it on the floor. That may be easy—unless you struggle with back pain, osteoarthritis or other conditions that make it tough to get around and bend down. Enter the world of automatic pet feeders and water fountains. The Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Purifying Pet Fountain will flow and aerate the water, filtering out impurities and reducing the number of times you have to fill it. This is also perfect if you’re headed out on vacation for a few days and need to make sure your cat has enough to drink. The fountain varies in size and costs $36.99–$54.99 on Petco.com.
4. No-pull leash
Walking is a great form of exercise, but if you can’t walk as fast as you used to and your puppy is ready to speed off, it might be time to get a no-pull leash. For example, the ThunderLeash can reduce the strain on your arms and shoulders by exerting mild pressure on your dog’s torso to discourage pulling. It’s easy to put on, and you can turn it right back into a standard leash when added control isn’t needed. The leash is available for $29.95 on Thundershirt.com.
5. Portable doggie play pen
Dogs are in their element when they have a chance to run and play outdoors. But if you have a busy social calendar or aren’t mobile enough to walk them often, a playpen can be a great alternative. Take a look at SmithBuilt Crates sturdy 8 Panel Dog Exercise Play Pen. This product is durable but easy to carry and set up indoors or outdoors. It also comes in a variety of heights. The 24-inch unit is priced at $40 on Amazon.com.
6. Lightweight pet stairs
Has your dog gotten heavier, or has it simply gotten more difficult to lift your pooch onto the couch for a cuddle? Pet stairs can help reduce the need to bend down and pick up your favorite critter. Try Solvit Ultralite Pet Stairs, a portable yet strong product that weighs in at only 10 pounds. The steps also can be used to help your pet get into the car without your physical assistance. The stairs are available for $69.99 on Doolittlespetproducts.com.