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12/20/2012 03:07 pm ET

Tips For Pet Owners: Items You Need To Purchase When Getting A Dog Or Cat

From Mother Nature Network's Morieka Johnson:

I had a pet emergency on my hands. My 6-month-old puppy had gnawed laundry room baseboards into tidy piles of sawdust and I needed gear — pronto. Staring down a wall of dog collars, leashes, toys and treats, I was willing to buy anything that would make her behave. Nearly a decade later, I can spot that dazed and confused expression as soon as newbies enter a pet store.

According to a survey conducted by Edge Research, Americans plan to spend more than $2.5 billion on their pets this holiday season, and a large chunk of that amount will go toward gear for furry new additions. First time pet owners: Resist the urge to download “Paint for Cats” on your iPad, and walk away from the doggie sweaters. Pet experts share what you really need to start things off on the right paw.

List and captions courtesy of the Mother Nature Network

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