Cat Nibble

EQUIPMENT

Equipment and tools that you can buy in stores or make at home may make a significant difference in caring for your pet! 

 

CLEANING UP AFTER YOUR PET

Products and tools to help with cleaning up after your pet and managing their waste!

Pooper Scoopers

There are a variety of ways to pick up after your dog! Pooper scoopers can also make great long-handled litter box scoops.

Litterboxes and Scoops

Litterboxes can be tricky to clean, especially when they are placed on the floor. However, there are products out there that can help make the job easier!

Hair and messes on the floor

Let's face it, pets are messy. Thankfully there are tools out there that can make it easier to clean up after your pets!

Aquariums and Cages

Products and tools that can make it easier to clean cages and aquariums!

 

FEEDING

Equipment recommendations for making meal time easier

Opening Pull-Tab Cans

Ring Pulls are helpful for opening cans that have pull tabs. You can get them in a variety of sizes with different widths for easy grip. You can also get ones that function as multi-tools. The "Purrfect Opener" is a ring pull that also has tools for opening bottles, twisting off caps, splitting medications, opening medication bottles or bubble packs,  and catching medications. They also make a larger version that can also help with opening large jars. Walmart also makes a pull-tap can opener for under $2 that also has a scoop for removing pet food from the can.

Food Scoops

Scoops for dry food are a great way to limit stress on your body from lifting and pouring food from the bag. Pet food scoops come in a variety of sizes both in the amount of food they scoop and the size of the handle. You can always use a measuring cup, a cup, or a kitchen cooking spoon to scoop food as well. If you need to limit bending, try taping or gluing a scoop or measuring cup to an old broom handle, pole, stick, back scratcher, or wooden paint stirring stick. You can also make the handles wider for easier grip by adding layers of tape, attaching foam, or rolling and taping a washcloth around the handle. 
See our videos on adaptivepetstrategies.com/petcarestrategies for more feeding tips and how to use equipment.

Automatic Feeders

Automatic feeders are a great option for some people and their pets. For fish, automatic feeders can be programmed to feed a certain amount of food every day 1-3 times and can operate without refilling for up to a month. For dogs and cats, automatic feeders work for some and not others. They can be expensive and smart dogs/cats can break into them. They will also involve refilling which can be complicated for some models. We recommend reading the reviews and doing your research before purchasing. This website is a great start for weighing the pros and cons of popular auto-feeders on the market today: https://petlifetoday.com/best-automatic-dog-feeders/

Long Handled Pet Bowls

Long Handled bowls are a great way to feed your pets on the floor while also being able to easily fill and clean the dishes. There are a variety of models and heights online, some of which are adjustable. You can also make your own by taping, gluing, or bolting a long stick, pole, or handle to a bowl. I made my own by duct-taping a long-handled shoe horn from the dollar store to a light-weight bowl.

 
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PLAY TIME AND EXERCISE

Equipment and products to help with playtime and exercise with your pet

Wand Toys

Wand toys are a great way to play with cats without bending. Many cats like to hunt and chase while playing making these toys very popular. The downside to these toys is that the wand part of the toy is often quite thin. This can make them hard to grasp and hold, especially when the cat catches the toy at the end. By adding foam grip, taping an old washcloth, or adding foam curlers, you can quickly make the wand toy easier to grasp.

Automatic-Toys

There are many automatic toys today for both dogs and cats that promote them to get exercise while making play time easy on you. There is everything from laser-lights that randomly shine light around the room for 15-30 minutes, and remote controlled mice for cats to hunt, to automatic tennis ball throwers for dogs. They also make treat dispensers now that you can give your pets treats by using an app on your phone. If you have a destructive pet or one that likes to chew, automatic toys are likely not the investment. Also make sure that the toy is large enough for you to easily see, pick-up, and turn on/off.

Throw and Catch Toys

Many dogs and some cats love to play fetch, or they at least love to run after the toy (some don't bring it back). Chuck-it is a popular toy that allows you to pick up a tennis ball from the ground and throw it far easily. It comes in a variety of heights making it a great no-bending solution to fetch that is also easy on your shoulder. Nerf is often associated with kid toys but they have also created a tennis-ball gun that allows you to press a trigger to throw the tennis ball and pick up the ball from the ground using the gun. Nerf toys with foam darts are also a great way to play with your pets, especially indoors. The guns and darts come in a variety of sizes so you can find what is easiest for you. However, this is not a great option for dogs/cats that like to eat their toys as they could quickly and easily eat the dart.

Long-Lasting Chews

Long-lasting chew toys or treats are a great option for small mammals and for dogs. For small mammals, these toys often promote dental health and proper length of their teeth making them essential to provide for your pet. For dogs, its a great way to entertain your pet for a long time and to keep chewers from chewing on things they shouldn't. Kong toys are great for those who do not want the mess of a bone in their home. Kong toys can be filled with many different treats. I personally mix kibble and cream cheese together, put it in the Kong, and then freeze it to make it entertain my dog even longer. Many people also use peanut butter. Bones are great for many dogs, however some kinds do tend to splinter and make a mess on the floor. You will also want to make sure the bones are natural ingredients and do not contain things like Raw-hide that can be unsafe for your dog. Nylon "bones" and chews are a great option for those that want the benefits of a bone without the mess.

 
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GROOMING AND PET HEALTH

Products and tools for grooming your pet, dental hygiene, and giving medications

Brushing

Brushing pets can be tough on the wrist and hand and take a lot of time and energy. We recommend getting a brush that is comfortable for you to grasp and look for one that is designed to reach the "undercoat." These brushes will reach deeper into your pets fur making brushing go faster and make it more effective. If using a brush is tough on your hand, wrist, or arm, consider a brushing mitt. Brushing mitts have brush bristles on a glove so you can groom your pet while petting them.

Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene is an important aspect of your pets health. Brushing teeth for cats and dogs can be difficult though. There are tools out there that can make the job easier such as tooth brushes that fit on the end of your finger. Treats (i.e. Greenies) are designed to promote dental health in your animals as well. There are also supplements you can add to their water to help keep teeth clean and healthy. Bones and dry pet food will also help keep teeth strong and remove tartar build-up. We recommend consulting with your vet on which products are right for your pet, especially if your pet has a history of dental issues.

Bathing

Bathing a cat or dog can be very difficult and messy. If your pet does not need a full bath, there are easier ways to help keep them clean. There are pet wipes available that are designed to clean your pets body, eyes, ears, and/or mouth. There are also water-less shampoos you can spray on your pet. If you give your pet a bath, we recommend tying them up so it's safer for you both and giving them a distraction (i.e. peanut butter for dogs, tuna for cats). Waiting to wash their head and ears until the end will also make them feel safer. Check your local area to see if there are self-washing pet stations as well. These stations often are set up to efficiently and safely give your pets a bath.

Medications

It is likely that you will have to give a dog/cat medication either part of routine care or for an illness. Pill pockets are a great way to sneak your pets their medication in a treat. You can also use peanut butter, the water from a tuna can, cheese, and lunch meat to disguise the medication. Some medications may be difficult to provide because they have a bitter taste. If you have a lot of difficultly giving your pet a medication due to its taste, we recommend asking your vet about bitter blockers. These can lessen the bitterness and make it easier to administer. If you are giving a liquid medication and have difficulty providing it to your pet with a syringe, try putting it in a little bit of wet food and giving it to your pet. You will just want to make sure your pet eats all of what you provide and that no other animals eat it.

 
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