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Smart Pet Solutions: 4 Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy All Month Long

Make sure that sweet, lovable pup stays happy.

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With inflation still sky-high, tricks to cut down on our pet bills have been a life saver. From food to health issues, many doggie troubles can be solved at home. Try these smart pet solutions to protect your pup’s paws (and avoid hefty vet bills), keep ants away from food (so it doesn’t spoil), cool down your dog with an icy treat, and ease anxiety caused by loud noises.

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Protect a pup’s paws with this.

Taking your pup on a nature trail? During Fido’s walk, sharp rocks and pine cones can scratch up his paws, which means you have to make an expensive trip to the vet. The quick fix: Slip some socks over his paws (kids’ and baby socks are best, but adult ones can work in a pinch). The fabric will create a barrier so he can do his business without scraping up his paw pads.

Keep ants away from your pup’s pet food.

You like to keep some kibble on the back patio for your pals to nibble on as they play, but ants try to make a meal of it too. Here, readers share how they keep ants away:

  • Sprinkle baking soda around the dish, says Amy Hanson. While nontoxic to your pets, baking soda dries out the insects’ bodies after they ingest it, quickly killing them. (53% this idea!)
  • Place duct tape (sticky side out) around the bowl’s bottom, says Julia Howell. Ants will get stuck before they can get to the food. (47% this idea!)

Try these cool treats for Rover.

No matter the time of year, dogs always appreciate a cool treat. (After all, the only ways they can get rid of heat are by panting and airing out their paws.) Rather than splurging on the frozen fare at the pet store, make your pup a low-cost “pupsicle” right at home. To do: Mix 2 cups of low-salt beef or chicken broth with ⅔ cup of water and pour into a Popsicle mold or 3 small paper cups. Stick them in the freezer for an hour, then place a small rawhide stick in the center of each cup and return to the freezer. Once solid, remove from the mold (or peel away the paper cup) and serve.

Ease jitters from loud noises.

A large truck speeding down the road make poor Buster cower with anxiety. But you can calm him with this desensitizing trick dog trainers swear by: A few minutes before your walk, play videos of trucks going by on YouTube. com. Start the video on low volume for five minutes while feeding Buster his daily meal or giving him some special treats. Then progressively play the video a little louder a few times a day until it’s playing at top volume. Once he’s heard the loud noise of trucks on video, your pup will get so used to the sound that the real deal will cease to scare him.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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