33 Things That Pet Owners Who’ve Rescued Pets Swear By

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Popular items from this list

  • A pet hair remover for anyone who’s tired of getting fur all over their clothes.

  • A game-changing pill pocket for fussy pets who needs their meds.

  • A self-warming pet bed to keep your pet nice and toasty. (Reviewers with hairless cats say it’s great for keeping their naked little ones cozy and warm.)

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An ultra-fluffy fleece blanket
Keep your new friends warm and comfy in their carriers and crates.

Promising review: “Best kitty blanket we’ve ever used. Our most recent rescue was 8 weeks old when we brought her into the house, and we ordered this blanket for her crate (we use a large dog crate to ease our new kittens into the household). She had been with four siblings, so she was used to sleeping with them, and we wanted something warm and cuddly for her. This was perfect, so we ordered two more!” —Nebraska Dude

Get it from Amazon for $11.99+ (available in four sizes and four colors).

A pet carrier with mesh sides, a top-entry design, and plenty of room
If you frequently travel with your pet or need to shuttle them to and from vet appointments, this is a great option.

Promising review:

“I got this for my rescue cat who needs to have some attention nearly constantly and does not like the front-loading carriers. This was super easy to clean and perfect for easing his nervousness as he could see everything going on around him.” —SamanthaGet it from Amazon for $25.09+ (available in three sizes).

A devastatingly effective vacuum
Promising review: “I have a 13-year-old beagle and my daughter has two rescue kittens, one of which is a Maine Coon. Needless to say there’s lots of hair in my home and on my furniture. I tried a lint remover, a Shop Vac, and manual labor to get all the hair off my couches with no luck. Then I found this on a BuzzFeed article. Wow. The reviews lured me in and the actual product sold me. I spent two glorious, satisfying hours yesterday vacuuming hair off every surface in my house and I can’t believe how awesome this little machine is!” —Jacque JonesGet it from Amazon for $30.99.
A nail file board so you can keep your dog’s claws from becoming overgrown
Scratchpad for Dogs is a small biz based in Atlanta. Jen Fleming, the store’s owner, came up with the idea after adopting a shelter dog named Ripley who absolutely hated having his nails trimmed.

Promising review: “Game-changer!! I am so grateful for the scratchpad. Trimming my senior rescue dog’s nails was a nightmare, even at the vet. After just a few sessions, the nails on her front paws look way better. My dog not only tolerates the scratchpad, but she seems to really enjoy our training sessions. Today, when I pulled the board out of storage, she got so excited! Thank you so much for creating a product that takes the stress out of grooming. For anyone getting started, I bought the double-sided board and found it helpful to train my dog with the smoother side first, and then switch to the coarser side once she got used to it.” —lisa templeton

Get it from Scratchpad for Dogs on Etsy for $44.95+ (available in two styles and three grit levels).

An anti-fungal antibacterial spray made
Cooling aloe will treat a range of skin conditions, including allergies, cuts, hot spots, infections, rashes, and scrapes.

Promising review:

“Got a rescue lab a couple of years ago who is the itchiest black lab I’ve ever met, poor boy. We got most of his overall body/skin itches under control with regular baths, regular brushing, and flea treatment, but he was still constantly asking for help scratching under his muzzle/chin. I tried changing foods, keeping it clean and wiped down, oral meds, and nothing helped. A fellow K9 handler recommended this and it helped after just one application. Thank you!!!” —Amy C.Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

An immunity-boosting allergy supplement
Your pup deserves relief from their allergies and skin sensitivities. These soft chews deliver a dose of probiotics and other nutrients to help improve immune function, aid digestion, promote healthy skin, and add shine to a dog’s coat.

Promising review:

“We have a shepherd/pit bull/who-knows-what Humane Society rescue. Poor guy has had more ear infections in his two years of life than most people have in a lifetime. Then there was the bright red skin on his belly. He would dig at it until he bled. He also had horrible backward sneeze/coughing fits. After umpteen odd vet visits, they finally said it could be due to allergies. We have been using these supplements for just over 90 days. Our dog barely does the weird cough/sneeze thing anymore. He hasn’t had an ear infection since we’ve started this. He normally had them every other month. His skin has took on a pinkish-red tint once since taking the supplements. It was gone the same day. Overall he is a happier dog. These are so worth it to us.” —A FamGet it from Amazon for $26.97 (or Subscribe & Save for $24.27/month).

An interactive cat toy
Promising review: “I rescued an older cat from the shelter and she has never been interested in toys. Not catnip mice, not kickers, not jingle balls, and only very rarely a laser pointer, which she’s over within five minutes. This one had her engaged and actually playing like a kitten and every time I bring it out she perks up. I think it is mainly the fact that it bounces unpredictably and is above her head like a bird or a butterfly would be. When I fostered kittens, this was their favorite toy as well, and they would leave whatever they were doing to play with this toy. They’d even pull it out of the toy box and play with it by themselves, because there are little cardboard pieces on each end and enough spring that if one kitten played with one end, the other end would bounce all around for the other kitten to play with. This is a fun and enriching way to play with cats who might be tired of floor-level play. Highly recommend. Would not recommend letting them play unattended, as there are wire hooks on the end to hold the cardboard pieces.” —LeftyLeBrandtGet it from Amazon for $2.21.
A purring cat toy if your rescue kitty is suffering from anxiety.
This purple guy has a built-in purring mechanism so your feline can enjoy the sensation of curling up to another purring “cat.” It also plays calming, comforting sounds.

Promising review:

“My 3-year-old male rescue kitty has gone through a lot of change and anxiety in his short life (which began as an abandoned kitten on the streets). I saw this online when searching for my fur babies’ Christmas gifts this year and thought ‘Why not give it a shot?’ Let me tell you just HOW MUCH he loves his new cuddle buddy! He sleeps with it for EVERY nap and evening slumber now, and even pets ‘him/her’ like it’s his own baby! I watch him fluff, gently stroke, and pull his new stuffie close to his chest before drifting off to sleep…and (not to be cheesy), it warms my heart to see how much it comforts him and how much he loves/cares for it. Sooo recommended for cats of all ages.” —JenniferGet it from Amazon for $14.99.

Or a plush Snuggle Puppy
For your pups who need a friend who can stay close by. Reviewers say both cats and dogs love the heartbeat sound it makes but don’t blame us if your cat grows up thinking they’re a dog

Promising review:

“My rescue lab, Maggie, showed no interest in any toy until Snuggle Puppy arrived! She carries SP to her bed, to the couch, all over! Wherever Maggie goes, along comes Snuggle Puppy! But the best thing is the reduction in anxiety when we confine Maggie to a crate in our absence. The beating heart in the sturdy Velcro pocket on Snuggle Puppy’s underside soothes our super anxious dog! It is amazing! So happy that we learned about Snuggle Puppy.” —AlimeloGet it from Amazon for $37+ (available in five colors).

An adorable and basically tear-resistant stuffed duck
So your rescue puppy has someone to keep them company while they adjust to their new temporary home. This lil’ yellow duck doesn’t look like it, but it’s built to last.

Promising review:

“I rescued a little wild Chihuahua from the mean streets of San Diego two and a half years ago. He came into my home totally untamed and scared out of his little mind. He immediately became very attached to my golden retriever’s Duckworth and confiscated it. Papi is very rough and can demolish a stuffed animal in 30 seconds or less. However, Duckworth is an extremely well made toy and he has yet to tear the new one apart several weeks later. These are his stuffed animal of choice and almost every picture I have taken of him has his Duckworth right next to him. And he’s become a very good boy!” —Michelle DeSalvoGet it from Amazon for $5.72.

A mounted brush that’ll satisfy your cat’s ceaseless demands for scritches
Just mount it to a corner with the included adhesive strips and watch as your beloved babies leave you for the warm embrace of this gray-and-white piece of plastic.

Promising review:

“As a newer cat parent (I adopted my two rescue kitties in November 2019), this accessory caught my eye. I have a full time office job, and wanted a cat toy that my girls could use and enjoy when I’m not around. To introduce the toy to my cats, I loaded it with catnip and placed it on the floor for them to inspect. After they lost interest, I mounted it to the coffee table leg using twine and sat back to watch. They weren’t big fans at first, mostly sniffing it and pawing at it. After a few days I caught them using it as intended: brushing up against it with the sides of their faces in total bliss. My fluffy girl Emma would give it a passing snuggle then flop over and try to cuddle it. I would say it was a great success, and it gives my girls additional self-guided enrichment options. Worth the money if your cats will use it.” —Ashley WadeGet it from Amazon for $4.99.

A bag of premium clumping litter
Promising review: “This product solved our cats’ behavioral issues. Our two rescue cats started to pee and poo outside the litter box shortly after I switched the previous litter to pine-based litter. I didn’t know what caused our cats to misbehave and thought they might be ill and had our vet check them. After making sure that there weren’t health problems, I added a smaller litter box, moved them to different spots, etc., but continued to find pee and poo outside the litter boxes. Then about four months ago, I switched to this litter. Not only did it significantly reduce the odor, but we haven’t found accident on the floor since either! All of us humans and cats alike appreciate this product very much.” —JapiGet a 40-pound bag from Amazon for $19.99.
An automatic water fountain to encourage your picky cats to stay hydrated
Some cats hate drinking still water (long story short, it’s a defense mechanism), so a fountain with running water may be more enticing.

Promising review:

“I adopted a 6-month-old kitten from a rescue group and I noticed that he did not want to drink much water from his bowl. I discovered that he loved to drink lots of water if I turned on the faucet. This fountain was the perfect answer. He absolutely loves it and is drinking lots of water now. My other cat also loves it. Neither have went back to their bowl of water since I put this fountain out. The fountain is very quiet and holds a lot of water. It is cute and does not take up a lot of space. I highly recommend.” —Lostie4everGet it from Amazon for $25.87+ (also available in blue).

A doggie doorbell
Teach your dog to ring a doorbell when they have to go potty, and you will have never run around the house asking, “Who did this?” as your dog tries to avoid making eye contact.

Promising review:

“My deaf rescue puppy figured this out in like two weeks. Much, much fewer pee accidents. The problem now is getting him to not hit it for play, just for pee.” —D.GivensGet it from Amazon for $30.

A food storage container to keep your pets’ kibble fresh
The snap-lock latches will prevent moisture and pests from seeping in.

Promising review:

“So I rescued a feral cat after months of befriending her. She is the sweetest and so grateful. One thing though, she has not forgot her times of hunger. She will literally tear bags of cat food open when she has a full bowl just to eat a few pieces. Shreds of paper and random cat food pieces no more! Thank you for this mobile fortress for feline food. It’s purrrrfect.” —Christa FranklinGet it from Amazon for $36.99+ (available in six colors).

A bag of Pill Pockets so you can disguise medication
Promising review: “If I could give this a 20-star review I would!!! I have eight dogs and all of them are a major pain to give pills to. I have a rescue bulldog who is on regular medication for life and giving her her daily pills has been a pain in the butt. I have to open her mouth and shove the pills down her throat, which is terrible for me and for her. The only other way I’ve ever tried is wrapping it in cheese or putting it in a piece of hot dog. And 90% of the time they chew through it and spit the pill out and then I’m resorting back to shoving it down their throat. I saw these as a suggestion on Amazon and I thought I’d give him a try. I will never be without them ever again. Recently I had my bulldog spayed and she came home with kennel cough and gave it to all my dogs, who now all need medication. Not one of my dogs has chewed through it and spit the pills out; they all swallow it instantly. Seriously the best product ever made!!!!!!” —RachelGet 30 pockets from Amazon for $7.98 (or Subscribe & Save for $7.58/month; available in three sizes and other flavors).
A pooper scooper
Promising review: “I was extremely excited to receive this product. I currently have two of my own dogs, one is 42 pounds and another is 80 pounds. I also work for a rescue so as you can imagine, there is lots of poop to pick up. This product is helpful because you don’t have to carry anything additional to put the poop in. And the scooper part works great through the grass and dirt to get the poop off the ground. It was way easier than my previous one, where I was constantly having to bend down to get something or carrying an additional trash bin to place it in after it was picked up. I would recommend this product for anyone who has dogs. I have well over four in my home at all times and this has helped in so many ways to keep the yard tidy.” —I WilliamsGet it from Amazon for $14.47.
And on that note, a pack of pee pads
Promising review: “We do dog rescue and have quite a few older, incontinent dogs who require having pee pads down. We also took in two puppies to get ready to go into rescue foster care. Our local farm supply store carries the pee pads sporadically, and we purchase on a regular basis. So I thought I’d try the auto ship on the extra large size pee pads, and they are great. Just as thick as the name brand, and the puppies have potty trained themselves. They keep the floor dry, are very absorbent, and show up at my house on a scheduled basis. Very pleased with this find.” —Regina EveretteGet 100 pads from Amazon for $22.99.
A pet hair broom
Promising review: “Don’t hesitate! We rescued a dog who sheds. I’m shocked he’s not hairless. I was sweeping five times or more a day. This broom has been a life-changer. No flying hair, no re-sweeps. One swipe and everything is trapped. The handle is short when you get it but extends. The broom is two-sided also: bristles for sweeping and a flat side for many uses. I’ve reordered my mom-in-law one. Shared this on my Facebook page and at least 10 friends have bought one also. I’m buying my hairdresser and my son’s teacher one. I am floored how absolutely amazing this thing is. I’m upset I have lived this long without it. Get one today. Five stars! Goes under couches, corners, cabinets, chairs, tables, you name it! Don’t think, just click, and you’ll be bragging to your friends too.” —Bama Mom

Get it from Amazon for $12.44.
A heating pad
Promising review: “We rescued a week-old kitten back in April. Got this heat pad, since kittens cannot generate their own heat at that age. It works well, provided a great amount of heat, and got warm quickly. It has a timer so you just need to set a reminder to adjust once the times runs out (if you need it the pad to provide heat for more time). And the cord was great and sturdy; so I didn’t have to worry about her chewing on it has she got older and more curious/playful with her surroundings. It was a smart purchase and I’m thankful we got it.” —CristinaGet it from Amazon for $23.99+ (available in four sizes).
A crate for creating a relaxing retreat for your pet
This is their safe space when they get anxious or stressed.

Promising review:
“We bought this for our Brittany Spaniel rescue dog a couple of years ago. He had been used for breeding and had previously spent his whole life living outside. He wasn’t used to being inside, so even after neutering, we needed to keep him somewhat contained while we were gone because he tended to get into things, counter surf, etc. We purchased this in the large size to give him plenty of room to move around (he’s medium size — 40 pounds), which has been perfect. He adapted very well to it, and often goes in there on his own just to chill. The crate is well made, and folds up quite easily. We always take it with us when we travel with the dogs. Would recommend this to others.” —KevanPDXGet it from Amazon for $38.99+ (available in five sizes and two styles)
A slow feeder bowl
Promising review: “I have two rescue dogs who adopted me. My oldest who is now 14 would race through his food as if he was scared someone was going to take it from him. To slow him down, I tried multiple products, various bowls, etc., and nothing worked until this bowl came along. Before food would disappear within seconds of hitting the bottom of the bowl. It now takes him 20+ minutes to eat all of his kibble or prepared meals that he is served. To make things even for both dogs I purchased a second bowl that was different for my youngest who was not having any issues with devouring his food; he took it as a challenge and now they know which bowl belongs to them. Even if I try to switch it up, they won’t have it. To the person who came up with this, brilliant idea.” —ZachGet it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in two sizes and four styles).
A joint support chew
It has glucosamine, an anti-inflammatory ingredient that’ll lubricate your pup’s joints so they engage in zoomies without pain. These are especially helpful for very active dogs as well as working breeds and senior pooches.

Promising review:

“My rottie mix was a rescue from an abusive situation. The shelter vets said he got around OK but would never be whole. Immediately after I adopted him I started him on this along with good food, healthy supplements, and daily exercise. A year later we visited his old shelter and they didn’t think he was even the same dog. He does still have a little stiff-legged gait in his rear end but can run and play with the best of them. The dogs love the soft chews and eat them like treats.” —Ralph JelomonoGet it from Amazon for $42 (or Subscribe & Save for $37.05/month).

A self-warming pet bed to keep your pet nice and toasty.
Reviewers with hairless cats say it’s great for keeping their naked ones cozy and warm.

Promising review:

“I have bought so many pet beds in the last 35 years for all my rescued cats and dogs. I like to be able to wash the beds regularly and give them back to my pet thoroughly dry by the end of the day. So many beds fall apart in the washer, despite gentle cycle and laundry bag, and the stuffing turns into awful weird lumps making bed not very comfy. I washed this bed as soon as it arrived, because of manufacturer chemicals on any pet bed. It held up well in the washer and I was even able to run it through the dryer on gentle cycle in the laundry bag and this is the first pet bed not made with that crappy paper bottom that scorches and tears up with a little dryer heat. My dog loves the bed; it’s puffy and comfy and didn’t get weird lumps after wash and dry. I’ll be buying more of these in the future for my cats. One of the best made and comfy small pet beds I’ve found in three decades!!! :D” —J. HydeGet it from Amazon for $14.99.

An automatic pet feeder
This automatic feeder can hold up to 12 meals depending on the size of each portion (you can choose from 1/8 cup to 4 cups).

Promising reviews: “We purchased this feeder for our rescued cat Simon, who is an overeater. When found, he was close to starvation and has never adjusted to a normal eating pattern. We found programming the feeder a bit difficult and called the 800 number for help. They were extremely patient, and took us step by step through the process. We have had this for a month, and it is a godsend! Simon often naps on a chair next to his feeder. He knows the sound of his kibble landing in the metal bowl, and makes a mad dash for his meal if he is somewhere else in the house. He receives seven small meals a day between 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. He is less frantic about food now, and we are freed up from feeding multiple times a day.” —BMoney

Get it from Amazon for $109.95.

A pack of Burt’s Bees cat wipes for reducing dander
They also keep your cats fresh and their coats shiny. They’re made with aloe vera and oatmeal to condition dry skin and reduce redness.

Promising review:

“I rescued my cat last year and slowly found out he was most likely an outside cat. I’m trying to introduce to him how I groom. I’ve still only been able to cut a few nails, but my concern was his coat. I have foam shampoo I used with a wipe, but I know this is going to be difficult, so I ordered these and they work really well. He even looked like he felt better! They are super soft, and have a light scent. I didn’t even use the foam. I would recommend these to anyone.” —DecemberGet 50 wipes from Amazon for $3.13 (or Subscribe & Save for $2.97/month).

A Wobble Wag Giggle ball with an internal noisemaker and six pockets
Promising review: “I’ve had my rescue boxer/pit mix for a little over two months. She’s got a whole bin of toys she won’t touch. I don’t know exactly what it is about this ball, but she absolutely loves it! She plays so long, she gets out of breath, stops long enough to catch her wind, get a drink, and is right back at it. I don’t know if it’s the weird noise it makes when it rolls or what, but it’s so nice to see her playing! The box says it’s not a chew toy. My Bella has been chewing on it but because of the shape she can’t get a good enough grip on it to cause damage. It has a few small indents so she can pick it up and carry it around. This will be great to keep her occupied while I’m at work. Whoever designed this is a genius!” —Heidi

Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

An automatic litter box
Each litter box comes with a preportioned package of litter that you pour into the tray. It will start cleaning 20 minutes after it’s detected that your cat has left the box. When the tray is full, simply remove it and dispose of it.

Promising review: “I have had this litter box for a week now and it has changed my life! We rescued three kittens and already had an older cat, so four cats in a brand new home means a constant fight with cat litter and odor. My old cat won’t use a dirty box so not only is my daily scooping ritual over, but so are his random pees in the house. If you love your cats but hate how much work they are, do yourself a favor and buy this, it is so worth the money! I just ordered a second.” —marci rains

Get it from Amazon for $149.95+ (available in three styles and two colors).

A durable chew toy
Promising review: “My 8-month-old hound dog with bionic jaws, who has destroyed $400 of toys in the three months since I rescued her, has not destroyed this. The rope even remains unshredded. We play with it in the park. She marches around with in in her mouth and plays tug with humans and canines. She also likes to play fetch with herself and this ball. And, like many dogs, she shakes her head back and forth quickly while holding the rope. The ball is too big for her mouth, but she tries to grab it. She is entertained and so am I!” —Mary G GTG OwnerGet it from Amazon for $16.29 (originally $21.51; available in three sizes and six colors).
A treat-tossing Furbo pet camera
Promising review: “We just adopted a rescue beagle and it has been so incredibly reassuring to be able to check in on him when we aren’t at home with him. Seeing him taking a nap next to his favorite toys is the best. I would be a nervous wreck without it. Thank you Furbo!!!” —Caroline C

Get it from Amazon for $163.99.

A pet hair remover
Promising review: “This thing is basically the best ever. I have four rescue cats of my own and often I have a foster cat as well, so I get hair all over my stuff. This takes care of it quick and easy, and can be used on floors and jeans for super easy removal. My sister came over a few weeks ago and found it in my bedroom. She immediately grabbed it and asked all about it. I told her to give it a try (my current foster cat sleeps at the end of my bed and makes a huge mess), so she did a quick stripe through the worst of the fur and literally gasped. She is now obsessed and even talks to random strangers about it. She ‘ChomChom’d’ my entire bedroom because she found it so enthralling and fun and has had several of her friends purchase them. I’ve had mine since 2017 and it is still working as well as when I first bought it. I use it pretty quick and rough, so I am surprised it help up so well!!!” —Leena

Get it from Amazon for $24.95.

A snout soother
Promising review: “Our pup’s nose looked terrible when we rescued him; his nose was cracking and bleeding and it just looked awful. Within one use of this the peeling at the top of his nose started looking better. After about two weeks of daily use his nose looks 110% better! I highly recommend this product and I will be getting the paw salve for his paws as well!” —Shannon AlsayyedGet it from Amazon for $5.95 (or Subscribe & Save for $5.65/month).
An air purifier that will cleanse the air and suck up pet dander
Promising review: “This product is amazing. We do cat rescue…so I’ll just leave it at that. It immediately changed the smell in our home. No more smell, unless it’s immediately after someone uses a box. Air just smells cleaner and fresher. We started with one and bought two more!” —M. OttoGet it from Amazon for $89.99 (available in two colors).

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