Take a look at the top dog owner tricks to make the hardest tasks a little easier. From getting your dog to take a pill to making bath time a little less hectic, here are the top 'dog hacks' you need to know:
Take a pill
Even the least picky dogs will turn their noses up at a pill - like kids, medicine can be perceived as scary, and the smell and taste certainly doesn’t help. Here are a few tips to make the dreaded process a little easier:
- Make your own Pill Pockets! You can mask the scent of a pill in a DIY pill pocket made of peanut butter, marshmallow, or even a hot dog. Bury the pill in your dog’s favorite treat and watch it disappear.
- Pretend to eat it yourself. Dogs, they’re just like babies! If you look like you’re enjoying it, they’ll likely want to enjoy it, too.
- Crush it up: Transform what once was a scary yucky pill into a powder that you’ll mix into their regular meal - they won’t even realize it’s there. Be sure to check with your vet in advance of this practice
Sit still for a bath
If you're like most dog parents, bath time isn't easy. Most dogs hate baths, and many of us avoid bath time, or pay someone else to take on the task.
- Cut down on the noise: Instead of running the faucet while your pup is in the bath, try filling a bucket or two in advance and gently pouring the water over your pup as needed. The loud noise of a running faucet, rather than the water itself, could be what your dog is trying to escape!
- Peanut butter bath time: Make some edible wall art by smearing peanut butter on the tub or shower door/wall to distract your dog and keep him in one place while you get down to scrubbing the dirt away.
Let you cut his nails
This one's universally unloved by dogs. If you're brave enough to try it, there are a few tips and tricks to ease the anxiety (or at least speed up the process):
- Citrus solution: This trick encourages you to reuse the mesh bag that oranges, lemons, and limes frequently come in. The holes in the bag are the perfect size and flexibility for placing over your pup’s foot and painlessly poking their nails through. It speeds up the nail cutting process, which if you’ve ever tried to cut your dog’s nails, you’ll know the quicker the better (for both of you). Be mindful not to clip the ‘quick’ - the vein that grows through each nail. Caring Hands Vet offers a great guide to help you master the art of nail trimming.
- You guessed it...peanut butter. This woman went viral a few months back for sharing her genius hack of plastic-wrapping your head and smearing peanut butter on your forehead to distract your dog during the nail cutting process. And yes, you’ll look ridiculous doing it.
Fast eating can be dangerous! Dogs who gulp down their food quickly can run the risk of choking, stomach ache, or diarrhea. You know what they say, slow and steady wins the race.
- Smaller meals throughout the day: you’ve heard it for humans, it works for dogs too. To minimize the woofing down of meals, cut down on the amount of food in the bowl and increase the number of meal times.
- DIY Fun Feeder: Flip a muffin tin over and add your dog’s food to the crevices between each section, so your pup has to work around the inverted cups.
And in all of these scenarios, don’t forget the power of bribery. A little treat goes a long way, and if you reward good behavior with a healthy snack, you’ll train your dog to cooperate in even the most difficult situations.