Creative Hacks That Every Dog Owner Should Know
Owning a dog can be an absolute joy, but it does come with some challenges. For instance, your floor and clothes may seem to be covered in fur 24/7, gardening can be impossible with a dig-loving pooch, and don't even get us started on trying to get them to swallow a pill. Fortunately, there are plenty of hacks to make your life as a dog owner more manageable. From removing odors with baking soda and vinegar to squeegeeing the fur out of your carpet, you'll be amazed at these tried-and-true dog owner tips.
Use A Squeegee To Get Fur Out Of The Carpet
Sometimes no matter how many times you go over the carpet with a vacuum, it seems like dog fur remains. If the hair has become tightly lodged into your carpet or rug, try running a window squeegee along the area.
The rubber edge of the squeegee with cling to the fur, bringing it up to the surface. Rub it back and forth vigorously until the hair comes loose, then go over it with a vacuum.
Use A Walnut To Buff Out Wood Scratches
If you have hardwood floors or wooden furniture that your dog accidentally scratched up, don't fret. The solution is a simple walnut! Take the walnut and rub it in a circular pattern and back and forth along the length of the scratch.
Then, rub the scratch with your fingers to further let the walnut's oil seep into the wood. Wait for a few minutes, and then take a soft cloth and buff the area. Be sure to clean the area thoroughly if anyone with nut allergies will be in the house.
Keep Your Dog Cool With A Kiddie Pool
If you live in a climate that gets very hot during summers, it's important to remember that dogs can be even more sensitive to overheating than humans. To keep them cool while still getting outdoor time, consider a kiddie pool.
A cheap pool made of hard plastic will provide your dog all they need for playful relief from the heat. Also, be sure to test the ground before taking your dog on a walk when it's hot out. If you can't touch the asphalt for more than five seconds comfortably, then it's too hot for your pooch.
Remove Dog Urine With Baking Soda
Especially if you have a puppy, you've probably grown accustomed to having to clean up dog accidents around the house. Rather than spending a fortune on special products, just stock up on baking soda.
Pour the powder onto the urine spill, rubbing it in with a wet rag, and let it sit for several minutes. The baking soda will not only sanitize the area, but it will also remove the smell. Simply vacuum it up to reveal a revived carpet, rug, or even mattress.
Apply Dog Toothpaste To A Chew Toy For Dental Hygiene
While canines don't require the same dental attention as humans, some owners like to brush their dog's teeth as a preventative measure. If your pooch has an aversion to the toothbrush, try smearing some dog toothpaste onto their chew toy.
The toothpaste will get into their teeth as they chew, especially if you apply it to rope for a game of tug-of-war. There are also specially designed toys that have bristles for a more thorough clean.
Create A Digging Box To Save Your Garden
Some dogs can't get enough of digging, even if it means destroying your yard or garden. A helpful compromise that will make both you and your dog happy is to build a digging box. Built a wooden sandbox and train your dog to only dig in there.
The simplest way to build one is to buy a garden kit that comes with precut wood. Be sure to lay a slab of wood at the base to prevent your dog from digging too deep.
Make A Tug Toy Out Of Old Clothes
If you have old clothes that are too worn out to donate, put them to good use by making a dog toy out of them. Take two cotton tees and cut them into two-inch-wide strips. Gather the strips and tie them together at one end.
Then, divide the strips into thirds and braid them. Tie the other end like you did the first and cut any stragglers off. The result should be a rope-like tug toy that smells just like you!
Give Your Dog Pills With Homemade Pill Pockets
Getting your dog to swallow a pill can be an impossible deed. To make the process much easier for you both, try making a pill pocket. Simply mix one part milk, one part crunchy peanut butter, and two parts flour.
Stir them together and form them into the shape of a pill pocket. The simple recipe is much cheaper to make than the premade versions at the store, and dogs love them. Store any leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
Use Rubber Gloves To Pick Up Loose Fur
Whether your dog is a heavy shedder or just a seasonal one, keeping your house fur-free can be quite a chore. Especially when it comes to getting into tight crevices, removing fur isn't always the easiest.
To make the job easier, try putting on a pair of rubber gloves and running them over the areas that need cleaning. You'll be amazed at how well the fur sticks to rubber gloves, and afterward you can simply rinse them right off.
Protect Your Dog's Paws In The Winter With Vaseline
If you live somewhere that gets very cold in the winter, be sure to take into consideration how the ground may impact your dog's paws. While one option is to buy them winter boots, a cheaper option that your canine may prefer is to simply use some petroleum jelly.
By applying a thick coat of vaseline to the bottom of your dog's paws, you're creating a barrier that will keep snow, ice, and salt out of their toes. It also keeps their paws hydrated and prevents cracking.
Use Popcorn To Teach Your Puppy How To Catch
Puppies are adorably eager to do everything, even if that means getting bonked in the face while they try to learn how to catch. If you don't have any soft toys to play with, try popping some popcorn.
Popcorn is light but aerodynamic enough to be thrown with some precision. Plus, your dog will be extra motivated to catch it because it's food! Be sure to opt for plain popcorn and to keep their intake moderate.
Use Baby Wipes To Prevent Fur From Clogging The Drain
Especially if you have a long-haired dog, you may notice that your shower drain clogs whenever you give them a groom. An easy fix is to use baby wipes to block the hair from getting into the drain.
If you have a removable stopper, simply take it out and place the baby wipe over the hole before plugging it. If not, then place the baby wipe over the entire stopper once it's plugged. After your pet's bath, hold down the wipe and let the water drain through it to collect the fur.
Use Dryer Sheets To Pick Up Pet Fur
If you don't have rubber gloves on hand, another way to get fur out easily is with dryer sheets. Since they're made to cling to particles in the dryer, they do an excellent job of grabbed fur off surfaces.
Simple rub the dryer sheet over your furniture, clothes, or any other item that's covered in fur. The hair will cling to the sheet more effectively than using regular paper towels. Afterward, just toss the dirty sheet right out.
Use Vinegar To Get The 'Dog Smell' Out Of The House
Have you ever been to someone's house and you can immediately tell that they have a dog because of the smell? It isn't a terrible odor, but it certainly isn't desirable. To avoid being that friend, just fill a spray bottle with plain white vinegar.
Spray along the carpet and other areas where the smell is strong. Open the windows to air out the house. As the vinegar smell dissipates, the dog odor will go out with it.
Make A Temporary Dog Sling Out Of A Fabric Shopping Bag
As dogs age, they sometimes develop problems with their joints. This can result in their inability to stand up on their own. While it's important to get a proper sling from a vet that will withstand the dog's weight and feel comfortable, tote bags make a great alternative if you're in a bind.
Simply cut the sides of the bag so that the front, back, and bottom are all that remains. Wrap the dog in the tote so that the bottom is at their belly, and use the handles as an aid to lift them.
Use Safety Straps To Keep Your Dog Out Of The Garbage
If your dog loves getting into the garbage, it may be time to take measures into your own hands. Canines can become sick by eating the wrong thing from the trash, and some take longer than others to learn to obey.
To keep your dog safe, try using a safety strap. Generally marketed for babies, these straps will prevent your dog from being able to open the trash lid, drawer, or cabinet with their nose or paw.
Use A Credit Card To Take Out A Bee Stinger
Dogs adore being outside and sniffing the bushes, so it's no wonder that they are susceptible to bee stings. If your dog does get stung, you'll need to remove the stinger in such a way that part of it isn't left behind.
To ensure the entire stinger comes out, slide a credit card along the dog's skin and past the stinger. Use a cold compress to ease the dog's pain and watch out for signs of an allergic reaction.
Soften Kibble With Warm Water
Kibble is the least expensive of dog foods, making it a popular pick for owners who are on a budget. The downside is that the food can be abrasive of canine mouths, making your pooch hesitant to eat it everyday.
To make the food a little easier to chew, simply add some water to the kibble. Warm water works best at breaking down the kibble so that it's soft and easy for your pet to get down.
Simpler Than Tying Them Up
When has a carbineer not been the simple solution for something? Next time you're scrabbling to tie up your pup, just loop a carbineer around the hand and attach to the leash.
Simple as that!
Use Packing Or Duct Tape As A Makeshift Lint Roller
Many dog owners will stress the importance of checking your outfit for dog fur before leaving the house. Especially if you're on the way to a professional event, having a lint roller on hand can be vital for anyone with a pet.
A cheaper alternative for a lint roller that you probably already have is a roll of duct or packaging tape. Wrap a piece of tape around your hand so that the sticky side is facing out, then glide it over your clothes, letting it roll around your hand.
Reward Your Dog With Rubs And Games Instead Of Treats
For many dogs, training is all about the positive reinforcement. If you're challenging your dog with various tricks, but don't want to overdo it on the treats, try switching up the rewards.
Instead of giving them the same old treat, offer up a belly rub or a game of tug-of-war. Dogs can pick up on your emotional response, and will know that the positivity is a result of something they did right. Call them "good boy/girl" and give them some love.
Give Your Dog Ice Cubes On A Hot Day
Who doesn't love a cold drink in the middle of a hot summer day?! Just like humans, dogs love a nice refreshing drink when the heat is sweltering. An easy trick to give your dog a nice, surprising summer treat is to add a handful of ice cubes to their outdoor water dish.
Some dogs even love eating ice cubes as if they were tiny water cookies because it helps cool down their mouths. The bobbing ice cubes in a dog's water dish can even help encourage them to drink more water and engage with their outdoor water bowl more often!
Bake Your Own Organic Dog Treats
Did you know that you don't have to be a vet to make the perfect treat for your dog in your own home? Believe it or not, you can bake homemade dog treats that are healthy and organic from the comfort of your own kitchen.
All you need to do is mash together some banana, peanut butter, and loose oats. Scoop the batter into balls or cookie shapes and bake at 350F (150C) for 25 to 30 minutes. All of the ingredients are safe and healthy for your dog to eat and they're not going to break your pup's diet either!
Liven Up Meal Time With This DIY Enrichment Exercise
Folding your dog's kibble up into an old towel is an interesting way to promote enrichment and activity in your dog's life. Spread out food or treats and roll them up in a towel. After you've hidden their food in the towel, let the dog pull the towel apart and sniff out their food.
This fun activity helps to keep your dog's brain busy and engaged during feeding time and gives them a sense of work and reward. It's an easy way to entertain them in the home, slow down their feeding process, and encourage a positive relationship with food.
Use A Fitted Bed Sheet To Save Your Car Seats
Traveling with your dog is awesome but spending weeks trying to get all of the dog hair out of your car seats is not as much fun. Dog seat covers can be expensive and difficult to find the right size depending on the model of your car.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to put your dog in the car, reach for an old fitted sheet in your house. The cinched corners will help the sheet to cling around your seat backs and you can put your furry, muddy pup on your makeshift seat cover!
Use An Old T-Shirt To Give Your Dog A Break From The Cone After Surgery
Owning a dog means potentially dealing with health complications or surgeries. Most dog owners know that with surgery comes the dreaded cone of shame to stop your dog from licking or scratching the wound as it recovers.
Some dog owners have found one solution to the cone is allowing their dog some cone-free time by putting them in a modified t-shirt to give them a break from the cone while keeping the surgery site covered. It's not a permanent solution or a replacement for the cone, but it is a nice option to give your dog when it's time for bed!
Store Your Dog's Food In An Airtight Container
Dog food is most often sold in giant bags that are hard to hide somewhere in your house. Most people keep them in a closet or garage space. An easy solution for keeping your dog's food accessible is to use a large airtight container to store the dry food.
You can find a container that matches your decor or choose a more common one like the clear plastic pictured. Not only is it nicer to look at, but the airtight container actually serves a purpose! The sealed bin helps to preserve the dog food, keeping it fresher for longer! Nobody likes stale chips.
Make A DIY Elevated Food And Water Station
You don't have to be a professional carpenter in order to make your dog an elevated food and water bowl. A raised food and water bowl helps your dog with digestion and makes it easier for them to eat and drink.
All you need to do to create the perfect elevated food and water station is purchase a small side table from Ikea. The most commonly used table for this project is about $8. Trace then cut two holes in the table surface before adding your dog's dishes. And voila! You have the perfect mini-food set-up without breaking the budget.
Make A Paste To Stop Your Dog's Nails From Bleeding During Clipping
Cutting your dog's nails can be stressful for both you and your dog. The worst thing is when you accidentally go too short and your dog's nail starts gushing blood everywhere. If this happens to you, don't panic!
You can use a mixture of flour and baking soda or cornstarch to create a paste. Apply the paste to the bloody nail and apply moderate pressure for a few minutes, your dog's foot should stop bleeding quickly! Next time, it might be best to leave it to the pros who have all the supplies on hand to avoid bleeding and stop it when it happens!
Use Dog-Safe Fruits And Veggies As Training Treats
You don't have to break the bank to get treats for your furry friend! According to the American Kennel Club, plenty of the fruits and veggies you already have in the fridge can be shared with your K-9 best friend.
It's always important to check what is healthy for your dog and if you're ever unsure be sure to ask your vet. However, some safe fruits and veggies to start with as small treats are pieces of banana, apples, strawberries, cucumbers, pumpkin, carrots, and peas. Just like people, dogs have different taste buds and may not like some things that you thought they would!