PAWSOME HACKS FOR DOG OWNERS
No doubt about it, we love our Greyhounds. As much as we adore them, owning a dog can be a lot of work. Here are some essential dog care hacks that will make life easier for everyone.
Even though Greyhounds have a thin coat generally, they do still shed. Most of us do not brush our dogs every day, so we have to cope with cleaning hair off clothing, furniture, and car seats. You can use a lint pick – those sticky sheets will pick up the hair, but they can get expensive. How about trying packing tape? Just wrap a length around your hand and rub over the problem area. If you have rubber gloves on hand, try wiping over the areas you want to clean – the static should pick up the hair. You could also try a dryer sheet. Another idea is to use a squeegee if you have one – scrape over the fabric and hair will accumulate along the blade so it will be easy to grab and toss.
Tall dogs like Greyhounds benefit from raised feeders. Not having to bend down saves spine and joints. If you don’t have one on hand, you can use the open dishwasher or oven door. Just close it when done feeding. Don’t forget to have water always available though. If you store the food bag in a plastic tub, you could also feed them on top of the tub. Yo could also use an upside-down 5-gallon bucket.
If you have a too-fast eater, there are some tricks to slow them down:
- Put a ball in the bowl, that’ll slow them down as they eat around it.
- Spread the meal out into each cup of a muffin tin.
- If you feed kibble, you could put the meal into a food dispensing toy so they can work for it, or you could scatter it around the room and play “find it!”
If you have an old dog, soften kibble with broth or warm water to make it easier for them to eat.
If your hound is a picky eater, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on their food. The smell perks up their appetite.
Some pumpkin added to their food will help with diahrrea.
A bland diet of boiled chicken or hamburger and rice will help an upset stomach.
If you find yourself spending too much on dog treats, and don’t want to make your own, you could buy a small bag of super premium dog food and give that as a treat. Used this way, the bag will last a long time.
Pill pockets are a handy way to give pills, as most dogs like them. They can get expensive though, so you could make your own - recipes abound for DIY pill pockets. We are talking about making life easier, though, so how about putting the pill into one of these (pick one your dog loves)
- Chunk of banana
- Piece of hot dog, or soft cheese
- Gob of peanut butter or coconut oil
- Gob of pate’-like dog food sold in a pouch or can
If your dog gets wise to a pill concealed in a treat, just give him a couple of plain treats first, then the pill treat.
CLEANING UP ACCIDENTS
Even the best mannered dog will occasionally have an accident. Enzyme pet stain sprays are the best to treat residuals on carpeting that can leave a smell. In a pinch though, you can use ordinary household ingredients. First blot up the liquid with paper towels, or pick up solids and dispose. Spray the stain with a mixture of half vinegar and half baking soda, and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Then, absorb the excess moisture with a paper towel, sprinkle the spot with baking soda, and let it dry. Just keep pets away, as baking soda is toxic to dogs. Once dry, vacuum it up. Remember, dogs will eliminate where they smell their previous markings, so it’s very important to deodorize as well as clean to prevent repeat accidents. You may want to test the DIY solution in an inconspicuous place first.
On hard surface floors, kitty litter does a great job of soaking up the liquid mess. Sprinkle liberally and wait for a while, then sweep up and finish with a spray cleaner.
Speaking of hard surfaces, sometimes your wood can get scratches. You can quickly camouflage them by rubbing a shelled walnut into the scratch. Sounds crazy, but it works to make light scratches nearly invisible.
Daily doggy tooth brushing is the ideal, but not enough of us actually do that. Other methods to clean teeth are
- Dental chews or raw bones (never cooked)
- Apples (no seeds)
- Liquid water bowl additive
- Spread doggy toothpaste on a rope chew – they won’t know they’re cleaning their own teeth!
Fresh parsley added to meals helps freshen breath. It’s full of good vitamins and naturally eliminates stinky breath.
Spring storms bring mud, winter walks expose our hounds to sidewalk salt and road chemicals. To clean your pup’s paws before coming in the house, keep a water bottle or plastic jar with lid near the door, along with an old towel. Remove the cap and dip paws in one at a time, wiping off after each one. No danger of tracking mud through the house or licking bad stuff off their paws once in the house. You can also use baby wipes if you can find them these days!
For cold winter walks, if your dog won’t wear boots, try petroleum jelly on his pads before going out. Then rinse in your DIY paw cleaner before coming in the house again. Do not try this for summer, though – if you can't hold the back of your hand to the pavement for more than 5 seconds it’s too hot for your dogs. Do your walks in early morning or evening.
If you don’t dremel/grind your dog’s nails, sometimes you may cut them too short. A styptic pencil or powder with the clippers is handy. But if you don’t have that, you can use the following to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding:
- Baking Soda
- Bar of Soap
With any of these methods, you need to keep solid pressure on your dog’s nail while applying the solution for a few minutes, because they don’t stop bleeding instantly like styptic.
If you choose not to carry Pet Insurance, having a pet credit card like Care Credit will allow you to make payments interest free for a year on big veterinary expenses. CareCredit.com
In order to get Greyhound blood donations, some veterinary practices will offer a credit on services or free dog food. Check with your local vet or vet school.
Next week, we’ll look at some more handy tips to save you time and money.