40 Helpful Tips All Dog Owners Need To Know
Dog lovers often refer to our canine companions as fur babies. It is such a fitting name since they require lots of love and care. Of course, our dogs give love and protection back in spades! Owners everywhere love playing with and caring for their adorable furry friends.
However, owning a dog often comes with several questions and concerns. Everyone has their own unique methods and tricks when it comes to caring for their pups. So our team gathered 40 useful tips for this fun and informative guide. Let’s take a look!
1. Cap Off Your Dog’s Bath
There are many reasons why your puppy may not be crazy about bath time. Put yourself in your dog’s shoes (or paws). How do you feel when soap gets in your eyes? It stings, right? Canine eyes are just as sensitive to shampoo suds. So let’s make sure soap does not get into their eyes.
One way you can avoid unintentionally washing your dog’s eyeballs is to use a shower cap. A shower cap can keep your pet’s eyes free and clear, especially if you have a breed with longer hair. Plus, the cap looks really cute on the dog!
2. Homemade Shampoo
Dog shampoo is neither cheap nor free. Luckily, dogs are not demanding when it comes to shampoo choice – they hate shampoo anyway. Instead of breaking your piggy bank to buy that next bottle of dog shampoo, try making your own.
Raid your kitchen pantry for items such as cornstarch and baking soda. Add some relaxing lavender essential oils, and your dog will smell fresh and clean until they go wallowing in the mud again. FYI – dogs love the smell of lavender, so the oil may make bath time easier.
3. Hunt Fleas With Dish Soap
The darkside of a dog’s life includes attracting fleas, especially when they play outside. Don’t let your dog scratch itself to death due to these annoying pests. Channel your inner Van Helsing and hunt those fleas down with a common kitchen item.
Your everyday dish liquid can not only cut grease, it can also rid your dog of unwanted fleas. Buy an extra bottle next time you are at Walmart. See if you can find lavender dish soap to make your doggie extra happy.
4. Kick Ticks to the Curb
Poor dog. He just sat through a dish soap bath to get rid of fleas, just to be stalked by nasty ticks. Before spending money on a vet visit, try plucking the insects out with a tweezer.
You can also use apple cider vinegar or mouthwash to get ticks to retract away from the dog’s skin. Put the dog in a vinegar bath and let the ticks drown.
5. Stop Human Manicures
While dogs may be a human’s best friend, they love our food, and love our beds – they don’t love our nail clippers. A regular nail clipper can cause them discomfort by pressing down on their nails. You can groom your dog without causing pain.
There are plenty of dog nail trimmers on the market that are specifically designed to make clipping your dog’s nails a comfortable experience for all involved. For example, try using a dremel saw on their nails. The Dremel 7300-PT is a cordless and quiet tool that should not scare your dog.
6. Give Your Squeegee Another Job
We normally use squeegees to get rid of excess water or liquid after we wash our windows. Put your squeegee to work when it comes to your dog’s hair as well.
Dogs leave hair all over the house (and car). Move your rubber squeegee over furniture, inside your car, or on your carpet to lift dog hair up. It’s that simple!
7. Use Rubber to Clean Up Dog Hair
Rubber gloves are super cheap and used to protect our hands from dirt or chemicals during various activities. You can also use rubber gloves to protect your home from dog hair buildup.
Simply wet your gloved hand and rub over any area where you see dog hair. This is especially useful on the sofa. Buy them in bulk if you have a lot of dog hair to take up on a regular basis.
8. Baking Soda is Your New Best Friend
This item needs no introduction. We know that baking soda can cover bad smells and help lift stains. If your fur baby has an accident on the carpet or furniture, rub in baking soda to hide the smell of urine and avoid permanent stains.
As mentioned previously, baking soda can help clean your pup’s tresses when you make a homemade shampoo. Baking soda has many uses for dogs. It’s best to always have some around for when these situations arise.
9. 80s Fashion For Dogs
Don’t throw out those old leg warmers from your high school days in 1984 just yet. Let your canine have a throwback look during the winter if you live in a cold area. Even a big hairy dog can get cold in a harsh winter.
Instead of spending money on fancy dog clothes or learning how to knit for the first time, use a leg warmer for a colorful dog sweater. A leg warmer probably won’t fit a Saint Bernard, but small to medium dogs can comfortably wear the look.
10. Be the Coolest Cat...oops ...Dog in Town
Dogs love going outside. However, harsh sunlight can be harmful for their eyes. Give your dog an old pair of shades or style them with some cheap kid’s shades. Imagine your fur baby in heart-shaped sunglasses.
Unfortunately, a dog can also suffer snow blindness from UV exposure. Breeds that thrive in cold weather, like Huskies, often have dark hair around the eyes that absorbs sunlight. Other breeds may need more help, so spare some shades for your pup.
11. Tighten Up
When your dog comes home after surgery, it will naturally want to knick and lick the incision wound. We must prevent the dog from doing this so the stitches don’t get infected.
Instead of using a standard cone, dress your sick pup up in a tight sweater so the wound is out of reach. Being sick does not mean your dog can’t have style. Your dog also won’t get teased by other dogs at the park for wearing one of those unsightly cones.
12. Baked Dog Treats
Dogs love all types of food – especially treats. If you are worried about what your dog may be eating, try baking your own treats! Typical dog treats are made from a simple base of flour, eggs, and water with (usually artificial) meat flavoring. Some have additives, preservatives, and unhealthy fat.
You most likely have flour, water, and eggs at home. Add a few more healthy ingredients like peanut butter, oats, or bananas, and customize your own treats. You may even be able to sell some if they are good enough. Don’t ever give your dog chocolate or onions, as those ingredients are toxic. Avoid adding salt – dogs don’t care for it.
13. Play Hide and Sniff
Dogs have thousands more nerves in their nose to give them an enhanced sense of smell. They can smell food from any room in the house.
Have some fun and let your dog work – or work out for his treat. Find some select spots and hide a few treats. Your pet will have no choice but to roam around and find them. It is a fun way to play with the dog without actually playing.
14. Obstruct Your Dog’s Food Bowl
Dogs can be gluttonous eaters. If you are worried about how quickly your dog inhales his food, you may want to buy a special type of dog bowl.
Get a dog bowl that has an obstruction in the middle. This forces the dog to eat at a healthier pace instead of gulping it down in seconds.
15. Chicken Broth Cubes
Dogs love meat. Dogs love bones. If you have some leftover broth, make some broth cubes for extra nutrition. The minerals and collagen are as good for dogs as they are for humans.
While chicken broth speaks to the human soul, don’t fuss over what type of meat broth you use for a dog. Dogs like any type of meat – period! They can’t differentiate between various types of meat the way a human taste buds can.
16. Pill Pockets
How would you feel if someone shoved pills down your throat? Imagine your pup that does not recognize a pill as food or a bone. Some special treats can help you avoid looking like a pill pusher to your dog.
Buy some ready-made pocket treats that have a slot for the medication. The trickster treats come in several flavors that dogs love, like chicken, peanut butter, and more.
17. Eat Outside on a Warm Day
Humans enjoy eating and drinking outside on a lovely day. Our dogs enjoy running and walking outside, so why not let them have a meal outside as well?
This gives you the opportunity to give the dog extra air time without having to walk it. Use your yard, porch, balcony, or front step. If you live in a city or apartment, give your dog a picnic in the park.
18. Parsley for Bad Breath
There is a reason why telling someone they have dog breath is an insult. Dog breath stinks, but what can we expect when our beloved pup licks, chews and sniffs anything in sight – even butts? Luckily, parsley can help cure bad dog breath.
Parsley in moderate amounts can also help with your pet’s digestion. Buy some and add them to your homemade dog treats.
19. Chicken and Rice
Chicken and rice is a classic and beloved dish in most households. You can even share some with your dog with no guilt – unless you put onions in it! Or play it safe and make a plain version just for your dog.
Not only does chicken and rice provide a protein and iron-rich meal for the dog, it can also help alleviate stomach issues.
20. Dog First Aid Kit
Dogs are tough protectors capable of defending the home. This does not mean they won’t get hurt. Sometimes you may not be able to get to a vet immediately in the case of injury.
Thus, you should have a dog first aid kit on hand. This kit should include standard items like gauze, cotton balls, and non-stick tape. Milk of Magnesia is a useful addition due to its ability to counteract poisons. Remember dogs will eat anything. Have vaccination records on hand as well.
Like any mammal with lungs, your dog may stop breathing or go into cardiac arrest. Luckily, CPR is not just for humans, you can also use it on a dog.
If your pet stops breathing, your first step should always involve calling a vet. If the vet advises you to try CPR, you should check for a heartbeat and begin giving chest compressions. Consider researching how to properly give CPR to your pet so you’ll be prepared if anything is to happen.
22. Music Therapy
They say that music is the universal language. Apparently, even dogs are affected by it. Studies show that classical music can calm anxious dogs.
Music tempos between 50-60 beats per minute relaxes canines. In addition to classical music, dogs also love reggae and soft rock. So make sure you blast some Mozart or Bob Marley right before the mailman approaches.
23. Turmeric Time
While music may be universal, apparently the power of turmeric is as well. Dogs respond very well to this powerful spice used in health bars and Indian cooking.
If your dog is dealing with inflammatory issues, cancer, needs to detox, or has digestive concerns, make some turmeric paste. Add water and MCT oil to turmeric so the dog can consume it easily.
24. Hair Raising Weather
If your dog suddenly looks like the Bride of Frankenstein during a thunderstorm, it may not be due to fear. The electricity from a thunderstorm can cause static build up in dog fur.
A simple solution is to take some dryer sheets and rub them all over your pup. Your dog’s hair will start responding to gravity again in no time.
25. Take Charge of Bees
Bees don’t reserve their stings for humans. Your dog may also become a target of a drone. To add insult to injury, the stinger may get stuck in your pet’s skin.
Grab your credit card and take charge of the situation. That is, scrap it back and forth on your dog’s skin until the stinger can be pulled out.
26. Stop Ear Infections
Look at those beautiful ears standing tall! A dog’s ears say a lot about their emotional state and help keep them alerted to danger. Like a human child, dogs are very susceptible to ear infections. Watch out for crusty buildup or yellow discharge from ears.
The best thing you can do is to make sure your dog’s ears remain clean and dry at all times. Baby oil in a cotton ball is a cheap home remedy to safely clean your animal’s ears.
27. Hurt Nail
Dogs are always scratching at something. They love to run. Their paws see a lot of action and get injured. When your dog has a hurt nail, look no further than your kitchen once again.
Create a paste from baking soda, flour, and cornstarch. Put the paste on the injured nail to help soothe and heal it. Avoid using alcohol since it is too strong and will be painful for dog skin.
28. Ride in Comfort
Dogs love riding in cars. However, being in a car does not always stop the dog from moving around. A regular seatbelt won’t be comfortable for a dog, but there is a solution. A dog is not immune to being hurt in a car accident.
To increase the safety of your dog, use the two handles in the back of your vehicle and put a cord between them. This cord will keep the dog in place while still giving them a bit of wiggle room. This contraption acts a bit like a zip line for keeping your pup safe.
29. Biting Wires
Dogs love to bite things. Chewing is good for their teeth. However, sometimes they chew things that could be harmful or outright lethal. The last thing you want your dog to bite on is a live wire.
To make sure your dog does not get electrocuted or create a fire hazard, cover loose wires in a smell or substance your dog can’t tolerate, such as vinegar, moth balls, citrus, or chili pepper.
30. Dog Body Language
Learn more about your dog’s body language. We may not be able to understand what a specific bark means, but a dog’s various body parts can say different things.
A wagging tail signals happiness, but a tail between the legs represents fear or shame. Propped up ears means the dog is on alert. A dog may show affection by staring at you or placing its paw on your leg.
31. Lost Dog
The last thing a pet owner wants to deal with is losing their dog. Having a pet go missing is scary even if they’re just out for an extended journey before coming back home.
If you have no idea where your dog may be, you should try leaving something with your scent on it next to some food. Place this in the general area where you last saw your dog and hopefully it will come back to that spot.
32. Blow Bubbles
Dogs love to play, no matter how old they get. In addition to toys, dogs are fascinated by bubbles. Unfortunately, dogs are not able to blow bubbles themselves.
If you want to play with your dog with little effort, start blowing some bubbles. Set up a bubble machine if you have one.
33. Braided Dog Toy
Dogs love their toys, but there is no need to spend a ton of money at Christmas. Canines mostly love noisy things that they can bite or carry. They have no interest in the latest Transformer or Marvel action figures.
Take a few minutes and make a braided toy from some old material like sheets or a cut-up t-shirt. You’ll be upcycling something old into a new toy your dog is bound to love. It’s a win-win for everyone!
34. Sock or Water Bottle Toy
Another simple example of a fun dog toy involves only two materials – a sock and a water bottle. All you need to do is find an old sock and put a water bottle inside of it.
To make it even more fun, find something noisy, like beads, to put inside the water bottle. Remember, dogs love noisy toys. Tie the end of the sock to hold the bottle in.
35. Tug of War
When your dog gets bored with the water bottle and the braided toy, have some fun with tug of war. Once again, you can use simple items, such as a rope, and tie it into a knot. Throw it at your dog and pull. Simple.
Sometimes a rope toy is not needed. In many cases, your dog will gladly pull on your clothes in an effort to play. Just make sure your pup does not pull your pants down.
36. Kiddie Pool for Swimming
Dogs are natural born swimmers. Swimming is great for humans and dogs alike. Even if you don’t have children, invest in a kiddie pool for your dog.
The pool won’t go to waste. Dogs love splashing around in water. This can keep your canine busy all summer long. If you love swimming, take your dog to the ocean too and have some fun!
37. Downhill Fetch
Dogs seem to have endless energy and love playing fetch. Often, you may want to stop the game before your dog wants to. Going up and down a hill repeatedly will make your dog ready for a nap in no time.
If you are a runner or hiker, take your dog with you and play some downhill fetch. An energetic dog will be able to keep up with you on an intense adventure. Don’t forget to pack some treats and water for your dog to enjoy.
38. Play Hurt or Dead
Beat a dog at its own game and play dead. If you are bored, pretend you are hurt and test how fast your dog responds.
This is also a very helpful technique to use when your dog runs off in the park or on the street. Your dog may not respond when you simply command it to come back. So try to play into your dog’s protective instinct and watch your fur baby run to save you.
39. Don’t Splurge on Poop
If you are a good neighbor and responsible owner, you always clean up your dog’s poop on a walk. Instead of splurging on dog bags, try using diaper bags instead.
Poop is poop so choose the cheapest bag for the job. Buy in bulk and enjoy the money you’ll be saving in the process!
40. Make Your Own Dog Bed
We washed our pups, dressed them to the nines, handled their bruises, fed them, and had some fun. Now it is time to rest – finally!
You can be creative and economical and make your own dog bed. Start with an old pillow and a hoodie or old sweater. With a little bit of effort and creativity you can design a cheap and comfortable doggy bed in no time!