45 Essential Dog Care Hacks That Will Make Their Owner's Life Easier
Pet parents know that their pup is worth every hair tumbleweed and chewed shoe that they must deal with to have the precious pooch in their lives. However, who wouldn’t want an even smoother interaction with man’s best friend? Below are 45 dog-care hacks to prove once and for all that owning a dog in this era of genius ideas and gadgets has never been easier.
1. Dog Crates to Improve Pet and People Sanity
Crates, when used correctly, can be an extremely important tool. They can help you with potty training, keeping your pup from chewing power cords and other dangerous things when you can’t watch them, and can give your dog a safe place to go to take a break from too much activity. Teach your young children to leave the dog alone if he retreats to his crate. Crates are also great to take with you to give your dog a point of reference if you travel, as they will feel safer in a car, plane, or hotel room if they already see the crate as their familiar den. It’s easy to train a dog to love his crate; especially if you feed him in it. Make it comfortable with soft bedding and keep it open in a quiet area of the house, so the dog can utilize it when needed.
2. DIY Pet Treats and Pill Pockets
There are plenty of DIY dog treat recipes out there for those who like to show their pooch a little lovin from the oven! But, if you have a pet that needs daily medication, and you don’t want to spend money on store-bought pill pockets, you can make your own with this simple pill-pocket recipe. Depending on the size of your pill, you can also use frozen blackberries or blueberries if you want to give your pet another healthy anti-oxidant-rich alternative. Just run the berry under water to thaw, and push the pill in! Remember, not all berries are good for your dog to eat!
3. Smart Pet Doors Let in Only Furry Family
Do you ever feel like a doorman for your pet? Have you thought about a pet door, but are worried that a ravaging racoon may wander in at night? Then get a pet door that only unlocks for your fur kid. These wondrous passageways are only unlocked by a signal from your pet’s collar. This way, your pooch has full access to your house and yard, and you have peace of mind knowing that no masked bandits are entering your home.
4. Use a Dremel for a Puppy Pedi
Trimming back your four-legged friend’s nails is an essential part of dog care. Some dogs hate the feeling of regular nail clippers, as they can put pressure on the nail quick and cause discomfort. With a bit of patience, you can train many dogs to accept a Dremel. The Dremel bit does not put pressure on the nail quick like regular dog clippers. Many dogs, once trained to accept the sound and feel of the Dremel, prefer it to regular clippers. Just remember to trim back longer hair that is around the paws so that it doesn’t get caught in the tool. Also, use the sanding drum and constantly put your finger on it to check it when it’s not moving to make sure it’s not building up too much heat, like in this instructional video. This toe tool can then help you create a spa day with your best friend, and easily sand your dog’s nails down for the perfect pedi.
5. Chicken and Rice Works Wonders for the Upset Puppy Tummy
Vets have recommended it for years. If your dog suffers from digestive troubles, and you’ve cleared him of the more serious health issues with your vet, you can help soothe his tummy with a base chicken and rice home-cooked meal.
6. DIY Pet Beds From Old Furniture
7. Does Your Dog Wolf Down His Food?
8. Put an Extra Collar Around Your Leash Handle to Make It Hands-Free
9. Bitter Apple for Problem Chewers
If your dog is chewing you out of house and home, Bitter Apple is a safe alternative to deter your pet from taking that next bite. It tastes pretty potent to dogs, but it’s also perfectly safe for them to ingest – unlike your power cord.
10. Pet Evac Kit for Emergencies
No one wants to think about disasters, but it’s always good to have a plan in case they happen. It could save your dog’s life!
11. DIY Pet Shampoo
You can save money by making your own shampoo from common household items like Dawn, baking soda, and vinegar. Get the recipe here.
12. Baking Soda and Vinegar Remove Urine Smell
Soak up the urine with a paper towel, spray the stain with a mixture of half vinegar and half baking soda solution, and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Then, absorb the excess moisture with a paper towel, sprinkle the spot with baking soda, and let it dry. Just keep pets away, as baking soda is toxic to dogs. Once dry, vacuum it up. Remember, dogs will eliminate where they smell their previous markings, so it’s very important to deodorize as well as clean to prevent repeat accidents.
13. Know Dog CPR
Knowing dog CPR could save your pet’s life. Keep instructions in an easily-accessible place, in case you need to access them quickly.
14. Re-purpose Old Clothes into Pet Clothes
15. Crib Mattress with Fitted Sheets for Pet Bed
Unlike regular pet beds, you can easily wash the sheets!
16. Did Your Sunglasses Break? Make DIY Sunglasses For Fido
Bright sun can be tough on doggie eyes too! Make some trendy DIY pet shades here.
17. DIY Refill Water Bowl
Tired of filling up your dog’s bowl? Make this cute contraption to make sure your pup stays hydrated.
18. Freeze Attachable Water Bowls in Crate When Traveling So Your Pet Won’t Spill
If you fly with your dog in a crate under the plane, make sure to fill the attachable water bowl with water and put it in the freezer the night before your flight. Take it out right before you leave. The water will slowly melt, and not spill in transit. This way, the water won’t splash out during the hassle of getting on the plane and wet their bedding. Your pet will also have plenty to drink on the long flight, and the ice will keep them cooler in case the temperature is a bit warm on your travel day.
19. Keep pet paws clean
Easily wash dogs paws when coming in with the Paw Wash. You can also keep baby wipes handy to make sure your pet doesn’t track in dirt from the great outdoors.
20) Stop Houdini Hounds
If your dog is small enough to squeeze through your gate, buy this ingenious little harness. Your dog can move freely, but will be slightly less squeezable when it comes to fences. Make sure your harness still lets your pet come in through your pet door.
21. Have a Fail-Safe Word That Brings Your Dog Back Every Time
Does your dog run come barreling to you at the word “cookie?” If you haven’t trained your dog to come to you, and you should for their safety, make sure you at least have a word that they recognize, like “treat,” that you can use if they get loose.
22. If You Don’t Have a Recall Word, Try Drama
If your dog gets loose, and they haven’t learned a word that brings them back to you, they may still respond to some clever acting. Whatever you do, don’t chase after them. They are probably faster than you. However, if you fall down and pretend to be hurt, they may run back to check on you. You can also run away from them calling happily in an excited voice. Dogs naturally chase things that run away from them. Then, when they “catch you,” you’ve actually caught them.
23. Cargo Pants Convert to Dog Cooling Vest
Does your dog get hot easily? You can create this cute cooling vest by cutting up old cargo pants.
24. For Puppy-Kissable Breath
If you dog suffers from bad breath, but doesn’t enjoy the tooth-brushing experience, you can put dog toothpaste on a lint brush and have your dog lick it off. Much of the bacteria that causes that foul smell is on the tongue. Another trick is to add parsley to their food. It’s full of good vitamins and naturally eliminates stinky breath.
25. Everyone Loves Pool Time
You can create hours of entertainment for your pet, and also help them stay cool by buying a kiddy plastic pool. Just fill it with water and enjoy your puppy playtime show.
26. Turmeric Can Help with Pain And Other Ailments
Turmeric has shown, in recent studies, to help fight cancer, detoxify the body, reduce anti-inflammatory issues, and lower or even eliminate pain. All of the benefits seen in humans are also found to be true in our four-legged furry friends. However, Turmeric also is a blood thinner, and may react with medications. So always check with your vet before adding it to your pet’s diet. You can normally feed 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.
27. Vaseline on Paws Protect Puppy Pads From Snow
Snow can scrape up sensitive paws. A little Vaseline on your pup’s pads before a snowball fight goes a long way to making sure the game stays fun for everyone.
28. The Vacuum Isn’t the Enemy
Many dogs hate the vacuum, but with a bit of positive training, you can teach your dog that the vacuum only brings good things – like praise and treats. Then, you can use grooming tools like the Dyson Grooming Tool or other vacuum attachments to suck up your dog’s dander and hair before it ever hits the floor.
29. DIY Frozen Dog Toys
Is your pet the coolest kid on the block? To help him keep him in that status, freeze some of his toys and treats in water or chicken broth, and watch him go to town. He will be occupied for hours getting to all of the hidden treasures, and will be too busy to get into other mischief.
30. Use a Dryer Sheet to Calm a Dog During a Storm
Many times, it’s the electric charge in the air and not the actual storm that upsets dogs during bad weather. Some dogs just don’t like the noise, but if your dog just hates the electricity in the air, take a dryer sheet and rub it over him to make him feel better.
31. Remove Pet Hair with a Wet Rubber Glove
If you don’t have access to a lint roller, take a wet rubber glove and rub your hand over furry furniture. You can easily pick up the hair.
32. Soften Dry Kibble in Warm Water
If you have a finicky eater or an older dog, add warm water or chicken broth, and let the kibble soften for about 15 minutes. You may notice a renewed interest in their appetite. This also helps your dog stay hydrated.
33. Know Your Dog’s Body Language
Dog’s can’t talk like humans. If you know how to read their body language, they can communicate very effectively to you how they are feeling. Many dog bites happen from humans not tuning into the signals the dog is screaming through their body posture. Most dogs bite when that’s the only recourse left to get their point across.
34. Use Classical Music to Calm
You may enjoy relaxing to a good Bach concerto, but did you know that studies also show that classical music soothes your pet too?
35. Tire Out Your Energizer Bunny
If you have a high-energy dog, have them wear a vest and carry water, waste bags, and other supplies on walks. It gives them a job to do that challenges them mentally and physically, you don’t have to carry anything, and you also don’t have to run a marathon with them to tire them out.
36. Beat the Street Heat
Remember, if you can’t walk barefoot on the pavement without it burning, then neither should your dog. Always walk them early in the morning or later in the evening if they have to walk on pavement to prevent burned paws.
37. For Cleaning Those Puppy Pearly Whites
Some dogs don’t tolerate people brushing their teeth. If your pup is a bit reluctant to do his dental diligence, squeeze some doggie toothpaste onto a Nylabone or rope toy. They can happily chew on it, while unknowingly brushing their teeth.
38. DIY Pet Paw Ornaments
These cute ornaments will give you a lasting memory of your pet, and let them contribute to the Christmas decorations. Learn how to make them here!
39. Lost Dog Tip
First, you should exhaust all other options to find your dog, such as putting up posters, posting adds online and in the paper, checking animals shelters, and personally searching. However, if you have some idea where your dog was last seen, leave something that smells like you, such as a used article of clothing, with some food and water. Leave a note asking people not to take the items. Leave your phone number on the note so that people can call you if they see your dog staying in that spot. Then, keep checking that location. If your dog is still nearby, he will be drawn to your scent, as well as the food and water.
40. Microchip and Register your Pet
A registered microchip on your dog could save his life if he ends up in a high-kill animal shelter. Keep your records current with the microchip company and your vet. There are so many stories of families who would have never been reunited with their pets, except for their decision to microchip.
41. Pet Credit Card for Emergencies
If you choose not to carry Pet Insurance, having a pet credit card like Care Credit will allow you to make payments interest free for a year on big veterinary expenses.
42. Car Insurance That Covers Your Entire Family
Some car insurance companies, such as Progressive, offer to pay medical bills for your pet in the event of an accident.
43. Travel in Style
You don’t have to leave your pet with a sitter. Utilize free travel sites that show what hotels welcome your furry family. For example, the hotel chain La Quinta doesn’t charge a pet fee for your dog to join you in your room.
44. Keep Your Dog Trim and Get More Time!
Feeding dogs extra treats may make them extra happy, but it shortens their life if they become obese. In fact, dogs at a healthy weight lived almost two years longer in a recent study. That’s a big number to a dog! Keeping your pet lean can also help them live a more active lifestyle by reducing their risk for joint problems and diabetes.
45) Never, Ever Leave Pets in Your Hot Car
The temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes according to a recent study! Cracking your windows makes little difference in the power of the sun to turn your car into a death oven. Take your pets with you or leave them at home, but don’t lock them in your car!
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