How to Buy Pet Training Supplies
When training your pet it is important that you use the right supplies. Before you make your purchase, ask your vet or other pet owners what items that they use and would recommend. Then, take a look at these items yourself in the store or online. Make sure that everything that you buy is safe for your pet and does not cause any irritation or pain, like a too tight collar. Also, don’t forget to buy positive reinforcement items, such as pet-specific treats.
Making an Informed Purchase
Visit the pet store.Go to your local brick-and-mortar store are browse the shelves for possible training items. The stores are generally organized according to animal so you should have little difficulty finding the section that you need. Ask store workers about items that they would recommend or avoid.
- One way to get an extra level of insight is to ask workers, “What training items are frequently returned and why?” This tells you the training supplies that you should generally avoid due to the high level of customer dissatisfaction.
- Before you purchase anything make sure that you are a member of the store’s reward or points club, if that is an option. It could save you money in the long run.
Look for supplies online.Many traditional pet stores have gone digital and we’ve also seen the development of numerous online-only businesses. The benefit of purchasing online is that you have access to more pet brands to compare in terms of both price and quality. Enter “pet training supplies” into your search engine to see possible options.
- Make sure that the site is legitimate before you purchase anything. Some people try to take advantage of enthusiastic pet owners by setting up false sites and stealing information. Look for the BBB and pay secure logos and check out the “About” page as well.
Talk to fellow pet owners.Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find out which training supplies are good and which ones to avoid. If you belong to an animal or breed club, ask the fellow members for their item recommendations. You can also do this online as many pet owners congregate in animal-specific forums.
- For example, German Shepherd owners have their own forum space to discuss any topics of interest, including training difficulties and aids.
Get advice from your vet.When you bring your pet in for a check-up, or even beforehand, ask your vet for supply suggestions. They will be able to tell you what the new fads are while also pointing you to tried and true products. They may even endorse a particular product that they feel passionate about.
- As with all of these initial inquiries it is best if you can be specific. Instead of simply asking about training supplies you might request advice on purchasing puppy housetraining supplies, if that is what your pet needs.
Read online reviews.Consumer feedback will give you a general idea as to whether or not a product can be used effectively and is worth the cost. They will also often discuss or describe durability. Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a specific list of items go through and enter these items names into your search engine one-by-one. Read any reviews that pop up.
- Many of these review sites, such as Consumer Affairs, will also offer information on pet supply recalls. If you are at all concerned about your items being subject to a recall it may be a good idea to sign-up for one of these email notification lists.
Consider the cost.Keep in mind that purchasing a multitude of pet training supplies all at once could add up to a substantial bill. Consider coming up with homemade versions of some items. Or, watch for sales as they pop up. You can also buy some of the more generic items in bulk, such as puppy training pads.
- An example of a homemade item would be if you personally cooked your dog’s treats for its agility training.
- As you think about the cost it may also be worthwhile to purchase an extended warranty, if it is available. This very much depends on the item, including the odds that it could get damaged during regular use.
Purchasing Safety and Specialized Training Items
Find an appropriate collar, leash, and/or harness.Cats, dogs, and many other pets will require a collar to aid in training and to provide a measure of security should they get lost. You may also want to consider a leash for your pet if you take regular walks. A harness is best for those pets who like to pull against the lead or who require a little bit of extra guidance.
- You’ll want to purchase the appropriate size so that all of these items sit snugly, but not tightly, against your pet’s skin. A too tight collar, for example, can cut into the skin of your pet or even choke it.
- Don’t automatically discount the use of a leash or harness with a non-dog pet. Many people have find it quite fun, for example, to train their cats to walk with a leash.
Select required sporting gear.If you and your pet are participating in some type of sport it is important to purchase supplies specifically designed for that activity. You’ll want to make sure that these training supplies not only enhance performance, but also protect your pet from possible injury. When in doubt contact your local sporting agency or fellow participants for advice.
- For example, if you are working with your cat on agility training there are certain items, such as ramps or hoops, that are commonly used by owners.
Buy required certification gear.Similar to sporting, if your pet is pursuing some type of advanced training that will lead to a certification then you will want to buy the right gear for this activity. For example, therapy dogs will often need specific patches and vests early on in the training process. These items aid in the training process by preventing people from interfering with your pet’s work.
- As part of the class your pet may receive some of these supplies. You can also ask the instructor for assistance in selecting any other necessary items.
Investigate clicker training.Clickers are all the rage right now. They are little hard plastic boxes that make a clicking noise when pressed upon. They are usually held in your hand for ease of use. If you are considering any type of obedience training a clicker may be useful. They are also fairly cheap so you may just want to purchase one to see if your pet responds to it at all.
- To train with a clicker you give a click for certain positive behaviors. You then pair this click with praise or another type of positive reinforcement, such as a treat. Cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs, and other pets generally respond well to clicker use.
- For maximum effectiveness you could pair your clicker with a target stick. This is a light, hand-held stick with a ball at the end. An owner can use it to point to a desired location or item. Cat and bird owners find these useful for agility and behavior training.
Anticipate your pet’s restroom needs.This is the one type of necessary training that many pets have in common. Do some research online to determine what is the best approach to housebreaking your pet. You may need to go through numerous different products to find the right one that your pet agrees with.
- For example, purchasing a litter box and training your cat to use it isn’t always as simplistic as it sounds. You need to use the right litter for the stage-of-life. You also must choose the type of box that your cat prefers.
- Some animals even prefer food in their restroom area, such as rabbits. Indoor rabbits like to munch on hay while they take care of restroom business. Training them to use a box is far easier if you accommodate their wishes.
Handle your pets safely.While training your pet you need to look out for your own safety as well. Some pets are more difficult to handle and require a bit of preparation in advance. For example, if you are working with certain types of birds you may need a specialty glove for them to perch upon. Talk to other trainers in your area to discover what works the best.
Purchasing Positive Reinforcement Items
Get toys for general play.Almost all pets respond well to new (or even old) toys. Earning trust through play is an important part of any training process. Get a few new toys as often as you can and rotate them in with the older toys. You can also use access to a favorite toy as a bit of motivation for a difficult part of the training process.
- Cats, for example, loves toys that make unique noises or are complex to the touch, such as feathers.
Check all toys for safety.It is best to go online to look up any toy safety concerns that specifically pertain to your pet’s breed. Some animals don’t do well with strings (birds) whereas others (cats) are perfectly okay with them. Varying sizes of balls can be an issue for pets as well because they can present a choking hazard.
- Trust your safety instincts as well. If a toy looks dangerous to you, don’t buy it. Even common items such as tennis balls can be hazardous when used by certain animals, such as particularly large dogs.
Replace worn down toys.It is also always a good idea to pick up and remove any toys that are well past their prime. Pet training supply manufacturers are not fully regulated and so it is best to not push these products too far. Any toys that are ripped apart could possibly be ingested by your pet.
Select special food treats.Many training regimens involve positive reinforcement in the form of treating. Buy a treat type that is best suited for your particular pet. Their animal group may do best with certain types of treats and your pet may have personal preferences as well.
- For example, cats do well with pieces of tuna, diced cooked chicken, or even commercial treats.
- Make sure to buy treats that are actually treat portions, not meal replacements.
Video: Dog Training Tools
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