40+ Hacks To Help Make Being A Dog Parent Easier

By Jhoana C

This article was originally published on morehackz

Life with dogs is happier. They don’t judge you, and they can’t wait for you to be home so they can give you all the love you need and play with you. Add to that they make even the saddest days better, and they are loyal. However, these people will also tell you that it’s a big responsibility to care for animals. You need to take it to the vet for regular check-ups, it must be groomed, you need to play with it, and you need to make sure it’s clean. Owning a dog means dealing with dog hair and fur, flea, ticks, dirt, and odor. Fret not; we have compiled hacks that can help you live your best life with Fido.  

#1 Collect dog urine samples the easy way

At times it’s necessary to collect urine samples from your dog. This usually happens if your dog has health issues and your vet asks you to help out in that area. The task may seem complicated at first, but it doesn’t have to be.

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This cheap solution from Amazon has got you covered. It looks like the usual small ladle but is specially designed. Just make sure you label it, so nobody in the house uses it for food! We don’t have to tell you this device doesn’t belong in the kitchen.

#2 Keep fur off your furniture

Most people allow their pets to hop on their furniture, sit and lie there. This keeps them close to you. However, it also means having their fur all over the couch, which can be difficult to remove. How do you keep your furniture immaculate if you have a pet?

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Thanks to our immense love for our fur babies, we humans have developed many options. A few choices are to use slipcovers, sheets, and blankets. You can also get the covers custom-made to match the rest of the décor in the home.

#3 Make dry food more palatable

If you have ever owned a dog, you know that there are several types of dog food; kibble or dry dog food, moist food, semi-moist food, and frozen or freeze-dried dog food. Dry dog food can sometimes be difficult for our canines to eat.

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You can easily make it more palatable by adding in some warm water. Softening the food, making it easier to nibble on and chew, is amazing for dogs with sensitive teeth. Keep this in mind because it might be beneficial in the future.

#4 Say goodbye to dog fur

As much as we love the doggos in our lives, we don’t love the messes they leave, including fur that seems to attach itself everywhere. They can find their way to our furniture, our clothes, and even our skin sometimes.

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Thankfully there is now an easy way to pick them up, and that is with the use of dryer sheets. They attract dog hair like a magnet. Just rub it on your couch or any furry surface and watch it work its magic.

#5 Scratches? No problem

Dogs and cats have claws, and they like to sharpen them on the furniture. So if you let them inside the house, it’s only normal for your wooden furniture to have scratches. Our solution? Take walnut oil and rub it on your wooden pieces.

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Walnut oil helps cover up scratches, and it’s a slow drying oil that tends to cure faster in a warmer environment. But you can still use it even if you live in, say, Alaska or somewhere else that gets extremely cold. Unlike other oils, it doesn’t go rancid.

#6 Keep dog food fresh

How do you keep dog food fresh? If we humans don’t like to eat food that’s not fresh, you should keep in mind that dogs are the same. They would rather not eat stale kibble. Once you open a bag of dog food, you should store it properly.

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Transfer it to a tightly sealed container so that it stays fresh for a longer time. These containers don’t have to be expensive, and you probably see plenty of them in most groceries and online stores. Just make sure that they are airtight.

#7 Remedy for dogs that don’t like brushing

Brushing your dog’s teeth is a necessary part of being a fur parent. Plaque can quickly build up and put your canine at risk of tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease, and we all know what that means: more expenses and health risks.

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If your dog is the type that doesn’t like having its teeth brushed, you can squeeze some doggie toothpaste onto a rope and let them bite and play with it. This is a good introduction to brushing so they won’t be so sensitive to it next time.

#8 Dog barriers for safety and cleanliness

For some reason, dogs like to play in kitty litter boxes, which is not good for the rest of the household. It smells, and it’s unsanitary. If this is a common occurrence in your household, there’s something you can do about it.

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Help keep your dog away from your cat’s litter box by not letting them get near it in the first place. A few options are purchasing an elevated litter box, a covered litter box, making a barrier, or buying a pet gate to put around the box.

#9 Pick up stray dog hair

You know pet hair is a big pain when we mention it several times. As much as we’d like to prevent this, we can expect them to cover all surfaces if our pets run around the house. Sometimes, it even lands on our food, but we still love our pets all the same.

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A suitable method that doesn’t cost a lot of money is getting yourself rubber gloves and putting them on to pick up dog hair easily. Pet hair clings easily and almost instantly to the rubber. Rub your gloved hand along your fur-covered furniture, and voila!

#10 Baking soda saves the day

Baking soda is a lifesaver. Not only do people use it in the kitchen, but it’s also indispensable when it comes to cleaning. People mix it with water and vinegar to clean tiles, counters, and even microwaves. Who knew it could also be used to clean up pet accidents?

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Some pets have this habit of going on the carpet, and we all know that smells terrible. Baking soda helps clean the fabric and get rid of the odor. Just pout a bit of baking soda on the part where your dog peed, leave it there for 20 minutes, and vacuum.

#11 Save your dog from stings

As adventurous and curious as they are, dogs get into serious accidents, such as getting stung by bees, other insects or bitten by feral animals. This can be very painful, but you can help alleviate your dog’s pain by picking out the stinger.

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Just be careful because there is always the risk of leaving part of the stinger in your dog’s skin. Use a credit card and scrape the stingers up and out with the straight edge of the card. This method is gentle and easy.

#12 Put some bandana on that dog

Hunting is a fun activity for humans and dogs, but it can be dangerous if you and your dog are not wearing the proper outfits. You would not want someone to mistake either of you for another animal. There’s an excellent way for you and your dog to stick out.

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Wear bright colors when going hunting so everyone can easily distinguish you. Orange is the preferred color, but you can wear other colors as long as you can easily grab other people’s attention. If your dog won’t wear a vest, keep them safe by putting a flashy bandana on them.

#13 No petting of strange dogs

Most dogs are adorable, and children love them. Kids like to pet dogs even if it is not familiar to them, which can lead to accidents. In the US alone, more than 4 million dog bites are reported every year.

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Teach your children to avoid strange dogs and ask for permission from the owners before petting an unfamiliar dog. Dogs don’t always welcome strangers touching them, just as we would never like strangers trying to reach out and touch us.

#14 Window squeegees to get rid of fur from the carpet

If you get tons of dog hair lodged in your carpet, don’t despair because you’re certainly not alone. This is a universal fluffy pet owner problem, and for many of us, it’s a daily battle. Window squeegees are here to the rescue.

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Yup, they do more than clean your windows. Just scrape it along the carpet, and you’ll see hair come flying off like magic. This is a trick that doesn’t require a lot of effort and should make cleaning a breeze.

#15 Get rid of drool marks

Dogs drool, and it’s something we can’t prevent. The only problem with the dog drool is that it often and stains on clothes and furniture. Although there are some steps you can take to minimize drooling, you should also know how to clean the marks it can leave behind.

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Hard scrubbing with a brush is time-consuming, and it’s also laborious. Get yourself a few magic erasers and watch it do its magic. Just one wipe and the drool mark is gone. No sore arms the next day, just a clean couch.

#16 Play catch with popcorn

Dogs like to play catch and fetch because it is a doggie instinct. Several dogs were bred specifically to retrieve items for their humans. This is why even now, you see many dogs love chasing after different things, picking them up with their mouths, and bringing them back to their humans.

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Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t know how to catch, because you can train it. The wrong way is to throw toys at their faces. It’s more effective to use unseasoned, plain popcorn for this purpose because it’s delicious and light. It’s also enticing for them!

#17 Treat your dogs to veggies and fruits

When doggie treats are mentioned, most people don’t think of fruits and vegetables. People often think of doggie biscuits and rawhide bones. Most people do not know that some types of produce can be given to dogs as training treats.

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Just make sure you choose those that are healthy and ideal for dogs. Peas and carrots make good treats because dogs like them. Apples, green beans, bananas, and cooked sweet potatoes are other terrific options that your fur baby will love.

#18 Don’t let your carpet smell bad

Fur, dog hair, stains, drool marks, and odor is part and parcel of having an adorable and loving dog in your home. But you don’t have to just have to let things go. There are other options besides just to grin and bear it.

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You don’t have to purchase special and expensive products to deal with the odor. You can make your own by using things that are not harsh on you and your dogs with items you already have in your home. There are plenty of recipes online.

#19 Kiddie pool converted to a doggie pool

Kiddie pools are not just for children. Trust us on this! Kiddie pools also entertain dogs and puppies. Some dog breeds enjoy the water more than others, such as the Boykin Spaniel, English Setter, German Shepherd, and American Water Spaniel.

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The water entertains them for hours on end. You can keep your doggo cool in the summer and give them a place where they can spend their energy by putting a plastic kiddie pool in the yard. Not only are they easy to install, but they’re inexpensive too.

#20 Prevent dog hair from clogging the drain

This isn’t the first time we have mentioned dog hair, and we’re telling you now that this won’t be the last. Fur is a common problem, and there are plenty of remedies for them. Bathing your dog is essential if you want them to stay clean and healthy.

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However, this also means that their fur could end up clogging the drain, especially if you have a super fluffy boi. Prevent clogging problems by taking a baby wipe and putting it over the tub drain. Push the tub stopper over it, and your problem is solved.

#21 Make them come back to you

Training your dog can be a challenge. You can make it fun, though, for both you and for your beloved canine.  Instructing dogs to obey the “come here” command is one of the basics that every dog must learn.

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Give them a lot of praise and treats when doing so. Convince them that coming back to you is one of the best things they can do. If you don’t, your dog is likely to focus more on what he is chasing or sniffing. After all, it’s much more interesting in that moment.

#22 Prevent pulling on the leash

Dogs like to pull on their leashes, but some seem to do it more frequently than others. If this constantly happens to you, you can try a harness that clips in the front. Why? Because harnesses that clip on the back tend to encourage pulling.

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Experts also advise getting rid of retractable leashes. It’s better to get a regular 6-foot leash because it gives your dog freedom, and it introduces to them the feeling of what it’s like to walk around with a loose leash.

#23 Prevent dog nails from bleeding

The most common cause of nail bleeds in dogs is trimming, when toenails are cut at the soft tissue found at the base of the dog’s toenail. To prevent this, you need to be careful not to cut your dog’s nails too short next time.

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However, if it’s all been said and done, you can mix baking soda, flour, or cornstarch with water to stop the bleeding. Mix all the ingredients to make a thick paste and apply it to the nail with moderate pressure.

#24 No need to buy a pet bed

Dog beds run the whole gamut, from simple and cheap to luxurious and ridiculously priced. If money is not an issue for you, you can get the most stylish, comfortable, and expensive type, but don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of money.

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There is no need to shell out tons of cash for a pet bed because you can make one using materials already in your home. If you have plenty of old sweatshirts, you’ve hit the jackpot. You can easily create a comfy dog bed.

#25 For the biters

If you have a dog that loves to rip up every stuffed animal or toy or finds joy in destroying everything in its tracks, then this next dog hack is for you. Believe us. This toy is not going to deteriorate any time soon.

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Get your hands on a Hol-ee Roller Ball and stuff it with any t-shirts or scraps of fabric that you don’t use anymore. Your dog will spend hours yanking, pulling, and growling to get that treat. The only extra expense you might have is more treats!

#26 Packing tape for loose pet fur

Here we go again with pet fur solutions. You’ll be hearing more about it throughout this list because it is the bane of a dog owners’ existences. Furniture and clothes attract and pick up dog hair and fur like crazy.

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Lint rollers help remove fur from clothes, but what if you don’t have one handy? Do you go out with pet fur on your clothes and hope people don’t notice? Yout don’t have to. Get some packing tape and you will be fur-free in no time.

#27 Winter protection for doggos

Winter can be harsh, not only on humans but also on dogs, especially for those who don’t have extra thick fur. Most veterinarians would recommend getting a good paw balm but if you’ve forgotten to do so, do not worry.

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Vets also advise getting your dog winter boots, but some dogs just don’t like wearing them. Most of us have Vaseline lying around the house, and you can apply this to your dog’s paws to protect them during harsh winters.

#28 Simple but fun toys for your dog

Toys for dogs and other pets can be costly, but they are necessary if you want to keep them entertained and want them to have something to spend their energy on and keep them busy. But you don’t need to spend so much money on toys.

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You can easily make one by creating a simple puzzle toy using a muffin tin, tennis balls, and some treats. You can check the many DIY articles and YouTube videos on the internet to find ways to be more creative or simple, depending on want you want.

#29 Water bowls made with love

Another essential when you have pets in the home is to get a durable water bowl made with dog-friendly materials to ensure that your pet has sufficient hydration throughout the day. However, if you bought a bowl that requires frequent refilling, you might need a better one.

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But you don’t need to buy one when you can easily make one. Not only will you be able to save money, but you will also be able to show off your DIY skills. This option features an upcycled plastic bottle and two boards. Looks easy, right?

#30 Chasing bubbles

No, we don’t want Adele’s “Chasing Pavements.” We would rather go with chasing bubbles because it sounds more fun and entertaining. This is what you should teach your dogs to do instead of treating other stuff in the house as prey.

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Chasing bubbles can be a fun time not only for your dog but also for you. It takes advantage of their instinct and makes for easy exercise and playtime. Start by blowing a few bubbles and if they don’t show any interest, try aiming the bubbles at them.

#31 Support your arthritic dog

Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints and is a common issue for dogs, too, not just humans. There are many ways to make arthritic dogs comfortable such as massage and exercise, controlling your dog’s weight and diet, as well as consulting your vet for possible treatments.

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For extra support, you can also make a sling for your dog. It can make a world of difference. You can easily turn grocery bags into dog slings by cutting the sides off the bags. This takes less than 5 minutes to do and turns the bag into a proper sling.

#32 Keep your dog entertained with a stuffed Kong

Sometimes keeping your dog entertained can be difficult. The good news is a stuffed Kong can help you with this and keep their attention for some time. Dog Kongs are easily found in pet stores, and if you already have one at home, so much the better.

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Stuff the Kong with a variety of treats, and if you want to make the challenge tougher for your canine, you can freeze the goodies in the Kong. No, you don’t need fancy treats. You can even use healthy nutritious foods for your dog.

#33 Brush your dog’s teeth regularly

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly can help you avoid expensive dental visits, as well as medical treatments. They say that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, and that is certainly true when it comes to your dog’s health.

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No need to get a fancy toothbrush; you can use the same kind you use. However, you need to make sure you pick out a toothpaste meant for dogs. Brushing should be done at least three times a week for the best results.

#34 Make simple dog treats

Yes, having a dog as a pet can be expensive, especially if you’re not into DIY-ing stuff. But the thing is, instead of buying a lot of doggie things, you can make them on your own, with the help of videos and step-by-step instructions on the Internet. It doesn’t have to be annoying!

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Dog treats are easy to make. An advantage of making your dog treat is that you know exactly what’s in them, and you can make sure it’s healthy. No need for complicated recipes; they can be made with as few as five ingredients.

#35 Use old clothes wisely

Old clothes may no longer look nice and may not be worn out of the house, but they still have plenty of purposes. They can be used as rags to clean and wipe stuff dry with. They can be used to clean the car and can also be used as rugs for dirty shoes.

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Old clothes can also be used to make a tug toy for your doggie. Braid your old t-shirts into a tug toy rather than throwing them out. This way, you’ll be able to save money and use it for something more important.

#36 Frozen dog treats which your doggo will love

Frozen dog treats are great for hot summer days. While we humans can keep ourselves cool by eating ice cream and drinking cold juice, your furry friend can’t do the same. But you can keep them cool too by giving them frozen dog treats.

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Contrary to the rumors, it is perfectly safe to give your dog frozen treats and ice during hot summer days. Consider what kind of eater your dog is, and you might need to allow the food to thaw a bit to avoid any damage to the teeth.

#37 Make your dog Find the Treats

Life need not be boring for you or your dog. Inject some fun into your games and make games exciting for the both of you by hiding treats throughout the house and teaching your dog how to find them.

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This will not only keep your dog busy, but it will also stimulate your dog’s brain and senses, too, as he has to use his nose to sniff out the treats. It’s an indoor game that will soon become your dog’s favorite, and it will prevent them from wreaking havoc on the furniture.

#38 Ticks

Most dogs get ticks because they go outdoors, walking through areas with tall grass and trees. The thing is, you can’t keep canines locked indoors because it will affect them emotionally and physically. They have to be allowed to let out and enjoy the outdoors.

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Your dog may get ticks, but you can help remove them, and no, we don’t want you doing that by hand. Get some fine-tipped tweezers and use them to grab the ticks by their mouth. Make sure you wear gloves because of the risk of disease.

#39 Opt for a homemade flirt pole

Also called a flirt stick, the flirt pole is a piece of exercise equipment meant for dogs. Once it’s moved about, it entices the dog to chase the fast-moving lure that’s attached to it. It helps improve their skills and gives them the workout they need.

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Flirt poles are readily available at brick-and-mortar stores and can also be ordered online. However, you don’t need to buy the commercial type. You just need some rope, pipe, and a toy to tie at the end of the rope. Just take it easy with the exercise, though, because it can be hard on dogs with joint problems.

#40 Get your dog to take his medicine

Dogs can be very clever, and most of the time, they know when you’re trying to get them to take their medicine. They seem to have a sixth sense about those things, and the moment they realize you’re concealing pills in their food, they’ll stop eating.

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Make a pill pocket so that even the cleverest dog won’t know that there’s a medicine somewhere in there. Peanut butter is one of the things they love the most. There are a few recipes online with only three ingredients that will work great.

#41 Entertain your dog with stuffed animals

The majority of dogs seem to be smitten with stuffed animal toys. They sleep with it, snuggle with it, and nibble on it. What makes them so appealing that dogs just can’t seem to get enough of them? They carry them around and are so protective of them.

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A few dogs also like to destroy their stuffed toys, so there’s no sense in purchasing the very expensive types. Make one so you don’t have to feel guilty about the money you spent when they shred it to pieces.

#42 DIY digging box

Dig, dig, dig. Is that all your dog seems to do? It’s only normal for dogs to dig because to them, it’s a fun activity, and it helps relieve stress. The most active diggers are often dogs who suffer from boredom or separation anxiety.

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Constant digging comes with downsides, and one of them is your garden getting wholly obliterated, and your plants uprooted. Make a special digging box for your doggos and teach them to dig there instead of the garden or your beautifully-landscaped yard.

#43 Easy way to check for fleas

What do pet owners dread most about the summer months? Fleas constantly figure on the top five answers. These tiny, dark brown insects prefer high temperature and humidity levels, and to some dogs, they are more than just a summer problem.

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Check your dog for fleas so that you can quickly remedy the situation. Have your doggo lay on a white sheet or towel while you brush and examine its fur at the same time. With the white sheet or towel, you’ll easily see any fleas that might fall from the fur.

#44 Tug of war with Fido

A game of tug can be fun, physically tiring, but also mentally stimulating. And no, don’t believe what they say. It doesn’t cause aggression in dogs. If you’re searching for an activity to add to your best friend’s routine, a game of tug is a perfect choice.

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Just 5 minutes of the game can make a world of difference. It will tire him out and let him expend all his pent-up energy. Your canine companion will be less likely to exhibit behavioral problems and more likely to come when called.

#45 Keep your dog interested by switching its toys

Dogs are just like humans; they also get bored, especially when exposed to the same things every single day. They may love their new toy for a week, but the more they keep using it, the faster they become bored.

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Keep their interest in toys by switching things up. A dog that hasn’t seen his stuffed toy for a month will be excited to play with it. They will appreciate things more when things go missing and they become excited the next time they see these things again.

#46 Floating platform for dogs in the pool

Ah, the joys of summer. Who doesn’t love those awesome weeks we all spend relaxing and getting some much-needed time in the sun? One of the most beloved pastimes over summer has to be taking dips in the pool. Unfortunately for some dogs, they can’t join in on the fun since they can’t swim.

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Luckily for you (or maybe them), we have a hack that will solve this. You will need a laundry basket, some zip ties, and a pool noodle. It’s quite simple, really. Just tie the noodles around the rim of the basket using the ties, and you’re done! Now your pooch can enjoy the water too.