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Bringing a new pet into your home is exciting but can often feel overwhelming. Planning ahead will make the transition easier and help you welcome your new friend into an environment that's safe, comfortable and healthy.

If you're adopting a dog, you'll need a collar and leash, a brush or hand mitt for grooming, a dog bed, food and water bowls, and dog toys. If your dog will be housed outside, get a well-insulated doghouse. Stock up on dog food appropriate for your dog's age, breed and medical condition.

For a cat, be prepared with a litter box, a cat brush or comb, cat food and cat toys. A scratching post will let your cat stretch and exercise as well as scratch without ruining the furniture.

Fish can be beautiful, inexpensive and relatively low-maintenance pets. Be ready for your fish by setting up an aquarium that mimics the natural environment of the variety of fish you're getting, and make sure it holds enough water for the type and number of fish you want. In addition to a tank, you'll need a heater, a filter, a light, gravel or sand, a gravel vacuum, live or artificial plants, decorations, a fine fish net, a water testing kit, water softening chemicals and fish food.

Other types of animals have other requirements. At Walmart, you'll find everything from hamster cages with wheels to birdseed, lizard food and horse shampoo, so you can be ready for the new addition to your household — and all the warmth and joy that a pet can bring.