Skip To Content

    31 Problem-Solving Products For First-Time Pet Parents

    Interactive toys, training bells, and more essentials that'll help you take care of your fur baby.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Pee pads, because your puppy is constantly going to the bathroom and you don't want to step in another "carpet puddle" again. Each have a carbon-activated material that absorbs urine and odors *fast* and a leak-proof layered system to make training a breeze.

    Amazon / Via, Amazon / Via

    Promising review: " I love these pads more than any other 'white' kind I tried. These pads are super absorbent and most importantly they don't look disgusting when dirty. Cleanup is super easy as everything soaked up turns to gel inside. Just wrap it up and toss away. My house doesn't smell like dog urine anymore." —Yaca

    Get a 14-pack from Amazon for $4.73+ (available in packs of 28, 30, 50, 100, and 150).

    2. A glow-in-the-dark kitten collar, so your fur baby will be visible if they're exploring your home at night. This ~stellar~ accessory, which can be adjusted for your feline's neck, will help keep them safe when there's limited visibility.

    Black and white cat wears a purple glow-in-the-dark collar with moon and stars printed all over it indoors
    Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "My kitten loves her collar. I wanted her to have one that was comfortable and that looked cute on her. Plus I found out afterwards that it glows in the dark. That was even better so I don't trip on her in the middle of the night."Eileen Castanon

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $11.99+ (available three color sets).

    3. A bone teething ring that'll help alleviate pain and sore spots. Each of these rings contains calcium *and* omega-3 fatty acids (yay for healthy teeth). Plus, wouldn't it be nice to save your shoes from your puppy's chewing habit?

    Reviewer's puppy chews on a chicken-flavored bone teething ring
    Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "My pup loves these! She’s been teething really bad lately and has been chewing on everything and everyone!They are bigger than I thought, but I don’t mind because she can entertain herself longer and I’ve noticed she’s been chewing on my stuff less." —Sydney

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $3.75.

    4. An interactive cat toy with an illuminated ball and squiggly track for hours and hours of feline entertainment. Your kitty will be able to touch, smell, and play with this fun gadget which will (hopefully) keep 'em from climbing on shelves and other things.

    Amazon / Via, Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "So far, both cats are completely entranced by this. I would consider this the cat equivalent of binge-watching Netflix. They play and play and play. I love it because it keeps them from doing other stuff that gets them in trouble (like jumping on the counter)." —Stephanie

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    5. Dry puppy food that's packed with protein and omega fatty acids, so your pup can build muscle and have healthy skin. This delicious lamb meal doesn't contain artificial flavors or colors and they'll be able to get the nutrients they need, sans bad ingredients.

    Yellow bag of dry puppy food that says "Nature's Recipe Original Puppy Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe)

    Promising review: "I ordered the Nature's Recipe Puppy Food for our new puppy (Norwegian Elkhound) because we buy Nature's Recipe for our adult dog (Collie). Both dogs like this brand of food. They are healthy and bright-eyed; their coats are soft and shiny. They both have lots of energy and do not have excessively large stools. By comparison, this brand appears to have healthier ingredients than many name brands in stores and is less costly." —Vonne

    Get it from Amazon for $7.49+ (available in two sizes).

    6. A self-cleaning litter box so you won't have to scoop out poop or refill your kitty's throne for a couple of weeks. It comes with odor-control crystal litter, an automatic waste removal feature, and anti-leak disposable trays for seamless tidying.

    Amazon / Via, Amazon / Via

    It also comes with a health counter, so you can see how many times your cat goes in and out of the box per day!

    Promising review: "I'm a first time cat/kitten owner. Let me just start by saying that I would never own a cat inside if I had to smell or deal with its poops in a way that made my house smell bad. My little guy came and this was the first box he ever used as he was born an outside cat. So far I am only using the crystals that came with it without any added litter." —Jackson Bond

    Get it from Amazon for $129.95 (available in three colors).

    7. A grooming glove you'll want to have on hand for a ~purrfect~ brushing session that won't leave hair on the floor: This small tool gently picks up shedded fur and gives your cat a nice massage in the process.

    Amazon / Via, Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "This glove is the ultimate pet mitt that massages every muscle of your pet baby, Sami rolls over after I finish one side to make sure I cover her entire body. Not only is it a treat for my Sami but it removes a lot of fur and her coat is shiny, smooth, and soft, which is a plus for me and no fur is on the floor or couch. This is a great price and a must-buy." —Cody Blackwolf

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    8. Leak-proof poop bags, because no one wants to take their doggo out for a walk and have to deal with gross smells and wet poo. With a leakproof material and an odor-blocking scent, you'll be prepared the next time your pet has to go.

    Reviewer shows hand holding leash with green leak-proof dispenser and baggies while taking their dog out for a walk
    Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "Usually, when it’s time to take our puppy, WInnie,out, we’re scrambling around trying to find a poop bag — now, it’s as simple as grabbing the leash! The dispenser is substantial (i.e. not 'cheap' feeling). The bags are sturdy and long enough to knot and the scent isn't overpowering." —JOdi Brodersen White

    Get a set of 120 bags from Amazon for $6.99 (available in scented and unscented).

    9. Kitten training litter that's quick-clumping, has odor control, and will help your pet neatly go to the bathroom in the litter box. Plus, it doesn't stay on their paws or get dusty, making cleanup a breeze.

    Two packages of Fresh Step Clean Paws Advanced Multi-Cat litter

    Promising review: "I really like this litter a lot as far as no tracking goes. It works 99.9%, which is great as my previous litter was all over the house including in my bed! Also, this litter smells great so no need for a plug-in scent in the room anymore." —Sue Harding

    Get an 18.5-pound bag from Amazon for $15.99.

    10. An adjustable, glow-in-the-dark dog collar, because it can be hard to spot your pet when the sun's down. It's rechargeable and has different flash modes, so you can safely walk your furry friend in low-light conditions.

    Amazon, Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "This is the most perfect collar ever. Having a dog at night has its problems. One night I couldn’t see her at all. She chased a rabbit in the yard and all I could see was her blue collar running around the yard. The rabbit escaped. No worries. I want another color collar and a leash to match. The best!" —Dianne D

    Get it from Amazon for $9.35+ (available in four colors).

    11. A urine stain remover that'll get to work on your pet's impromptu pee accidents: It not only helps eliminate nasty stains, but it also removes gross odors from surfaces, thanks to an enzyme-activated formula. Your carpets and rugs will thank you for the scent pick-me-up.

    Hand sprays white bottle of Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator on a carpet stain

    Promising review: "My little bundle of joy (I say that with extreme sarcasm), decided to use my sofa as her personal pee pad twice last week. I tried and tried to get the odor of urine out to no avail. But then I read the review of this spray and decided to give it a try. I followed the directions and it worked. It actually works. The smell and the stain are gone! Now, I can keep my sofa (and my dog too I guess😊). —AJ

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97.

    12. A cat dental kit for your feline's pearly whites: A toothpaste helps minimize tartar, a toothbrush gently removes chewed-up food, and the finger toothbrush gives your kitten a gum massage. Yes, your baby's teeth are getting the best cleaning.

    Amazon / Via

    Promising review: " I bought this for my 11-year-old cat who was having some teeth issues. She doesn’t like brushing her teeth, but will tolerate. I have noticed that it’s helped her a lot. I then got a kitten and decided to start him on the road to good oral hygiene. He absolutely loves the taste! Doesn’t love actually getting his teeth brushed, but loves licking the brush. He will chase me around for it when he sees me brush the other cat's teeth." —K. Robinson

    Get it from Amazon for $5.99.

    13. A dog grooming brush, so your pet's hair doesn't create a gross cover on the couch: It works through tangles and removes dead hair (buh-bye allergies shedding), giving your doggo a healthy coat.

    Reviewer detangles their dog's fur with a blue dog grooming brush
    Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "If you have ever had a Lab or Lab mix, then you know they shed a lot! This brush does a great job in the thick section around his chest and neck, but is not too hard when grooming his areas that have a little less hair. When Jake sees me with this brush in my hand he immediately comes for some attention. He *loves* being brushed with this tool, and the result is a lot less hair indoors." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $14.97.

    14. A waterproof pet blanket that'll be soft armor for your sofa and protect it from drool, pee stains, and pet fur. It'll also be a cuddly cocoon for you and your fur baby while you're relaxing in the living room together.

    Kitten and puppy cuddle on a waterproof pink blanket placed on a couch

    Promising review: "This blanket is super soft and my puppy loves it. She sleeps on it and plays with it and tried to drag it off the couch. My daughter keep trying to steal it from her so it seems to be a hit with them both. The small size is perfect for our girl but I may buy the larger one as well." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $13.79+ (available in two sizes and three colors).

    15. A pH-balanced shampoo to get your puppy super clean and condition their fur. With a heavenly scent and gentle formula, their coat will be so dang shiny, soft, and clean. Mud, dander, and debris, be gone!

    Amazon / Via, Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "I bought this for my miniature schnauzer and Old English Bulldog puppy. It smells fantastic and the dogs smell clean longer than anything else I've tried! My schnauzer has issues with dandruff when we use other shampoos, but this one was perfect! No dandruff and his fur was so soft!" —Jenna B

    Get a bottle from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in eight formulas and three sizes).

    16. A water-resistant pet bed, because your dog needs a cushioned sleep slot that's equally comfy and accident-proof. The middle cushion can also be taken out if tidying and hair removal are needed.

    Small brown dog sits in blue, water-resistant pet bed at reviewer's house
    Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "Not really sure why, but my puppy Scottish terrier took to this bed instantly. He loves it, and it being waterproof helped against a couple of accidents. The middle cushion isn't attached, so you can just pull it out to clean it. If it has any flaws is that when plays with his toys in it, it tends to make a lot of noise, like an adult rolling around in a beanbag. Otherwise, it was a great purchase." —J. Tabales

    Get it from Amazon for $19.80+ (available five sizes).

    17. A laser cat toy, so your kitten can have a blast chasing a red light and playing on the floor while you clean the house, chill on the couch, or cook dinner.

    Black kitty plays with white laser cat toy on a carpet

    Promising review: "This toy has been a godsend! I work from home and there are times when she needs to be active and I need to get work done. I turn on the BOLT and she has a blast. I move it to different rooms and aim it towards a wall or staircase and she goes wild chasing the light."WaldenBug

    Get it from Amazon for $16.61+ (available in four varieties).

    And check out more cool pet toys in 33 Pet Toys On Amazon That People Actually Swear By.

    18. A biodegradable tug toy that'll satisfy your lil' chewer who can't stop nibbling on your fingers. It's made with nontoxic material and comes with a colorful rope. Plus your pup can easily carry it in their mouth.

    A French Bulldog puppy plays with a orange tanned leather dog toy on a blanket
    House Dogge

    Get it from House Dogge for $26+.

    19. A more humane bark collar, because your pup gets way too excited whenever they hear cars or see squirrels outside. This gadget automatically beeps and vibrates to get them to stop making too much noise.

    Amazon / Via, Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "I bought this collar a few months ago for my puppy. She is a terrible barker and my vet and I decided this would be the best bet for her. It worked great! It allows for a little barking but she can't go overboard. I love the progressiveness of how the sound gets longer before the actual vibration starts. She learned very quickly what her limits were." —Tamra Besch

    Get it from Amazon for $29.97.

    If you need more puppy essentials, check out "15 Things From Amazon To Help You Train A New Puppy."

    20. A "cat cave" you'll want to place in your kitty's favorite corner or nook at home. They'll love to chill in this cozy structure, which will be their new favorite nap spot and prevent them from shedding all over your couch.

    Two striped kittens cuddle in a blue ombre "cat cave" on the floor

    Promising review: "This cat cave is great! My two cats enjoy sitting inside and one even likes to sit on top. I love seeing their cute faces inside the cave! The quality is good and sturdy and the cats are attracted to the natural wool." —Etsy Customer

    Get it from WalkingPalm on Etsy for $59.99.

    21. Cat nail clippers to gently trim your kitty's claws: Rubberized handles give you a good grip, so you can give them a chill and safe grooming session. If your furry friend's nails are scratching you (and everything indoors), it may be time for a *manicure.*

    Reviewer uses green nail clippers to trim their cat's claws near a windowsill
    Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "I received these clippers this morning and just used them to cut my boy's front and back claws. They worked beautifully and were very easy to hold. Of course, the fact that my cat is Mr. Mellow and cooperative certainly made a difference! We were done in less than five minutes." —Amazon Customer

    Get them from Amazon for $8.97+ (available in two colors and two patterns).

    22. A dog crate kit that comes with all the essentials (a crate, crate cover, two dog bowls, and a pet bed), so your puppy can have a comfy spot to eat and sleep. The cover and fleece bed are also washable, just in case they have accidents.

    Amazon / Via, Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "I barely leave reviews ever because I truly always forget, but this cage is amazing. Two hours later my Milo went to go nap inside at his own will!! He’s about 15 pounds and we found the 30-inch to be perfect. He loves the little bed inside, it’s a great added feature! Awesome product and I highly recommend :)" —Dom

    Get it from Amazon for $69.99+(available in four sizes).

    23. A litter pan for your cat that doesn't like an enclosed poop and pee zone: This open-design box makes it easy for them to climb in and do their business (no door or lid required) and it's also odor-resistant (win).

    White cat steps out of blue litter box placed in a living room

    Promising review: "For a smaller box, this is a good size. I purchased this solely for the purpose of transitioning new kitties to our home. I had limited space in the master bath, and this one fit the bill. Big enough to not make a mess by two kittens, yet small enough to fit between the toilet and cabinet. Purrfect!" —Chewy Customer

    Get it from Chewy for $3.04+ (available in four sizes).

    24. A squirrel-hiding toy, because your dog has a thing for fluffy-tailed critters and needs an interactive toy. This hide-and-seek plush will let them smell and find "squirrels," thanks to squeakers and a burrow-like design. We can't promise that you won't want to join in on the fun too.

    Tan dog sniffs a plush hide-and-seek toy filled with squeakers and soft squirrels

    Promising review: "My dog isn't a huge fan of stuffed animals, she tends to play with them for a few minutes and then is bored. This has been able to keep her attention because she has to work to get the squirrels out. She will throw the trunk up in the air and stick her whole nose in the holes to get the squirrels out- it's pretty cute to watch. Once all the squirrels are out and she gets bored, I put the squirrels back in and she's ready to play again." —Sarah

    Get it from Amazon for $9.62+ (available in four sizes).

    25. A medicated hot spot spray to give your pet sweet, sweet relief from itchy spots. This formula, which is anti-fungal and antimicrobial, will soothe trouble spots and help minimize scratching.

    White spray bottle that says "The Bark Shoppe Medicated & Hot Spot Body Spray for dogs and cats"
    The Bark Shoppe

    Get it from The Bark Shoppe for $16.99.

    26. A cat scratching post and hammock, because your kitty's on the move and their claws are no match for furniture. This tiny hub will let them sleep *and* scratch all they want, so you don't need to buy a new couch or coffee table.

    Amazon, Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "My cat liked it straight away. She scratched the posts, batted the puff ball, and settled into the comfy, soft hammock for a nap. Presently, she is resting on the soft bottom platform." —C. Johnson

    Get it from Amazon for $26.99 (available in two colors).

    27. A dog toothbrush and toothpaste set that'll gently clean your pup's mouth and remove stubborn food debris responsible for stinky breath. Yes to healthy (and sparkling) pearly whites!

    A brown toothpaste tube, a blue finger brush, a yellow finger brush, and a purple full-sized toothbrush

    Promising review: "Puppy Cody never liked her teeth brushed with those huge toothbrushes, and the finger brushes we found previously were worthless. The finger brushes in this set, however, are wonderful they're nice, soft "real" brushes (not just spokes of rubber), and the holder fits nicely and snugly around the finger. The toothpaste must taste pretty good, too, because now Cody lets me brush all of her teeth, including the hard to reach ones in the back." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    28. Dry cat food, so your feline can satisfy their appetite without getting too much tartar and plaque on their teeth. Made with real meat and packed with nutrients, this recipe will give 'em epic meal time sans gross food debris.

    Yellow bag of dry cat food that says "Purina Kitten Chow Nurture"

    Promising review: " Even with another brand if dry food in their bowl, they prefer this one. I like the fact that the kibble is tiny and can fit in their mouths easier than other brand and they like the flavor. It's been over 19 years since I had kittens so I have to try different brands of kitten dry foods until we find a couple that we like." —Chewy Customer

    Get it from Chewy for $3.43+ (available in four sizes).

    29. A training doorbell that'll be a big help for your pooch's bathroom training. Just loop it around a doorknob so your pet can ~give a ring~ when it's time to go potty and not have an accident.

    Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "I use these to train my dogs to let me know when they need to go out. It's pretty simple to teach them. The bells jingle when you open the door so they begin to recognize the sound. To secure the idea, I jingle them when saying 'potty' so they associate that. All in all, these bells work great." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in two colors and a two-pack).

    30. Kitten treats, because your fur baby has been really, really good lately and you want to reward them with something yummy and soft on their teeth. Veggies, salmon, and cranberries in crunchy kibble form will delight your fur baby and be easy to eat.

    Reviewer's cat plays with a bag of Wellness Kittles Cat Treats on a floral carpet
    Amazon / Via

    Promising review: "My 9-month-old kitten Joker loves these things. Before I can even get my hand out of the bag, he's begging for more treats. Most importantly his kitty litter is all systems go so no blood or anything negative regarding his health. It's gluten- and grain-free it also helps keep his teeth clean. My little guy loves these and I will be buying him a big portion in bulk." —Justin Russell

    Get it from Amazon for $2.37.

    31. A kitty harness you'll want to slip on your cat if you're both headed outdoors: It'll keep them secure without restricting their movement, so they can enjoy a nice walk and stay safe.

    A spotted cat tries to climb a tree while wearing a black kitty harness

    Promising review: "Works perfectly, my cat has had no problems with it. And it came with instructions for how to train your cat to walk outside with you. So so helpful." —Etsy Customer

    Get it from MavsShop on Etsy for $24.99+ (available in 10 colors and you can also personalize it).

    You and your fur babies enjoying time together:


    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    What's your favorite product?

    Tell us about your favorite product
    Your review may be featured in a post.
    Minimum 25 characters, 1500 characters left
    Upload up to 4 photos you took of the product and/or how you use it. (We love before & after photos!)
    View our photo guidelines with tips that increase your chance of getting featured.
    Max 10 MB. Accepted file types: .jpg, .jpeg, .png.

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form