25 Life Hacks for Dog Owners
Being a dog owner means having dog fur everywhere. It also means you learn new ways to clean up after your dog which is beneficial. You quickly learn which methods work and which methods don’t work or don’t work as well. So I’ve compiled a short list of life hacks for all you dog owners out there.
Some of these methods were learned through trial and error while some were learned from doing research or talking to other dog parents. These tips and tricks include making the most out of playtime to training tips. Both are equally important for your dog to be happy and healthy while living harmoniously in your household.
Cleaning and Housekeeping Tips
1. Dryer sheets pick up dog fur
If you are in need of a simple method to picking up dog hair, dryer sheets are your answer. This one was learned from research as I never would have thought about using dryer sheets. This will also work for cat fur since I know some of you have cats.
2. Use a Window Squeegee
Another great life hack to getting dog fur off the carpet between vacuums or on carpeted stairs. The window squeegee can also be used in your car to get fur off the seats.
3. Packing Tape to Pick up loose fur
If your clothes collect lots of dog fur (or even cat fur) and you don’t have a lint roller, you can always grab a roll of packing tape and use that to collect the fur from your clothes.
4. Magic Eraser gets rid of Dog Drool
If you have a dog that drools a lot, you can easily use a magic eraser to get that drool off nearly any surface. They also work for cleaning things unrelated to dogs so go get yourself some magic erasers.
5. Use Walnuts to remove scratches from Wood
Most of us have some sort of a wooden surface whether it be a table or nightstand or dresser. If your dog has scratched it, you can help remove the scratches by rubbing a walnut on the surface.
Health, Grooming, and Food
6. Make your own Pill Pocket
If you struggle getting your dog to take a pill you can make your own pill pockets if wrapping them in cheese or peanut butter isn’t working. The recipe can be found from this blog as I don’t have my own post on making them just yet.
7. Remove Ticks with Tweezers
I have always removed ticks from my dogs with tweezers. Why? I’ve just never owned a tick remover although I’ve heard they can be pretty handy and helpful. Using the tweezers, grab the head of the tick to remove, then put the tick in alcohol to kill it.
8. Keep Kibble Fresh
Using a container that gets an airtight seal is the best way to keep your dog’s dry kibble food fresh. I buy bags of dog food which don’t have a resealable option on them so I put the food into a container that can hold 40 lbs of dog food as I buy 30-35 lb bags.
9. Make your own Dog Treats
Making your own dog treats can be super easy and is better and healthier for your dog. View some of the dog treats I’ve made that are super simple and minimal ingredients.
10. Brush your Dog’s Teeth
Adding this into your dog’s regular grooming schedule will help keep off the plaque and keep their breath fresh. Be sure to either pick up a dog safe formula or make your own. You can even put some onto a rope tug toy and play with them.
11. Use a treat dispenser for Fast Eaters
Does your dog eat their food in about 2 bites? You can help them out by either getting a treat dispenser such as the KONG Wobbler, a Slow Feed Bowl, or putting some tennis balls into their regular food bowl. This helps them to eat slower and is good for mental stimulation as well.
12. Protect your dog’s paws
In any season your dog’s paw pads can crack or break. Winter is cold and the Summer is hot so protect your dog’s paws by using a paw balm or paw cream. Boots are another option but of course, not all dogs are willing to wear boots.
Playtime & Exercise
13. Bubble Play
If your dog loves playing outside you can teach them to play with bubbles and chase them. Some dogs naturally will love bubbles while some take time to learn to play and enjoy them. This is an easy method for playtime and provides exercise as well. It can even be done indoor if it’s a rainy day outside.
14. Find the Treats
This is simple and is great for indoors and for mental stimulation. Take a 12 or even a 6 muffin tin and put treats in half the tins. Then cover all spots with a tennis ball. This allows your dog to sniff and search for the treats helping to cure boredom.
15. Kiddie Pools
If your dog loves water then buying a kiddie pool will be great for playtime. It also allows your dog to keep cool in the summertime heat. They are pretty inexpensive and you can get them for probably around $3-$6.
16. Alternate Toys
Dogs can quickly get bored by playing with the same toys every day. Keep them interested in all the toys by rotating toys each day or every few days. This allows them to have things changed up and get excited about a toy coming back for playtime.
Dog Training Tips
17. Reliable Recall
When going to train your dog for learning a great recall, you need to always reward them when you call them and they come running back. Make yourself the FUNNEST thing to them. No dog wants to run to someone who punishes them when they are called. You want them to think that coming to you was the best decision they made so they don’t continue to ignore you and sniff or chase whatever they were enjoying.
18. Potty Training
This can be tough for some dog owners but it can be accomplished with time and effort. Be diligent about watching your dog when you want them to potty outside. Praise them every time they pee and poop outside until they learn it’s the only place acceptable to go potty.
19. Dog Training without Dog Treats
Don’t happen to have any dog treats on hand but wanting to train your dog? You can use fruits and veggies as long as they are dog safe. These alternatives are good and healthy for your dog. Praise is also another option when training your dog and you don’t have any treats with you. Always end training on a positive note though so your dog will continue to enjoy training sessions.
20. Reward Switches for Training
Don’t let your dog get bored by knowing they will always get a treat or always get praise when they obey a command during training. Switch up the rewards to keep them interested in training. This can even include some tug of war during training.
Safety and Hazards
21. Hunting Season
If you bring your dog hunting make sure they will be seen by having them wear an orange collar, bandana, or even an orange leash (regular or hands free). Orange is the preferred color for hunting but any bright color would work. This will help to keep your dog safe during hunting season.
Getting your dog microchipped is helpful because if they ever get out they can be returned to you. Even with a collar and tags, those can still come off your dog but a microchip is the best way of being reunited with your dog.
24. Ask before petting
Anytime you are out and you see a dog always ask prior to petting the dog. Not all owners want their dogs to be pet. Teach this to your children too so they know this rule to help prevent dog bite attacks.
25. Doggie First Aid
You always be prepared for any sort of an accident that can happen to your dog. Making and having a dog first aid kit is super helpful just in case it is needed (although we hope it isn’t). Hence why this is just simply good to have on hand, especially while traveling.
What Dog Care and Life hacks do you use with your dog?
Let me know in the comments below.
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6 Thoughts to “25 Life Hacks for Dog Owners”
I think most people get puppies but forget to educate themselves on dogs needs, you need to train puppies not to pee on the carpet, not to chew shoes or how to heel but this does not come naturally and first time pet owners seem to forget this.
Awwww, while reading this post reminds me of my two dogs and all the things I can do for them and with them. Great ideas! Specially the ones for exercise and fun! Great post.
Hi Rae, you have some interesting points. I was really hoping you were going to tell me what to do about an aging Jack Russell who has decided to bark whenever she wants to tell us something. She barks because we’re sitting down and her basket isn’t where we are. She barks because we move it, and really she wanted you to change rooms! She barks because she wants to go for a walk, and then barks because we want to walk and she want to stand in one spot and sniff. We love her to bits, but one day I’m going to get down on the floor and bark back at her! X is for the X factor as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.
Each breed is different but when your dog barks you can try turning into into a command such as SPEAK. Then when she stops give the command such as QUIET or HUSH and see if that helps. It’ll take some time but could be beneficial. Letting your dog sniff while on walks is good for mental stimulation but be sure it’s in a spot that it’s okat to sniff. We don’t want any dog getting hurt or sniffing something that isn’t good for them.
Cool tips. I love packing tape, it’s so easy to use and I think it’s better than a lint roller. My dog loves it when I hide treats inside an old toilet roll.
That’s a great idea, hiding treats in the empty toilet roll.