Dog Mom Life Hacks
As a dog mom of 4 Chihuahuas (and all of them being 10 or older), I would say I have a decent amount of experience on the products and hacks that make dog mom life easier. So I figured I’d share them today because sometimes reading about hacks and tips NOW can help you when you’re brainstorming for an idea in the future.
Dog Steps are Important
If you have a small breed dog and you let them on the couch or in your bed, you need to make sure it’s safe for them to get up and down. You can even make your own. I tell people all the time to keep this in mind because you can save money on vet bills if you avoid bumps and broken bones from your dog deciding to be Superman and leaping off the couch or bed.
Pee Pad Issues
If your dog has issues going directly on the pee pad, you aren’t alone. Lucky for me, I do a few things to protect my floors. First, since my pee pads are on the hardwood floor, I got a computer chair mat for hardwood floors and put that down. This ensures nothing can leak through or off the pads and onto the floor. Then I looked online and got small animal playpens. They are these short little gates (dogs can totally hop over them but they don’t), that you can literally wrap around your pee pads, leaving just one opening, to encourage your dog to go ON the pad, not off to the side.
Teach Them It’s Okay to Be Alone
Whenever I would get a new dog, I did not let them sleep in my bed until they could sleep overnight for a week without crying, alone in their pen. I would take a dog bed and a blanket and place it in a dog pen or crate. The first couple nights would be rough, as I could hear them crying. But then after a night or two, they realized that even though I leave them alone at night, it’s okay and I am still there in the morning. It only ever takes a couple days and then I let them sleep in the bed with me. I’ve noticed that doing that, I’ve never had dogs with separation anxiety. My dogs are fine if I make them sleep in the living room and not in the bed. Maybe it’s just dumb luck but it worked for me.
Regardless of size, most every dog breed sheds, so trust me when I say The Furminator is your best friend. It’s used by groomers to really help brush the full coat of a dog and it removes SO MUCH FUR! Whenever I know the seasons are changing and my dogs are extra sheddy, I give them all a big brush out with The Furminator.
Keep Your Old Towels
When it comes to cleaning up liquid dog messes or drying your dogs after a bath, old towels do a great job. They’re easy to grab and use, and then just wash and dry them for future use. Paper towels are a waste and don’t always get the job done as easily when it comes to accidents. And who wants to use their own bath towel on their dog?
Pumpkin is a Lifesaver
Pumpkin can help with digestion issues with people and pets. If your stools are too loose, it helps firm them up and if you’re constipated, it helps relieve you so you can go. Anytime your dog is having issues like that, add some pure pumpkin to their food. Bonus – they love the taste and I even give them pumpkin treats regularly to help with digestion in the long run.
Spray Bottles are a Good Teacher
Want your dog to stop getting into things or barking after you tell him to stop? Research how to use a squirt bottle to nix bad behavior. It’s to the point now that when my dogs DO act up, I reach for the bottle, and they stop immediately. They KNOW.
Yearly Vet Checkups are Important
It may seem pointless to spend the money to just get a quick check up by the vet but let me tell you, those checkups are what can save your dogs life. If the vet hears a weird heartbeat, it could mean the difference between catching a heart condition early or too late. They can also check on your pet’s teeth and poor oral health is connected to heart issues. Spend the money each year, please!
I know some people swear by pet insurance, but for me, what I do for insurance is I set money aside every paycheck into a share in my bank account specifically for the dogs’ food, supplies, and vet needs. If I am paying each month to an insurance company, that money goes to them, and it’s up to them if I they choose to cover certain things. If I put money aside every paycheck and let it build and build and build for the life of my dogs, there is a pot of money I can always tap into for any reason. Do your research and see if it’s worth it for pet insurance for your dogs. Read the fine print about pre-existing conditions and what types of things are covered and for what price.
Get Their Teeth Cleaned every 2 Years
Especially if you have a small breed dog, they usually have teeth problems. Save the money to get their teeth professionally cleaned and any bad ones removed, every 2-3 years. Keeping their oral health a priority means you’re also looking out for their heart.
Another product that helps me so much with my dogs is Calmer Canine. Calmer Canine is a safe and drug-free solution to help the 13 million dogs in the US that suffer from separation anxiety. The technology its built on has been used to treat medical conditions in humans including anxiety and mood disorders for decades. In clinical studies it was showed to reduce the signs of separation anxiety like barking, whining, howling, panting, pacing, destructive behavior, accidents, and obsessively watching doors.
Two 15-minute treatments a day for 4-6 weeks can have lasting effects. Grace is my problem child since she’s so attached to me. She gets uneasy if I’m outside and she can’t get to me and if I’m away for an extended period of time she can get really uneasy. It may look silly, but it definitely has been working for us over the last month or so. The Calmer Canine Anxiety Treatment System comes with the device itself and an easy to use vest that helps hold it in the proper position over Grace’s head during treatments. It can also be used without the vest and of course no prescription is needed. Grace was leary at first but got used to it quickly and honestly twice a day for just 15 minutes each time isn’t bad at all.
I’ve noticed Grace paces less (according to my husband) when I’m not in the house, she hasn’t been having accidents anymore, and she just seems more calm overall. She’s definitely not as restless as she used to be which is good for her and me both! If you’re dealing with a dog that has anxieties like Grace, this is definitely a great solution that requires no medication and no prescriptions from your vet. Give it a try and let me know how it did for you!
These are just a few of the life hacks I use as a dog mom. What are yours?