Tips & Tricks

Below you will find a large and growing list of pet "tips & tricks" that we hope will be of some benefit to you. If you come across a valuable bit of advice that you would like to share please POST IT and we will enter your contribution into the database. Enjoy and thanks for participating.
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SafetyAllPrevent Pet Sunburn light-colored animals can get sunburn, too? Guard against this by dabbing a bit of SPF 15 sunscreen on your pet’s nose and the tips of his ears.
FoodDogsFido Being Finicky?If you’ve bought a new brand of food and your dog doesn’t want to eat it, put a piece of beef jerky in the bag and reseal it. By the next day, the smell will have worn off on the food, making it seem much more appetizing.
FoodAllWhere to Buy Pet FoodWhen shopping for pet food, make sure to compare prices at the pet store to those at your grocery store. A recent study found that pet food tends to cost more at stores that are full of people who are already buying pet products!
MaintenanceDogsGet Groomed for LessThe busiest days at the pet groomer’s are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Find a groomer who offers discounts on Tuesdays through Thursdays, or ask your groomer if she will offer you a discount for coming midweek.
TrainingCatsStop Cats from Scratching FurnitureIf there’s a specific piece of furniture you don’t want your cat on, or place you don’t want him to go, you know how hard it is to enforce this rule. If your yelling doesn’t seem to be much of a deterrent to your favorite feline, try this instead: In a spray bottle, mix together 1 cup of water with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Place in a spray bottle and test in an inconspicuous area of your furniture to make sure it won’t stain. Cats hate the smell, and don’t want it on their paws. Repeat every few days until they find somewhere else to scratch (like that expensive scratching post you bought) permanently.
TrainingDogsPacify a Chewing PuppyIf you have a new puppy like Bruce, and he’s been chewing through chair and table legs, head to your local vitamin or health food store and ask for some clove oil. Oil of cloves smells great to us but terrible to dogs. Wipe it on the legs of anything wooden, and he’ll stay away.
SafetyAllKeep Animals from Chewing on CordsIf your cat or dog likes chewing on electrical cords, we know you need a solution, and fast! Here it is: Unplug the electronics, then rub the cords with a wedge of lemon. Once they’ve dried, you can plug them back in. Animals hate the taste of lemon and will steer clear.
TrainingDogsA Better-Behaved DogMany dog trainers say that the key to discouraging bad behavior (like incessant barking) is to startle your dog. An easy way to do this is to fill an old toilet paper tube with uncooked rice or beans, then tape aluminum foil over each end. Shake the tube and the noise will be enough to surprise him out of his bad behavior.
HealthAllProper Care for Pet ToysKeep your pets’ playthings clean and free from bacteria and germs by tossing them into the dishwasher alone (without dishes) once a month. But hold the detergent: Just turn the temp to hot and the heat plus the water pressure will completely sanitize plastic or rubber toys. And not only will a quick wash help ensure that Fido stays healthy, it’ll prolong the life of the toys and keep your floors, carpets, and furniture clean, too.
HealthCatsGet Rid of Litter Box OdorIf your cat’s litter box smells like, well, a litter box, rinse it out and add a half-inch of white vinegar in the box. Let it stand for half an hour, then swish it around, rinse, and dry the box.
MaintenanceAllEasily Get Rid of Pet HairEasy way to get fur off of furniture is with a pair of rubber gloves. Instead of using them while washing dishes, pull them on and rub your hands over the couch (or whatever else needs de-furring) to pull up the hair. The surface of the gloves creates tension with the surface of the furniture, and the fur will roll off in hunks you can easily throw away.
HealthAllTricks for Getting Rid of Fleas NaturallyDid you know that saltwater gets rid of fleas? If you live near the ocean, let your dog swim in it to naturally get rid of fleas
HealthCatsGet Cats to Take Pills More EasilyIf you have trouble getting your cat to swallow pills, try rubbing them in butter first. It will make them taste better to your cat, and they’ll slide right down his throat.
HealthAllKeep Ants Away from Pet FoodNever have to throw away an ant-infested bowl of pet food again! If ants keep sneaking into your pet’s food, you should know this tip: Ants can’t swim! Place the bowl of dog or cat food into a shallow bowl filled with water.
HealthAllBad Breath BombIf your cat or dog has horrible breath, try adding some fresh chopped parsley to his food. It counteracts the bad breath smell, so you can cuddle closer.
HealthAllHow to Tell if Your Pet Has FleasYour pet has been scratching himself, but you’re not entirely sure if she’s got fleas. Give her the white sock test. Slip a white sock over your hand and run it over her coat, as well as her bedding and on any carpet that she frequently lays on. If you find any little black specks on the sock, they’re likely flea droppings.
HealthAllAll-Natural Flea Bath TreatmentIf your pet definitely has fleas, you can get rid of them with a simple saltwater bath. Fill the sink or tub with water, then add a generous amount of salt. Stir until it dissolves, then bathe your pet in the saltwater. The fleas and their eggs will die.
HealthAllGet Rid of Fleas While Your Pet SleepsIf your pet hates baths, try this “bright” idea. Next to where your dog or cat sleeps, place some Christmas lights, or a lamp without a lampshade, and underneath it a bowl of soapy water. (Be sure to set it far enough away from your pet so that he or she can’t knock either over.) The fleas will be attracted to the heat from the light and jump toward it, most often landing directly in the bowl of soapy water. Repeat this treatment every night for a week, or until the fleas are gone.
HealthAllGet Fleas Out of Your HouseNow that you’ve gotten the fleas off your pet, get them off your upholstery and carpets by vacuuming with a high-powered vacuum cleaner (ideally with a canister). Remove the canister or bag and dispose of it outside as soon as you finish. Then, keep fleas from coming back with eucalyptus or lavender essential oil. In a spray bottle, combine a few drops of the essential oil with 1 cup water. Use it to spray your pet’s bed and other areas of your home. The fleas find the smells of eucalyptus and lavender repellent, so they’ll steer clear. Don’t use this spray undiluted or directly on your pet, and make sure to check with your vet first.
HealthAllHow to Get Rid of TicksYou and your dog just enjoyed a fun romp through the forest, but you brought back a souvenir: ticks. To more easily remove them from your dog (or yourself!), first wet a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol. Dab it on the tick, and he’ll loosen his grip. You should then be able to pull the tick straight off.
HealthAllHow to Get Rid of Ear MitesIs your dog or cat constantly scratching his ears? He may have ear mites. After confirming with your vet, try this household remedy: dissolve 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup warm water and rub a cotton ball soaked in that mixture on your pet’s ears. Repeat this treatment every day until your pet stops scratching.