When you live with dogs, life is awesome but it can also get crazy and more than a little messy. We’ve scoured the internet for our favorite living with dogs’ hacks, and added a few of our own personal favorites.
We hope these hacks help you and your dog spend more quality time together. Enjoy
1. Safe and quick disinfectant clean up.
Hydrogen peroxide is a safe all purpose cleaner. Peroxide is less caustic and toxic than bleach and is a great inexpensive all-purpose germ cleaner. To use, simply transfer your peroxide to a opaque spray bottle (even better, find a sprayer that fits the original bottle). Simply mist the surfaces of dog toys, dishes, pet areas, and messes. Let the mist sit for a couple minutes and wipe clean. There is no need to rinse. Use caution on fabrics and carpets, it can bleach out colors.
2. Homemade pill pockets.
Pill pockets are expensive and not all dogs will eat them. You can make your own pill pockets by mixing a small amount of flour and milk into peanut butter so that the mixture holds its shape. Or, you can go an even easier route and hide your dog’s pills in frozen Cool Whip. Dogs love it and its much less fat than cream cheese and peanut butter. Plus dairy sensitive dogs can eat it too. Don’t buy sugar free, its toxic.
3. Easy pet hair removal.
A squeegee will remove pet hair from furniture and carpet. They are easy to store and great for quick clean ups. Amazon sells a “FURemover broom with squeegee” that we think works better than a broom for quick sweeps of the floor. Rubber gloves and dryer sheets will also help pick up pet hair.
4. Quick breath fresheners.
If your dog has a case of temporary bad breath, there are a few easy things you can do to help. Brush your dog’s teeth with baking soda, sprinkle some parsley in their food, or feed them some apple or carrot slices to help freshen breath. Dog’s should not have chronic bad breath so if that’s the case, it’s time to see the vet.
5. Protect furniture to make life easier.
This one seems obvious but when you get busy, sometimes it’s easy to forget simple things like covering furniture, bedding, and dog beds with sheets, covers or throws to help protect them from messes. This is especially helpful during wet weather. Be sure to use some that are easy to throw in your washing machine for easy cleaning.
6. Dog pee remover.
If your dog pees on the floor, blot up as much of the urine as you can then sprinkle with baking soda and club soda and let sit. Vacuum when dry. The baking soda will help remove orders. If you want to buy a product, our favorite odor remover is Nok-Out, which is safe for use around pets.
7. Say goodbye to nose art.
An easy way to clean nose art off of doors, walls, and windows is with Magic Erasers. The marks rub off quick and easy and having them on hand makes it easy to just grab one and wipe up the stains.
8. Baby wipes for your fur baby.
Hypoallergenic, all natural baby wipes are great to have on hand to wipe your dog’s face, paws, and other parts that need a quick cleaning. They are perfect for helping your dog clean up if they are wearing the cone. They can also be used to wipe down the plastic.
9. Help for allergy dogs.
If your dog has seasonal allergies, you can help by wiping your dog’s face, paws, and ears with hypoallergenic baby wipes when they come indoors. Another itchy paw reliever is to give your dog foot soaks before they go to bed at night. Simply fill the bottom of the tub or shower pan with a couple inches of water and add some povidone iodine solution until the water turns the color of iced tea. Let your dog stand in the solution a few minutes then pat feet dry. This will help remove pollens and irritants plus cleanse and relieve itchy paws.
10. Stop a nail from minor bleeding.
Depending on the seriousness of the break, will depend on the treatment but if you cut the nail too close and don’t have anything else, according to our vet, you can dip the nail in sugar. You can also use a mixture of baking soda, flour, or corn starch mixed with water. The paste will help stop bleeding. For a nail that keeps bleeding, apply pressure and see your vet.
11. Help stop leash pulling.
If your dog wears a harness and pulls, get a harness that clips to the front rather than the back. Also a head halter or prong collar can help prevent pulling from super strong dogs. Nothing can replace good leash walking manners so back to training is the best step.
12. Satisfy a picky eater.
A healthy dog is a happy dog and sometimes it’s hard to know if a super picky dog is getting enough to eat. You can help entice a finicky eater by making a batch of chicken soup each week and ladling a small amount over a healthy kibble. Simply boil a chicken in lots of water and add some fresh carrots or sweet potatoes, green beans, and brown rice until cooked. You can also rotate proteins and other veggies for variation. Debone the chicken and ladle some soup over your dog’s food. It’s cheaper than canned and you know exactly what your dog is eating.
13. Keep a canine first aid kit on hand.
Hopefully you’ll never need it but just like you prepare for family emergencies, you should prepare for a dog emergency. You can buy a premade kit or make your own but keeping it up-to-date is important. In your kit, be sure to include important phone numbers, for an example the closest emergency animal hospital and alternate emergency vet in case your family vet is unavailable.
14. Make pet travel easy.
Pack your dog their own travel bag on road trips and be sure to include your dog’s favorite food, water, dishes, wet wipes, favorite toy, leash, collar, medications, poop bags, and favorite bed or blanket.
15. Easy tick removal.
You can help remove ticks by covering them with dish soap. Cover the tick with the dish soap and let it sit a minute. Then swab with vinegar and suds up and loosen the tick so it can be easily removed.
16. Make your own dog puzzles.
If your dog loves puzzles and can be trusted not to eat what’s inside, you can easily make your own out of a Hol-ee Roller Ball. Simply stuff the holes in the ball with smaller balls, toys, or scraps of fabric with treats inside. Viola! A cheap, reusable, entertaining dog toy. These balls come in all sizes, so they are perfect for almost any dog.
17. Pet safe carpet freshener.
Freshen your carpets without chemicals by sprinkling with baking soda and allowing it to sit before vacuuming. If you want to add some natural fragrance that is also pet friendly, simply add a few drops of pet friendly essential oil like lemon or lavender to the baking powder and mix it up before sprinkling. Use a good quality, pure oil to avoid oily residue.
18. Make your own dog pillows.
If your dog loves to lie on your clothes, make dog pillows out of your old sweatshirts and t-shirts. Simply stuff the clothing with an old pillow or buy some poly-fil and sew the holes closed.
19. Help keep old or injured dogs from slipping.
To help keep older or injured dogs from slipping on tile or wood floors, place non-slip scatter rugs near dog beds, furniture, in doorways, and where your dog loves to sleep. The rugs will help provide traction. It is possible to find attractive and affordable scatter rugs with some effort but yoga mats and carpet remnants can also be used.
20. Pumice stone to remove hair from your car.
If you’ve vacuumed and you’re still looking at embedded dog hair, try using a pumice stone to pull the fur from the carpet and upholstery. The scratchy stone will grab the hair and pull it out. This works great but be careful because it can also pull carpet fibers and delicate fabrics.
21. Pet fountain.
If your dog spills or plays in its water bowl, try investing in a pet fountain. A fountain will ensure your dog always has fresh water and some even come with filters. If a fountain is not in your budget, do a Google search and you’ll find several DYI fountains you can make at home.