35 mistakes you're making with your pets that are costing you a lot of money

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ByClaire Epting
Originally Published: 

Having a pet is the ultimate adventure. You get to share all sorts of memories with an animal companion who loves you unconditionally. But it’s easy to make mistakes along the way that end up costing you money you don’t actually have to spend. Luckily, Amazon has a ton of cheap, clever pet products that will save you cash in the long run — plus, they’ll make your life a lot easier.

If your dog is a tough chewer — or you have a teething puppy — you’re probably used to constantly replacing toys and leashes. But what if you replaced your pup’s stuffed animals with these stuffing-free toys that are filled with crinkle paper instead? Since your dog can’t rip out the filling, they last much longer — and the added crinkling sound creates a more engaging experience. You can also find chew-proof leashes made out of braided steel that will stand up to dogs of all sizes.

Cat owners know the struggle of finding their furniture covered in claw scratches, but there are small fixes you can make to preserve your upholstery. For example, this transparent tape adheres to the sides of your sofa, preventing your feline’s claws from piercing through. Alternatively, you can place these colorful, soft nail caps directly onto your cat’s claws to reduce their sharpness.

Pet ownership has its challenges, but these genius products on Amazon can help you correct your mistakes, so you can focus on what’s most important — loving your furry friend.


Mistake: Letting your cat wreck your couch

Solution: This training tape that stops your cat from scratching your furniture

When your cat gets the natural urge to scratch, your couches and chairs become prime targets for their sharp claws. That’s why you should try this two-sided training tape that prevents their nails from sinking into the fabric. Just cut the tape down to size, peel off the backing, and stick directly onto your furniture. Cat’s don’t like the sticky texture (so they’ll stop going after the upholstery), and since it’s transparent, guests won’t even notice it’s there.


Mistake: Spending a lot of money on disposable lint rollers

Solution: A reusable pet hair remover with rave reviews

Instead of burning through countless disposable paper lint rollers, invest in the fan-favorite ChomChom pet hair roller. With over 74,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, this tool actually lives up to its hype. Roll it back and forth over your furniture and clothes, then easily dispose of the hair that gets trapped inside the internal compartment.


Mistake: Trying to remember if you already fed your dog this evening

Solution: This tracker that stays on top of your dog’s feeding schedule

For those who share dog-feeding duties with a partner, family member, or roommate, this wall-mounted tracker seriously comes in handy. It lists each day of the week next to two movable tabs for the morning and the evening. When you feed your dog, just move the tab to the right. You’ll never accidentally double-feed your dog again.


Mistake: Staining your floors with spilled water

Solution: A spill-proof water bowl that protects your floors

If your pet could be described as a messy drinker, you should check out this no-spill water bowl. The unique floating disc design and waterproof edge strip prevent water from splashing onto the floor. Holding up to 35 ounces of water, this bowl will last your dog all day — which is important if you plan on leaving your pet home alone while you’re at work.

  • Available colors: 4


Mistake: Spending an hour cleaning up a ripped-up chew toy

Solution: These stuffing-free toys that last a long time

Does your dog rip open a stuffed toy within minutes of receiving it? These squeaky toys are filled with crinkle paper instead of stuffing, so your pooch can’t destroy them as easily. Not to mention, the crinkling sound keeps your pup engaged during playtime. You get five different animal designs in a pack, including a tiger, fox, and cow.


Mistake: Accidentally overfeeding your pup

Solution: These measuring scoops that portion out just the right amount

These pet food measuring scoops help ensure your dog or cat is getting the correct amount of food — no more, no less. The color-coded scoops can be used to measure liquids and solids, so they’re perfect for both kibble and wet food alike. Once you’re finished using them, the cups stack together for compact storage inside your pet’s food bin.


Mistake: Staring sadly at a mattress soaked with dog pee

Solution: This waterproof blanket that protects your bed

Protect your bed or sofa from slobber, bite marks, and accidents with this microfiber blanket that has an internal waterproof coating. The reversible blanket comes in multiple sizes as well as colors, including gray, blue, and dark green, so you can match your room’s color scheme. It’s also machine-washable, so you can toss it in the washer whenever it needs a refresh.

  • Available sizes: 7
  • Available colors: 11


Mistake: Constantly having to clean up scattered cat litter

Solution: A double-layer mat that saves cat litter

Here’s a simple way to keep your floors debris-free, as well as reuse the litter that collects on your cat’s paws. Place this rubber mat outside the litter box — the top layer has a honeycomb design that allows excess litter to pass through, accumulating on the solid bottom layer. Then all you have to do is push the edges together and dump the cat litter back into the box.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 3


Mistake: Forgetting to properly seal the pet-food lid

Solution: The food storage container that keeps kibble fresh

Keep your dog’s food safe from bugs — and prevent it from going stale — by placing it inside this storage container with a snap-on lid that creates an airtight seal. (It’s also a great way to keep other pets from snacking on Fido’s kibble.) Available in three sizes, it stores 10 to 50 pounds of food, and the slim profile takes up minimal space.

  • Available sizes: 3


Mistake: Stressing over a couch covered in dog hair and cat scratches

Solution: This cover that protects your couch from scratches & stains

Want to enjoy some cuddle time with your pet on the couch without risk of scratches or stains to your upholstery? This quilted sofa slipcover creates a water-resistant microfiber layer between your couch’s fabric and your pet, and it’s sturdy enough to protect against claws, too. The reversible cover comes in tons of different color combinations, allowing you to switch up the look of your couch by simply flipping it over.

  • Available sizes: 4
  • Available colors: 32


Mistake: Spending hours trying to scrub out pet stains

Solution: This spray that eliminates odors & stains naturally

When you have a pet, accidents are bound to happen, but you can quickly clean things up by using this stain and odor eliminator that’s earned a 4.6-star overall rating after more than 20,000 reviews. The natural enzymatic formula is powerful enough to remove tough stains from your carpet, tile, linoleum, and hardwood, and multiple reviewers have reported that it “really is a miracle.”


Mistake: Letting your pets take over your back seat

Solution: A scratch-proof cover for your back seat

If your pup loves to join you on car rides, you know firsthand how quickly the back seat can become a mess. Made from waterproof, 600-Denier Oxford cloth, this sturdy back seat cover protects your car’s interior from scratches and shedding. It conveniently hooks onto your car seat headrests, and also creates a hammock-like barrier between your dog and the front seat.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 4


Mistake: Worrying about walking your dog at night

Solution: This LED dog leash that keeps your pup safe on walks

If you walk your dog when the sun goes down, make sure you’re taking the proper safety precautions to prevent any car accidents, like by using this LED dog leash. This rechargeable leash is six feet long and has visibility of up to 350 yards. Plus, you can change the light modes for better protection — there’s strobe, blink, and traditional stagnant modes available.

  • Available sizes: Small — Large (Leash Extender available as well)
  • Available colors: 8


Mistake: Having to wrangle foil around messy food cans

Solution: These pet food can covers that are reusable

Rather than reach for the foil every time you need to cover up a can of wet food, use these silicone covers instead. With a universal size that fits most cans, the three reusable lids create a tight seal over your pet’s food until you’re ready to serve it again. They’re also dishwasher-safe, so you can easily clean them in between uses.


Mistake: Buying an unsightly scratching post for your cat

Solution: A cute cactus-shaped scratching post that keeps your cat occupied

Distract your cat so that they don’t scratch up your sofa by providing him with his own designated scratching post from PetnPurr. Made from natural sisal, the sturdy post is easy to assemble in just a few minutes. With a whimsical cactus shape, this cat scratcher is anything but an eyesore. Place it in any room for a touch of Western flair.

  • Available sizes: 2


Mistake: Stressing out over puppy accidents

Solution: Some absorbent pads for house training

House-training a puppy or an adult dog is no easy feat, but it can be so much easier with the help of these leakproof floor pads. Each panel is made from five absorbent layers, turning liquid into gel upon contact. The plastic lining on the bottom keeps your floors safe and dry, making potty-training a less stressful experience.

  • Available sizes: 3


Mistake: Discovering your favorite sandals have been chewed up

Solution: This hanging pocket shoe organizer that fends off chewers

It’s no secret that dogs (and sometimes cats) love to chew on our shoes. Remove the temptation by getting your shoes off the floor and storing them in this hanging pocket organizer. There are 24 transparent plastic pockets in total — enough to hold 12 pairs of shoes. The built-in hooks allow you to place this organizer on the back of your closet door or on your closet rod for easy access.


Mistake: Missing pet accidents in hard-to-find areas

Solution: A UV light that reveals hidden pet stains

Sneaky pet stains can be hiding on your carpet, hard-surface floor, or furniture — invisible to the naked eye. This UV black light flashlight reveals dried dog urine stains, so you can effectively clean them up. Compact and lightweight, the battery-powered light is activated with a single-touch button on the side of the handle.


Mistake: Having your hands full with bottles and bowls

Solution: This portable water dispenser for walks

Instead of toting around a plastic water bottle and bowl, use this portable bottle with a built-in bowl. The handheld unit dispenses water into the container with the push of a button. Small enough to fit in your backpack, this mess-free device is great for walks, camping, and road trips. A gel seal ring keeps water from leaking into your bag while not in use.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 2


Mistake: Spending a lot of money on pricey pet grooming

Solution: These dog clippers you can use at home

Save money on expensive trips to the dog groomer by investing in this fur clippers kit. Complete with a cordless electric shaver, scissors, a comb, length guards, and nail clippers, the set has everything you need to groom your pup’s coat. It’s easy to clean between uses, and — most importantly — the ultra-quiet motor will keep your pet at ease.

  • Available colors: 5


Mistake: Realizing your pup has chewed through another charging cord

Solution: These cable protectors that prevent chewed cords

If your pet has a tendency to chew on your charging cables, there’s an easy, inexpensive solution — these spiral cord protectors. The colorful covers wrap around your cords, protecting them from your dog, cat, rabbit, or bird. Available in a variety of vibrant color combinations, these protectors also make your cables easier to find.

  • Available multipacks: 4


Mistake: Letting your cat’s claws get too long

Solution: Some easy-grip clippers for trimming your pet’s nails

Prevent your cat or small dog from leaving serious scratch marks on your furniture — and your arms — by giving their nails a trim. These stainless steel clippers have easy-grip handles that give you full control when snipping your furry friend’s claws. They’re available in a small size for cats and birds, as well as a larger option for small and medium dogs.

  • Available sizes: 2


Mistake: Having to throw out a stained dog bed

Solution: A fluffy donut bed that’s machine-washable

Piled high with shag faux fur, this donut-shaped bed is a favorite among pets and their owners — scoring a 4.7-star overall rating on Amazon after more than 54,000 reviews. Great for both cats and dogs alike, the plush bed is easy to keep looking fresh by tossing the removable cover in the washing machine. Available in subtle neutral brown, gray, and cream shades, this bed fits in with a wide range of decor styles.

  • Available sizes: 4
  • Available colors: 8


Mistake: Trying to clean pet hair out of a brush

Solution: This self-cleaning slicker brush for maintaining thick coats

If your pet has long fur or a double coat, regular brushing is a must — and you can even do it at home. This slicker brush is constructed with several rows of thin metal bristles, detangling mats and tangles while also lifting up hair from the undercoat. Perhaps the best part? When you press the button on top, the bristles retract, so you can easily toss the collected hair in the trash.


Mistake: Spending a night out with friends worrying about your dog

Solution: This mini security camera that allows you to check in on your pet

Leaving your pet alone can be a stressful experience, but this pet monitoring camera helps provide some reassurance. With two-way audio and instant motion alerts, the Petcube camera pairs with your smartphone for 24/7 access to your furry friends from anywhere. Offering 1080p HD resolution, it even has zooming capabilities and lets you see up to 30 feet in the dark.


Mistake: Staring down a huge vet dental bill

Solution: The gel toothpaste that maintains your dog’s dental health

A little bit of preventative care goes a long way, and brushing your dog’s teeth can save you a lot of money on dental bills down the line. Blended with soothing aloe vera, baking soda, and grapefruit seed extract, this enzymatic gel toothpaste and toothbrush gently remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth, while also freshening breath. One reviewer wrote, “My dog loves the flavor of it too - he actually sits when he sees me getting the toothpaste out because he thinks it's a treat.”


Mistake: Letting your kitty scratch up everything

Solution: These nail caps that shield your cat’s claws

Keep your kitty’s claws from scratching your furniture, carpet, and skin by placing these vinyl resin caps over them. The soft claw covers come in tons of bright colors, so you can choose which shade you want your cat’s “paw-dicure” to be. Each application lasts anywhere from two to six weeks, falling off as your cat naturally sheds her claws.

  • Available sizes: 4


Mistake: Trying to trim the nails of a dog stressed out by loud noises

Solution: A grinding tool that quietly trims your dog’s nails

Going to the dog groomer every time your pooch needs a nail trim can get pretty costly. You can keep your dog’s claws in check at home with this nail grinder that ensures a precise trim. The ultra-quiet motor is perfect for dogs who tense up around loud noises. It comes with three different ports for small, medium, and large-sized dogs, so you can get the most effective results.


Mistake: Your cat nibbling on a poisonous houseplant

Solution: A faux houseplant that’s safe for pets

Love the lush appearance of houseplants, but don’t want to risk your cat nibbling on potentially toxic leaves? This faux fig plant looks just like the real thing, planted in a chic ceramic pot. Measuring 11 inches tall and 10 inches wide, the miniature plant looks great on a desk, kitchen counter, or coffee table. Plus, you don’t even have to remember to water it.


Mistake: Going through tons of destroyed chew toys

Solution: The fan-favorite KONG toy for extra-tough chewers

Boasting over 25,000 perfect five-star ratings on Amazon, the KONG Extreme dog toy is the perfect solution for dogs who destroy every toy they get their mouths on. Made from extra-tough rubber, the KONG toy has a unique cylindrical shape with a hollowed out center. To tempt your pup, fill the toy with peanut butter, kibble, yogurt, treats — the possibilities are endless. Your dog will be occupied for hours, without being able to chew through the rubber.


Mistake: Having an uncomfortable sofa cover

Solution: An ultra-soft fleece blanket that protects your furniture

Made from thick, cozy fleece, this plush pet blanket provides the perfect napping spot for your cat or dog wherever you lay it. Your furry friend will love cuddling up to the soft fabric, while you’ll love the peace of mind that comes from knowing your furniture won’t be scratched up or covered in hair. Available in multiple shades and sizes, this budget-friendly blanket is a win-win for you and your pet.

  • Available sizes: 6
  • Available colors and styles: 13


Mistake: Realizing yet another leash has been chewed through

Solution: This braided steel dog leash that’s chew-proof

This braided steel leash is ideal for dogs who gnaw right through their fabric leashes, from teething puppies to heavy-chewing adults. Complete with a metal carabiner and a padded handle, the 6-foot-long chew-proof leash is suitable for dogs of any size and weight. You can even use it as a tie-out cable, which is helpful for keeping your dog in tow at campgrounds.

  • Available colors: 2


Mistake: Having to spend money on allergy medications

Solution: A natural spray that reduces cat dander

Cat dander can trigger allergy attacks, which in turn leads to more money spent on allergy medications. But there’s an easy, natural way to nip dander in the bud, so you and your kitty can coexist in harmony. This dander-reducing spray from Burt’s Bees is formulated with oat flour and aloe vera, conditioning your cat’s fur while minimizing redness and flakiness — so you can breathe easy. One reviewer called it a “must have if you have allergies to cats!”


Mistake: Going through a zillion chew toys with your new puppy

Solution: This teething toy that sustains even the toughest of teeth

Give your teething pup or dog that loves to chew everything in sight something to do with this interactive chew toy that’s actually two toys in one. If your pet chews through the adorable, soft exterior, they reveal yet another toy inside — this one being a squeaky ball that they’ll love to play fetch with. This is recommended most for puppies and smaller breeds.

  • Available designs: 3


Mistake: Worrying about your dog choking on pieces of their Bully stick

Solution: The bully stick holder that prevents dogs from choking

Bully sticks are a fantastic, natural chew toy for dogs — but you have to be careful that they don’t choke on the last small end piece. This nylon bully stick holder is adjustable, allowing you can get the perfect fit with any sized treat. The Bully Buddy includes a self-locking insert that securely presses against the stick, making it so that your dog can’t swallow the remaining chunk.

  • Available sizes: 6