Life Hacks: Pets

There are countless problems you encounter on a daily basis that can put a little speed bump in your day. Life hacks are those “a-ha!” moments where you find the simplest solution to your daily problems, oftentimes using items immediately at your disposal. Each month this column will take you through some creative hacks to use in all different areas of your life, to make your day to day as simple as possible. This month we explore some hacks that will benefit your furry, four legged best friends.

If you’re like me, you believe your pet is part of the family and, as such, he or she has a bed right next to the couch or bed, or they may even curl up right beside you on your household furnishings. Every now and then there’s a need for keeping your pet safely leashed while outside. You can provide a temporary outdoor leash using your normal walking leash and a carabiner. Simple hook the carabiner to the handle of the leash and then to the lead portion creating a loop around a sturdy porch leg or cemented pole.

Storing all our pet’s accessories and upkeep items can take up a reasonable amount of space but there are tricks to organizing and efficiently storing all of your pet’s items. A cheap shower caddy attached to the back of a cabinet door or hanging on the wall in a laundry or mudroom is a quick go-to spot. It can hold leashes, collars and harnesses on the hooks along the bottom, and the shelf or shelves can hold flea and heartworm medications, treats and grooming supplies.

Puppy breath is adorable, but it’s short lived and quickly turns into stinky dog breath. If you have a dog who doesn’t care for regular teeth brushings, try sprinkling parsley on his food. Not only will it add a touch of class to his breakfast and nightly meals, but it will also neutralize the rancid breath that makes those sweet kisses not so sweet. Fresh parsley is best and you only need about ½ a teaspoon sprinkled over the food per meal.

Cats are notorious for scratching any beloved item or piece of furniture that you don’t want them to, many times looking you dead in the eye while they do it. “Why?” you ask. Because they’re cats and they do what they want…that’s why. To help stop Fluffy from destroying the arm of your second or third couch, try attaching some double sided tape to his or her favorite scratching areas. There will be attempts but the tape should scare them away after a couple of tries.

Being a pet owner usually means you’ll be cleaning up accidental diddles at least a few times in your pet’s life. There are lots of products out there claiming to work miracles for animal urine, but one of the most steadfast formulas can usually be found in your cabinets. After blotting up any dampness from the accident, sprinkle the area with just enough baking soda to cover the spot and pour white vinegar on top of the baking soda. There will be a reasonable amount of bubble and fizzing and this is normal. Once the combination has finished its job, wipe up the excess and vacuum anything left behind that you couldn’t pick up. This will take care of staining and clean up the odor of the accident for both you and your pet, deterring future accidents.

Cats are typically very food driven pets and often have a habit of overeating and making little kitty kibble messes around your house. If your cat is overeating, try feeding it on a plate instead of a bowl. If you have a determined cat that gets into her food bag between meals, try transferring it to a large beverage pitcher and storing in a cabinet out of kitty’s reach.