I’ve had many dogs as companions for over 30 years. I thought I’d learned all the best hacks for being a frugal dog owner, but as the saying goes…there’s always something new to learn.
I always appreciate learning awesome dog hacks to make my life and the lives of my dogs (over time) the best they can be. So let me share some with you as I’ve gained much from others.
Alluring Plastic Toy
If your dog enjoys toys, you know they can be costly and quickly add up to take a bite into your budget. Here’s a toy you can makeover, and over again.
Grab an empty water bottle that’s size appropriate for your dog. Crush the bottle just a bit to let some air out, then replace the lid. Crushing the bottle makes it uneven.
Place the plastic, sealed bottle into a fluffy discarded sock and tie the sock so the bottle can’t get out, but leaving some space in the sock for the bottle to move. Now toss the toy to the dog to play with and bite. The bottle will make an alluring crinkling sound beckoning the pup to investigate the noise, possibly for hours.
Another version of this toy could be placing several small articles in the plastic bottle to give it a rattling sound as it gets tossed around. The sound will also draw the attention of your dog for hours of fun and discovery.
Keeping Your “Gobbler” Healthy
I have two dogs. One eats very politely, taking her time to eat one morsel at a time. The other dog gobbles up the meal with the intent to steal food from the other dog. After the “gobbler” is done eating, I often hear her burp. I knew this fast-eating behavior was unhealthy, and I needed the dog to slow her eating.
So I’ve used the “adding the ball” to the meal technique to make it challenging for the dog not to gobble her food in two to three gulps. Since I have a small pup, I added a golf ball to the kibble (instead of a tennis ball, as shown in the video).
The golf ball’s weight and size made it difficult for the pup to move the ball out of the way to reach the food. The dog must eat slower. Mealtime has become somewhat of a puzzle for the dog, and I’m surprised she hasn’t pushed the ball out of the bowl yet. This technique does work.
Another method to slow your fast eater is to use a muffin tin and spread food in the holes. By doing this, you can turn mealtime into a game and improving their problem-solving skills. Using these techniques can save your pocketbook if you were thinking of purchasing a maze bowl.
Homemade Flea Repellent
Fleas can strike at any time. Even if you stay on top of the treatment plan, it can still happen. Here’s a tried and tested homemade flea shampoo that you can make in minutes to squash that flea problem.
- Start with a measuring cup and grab a bottle or jar to place the mixture in. A sizeable spray bottle will work well.
- Add half a cup of water into your container, and follow it up with four tablespoons of dawn dish soap.
- Add four tablespoons of white vinegar and mix or shake the ingredients until blended.
Now the fun begins when you apply the flea mixture to your dog. Ensure you protect the dog’s eyes as soap and vinegar aren’t very pleasant in your eyes.
Work up a nice lather as the dish soap will help kill any fleas, and the vinegar will help repel them. Let your dog sit with the lather built up for about 5 minutes. While you wait, you can run a fine-tooth comb through their fur to get any fleas out. After the five minutes have passed, rinse the soapy substance off the dog and dry the dog as usual.
Oops, There’s Another Accident
Even the most well-trained dogs can soil the home. I’ve had too many soiling accidents and have used every commercial product as a remedy, but none works as well as this mixture.
To quickly get rid of stains and odors in your carpet, first absorb any liquid you can with a paper towel. Next, sprinkle a bit of baking soda on top of the stain and let it sit while preparing this formula.
Start by mixing half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Once you’ve mixed it all up, we can use it right from the container or add it to a small spray bottle to keep on hand for the next time the pet soils the rug. Apply the liquid to the spot directly onto the baking soda and scrub back and forth until the stain lifts off completely. The mixture will also work great for other household stains. So, keep it nearby for any other mishaps around the house.
Automatic Water Dispenser
Having a water dispenser for your hound can keep up with your dog’s thirst while reducing the frequency of you having to re-fill the water bowl. Here’s how to make a cool water dispenser.
Start with a piece of scrap wood. It can be square or circular. Find a piece of two by four roughly the length of recycle soda bottle. Now attach it to one edge of the baseboard with wood glue, and then let it dry before fasting it together with two screws.
Get a curve bottle as a water holder. A plastic soda pop bottle or something of a similar shape will work well. Then secure it with a four-inch PVC coupler.
You’ll need to use a hacksaw or angle grinder to cut out about an inch off the coupler. Cutting the coupler by an inch will make it easier to drill two screws through the coupler to the two-by-four wood because it turns the coupler into a bottle holder.
Place a large bowl on the baseboard, and simply slide a two-liter bottle filled with water into the dispenser. Carefully twist off the cap and allow the bowl to fill with water on its own. It will stop dispensing water once the level reaches the bottleneck opening.
Then, as the dog drinks and lowers the water level, the dispenser will re-fill the bowl until the water level reaches the bottle’s opening again. Your furry friend will be sure to enjoy a constant supply of water without you having to worry about filling up the bowl nearly as often.
A Quick Paw Cleaning Hack
Maybe it’s muddy out, or perhaps your dog tends to attract dirt. So whether it’s after a walk or just a backyard romp, it’s a good idea to take care of those dirty paws before they step foot in the house. Try this simple solution.
Grab yourself a small sport bottle filled to the top with water. Then keep it nearby while the dogs go romping. When it’s time to go in, pop off the lid and dip those muddy paws in for a micro foot bath, then dry him off and let them get back to business. You’ve spared them a full bath by doing this.
It’s not easy trying to get your dog to take his medications. You can purchase expensive pill pockets, or you can make your own with stuff you already have lying around. Start with one tablespoon of peanut butter, one tablespoon of milk, and two tablespoons of flour in a small bowl. Just mix everything into a bowl and knead it, mixing the ingredients to form a nice thick dough.
What you create after that is up to you, but I suggest working the dough into a small, easily edible ball. Once you have your dough all formed out to your specifications, simply insert the pill inside and cover it back up. The tasty recipe is a simple solution, a great treat, and you can safely keep for a week in the refrigerator.
So if your pup is fighting back when it comes to medicine hour, give this a try, and they’ll suspect it’s good for them.
Simple, Inexpensive Hacks To Keep Fido Cool
Ice Pop For Pups
An active dog rarely stops playing to cool down. Here are a couple of ways to chill your dog and keep him happy.
First, there’s an old faithful, the popsicle. It’s a relatively simple treat to make and will definitely keep your dog entertained while cooling them down at the same time. Just get an ice cube tray and slowly fill each cubby with beef or chicken stock. Now, it’s imperative to note the ingredients of the stock, as you want to avoid things like onions.
Get stock with the most baseline ingredients and keep your pup safe. Once you have the tray filled up, get some plastic wrap and seal it over the top. Now, this part is optional, but dogs love it!
Grab a knife or some scissors and poke a small hole over each cubby. Now put a small dog treat inside using the plastic to keep it centered and upright. Once you have all the slots filled, toss it in the freezer for few hours.
These treats will keep in the freezer until you’re ready to serve them to your dog on any hot day in the summer. Just pop the treat out of the ice tray and serve it up on a plate. Then watch your dog attempt to get the treat out of the tasty ice cube. It’s almost like a little puzzle for them. They’ll definitely get their brain working to figure out how to get that treat out of the middle.
Cool Water Bed Hack
As for another quick way to cool down the dog on a hot day, what about a water bed? You can spend lots of money buying a cooling mat for your dog, or you can spend a few bucks at the store and buy an inflatable raft.
Take your raft outside and lay it in a spot that avoids direct sunlight. You want this thing to keep cool. You’re going to need an air pump attachment to keep things simple.
Get your garden hose and plug the air hose directly into the outlet. Using duct tape to keep them secure might help. Plug the adapter into the air nozzle of the raft, turn on the water, and make sure the water flow is slow.
A note of caution: if the water pressure is too fast, the hose might pop off.
Filling the raft will take a few minutes, but you’ll only have to do this once for the summer months as long as the raft is placed in a shady area. With the raft filled and in a cool place, it will retain a pleasantly cool temperature for your dog all summer long.
If you have a large dog with huge claws, make sure that you get a raft that can withstand their weight to resist punctures. That’s it—a quick and simple $3 cooling bed.
Cheap Kibble Storage
If you’re tired of dealing with the dog food bag, well, there is a great way to store your kibble while keeping it fresh and easier to pour.
Just go through your cupboard and liberate an old cereal container. There’s no need to pay for an expensive kibble holder when plastic containers only cost a buck or two. Just transfer the bag’s contents right into the plastic container and seal it up until it’s needed. This solution will make it easy to fill a bowl and always keep kibble fresh.
Homemade Puppy Gate Hack
Sometimes you need to isolate your dog, and having a doggie gate can do the trick. You’ve surfed the internet and found the high prices of dog and baby gates are out of your budget.
Just look or shop for a couple of inexpensive tension curtain rods that you use for hanging curtains. These rods are great to prop up a towel or an old curtain sized right for the gate. Just weave the rod through the fabric and mount it into the doorframe.
Most dogs won’t test barriers, so this makeshift gate will keep them fooled and isolated until you set them free. Be sure the construction of the barrier is at the right height for the size of your dog.
One last important note. Make sure you shut off the other exit in the room where you’re sneaky pooch might fool you and escape.
Hope you and the pup of your life enjoy these hacks!
Credit: YouTube by Household Hacker