30+ Hacks Every Dog Owner Should Know About

Many owners want to keep their dogs happy. There are plenty of tips to help dog owners that could help to do just that!

Learn how to get them back

Many dogs love to run around and play chase with their owners. So what happens when they take it too far and start to run off into the distance? They can often see it as a game, and chasing them as fast as you can might just make them run faster instead.

Did you know that lying down on the floor could be all it takes? That’s right; your dog may think you’re hurt and come running back to your side.

However, the best way to make sure that your dog never runs too far is to work on their recall training before taking them to big, open spaces. Plenty of professional dog trainers have many ways to work on recall training and often have specially fenced areas to practice just in case.

Keep them busy while you’re gone

If you need to leave your dog for a little while, there are many ways that you can keep them entertained. One great way to have fun is to play hide and go seek with their treats.

Simply hide some tasty snacks all around the house where they can reach them and set them to work. Just be sure they can’t pull anything over that might fall and hurt them, and they can reach all of the treats, so the game is fair.

Another great option is to invest in a toy that you fill with treats. There are many options. Some need dogs to roll them around the floor to push small treats out. Others are tubes that can be filled with different pastes or tasty snacks that can be nibbled or licked by your dogs.

Create a dog first aid kit

One of the first things that should be at the top of an owner’s list is to make sure they find a responsible local vet who can care for their dog at all hours of the day.

However, there are times that we might be away from home or hours away from help, especially if we’ve gone on vacation with our pets or we’re enjoying a road trip.

Many of us pack a first aid kit for ourselves, so what about our dogs? There are plenty of dog first aid kits on the market that typically come with most things we need to keep them safe. This includes bandages, scissors, and gauze. You can also build your own to make sure you have everything to meet your dog’s needs in case they get hurt.

Keep them mentally active

As well as needing plenty of exercise to keep happy, there are many ways that we can keep our dogs mentally active, too. This includes playing puzzle games with them as well as giving them new sights and smells to enjoy.

There are plenty of puzzle toys on the market that mean your dog has to work out how to get food as well as many DIY options that we can make at home.

What about teaching them a new trick? Some dogs love nothing more than to work with their owner. As if that wasn’t enough, taking your dog on a different route when you head out for your daily walk can be just as beneficial. This is because they can enjoy all the new smells and sights as they try to take in the world around them.

Carabiner clips are pretty helpful

Of course, carabiner clips have come to the rescue in many aspects of our lives over the years. Did you know they could make time with your pooch even better, too?

If you thread your dog’s leash through the clip, then you can easily attach multiple leashes together without getting yourself and your dogs all in a tangle. As if that wasn’t enough, they can also be useful when carrying extras.

They can interloop with the leash in the same way or simply clip onto the handle or your belt where you can attach all kinds of things, such as toys for your dog at the park or clean-up bags. Some dogs even feel better when they have a job to do on the walk. Attaching a carabiner clip to their harness means they could carry their own things.

Find your dog in the woods

There is one thing that many of us fear: our dog running off into the distance in the woods. All of those trees can soon see us in a spin as we walk in circles trying to get them back.

If we find ourselves all lost and confused, how is our dog ever supposed to find their way home?

If you’ve searched high and low and you’re still no closer to finding your dog, then it could be time to try and let them find their own way back. One of the best ways to do this is to leave a bowl of water next to an item of clothing that you’ve been wearing all day so they can pick up your scent. Your dog’s favorite toy can also be an incentive to find their way back home.

Keep them cool and entertained

If your dog loves to play in the yard and you’re in the middle of a heatwave, then why not find a way to keep them happy and cool all at the same time? It might not be as tough as it first seems.

In fact, there are many hard plastic kiddie pools on the market. These are typically the best as blow-up pools could easily burst thanks to your dog’s claws or teeth.

If you’re worried about them slipping, then a non-slip shower mat or two could make a lot of difference. While some dogs have enough fun splashing around in the water, investing in some floating balls or two could add an extra layer of fun for those who like to have something extra to do. Cool and entertained? Perfect.

Build a car zipline

More and more owners have learned the importance of keeping their dogs safe in the car.

There are many dog seat belts on the market, but there is also a way that you can help to keep them safe while giving your dog more opportunity to move around in the back of the car.

You just need to make sure you’re traveling in a car that has two handles above the door. Then, simply attach a cord between the two handles. This acts as a zipline. Use a small leash that’s clipped to your dog’s harness at one end and attached to a carabiner clip at the other. The clip can attach to the zipline and allow your dog to walk up and down without getting into the front of the car.

Make time for love

Ah, their wet noses, their loving eyes, and their want to spend time with us. Could dogs get any better? They often show us unconditional love, and many of us can’t wait to spend a lifetime showing them plenty of affection, too.

However, it’s important to make sure that we make time for love and don’t forget to spend some time with them every now and then.

There are so many ways to show our dogs some love. This could be taking them to the pet store to buy them a new toy, brushing out their fur, or playing with their favorite toy. Some dogs even just appreciate sitting on our lap while we watch TV and absentmindedly stroke their head. It can be easy to lose ourselves in our everyday lives and forget the small things.

Easily slow your dog down

Have you had to deal with seeing your dog’s dinner all over again after they’ve eaten it too quickly? Perhaps your dog has frequent tummy upsets, and you’re not sure what’s causing it?

There can be many side effects from eating too fast, and some of them can be more dangerous than others. We get it; it can be tough to slow down when eating a good meal.

However, there are ways to help your dog savor what they are eating. Adding in a large rubber ball or an upturned bowl gives them an obstacle to work around. They have to push it around and out the way to make sure they get all of their food. Plus, there are many bowl designs on the market. These work just the same as dogs need to eat around the obstacles.

Make an indestructible toy

Some dogs love nothing more than pulling toys to shreds. While they might be having a great time, it can soon get pretty expensive as we try to replace them all every few weeks.

There could be a much more cost-effective – and fun – way to keep your dog entertained. All you need to do is invest in a rubber ball with holes or make a ball of our own.

This can be something as simple as a large tennis ball with holes cut around the edges. Then, simply stuff the ball with old strips of t-shirt or the stuffing from their destroyed toys – as long as it’s not a hazard for your dogs. Now, your dog can “shred” the toy over and over again and pull out the inside before merely pushing it all back in and starting over.

Check them for fleas

Although there are many great aspects to having a four-legged friend by your side, there are also some parts that aren’t as fun. Fleas are something that many of us have to deal with.

Of course, there are many ways that you can prevent fleas, such as treatments that are applied to the coat or flea collars.

However, if you’re worried that your dog might have picked some up along the way, then there’s an easy way to find out. Just take a white towel, place it underneath your dog, and give them a brush. The chances are that if your dog has fleas, then you’ll see little black dots fall onto the towel. Just be sure to do it outside to make sure the fleas don’t disappear into your house and infect other members of the family.

Help to soothe your dog’s stomach

Just like us, our dogs can get indigestion or stomach pains every now and then. Sometimes, this is nothing more than a little discomfort, but if it continues, then it’s vital to book your dog in for an appointment with the vet.

If you notice that your dog is a little under the weather, then it could be time to alter their diet. Feeding meals of rice and chicken can be great as it’s bland and not too much for your pooch to digest.

Some dogs also benefit from cooked eggs or Greek yogurt. However, this is only a short term solution. Any changes in behavior, temperature, or eating patterns should be monitored and recorded so you can explain to the vet when you first noticed the symptoms and how they have changed since then.

Always be consistent

Have you ever wondered why your dog begs when you’re eating food? What about why they always bark at the door when someone arrives? There is a good reason: you weren’t consistent enough with their training.

Sadly, there is no way around it. It takes lots of repetition before our dogs learn the right and wrong behaviors.

However, they can be undone in just a few moves. If you feel like you’re too tired to train your pup, then you could be making a harder job for yourself further down the line. If you’re not sure where to start or you feel as though you’re not getting the results that you’d hoped, then why not sign up for dog training classes? They can be a great way to meet new people and learn at the same time.

Protect their eyes at bathtime

Some dogs need more grooming and baths than others. It all depends on the breed you welcome into your life, and if they have any skin conditions, among other aspects.

While some of us prefer to take them to the groomers every few weeks, others like to keep on top of their bathtimes at home or need to give them a wash in between if they roll in something gross.

If you need to give your dog a bath and they hate the sensation of the water on their head, it could be time to try a shower cap. As well as looking adorable, it can help to stop any water running down their face or into their eyes. Some dogs love the addition, while others might not like the feeling of a cap around their heads.

Find an alternative to the cone

The cone of shame is something that many dogs fear. While it might seem as though there’s no other option to keep your pet safe while it heals, it turns out there are different ways that we can stop them from getting to their injuries.

All you need to do is get a snug-fitting piece of clothing. Some of us are lucky as an old t-shirt or sweaters will fit our dog.

However, there are also plenty of dog outfits on the market that often work even better. They need to be snug enough to cover the area without rubbing our pets and making them sore. It’s also important to make sure that your pet can walk around in their new outfit and that it won’t cause them to get too hot.

Keep their toys fun

Some dogs can’t get enough of their new toy only to go off it after a few days or weeks. What gives? Dogs are pretty smart, and many of them are just like children.

That means the novelty soon wears off and they start to look for something else to play with instead. One way to make sure that your dog doesn’t get too bored with their toys is to switch up the ones they have each week.

Yes, it really could be that simple! It can almost be like getting a new set of toys each week without having to fork out every month. This can also be a great chance to make sure the ones in storage are properly cleaned or that any repairs are taken care of before your dog realizes their favorite teddy has a hole.

Hide electronic cables

While chewing the furniture isn’t something that many of us want from our dog, it can also be dangerous if they start to eat any cables.

This could lead to a serious injury, but what can we do? The first step is to make sure the wires are hidden out of the way as much as possible.

If there is still some on show, then it might be time to invest in a plastic pipe. This can slide over the cables and be secured at either end to stop your dog from getting to the wires. If they still look as though they want to chew on the cables, then it might be time to invest in some anti-chewing sprays. Just make sure that all of the ingredients are safe for pets.

Learn to read your dog’s body language

As much as we can hope they will one day have a dog translator, the chances are that could be a little further out of reach than many of us hope.

While they might not be able to communicate with us through words, we can learn how to read our dog’s body language to understand what they are trying to say.

It turns out that it doesn’t have to be as hard as it first seems. Dogs don’t feel as many emotions as humans. What we regularly see as guilt is usually stress or fear. Learning how to differentiate between anger, fear, and happiness could help your dog to feel more positive in the long run. This is because they know their emotions are being understood by their humans after so long.

Create your own dog toys

If you’re starting to wonder where all your money is going only to look around at the sea of destroyed dog toys covering your living room, then it could be time to find another way to keep them entertained.

Chew toys can be a great way to keep your dogs happy. If you have an old t-shirt, towel, or any other sturdy material with no small objects, then you can quickly make your own.

All you need to do is cut the material into similar-sized strips. Then, tie the pieces in a knot at one end and braid the rest together. Once you reach the end, simply tie it in another knot and voila! Your dog can go crazy chewing their new toy while you get to give something a new lease of life.

Burn more energy

All dogs have different exercise needs. Different breeds have a lot more stamina than others, and owners often need to put in a lot of work to keep them happy and healthy.

Thankfully, there are so many alternatives to just walking your dogs for hours on end. Hiring a dog walker means your dog could get out and see different parts of the area while you are at work, but that’s not all.

There are plenty of other options to mix things up. Many towns offer hydrotherapy classes or swimming pools for dogs that can be a fun way to exercise and have fun at the same time. Plus, playing fetch on hills will burn more energy than on flat ground. Just be sure your dog doesn’t trip while running up or down the hill.

Remove any ticks

Ticks are more than just a nuisance. They can also spread illnesses and leave nasty infections if they aren’t treated properly. Typically, the best way to make sure the tick is fully removed is to take your pet to the vet clinic and have a professional take it out.

However, if you’re in the middle of nowhere or it’s the holidays, and your local clinic is closed, then there are other options.

There are special tick tweezers that make sure you get a good grip on the tick. It’s essential to make sure that you remove the head of the tick and don’t accidentally break it off when pulling it out. The next step is to make sure that it is correctly disposed of. This often means dropping it in a jar of solution.

Craft some sunglasses

Excessive sunlight in anyone’s eyes usually isn’t a good thing. It can be painful and lead to a number of health issues or make pre-existing conditions painful or worse.

Believe it or not, but there are special sunglasses that you can buy for your dog to help protect their eyes. Our sunglasses need to have UV protection to make sure our eyes are safe, and the same goes for our dogs.

What about if you only need them a few times a year. If you’re feeling crafty and your dog doesn’t mind having something on their face, then you can easily make your own. All you need to do is add a stretch headband to some old sunglasses to help them fit your dog. Make sure they’re supervised in their new glasses, so there are no accidents.

Control your walks

Many of us have grand dreams of taking our dog out on walks and spending hours in Mother Nature. Sadly, those dreams can all come crashing down when our dog gets overexcited or becomes difficult to walk on the leash.

Pulling, jumping around, or biting at the leash are all things that can soon become uncontrollable and leave many of us wanted to avoid walks altogether.

Thankfully, there are many tips that can quickly see us back in control. One of the many that professionals suggest is to clip your dog’s leash onto the front of their harness if they like to pull. They also recommend making sure your dog has the proper identification just in case they get lost, as well as avoiding retractable leashes as they can be dangerous if dogs get caught up.

Make your own dog pillow

Many of us love to find ways to upcycle our things. Now, it turns out that we can help to save the planet and give our dog something comfortable, too. All you need is an old sweater or hoodie and a pillow.

Merely stuff the pillow into the body of the sweater and sew up each end. You can either cut the sleeves and sew up the holes or tie them in simple knots.

The knots could even act as chew toys for your dog to enjoy. Now, your four-legged friend has their very own personalized cushion to keep them warm! The best bit? Having something that smells like their owner can help many dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. If you need some extra padding, then simply add some pillow fluff that can be found at many craft stores.

Keep their paws safe from salt

It can be tough to keep your dog exercised in the colder months. While they still want to go out for a walk, the snow and ice can leave many of us doing everything to avoid the outside.

Thankfully, our dogs are often enough of a push to get up and active. It’s essential to make sure your dog doesn’t get affected by the ice on the paths.

Some dogs are comfortable wearing shoes to keep their paws safe. If your dog doesn’t like them, then a layer of petroleum jelly can keep the salt away from their feet. Plus, washing their paws as soon as you’re home and drying them with a towel prevents any risk. The salt can accidentally get ingested as well as cause sores if it’s left to build-up on their paws.

Stop any bleeding from their claws

Clipping your dog’s nails doesn’t have to be as scary as it first seems. There are many dog nail clippers on the market, and many come fitted with a guide that helps stop people from taking too much off.

If you accidentally catch the quick and cause it to bleed, then try not to panic. Cornstarch, baking soda, or flour can all help to stop the bleeding.

Simply mix some of it with a little water to make a quick paste and gently apply it to the end of your dog’s nail. However, if it’s bleeding a lot or your dog looks as though it’s in a lot of pain, then be sure to head to the vet to get some professional help. Hopefully, some treats will soon earn you their forgiveness.

Consider giving your dog supplements

Many of us take daily supplements to make sure we have everything we need to stay fit and healthy. The same goes for our animals. There are so many supplements out there on the market that can help them in all kinds of ways.

This could be anything from mobility, energy, ad age-related ailments. There is one that has taken over the supplement world in the last few years: turmeric.

Many claim that it helps to detoxify the body as well as relieve pain, fight illnesses, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s essential to check with your vet before introducing any new supplement to your dog’s diet. This is because turmeric can interfere with some existing medicines. However, it could also help eliminate the need for others in favor of the natural root.

Create your own DIY toys

Do you need a quick fix toy to keep your dog entertained? There are many times in our life that we might need to save some money or find a way to keep them happy without heading to the store.

There are so many DIY toys on the market. One quick fix involves a plastic bottle and a sock.

Pull the sock over the bottle and tie it in a knot at the end. Now, you have your very own crinkle toy! Another option is to take a length of rope and keep tying it in knots until you’re left with one giant knot ball. If you have enough fabric or rope, then you can tie a knot in one end of the material and use it as a giant chase toy.

Bake some food and treats

There are so many incredible recipes on the internet to help people bake their own dog food and treats.

Sure, buying premade meals can be a great way to keep your dog happy, but making your own means that you know everything that is going into each meal and could save you money in the long run.

Slow cookers are great as you can leave your meal to cook all day without having to worry. Once it’s all cooked, you can simply divide up and freeze the other portions for the rest of the week. Plus, this can be a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs, dietary needs, or gluten allergies. Just be warned: there might be a lot of drool by the slow cooker once you find a recipe your dogs can’t resist.

Cover up scratched wood

There are so many aspects that come with welcoming a new four-legged friend to the family. While some dogs love nothing more than to play with their toys, others prefer to scratch and chew at our furniture – no matter how many toys we buy them.

It often takes plenty of training to get them out of the habit.

There are lots of sprays on the market to discourage your dog from chewing at things in the first place. Plus, accidents can sometimes happen if your dog’s claws accidentally scratch your wooden flaw. However, if there are chew marks or scratches around the house, then a walnut could be the answer. Simply rub the nut over the scratch and watch it disappear. The natural oils from the nut seep into the marks.

Give your puppy plenty of praise

While puppies are adorable, their training can be a lot of work. Thankfully, it’s also a great way to bond with your new dog as well as helping them to learn important skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

One of the most important aspects of training to many owners is making sure their puppies are house trained.

There are so many ways that people have achieved results over the years. Professional trainers often have many ideas to suit each dog. Just be sure to give your new dog plenty of praise as soon as they go where they are supposed to. Sure, your neighbors might think you are a little strange to start with, but your puppy should love you even more in the long run.

Find the perfect playlist

There have been many studies to see if music helps our dogs when we’re out of the house, and it looks as though owners might be onto something. Some results show that classical music is among the best genres to choose as it’s typically calming.

However, some show that radio shows or podcasts that are predominantly talking could help your pet to feel more relaxed when they’re left on their own.

Want to take it one step further? There are some pet-orientated playlists and radio shows that have been specifically designed with our four-legged friend’s needs in mind. There are also some TV shows that feature scenes of running through the woods or other dog-friendly scenes so that your pet has something to watch to keep them entertained. Yes, you’re dogs are allowed to be that extra.

Make the most from your walks

Walkies! The one word that can get many dogs’ attention in an instant. It’s a great way to destress after a day in the office, to help your dog get some exercise, and to spend some time together out in Mother Nature.

Would you believe that there are ways to make the most out of your walks? It can be a great chance to work on your training by incorporating commands into your time.

This could be anything from sitting before you cross the street to your recall work. That’s not all. Perhaps you only have one dog in your life? If you’re worried that your pooch might want some time with another dog, then going on a walk with your friend and their dog could be all the playdate time they need.

Learn basic dog first aid

Of course, if there are any major accidents or illnesses, or even if you are unsure if your dog is feeling well, then it’s best to take them to see your vet.

However, there are some emergency procedures that could save your dog’s life when the vet is just too far away, or it’s outside of their working hours.

Hopefully, you will never have to use them, but dog CPR, how to stop your dog from choking, and basic bandaging skills could all be helpful talents to learn. Many veterinary clinics run first aid courses to help dog owners learn the basics. Plus, there are often plenty of local classes, other professionals, or online videos that teach owners everything they need to know about how to help their dog in an emergency.

Erase those drool marks

Some dogs drool more than others. In fact, it can sometimes look as though someone’s turned the tap on and let the water run all over the floor. We knew that our meals smelled good, but who would have thought they’d be enough to cause this much of a reaction?

While it might be funny to start with, those drool marks can begin to look a little gross and have our guests asking all kinds of questions.

That’s where Magic Erasers come into play. All you need to do is rub one of these wonder products over the stains, and it might not be long before they’re gone from your life. There is a reason they are called Magic Erasers. Sadly, they can’t erase the drool in the first place.

Dress them in bright clothing

Our dogs often love to run around off the leash. It can be a great way for them to stretch their legs, and there are many ways we can ensure they stay in our sight without getting lost.

One option is to invest in a bright-colored coat or collar, especially one with light-reflective strips. This is even more important when walking your dog early in the morning, late in the evening, or in the winter.

Another option is a collar with flashing lights that can be turned on before they run off. These can also be an excellent idea for anyone who needs to walk their dog near a road. Bright colored clothing helps to give people extra time to spot your dog just in case they pull out of your hands.

Help your dog feel calm

There are many things that can see our dogs get a little stressed. No matter how much we try to help them through some situations, sometimes they just don’t want to go out or do certain things.

There are plenty of natural calming products on the market that can be used when you’re at home. These are everything from plug-in diffusers to sprays that can be strategically sprayed around the home.

What about when you’re out and about? There’s still no reason that your dog can’t enjoy the benefits! All you need to do is invest in a neckerchief. Then, spray it with some of the calming spray or a few drops of lavender oil and tie it around their neck or attach it to their collar. This could solve a lot of issues without much work.

Save money with diaper bags

Of course, we’re all responsible dog owners, right? One of the many jobs that comes with keeping a dog is making sure you clean up after it.

If not, the dog parks could become overrun with mess, and the streets would be a health hazard that we just don’t need in our lives. So why do they make those doggy bags so expensive?

It’s almost like they don’t want us to look after our environment! Thankfully, there is an answer that could save us money while sticking to the law. That’s right; we’re talking about diaper bags. They work just as well, they just don’t cost as much. This can make even more of a difference when you have more than one dog or go on regular walks. Your bank balance can thank us later.

Clean up loose dog hair

If there’s one thing that many dog owners wish they could avoid, it’s all that lose hair. How are we ever supposed to get all the hairs? Even if we spend hours covering every inch of the house with the vacuum, the hair can soon clog it up.

Thankfully, there is a simple answer. All you need is a squeegee!

Yes, rubber squeegees can quickly pick up any loose dog hair in one simple move. Just scrape the squeegee over whatever furniture is covered in hair until it all balls up into a clump. This can be great for people who take their dogs in the car. If the hair is on the carpet or another material that won’t get damaged with water, then spraying a light mist over the hair can pick it up even quicker.