Things You Shouldn’t Buy For Your Pet, According To Vets

  • Vets told Insider which pet products aren’t worth splurging on.
  • Products like fancy puppy restraints, premium kitty litter, and pet clothes aren’t necessary.
  • Wireless dog fences can actually confuse your pet and could even be dangerous.

Pet owners often want to give their furry friends the best of everything, but not all products are worth their premium price.

Insider asked vets to highlight a few pet products that can be a waste of money.

Pet Multivitamins Aren’t Always Necessary

Chocolate lab dog on grass holding ball

Pets generally don’t need multivitamins to stay healthy.

John Kershner/Shutterstock

Stacy Choczynski Johnson, a veterinarian and veterinary expert at Pumpkin Pet Insurance, told Insider that pet multivitamins aren’t usually necessary.

“Vitamins and supplements do not require FDA approval to certify efficacy, safety, or quality,” Johnson said. “As a result, you may not always get what you pay for.”

According to Johnson, most pets get all the vitamins they need from their food, with the only exception being if they’re on a strict diet.



“In that case, your vet may recommend a human-grade multivitamin without xylitol, which will be much cheaper,” she said.

All-Terrain Jogging Strollers for Dogs Might Actually Injure Pets

Although all-terrain dog strollers can transport pets unable to walk due to painful or debilitating conditions, they are expensive and can do more harm than good.

“It doesn’t make sense to have an all-terrain jogging stroller that would subject sensitive dogs to bouncing around on rough trails,” Johnson said. “Dogs with arthritis and disc disease would do much better undisturbed at home.”

For pets that need to be transported across town, Johnson recommends a compact, size-appropriate stroller.

Over-the-counter skin products could be a waste of money

Gray cat with wet fur taking a bath

Over-the-counter pet products may not help skin conditions.

Santi Nanta/Shutterstock

Expensive anti-itch shampoos, sprays and ointments from the pet store can be ineffective.

Pet parents often spend a lot of money on anti-itch products that don’t provide much relief,” Johnson said. “Prescription products with antifungal and antibacterial properties are best for pets with skin conditions.”

Instead of checking the shelves at pet stores, Johnson recommends consulting your veterinarian about buying a prescription skin product or two.

Dog-safe “beer” is usually just meat-flavored water.

If you want to include your four-legged friend in a celebration, you can splurge on a six-pack of dog-safe beers. But keep in mind that these drinks don’t contain hops and typically use water, flavoring agents, and preservatives as the main ingredients.

“At around $4 a bottle, I’m not sure it’s worth the novelty,” Johnson said. “It’s usually meat flavored and non-toxic, but I think you better donate that money to a local animal shelter.”

Automatic litter boxes don’t save you a lot of work

Gray cat standing next to litter box

Cat litter doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to do its job.

Jennifer McCallum/Shutterstock

Veterinarian Heather Venkat, an advisor at VIP Puppies, tells Insider it’s not worth splurging on an expensive automatic



“It’s much cheaper to scoop your cat’s litter by hand because automatic litter boxes still require you to empty the bags by hand anyway,” Venkat said.

Wireless dog fences can be confusing and dangerous

Wireless dog fences emit a vibration, sound, or small electric shock – usually through a collar – to keep dogs from wandering off.

“Wireless dog fences aren’t worth the money,” Venkat told Insider. “They confuse dogs because they can’t see their limits.”

A wire-free fence can also prevent your pet from running away from a dangerous situation, such as a wild animal or a stray dog.

Not all teeth cleaning toys and treats work

yellow lab dog chews a bone

Chew toys that claim to clean teeth are sometimes not effective.


Some products that claim to clean your pet’s teeth may not work.

“Many of the specialty chew toys, rinses, and edible chews on the market aren’t scientifically proven to actually provide oral health benefits to your pet,” Richardson said.

Brushing your pet’s teeth with a pet-safe toothpaste is the best way to control plaque and oral bacteria.

If you are unsure if the products you are buying will help your pet’s oral health, you can check with your veterinarian or consult this list from the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

Expensive Puppy Collars or Harnesses maybe a poor investment

Dog on a collar with pink harness

Expensive harnesses may not be a worthwhile investment if your pup is growing rapidly.

Animal Acupuncture veterinarian Rachel Barrack told Insider that owners shouldn’t buy expensive puppy restraints.

“Most puppies or small dogs will quickly outgrow their collar or harness, so don’t buy a fancy one while they’re small,” Barrack said.

As your dog grows, consult your veterinarian to make sure you are using the correct type of restraint for your pet’s breed and size.

Premium cat litter is often not necessary


cat litter

already comes in a range of scents, types and textures, so unless your cat has a medical condition or allergy, there’s no need to splurge on the high-end stuff.

“Cat litter doesn’t have to be expensive to work,” Barrack said. “Finding the best one for your home may take some trial and error, but don’t break the bank with a fancy litter box.”

Dogs don’t needd to wear clothes unless there is a medical reason to do so

Dog lying down and wearing clothes

Unless your pet has a medical condition, there is no need to purchase an entire wardrobe.


It can be tempting to splurge on a fancy wardrobe for your dog, but most pets don’t need clothes.

“Pets don’t need fancy clothes or clothes at all,” Barrack said. “Large dogs, in particular, don’t need extra insulation, especially if they have thick fur.”

However, Barrack added, some pets, such as toy and short-haired breeds and dogs with weakened immune systems or endocrine issues, can benefit from a simple sweater or thermal coat.