Being a pet parent certainly comes with a lot of perks—a best friend for life, a constant snuggle buddy, and all the unconditional love and affection you can handle. But these perks don’t come without a lot of responsibility, too.
Being a great pet mom or dad takes work, and it’s totally worth it. But, why not make life a little easier (or cleaner, or smelling a little more fresh, or just save a few bucks) with these 8 brilliant life hacks for pet owners!
Anyone who’s tried using a lint roller or handheld vacuum cleaner on that cat hair sticking out of the fibers in your furniture or the dog hairs embedded in your vehicle upholstery knows it’s a pretty futile act. Instead, put on a simple rubber glove, like the kind used for household chores, dampen the glove with a bit of water so it’s moist but not dripping, and slide it over that furry sofa cushion or car seat. The damp rubber will attract the fur and pull it out from between the fibers of your favorite upholstered furniture. Hair will simply stick to the rubber glove, where it can be rinsed away and repeated as needed.
Vacuums designed for pet parents are excellent for keeping carpets fur-free, but they don’t always work on edges and in corners where pet hair tends to collect or on extra plush or deep carpets. Instead, grab an inexpensive squeegee, just like those used for wiping car windows and simply slide it over the carpet. Because the squeegee is small, lightweight, and portable, it’s easy to get into corners and under the edges of furniture where the vacuum can’t reach. Bonus - it’s WAY easier to clean carpeted stairs of stray hairs using a squeegee than it is using a vacuum!
If you’ve got a speedy eater, but don’t want to bother with a slow-feeder bowl, simply drop a ball into your pet’s dish to slow down dinner time. Depending on the size of your pet, a tennis ball is usually adequate (extra large pets will require a larger ball that won’t become a choking hazard). Having a ball (or large, heavy rock; rubber Kong toy; or other like-sized object) in the bowl will force your pet to slow down as he eats around it. He’ll also have to move the ball around the dish, making mealtime more challenging and mentally stimulating as he learns to problem-solve!
When it comes to life hacks for dogs, a carabiner, the metal clip used by mountain climbers and other safety systems for a firm hold, is an absolute must-have! Keep a carabiner clipped to the handle of your dog’s leash and you’ll find you use it all the time.
Taking your dog for a walk and want to stop and sit for a bit? Loop the leash around a post or park bench, use the carabiner to clip it to itself, and voila! Your dog is safe and secure while you’ve got both hands free.
Live in a multi-dog home? Clip multiple leashes together to walk all of your pups at once.
You can also use a carabiner to clip items like your keys, a collapsible water bowl, or poop bag dispenser to your belt loop for hands-free walking and playing.
We all know how important dental health is to the life and vitality of your furriest family. But, not all pets like having their teeth brushed. Work around this problem by smearing a bit of pet-safe toothpaste on a favorite toy or long-lasting chewy treat. As your pet gnaws and chews, the toothpaste will get worked between those teeth and on the gums and tongue. Your pet will think she’s getting an extra special treat instead of the toothbrushing that she’s resistant to. You’ll both have reason to smile!
Any pet parent that has to medicate their animal knows there’s an art to getting the pill down. (We’ve all watched in amazement as our dogs manage to eat an entire bowl of food, leaving just their pill behind in the dish, or seen our silly kitties eat the cheese, sausage, or hot dog we’ve tried disguising a pill in, only to have the food scarfed down and the pill spat out, right?) The trick is using something that not only sticks to the pill and disguises the scent, but also masks the taste and texture. There are plenty of pill pockets, medicine maskers, and pastes that do the trick just fine, but they can be quite costly, especially for parents of pets that require daily doses.
Instead, try making your own pill pockets at home - with ingredients you’ve probably already got in the pantry!
1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter (Crunchy seems to work best, as the crunch helps disguise the solid pill stuffed inside)
1 Tablespoon Milk
2 Tablespoons Flour (any kind of flour will work, as long as it’s a nice, fine, powder)
Mix these 3 ingredients together, roll out into a long snake shape, and cut into 12 segments. Use the end of a clean pen cap or chopstick to create a “pocket” for the pill to be stuffed in.
Store in the refrigerator in a Ziploc baggie and use as needed! (Can also be used intermittently as a treat to keep your smart pet from becoming suspicious.) Double or triple the recipe and keep extras in the freezer.
A simple shower cap will make bathtime easier for you and gentler (and even more adorable!) for your pet. Soap suds and water can be irritating to eyes and can lead to painful ear infections if allowed to enter delicate ear canals. To protect your pet’s eyes and ears at bath time, just top that cute fuzzy head with a shower cap, tuck the ears inside while you’re lathering him up, and pull down over his eyes (for just a second) while you rinse to keep these sensitive areas dry.
Some pets might not be so keen with a cap on, so be sure to offer lots of praise and treats. They’ll quickly learn that it’s only for a second and that they get rewarded for wearing it - and you’ll prevent lots of potential pain and discomfort in the long run!
With so many different pet smells and stains in our homes, it can be hard to keep a clean house. But with one of the most powerful stain removers on earth—Unique Pet Odor & Stain Eliminator—there’s no scrubbing, scraping, or elbow grease required. Just spray the stain or source or odor, cover with a warm, damp cloth, and walk away. Pet Odor & Stain Eliminator uses a proprietary blend of probiotics and enzymes to effortlessly erase stains and odors, like magic, leaving absolutely no trace behind.
These are just a few of the many ways you can make your pet's life easier - and save yourself some time, money, and effort in the process! Try out a few of these tips and see how much happier and healthier your furry friend can be. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find a few new favorite tricks of your own along the way.
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