Whether you own a dog, cat, or both, we all want what’s best for our fuzzy friends. Take a look at our favorite quick tips that help keep pets happy and healthy.
Dog Hates Brush
The secret to a healthy coat.
If your pal hates getting his hair brushed, it’s possible you’re using the wrong tool. Grooming pros advise brushing long-haired dogs or cats daily using a wire slicker brush (the wire unfurls long strands more easily), but for short-haired breeds, you can use a soft-bristled brush, which is more gentle on the skin, once a week. Then to make your pet’s coat really shine, rub a soft cloth in the direction the hair grows to distribute natural oils throughout.
Dog Food Bowl Bugs
Pest-proof pet bowls.
You always place your dog’s bowl outside on the patio so your favorite fuzzball can have a snack while playing in the yard, but bugs always end up in the bowl.
Tip 1: Tie a string through a DVD and hang it over the bowl, says Sarah Jacobs. The light reflected off the DVD will confuse bugs, so they’ll steer clear.
Tip 2: Cut a lemon in half and stud it with cloves, then place it on a ledge near the bowl, says Jane Mallory. The spicy citrusy scent will repel pests.
Get Rid Of Cat Litter Smell
Banish litter box odors.
No matter how often you clean it, your kitty’s litter box smells worse than ever! The likely problem? Odors lurking under the box. To eliminate the smell, clean the floor or mat under the box with your usual floor cleaner, then wash the litter box, wiping the bottom with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Vinegar’s acids will kill odor-causing bacteria, leaving the area smelling fresh.
Dog Car Ride Tips
DIY travel water bottle.
You like to make sure you have water for your dog when traveling around with her, but it’s not always easy to haul a bowl along. To ensure she stays hydrated, make her a take-along water bottle.
To do: Use a box cutter to carefully cut the top off a clean 1-liter soda bottle, then cut the bottle in half vertically (smooth out rough edges with a nail file). Fill another 1-liter bottle with water and wrap the cut bottle around the full bottle. Then when your cutie is thirsty, place the cut bottle on the ground (cut side up), fill with water, and let your pup drink up!
Cat Car Ride Tips
Keep Fluffy calm and cool on car trips.
Visits to the vet are hard enough on your sweet kitty without having to worry about her getting overheated in the car on steamy days. To make sure she stays cool for the ride, try this: Soak a clean dish towel in a bowl of ice-cold water, then wring it out and lay it over the cat carrier, making sure to keep the front of the carrier uncovered. The cool towel will instantly lower the temperature inside the carrier by a few degrees, so your sweetie can ride in comfort.
Clean Pet Paws
Clean off dirty paws in seconds.
Summer’s high temperatures turn the sidewalks in your neighborhood into minefields of melted chewing gum and other gooey messes that stick to your sweetie’s paws. Removing the sticky stuff is a pain, plus you worry that the xylitol in sugar-free gum could make your pal sick (it’s toxic to animals if ingested). Fortunately, there’s an easy way to clean off your pet’s paws: Simply massage a small amount of vegetable oil into the fur around the gum. The oil will break down sticky bits so they slide right off. Then you can remove any residual oil by wiping his paws with a wet cloth.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.