Written by: Amber Roberts
Dogs can be a part of the family, but it’s no secret that being a dog owner is a lot of work. Though your best friend is worth the effort, it never hurts to have some tricks up your sleeve. Keep these Top 10 Life Hacks for Dog Owners in your back pocket, and you’re bound to find life easier for both you and your canine companion.
- Make nail trimming easier. Trim your dog’s nails after a bath. The water will soften his nails, making the process easier. If you happen to clip a nail too short and do not have styptic powder to stop the bleeding, corn starch makes a good substitute.
- Relieve Storm Anxiety. Sometimes it’s not the thunder that makes our pets anxious.The buildup of static electricity in their fur could be part of the problem. Rub an unscented dryer sheet on your dog’s fur to release the static, and you may see some of the tension disappear.
- Slow down a fast eater. If your dog thinks he must devour his food immediately lest it disappear, use a slow feeder bowl. Helping your dog to take his time eating can prevent issues such as gas, vomiting, choking, and bloat.
- Resolve a prickly situation. Burdocks and other spiky plant matter can be difficult to get out of fur. If you’ve got burrs that won’t budge, try rubbing corn starch or olive oil into the fur around the burr. It will often loosen the fur enough so you can brush the snag out easier. Follow up with a bath to make sure you’ve gotten out all of the small irritating bits and to remove the oil.
- Create easy, long-lasting entertainment. If your dog has figured out the secret to cleaning out a treat-stuffed toy, extend the fun by stuffing the toy with a mixture of peanut butter and dog treats or kibble and then pop it in the freezer. When your dog needs a long-lasting activity to stay busy, you’ll be ready. A frozen toy can last three times longer than a conventional toy. Experiment with different flavors by stuffing the toy with dog-safe food combinations: start with a sticky base like sweet potato or pumpkin and add mix-ins, such as mixed veggies, plain roasted chicken, or diced apple.
- Avoid a soaked crate and soggy dog. If you’re traveling with your dog, freeze water overnight in the bowl that attaches to your dog’s crate. Connect the bowl of ice to the crate just before you leave. The ice will melt, allowing your dog to quench his thirst without splashing water everywhere while you travel.
- Clean up pet fur and dander faster. Wear a damp dishwashing glove to remove dog hair from your furniture or use a shower squeegee to lift hair from floors.
- Get extra security while harness training a new dog. A harness can be a great option for a dog, especially one who pulls. However, dogs can occasionally slip out of them. Clip your leash on both the harness clip and the D-ring on your dog’s collar for extra security. If your dog slips out of the harness, the leash will still be connected to his collar.
- Remove Odors (with minimal effort). If you’ve washed the dog’s bed, blankets, and toys but still can’t seem to get rid of the smell, let the sun do the work. Once you’ve dried the offending objects, hang them outside on a sunny day and let the UV rays go to work killing the bacteria, mold, and mildew that can cause hard-to-remove odors.
- Prevent Slips While Boating. Your dog loves to join you on boating and canoe trips, but things can get pretty slick when water is involved. The Water Trapper Mat, already an at-home favorite, can pull double-duty; the sturdy, quick-dry mat can be placed on the floor of your boat or canoe to give your dog extra footing. If it gets muddy, just hose it off after you’re done with your adventure.