Sometimes being a doggy parent can be stressful. While it’s always rewarding to care for your pup, having a little extra help never hurt! Here are 10 simple life hacks that will make raising your furry friend that much easier and hopefully help to fill your days with more tail wags and less stress.
1. Frozen Dog Treats
On a hot day it’s important to keep your pup cool. Luckily, there’s an easy way to create homemade doggy popsicles that will help your dog to beat the heat while also keeping him entertained and happy. Simply hide a couple nuggets of your dog’s favorite treats in an ice-cube tray filled with chicken broth or water and then freeze for a couple hours. Your dog will love to lick the tasty popsicles until they’re gone!
2. Trick Toothbrush
Many dogs don’t like to have their teeth brushed. However, it’s very important to keep their teeth clean and healthy. If you have a pup who struggles with this, try rubbing doggy toothpaste on their favorite tug-toy or chew bone and then spend some time playing with them. The toys should scrape against their teeth as they tug or chew and work just like a toothbrush. Plus, most dogs like the taste of the toothpaste and don’t even realize they’re being fooled!
3. Peanut Butter in the Tub
Bath time can be stressful for a lot of dogs. If you have a pup who shakes, whines, or attempts to jump from the tub, try rubbing some peanut butter on the wall of your shower and let them go to town. Most dogs will become distracted trying to lick the sticky stuff off the wall which will allow you enough time to bathe them. Plus, when you’re done, clean-up is a breeze as most bathroom tiles simply wipe clean!
4. Lavender on a Bandana
Some dogs are overly anxious and struggle with social interactions and meeting new people. Lavender has been proven to have a calming effect on most canines as it centers the nervous system and soothes these overactive nerves. If you have an anxious pup, trying dabbing a bandana in some lavender essential oils and then tie it around your dog’s neck. Then, when you’re out and about, the lavender will always be close to your dog’s nose and help to calm them when they come in contact with anxiety triggers. Plus, they’ll always smell nice!
5. Play Fetch Downhill
If you have a high-energy dog and are constantly working to try and tire them out, we recommend the next time you play fetch with them to do it on a hill or steep incline. Stand at the top of the hill and throw the ball for your dog down it so when your pup retrieves the toy they are forced to climb back up the hill to give it to you. It’s an easy but clever way to tire your dog out faster and they will love the challenge of having to climb. If it’s a bad weather day you can also use this trick in the house by throwing the ball down some stairs.
6. Vaseline on Dog Paws
Cold weather can have a bad effect on your dog’s paws as snow, ice and salt can build up around their toes and paw-pads, causing painful sores or split skin. An easy, home remedy to this problem is to rub a generous amount of Vaseline on their paws before heading outside. The Vaseline acts as a barrier against the hazards of cold weather while also trapping moisture inside to soothe the skin. Just make sure to wipe off any remaining jelly once inside so your pup doesn’t slip all over the wood floors or tile.
7. Lemon Juice in the Water Bowl
We all know what stinky dog breath smells like. As bacteria builds in your dog’s mouth the microscopic organisms leave waste and cause damage which ultimately leads to bad breath. However, simply adding a few drops of lemon juice to your dog’s water can help combat the bacteria as the high acidity in citrus fruits kills most of the germs. For more tips on how to get rid of your dog’s bad breath, check out an earlier post we made on 7 Natural Solutions for Stinky Dog Breath.
8. Ball in the Food Bowl
It’s important to make sure that our dogs don’t eat too fast. Many food-lovers will scarf down their dinner in a matter of seconds which can upset their stomach and cause vomiting, stomach-aches, or even bloat. To help slow your pup down, try putting a tennis ball or two into their food bowl so that your dog is forced to work around the nuisance to get their kibble. Alternatively, you can use a muffin tray as a homemade maze bowl by sprinkling your dog’s food into all the openings so they have to stop in-between bites.
9. Cornstarch for Matted Fur
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to comb out your dog’s matted fur. Most pups don’t like the mats to be touched or fiddled with and if you have a long-haired breed, fingering through all that fur can take a while. However, sprinkling some cornstarch on the mats can be an effective way to help untangle them. Just work a generous amount of the cornstarch into the mat and then let it sit for a couple minutes. The starch from the corn will help to lubricate the mat with natural oils and make it easier to comb out. Your dog will thank you!
10. Remove Storm Static
Many dogs don’t like thunderstorms because of how loud the thunder and rain is. However, what many pet parents don’t know is that there could be an additional reason for the fear: static. During a storm, static electricity builds up in the air and can cling to your dog’s fur making them uncomfortable and prone to getting zapped. An easy solution to this problem is to gently rub your dog down with a dryer sheet to eliminate the electricity and calm your dog’s nerves. You might be surprised to learn that this is all it takes to end their fear!
Simple life hacks like these can make being a doggy parent that much easier. And while not every solution on this list might work for you, we hope that having this little, extra help will relieve some of the stress and confusion. After all, it takes a village!