Life Hacks for Dog Parents!
Living with pets may have its challenges, but here are some genius life hacks for dog owners that will save time and energy! Try out these hacks and leave a comment if they work or are too much work!
Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid dangerous heat and wear them out at the perfect time.
Do you have a high-energy dog that can’t seem to settle down at night? Or they are rambunctious during the day while you are gone at work? Try walking them right away in the morning or later in the evening. Not only are these times perfect for cooler weather during the summer and cooler pavement for your pup’s paws, but these two times will tire your dog out for bed or for a lonely day waiting for your arrival.
When we first got our dog, Scout, he was a lot to handle. He had lots of puppy energy and didn’t seem to settle down when we really needed him to. My mom started taking him on walks before his breakfast in the morning and my dad would take him at night. This worked wonders! He would settle down much easier as well as digest his food better it seemed. His bowel movements were extremely regulated because of this routine, and it made it easier for us to manage his puppy energy!
The early morning time was especially helpful since he would be in his kennel all night, then get out briefly for breakfast and some playtime, then back into the kennel while we went to work. He would use the bathroom during or after the walk and we wouldn’t have to worry about accidents throughout the day!
Brush your dog outdoors
This may seem like common sense but brushing your dog outdoors can lessen the mess of hair many accumulate indoors. You should routinely brush your dogs’ hair to keep their hair and skin healthy. Brushing gets rid of dandruff, dead skin, and loose hair. Brushing your pet’s hair consistently will help restore the natural oils that coat their hair and skin, helping prevent dryness and sunburns.
Train your dog to ring a bell when they want to go outside
You can train your dog to ring a bell whenever they need/want to be let outside. Are there negativities to doing this? Yes, but I believe that in the long run, it is a very easy and beneficial way for your pet to let you know when they need to use the bathroom! We trained Scout to use a set of jingle bells that we have leveled at his height by our garage door.
After continuously ringing the bell and repeating “outside” while letting him out to use the bathroom, he put together the act of brushing his snout up against the bells in return for us letting him outside. Now, whenever he needs to use the bathroom, bark at the neighbor dogs, or just wants to lay outside, he rings his bell. It is a little bit annoying when he repeatedly rings the bell over and over to either mess around outside or bother the neighbors, but overall it makes things much easier for us.
Use interactive dog toys
A great way to keep your pet stimulated and playful is using interactive toys to keep his brain working and thinking! These can be plush, rubber, plastic, and so much more! There are plastic feeders and interactive treat toys that could keep your pet entertained for hours. There are plush interactive toys sold by all sorts of companies (including Midlee Designs). There are also rubber interactive toys that are super popular.
The goal of each of these toys, made of whatever material your pet would be most interested in, is to work their brain and tire them out. Interactive toys can be super easy or pretty challenging depending on your pet’s level! They are a great way to bust their boredom, force them to eat their food slower, make them smarter, and so much more!
Play fetch down a hill
Have you ever played fetch with your dog on top of a hill? If you have a super energetic dog, this is an easy way to spend a bit more of their energy. Play with a ball, a frisbee, or whatever you and your dog are used to. The extra effort it takes them to get back up the hill to return the thrown object will be quite the workout, leaving them ready for a nap once you get back home!
You can never have enough lint rollers
Keep lint rollers everywhere! Dog hair is an enemy of mine and no matter how much I try to combat it; Scout has endless amounts of shedding hair. What I have done to help reign in my sanity is keep lint rollers all over the house. In the bedroom, bathroom, entryway, dog basket, car, etc. The worst feeling is running out the door for an important meeting or somewhere you want to go without pet hair all over your sleeves or legs, storing a handy lint roller in every possible place will keep you from that nightmare.
Keep a binder with all of your pet’s documents
Everyone knows that when you first get a puppy, they have quite a few vet appointments within their first year, so they are up-to-date and protected from diseases and whatnot. During that time, start keeping a binder of all your pet’s documents. Getting in this habit earlier will keep you from losing important papers or trying to remember when your dog had their last appointment/what vaccines they got. Knowing you can easily refer to their binder will keep all of their information stored and easily accessible in one location!
Use peanut butter to trim your dog’s nails
If you haven’t seen Tik Tok’s newest trend, there are videos of dog owners placing plastic wrap around their heads, dabbing some peanut butter on it, then distracting their dogs enough to trim their nails. It is super hilarious but also seems to work incredibly well. From what I’ve seen, some of the worst dogs have been able to sit still and calmly while licking their heart out right on top of their owner’s heads. You may look ridiculous while doing so, but your pet will stay calm, and you will feel accomplished having trimmed their pesky nails. Work smarter, not harder.
https://www.borninspace.com/problem-solving/ (Photo Link)
Frozen treats are super simple and can be made from as little as 2 ingredients!
Don’t feel like you must spend tons of money or time making your own dog treats. Frozen treats can be great for those summer months when your dog gets hot while playing and sitting outside. Take some goat milk and blueberries, place them in a mold of your choosing, and freeze. They are super simple and will keep your dog cooler in the summer.
Use plastic fruit/vegetable bags as poop bags.
If you’re like me, you try to reduce your waste in simple ways. I don’t go as far as composting my waste, but I am a reusable bag over plastic bag kind of lady. One place I run into issues is when I pick up fruit and vegetables from the grocery store. I typically cave and use those little plastic bags that are incredibly hard to open (it’s like they are trying to deter you from using them). I recently read that a great way to use those bags again is as poop bags for your dog. I thought this was a genius idea! Other plastic bags are easy to use in little bathroom trash cans, but these were always too tiny for that job. Using them as poop bags has solved this problem for me and it might solve yours too!