Today we're looking at ten great ways to improve the life of your dogt—which has its benefits for you, too.
10. Clean Your Dog's Ears Properly
Ears like to accumulate their disgusting ear wax in most types of animals, and dogs are far from exempt. While you definitely don't want to leave wax buildup to crust over inside your pet's ear canals, you also don't want to clean improperly. Just like with humans, you want to be gentle and only clean the parts you can see. Stay out of the ear canal and you're doing it right.
9. Make a Custom Doggy Bed on the Cheap
Like human beds, doggy beds can get pretty expensive. If you don't want to shell out a ton of money for a fancy one, you can just make one yourself. For the most part, these beds are just enormous, glorified pillows so you don't need more than a relatively thick and soft fabric and some firm stuffing. Your dog just needs a comfortable, soft place to sleep and you can easily provide that after an hour at the sewing machine.
8. Train Your Dog Better with Shorter Sessions
Nowadays, perhaps to all the quick-form content online, we don't have the greatest attention spans and your dog suffers from the same problem. That's good, because you'll both get bored with training exercises relatively fast and you don't want to keep going if the interest is gone. To teach your dog better, break up your training sessions into smaller, more digestible blocks just once or twice a week. Hammering it home isn't fun for either of you, so take it nice and easy. It can help your dog learn better and faster.
7. Save Money on Doggy Medication
Vets like to mark up prescription medications for your pets, but you can avoid this problem pretty easily by picking up the same pills at your local human-serving pharmacy. Some pharmacies will consider your pet a family member, too, and will offer those associated discounts as well. As always, be sure to call first before assuming it'll be cheaper. It seems like it usually is, but checking first will always help you find the best deal.
6. Make Pet Travel Easier
Traveling with your dog can be as stressful for you as it is for them, especially when on an airplane. The best thing you can do is be prepared and know your options ahead of time so there are no unexpected problems along the way. This means knowing whether or not you can take your dog on the plane with you, if your airline allows pet travel at all, if you can check your pets (and how much that costs), getting your dog used to the travel crate before leaving, and providing it with adequate playtime prior to the flight. You also won't be able to feed him/her six hours prior to the flight. It's not exactly a pleasant process, but it'll be a lot worse if you're not prepared. Alternatively, find a good pet sitter.
5. Make Your Own Dog Treats
Your dog probably isn't going to care who made the treat so long as s/he gets to eat it, but when you bake them yourself you have the distinct advantage of choosing what's inside. If the nutritional content of a Snausage isn't your ideal, make your own healthier option. It's not hard to do and your dog will love your for it.
4. Eliminate Dog Hair with Your Hand and Water
Chances are pet hair isn't part of your apartment's desire aesthetic, and it's definitely a problem when you've got company who might be allergic. Cleaning up pet hair is a major pain, but wikiHow has a few handy suggestions—literally. The first is wetting your palm with some water and scooping up the dander bare-handed. The water will make it stick and easy to move from couch, floor, or wherever to the trash. You can also get the same effect with a lightly dampened kitchen sponge or regular latex gloves. A more fun approach is using an inflated balloon. Create some static electricity by rubbing it on your hair, then touch the balloon to hairy areas. It'll attract the hair until you can dispose of it. Or just use use rubber flip-flop sandals. Finally, try a fabric softener sheet. If it doesn't work on its own, mist it with a little water for some extra cling.
3. Make an Automatic Water Dish that Refills Itself
Here's a cool DIY project your dog will appreciate: an automatically refilling water dish. So long as you're comfortable with an arduino, it's something you shouldn't have trouble throwing together pretty quickly. This way, if you're not around your dog will always have fresh water to drink and never be too thirsty. The only downside, perhaps, is that s/he'll have to go out and to the bathroom a bit more frequently.
2. Find Your Lost Dog
The last thing you want is for your pet to be lost, but no matter how hard you try it can always happen. If you do end up losing your dog, there are plenty of ways to get him/her back. Aside from the obvious steps of posting signs around your area, the internet can be of assistance as well. Lost Pet Atlas is one site that can help you post about your lost pet or see other pets in your area that people have found. You can browse missing dogs and cats just by looking around on the map near your home.
When you're searching, you want to keep a few things in mind. The size of your dog will depend on the distance it's capable of running. Big dogs will often run up to five miles where smaller dogs will likely only make it one. Most dogs are recovered within a two mile radius, however, so that's a good place to start. Shy dogs often end up in bushes or under cars. Friendly dogs will look for help from people, often in public parks or on someone's yard. (Source: Petfinder)
If your pet hasn't run away yet, now's a good time to look at tracking chip options like HomeAgain so recovery is easy. It's important to remember that your pet likely didn't run away because s/he hates you, but potentially out of loneliness or distraction. Don't feel too bad and don't worry too much. Most people are kind enough to help out a lost animal and will be happy to return your dog when you report him/her lost.
1. Get Rid of Nasty Dog Breath
You may love your dog, but you'll probably never love its breath. Fortunately you can make your dog's mouth smell a bit nicer by feeding them Greenies. Greenies are treats that promote better dental hygiene and that your dog will enjoy chewing. You'll also need to regularly brush your dogs teeth, preferably using dog toothpaste and a finger toothbrush. Regular teeth cleaning by a vet and a healthy diet also help, so it isn't much different than how you'd handle your own teeth. You're just cleaning the dogs, and it's easier to get your finger in their mouth than it is a toothbrush. So, really, the secret behind good dog breath isn't much different than it is with humans.