Pet Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

Monica Gray - August 13, 2023

Hacks save precious time and energy that we could spend on other things, like errands and projects. Most of us know about cooking and kitchen hacks, but did you know there are hacks for your pet, too? With a few simple changes, you could make you and your pet’s life a lot easier. Your furry friend will thank you! Whether you’re freezing bones into a cake mold, building hidden crates, or tiring out your pet by playing fetch downhill, these simple changes to your routine will make having a pet that much easier. Besides, the happier you are, the happier your pet will be, and the more energy you’ll have to play with them. There’s no better way to learn how to love unconditionally than by learning through our pets.


Freeze Bones And Chicken Broth Into A Cake Mold

You can easily make a DIY ice lick for your pet by freezing bones and chicken broth with a cake mold. Not only will this hydrate them and provide them with essential nutrients, but it’ll keep them busy and occupied for hours. This is a great way for you to get some work done before you take them on their walk. You can also freeze Greek yogurt or peanut butter, both of which your pets will love. They last a long time in the freezer, so it’s only something you have to prepare once and a while. You can call these delicious treats “Pupsicles” (Hip 2 Save).


Use Peanut Butter As A Distraction

Even though it’s not recommended to give peanut butter to cats, dogs love peanut butter. They can’t seem to get enough of that creamy goodness, which is why it works as such a great distraction, especially when you’re trimming your dog’s nails. Simply put peanut butter on your fingers and let your dog lick away. Since peanut butter is packed with nutrients that dogs need, they inevitably love it. There’s also protein, which is important for puppies’ growth. Many scientists also believe peanut butter smells like meat to dogs (Blue Ridge Naturals).


Make A Treat Dispensing Toy

As much as we love giving our dogs treats, we can’t always be at home to give it to them. Things like work and chores get in the way. But that doesn’t mean your pet shouldn’t get their treats. You can use a paper towel roll as a dispenser, or a tennis ball stuffed with their favorite snack. Throw the tennis ball to them and have them discover what’s inside (Wag Walking).

Lords and Labradors

Use A Pillow Instead Of A Crate

Some pets hate crates. They feel claustrophobic and might not like being trapped behind bars. Can we blame them? If your pet doesn’t like the crate, opt for a pillow instead. This is a great hack to teach your pet discipline while also giving them a space they feel comfortable within their home. Pillows are also less bulky, which will give your pet space to move around (Lords and Labradors).

Cheerful Hound

Entertain Your Pet With Games

One of the best ways to entertain your pet is to make a game for them using treats. Grab three cups and have them sit patiently in front of you. Lift the cups, one by one, to show them there is a treat underneath one cup. Move the cups around and have your pet try to find the treat! Not only will this keep them entertained, but it’s a great way to teach them discipline. You could also use a cupcake baking sheet and tennis balls as an alternative. Hide the treats under select balls and make them move the balls to discover the treat underneath! (Pinterest).

ASPCA Pet Insurance

Pet Proof Your Home

Make sure you store your electrical cords out of reach so your dogs do not chew them. Just as you would for your kids, it’s just as important to keep these cords hidden and tucked away. One of the easiest hacks for this is to use a paper towel roll. Simply pull the cords through the roll to keep them protected. You can also use childproof latches on your cabinets to keep them shut. Cats are smarter than we think and have a tendency to open cabinets by themselves (Reddit).

The Spruce Pets

Buy A Collapsible Water Bowl

When you’re on the go, it might feel tedious or annoying to stop for your pet to drink water. They need water as much as we do, especially if they’re on a walk on a hot day. This is why a collapsible water bowl is the best pet hack for you busy bees on the go. The water bowl simply collapses when it’s not in use, and you can easily put it together when you need to hydrate your furry friend (The Spruce Pets).


Use A Magic Towel To Dry Off Your Dog

No one wants a wet dog walking around their house. Not only do they smell, but their wet fur alone can create a huge mess that’s annoying to clean up. And no matter how often you use your dry towel to dry off your dog, it probably never seems like it works. This is where the magic towel comes in. The towels are super absorbent and work like a charm (Reddit).


Turn Your Pet’s Water Bowl Into A Moss Garden

If you have a messy pet who’s always getting water on the floor whenever they drink from their bowl, we have a solution for you. Instead of having to get on all fours and clean up after your pet, you can turn their bowl into a moss garden. Simply place the water bowl in a small box with dirt and plants. Whenever your messy pet drinks from their bowl, they’ll also water the plants around them (Reddit)


Soothe Your Pets With Classical Music

Because there are no lyrics in classical music, this sends pets into a calm state. They don’t feel like they need to listen for human commands in the words, and can easily relax to the soft melodies, much like humans do. Classical music also helps lower pet’s heart rates, which is helpful if you leave your pet alone during the day. You can put classical music on in the background (Rover).


Do Meal Prep

Just like you do meal prep for yourself, doing meal prep for your pets will save time and energy. If you like feeding your pet more than just dry or wet food throughout the week, you can make them nice chicken or meat treats they’ll love. Spend a couple of hours at the beginning of the week making delicious treats that your pet can enjoy throughout the week. Everyone loves a surprise treat! (Reddit).

24/7 Mom

Remove Pet Hair With Rubber Gloves

One of the most effective ways to remove your pet’s excess hair is to use rubber gloves. Simply put these on, soak them in water, and rub them all over your pet. You can get the hard-to-reach areas, and the hair will easily stick to the rubber. If you don’t have a pair of rubber gloves, you can use gentle baby wipes to get rid of hair. Your pet will feel cleaner and happier without all that excess hair on their body (24/7 Moms).

Angela Ardolino

Dogs Love Essential Oils

You probably love the smell of lavender. Well, it turns out your dogs love it just as much as you do! If you put lavender oil between the shoulder blades of your dog, it’ll help keep ticks and fleas at bay. Apply it regularly between their shoulder blades for the best results. You can also bring it with you on hikes in a small spray bottle. It’ll keep your dog cool, smelling fresh, and smelling good (Expert Home Tips).


Don’t Be Afraid To Call The Vet

If you find yourself constantly Googling symptoms for your pet, just call the vet. They’ll be able to direct you, give you advice, and check out your pet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and using the internet to solve pet problems is never the best solution. The fastest solution is your vet, and even though it might not seem like a hack, it surely is a way to save time (Reddit).


Play Fetch Downhill

If you have high-energy pets that need to get tired out, try playing fetch downhill. This will tire them out a lot faster than simply playing fetch on flat ground. They need to use different muscles as they run down and up the hill, which will increase their heart rate and make their tongue hang low! You’ll find your pet sitting on the ground way faster than usual. Not only that, but this hack will save your arm and prevent it from tiring out as it usually does (Reddit).


Deep Clean Your Pet’s Collar

Think about it, when was the last time you took your pet’s collar off and gave it a proper clean? It’s probably been months! To keep your pet healthy and smelling fresh, it’s important to clean their collar. Dirt and sweat get trapped underneath their collar and in their fur. By giving it a deep clean in a washing machine, or changing their collar altogether, you’ll keep your pet as healthy as possible. You can also clean it by using warm water and baking soda and soaking it in the solution (Oscar and Hooch).

IKEA Hackers

Reduce Clutter By Putting A Crate In Your Dresser

Double up and use your dresser as a crate for your pet! Simply do this by taking out one of the drawers on the bottom and adding a tension rod with sheer fabric. This will make it disappear during the day. When your pet wants to use their crate, they can easily walk inside. This will declutter your home and make your space look bigger. Besides, the curtain looks cute in your room and can add a chic or bohemian vibe (IKEA Hackers).


Invest In Bitter Apple

We’re not talking about a literal bitter apple. But there’s a product out there that you can spray on your furniture that will deter your dog from chewing their favorite pieces. It will make them taste less appealing, and eventually, your dog should stop altogether. If you give them a chew toy instead while making this transition, they’ll have something else to distract their chewing habits with (Reddit).


Make A Natural Tick Repellent

You might not want to use harsh tick repellents on your precious pets. Luckily, there’s a tick hack out there that’s natural and effective. Simply mix apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and water to make a natural tick-repellent spray. During peak tick season, wash your pets in this tick solution to prevent bites. Animals can get very sick from tick bites, so it’s better to prevent them than have to deal with the consequences (AKC Pet Insurance).

Top Dog Tips

Make A Dog Car Seat

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on making a dog car seat. All you have to do is use a laundry basket, blanket, and pillow to build the car seat and keep your pet safe. Pets are just as vulnerable as humans in the car, which is why it’s important to secure them in a safe position in the back of your car. Use a laundry basket as a seat for your pet, and cover it with a blanket and pillows. Samantha Randall from Top Dog Tips said, “I make this car seat without sewing. To secure the car seat, all you have to do is weave the seatbelt strap through the holes in the laundry basket. Buckle the seatbelt and pull the strap tight.” If they’re not hanging their tongue out the window, they’re probably sleeping instead (Reddit).

IKEA Hackers

Hack An IKEA Shelf

Grab an affordable IKEA shelf and make it into a modern dog bed. This will save you tons of money in the long run, since IKEA shelves are cheaper than modern dog beds. Besides, you’ll have more fun creating your dog bed than simply buying one that already exists (IKEA Hackers).


Scatter Orange Peels In Your Yard To Prevent Pets From Digging

Your pet is likely sensitive to citrus. If you keep walking into your backyard and finding holes, you can prevent this by scattering citrus peels around your yard. Your pet won’t dig any holes where there are citrus peels. The scent isn’t harmful to your pet and will prevent them from destroying your yard (This Home Spun Hydrangea).

The Honest Kitchen

Leash Your Dog With A Carabiner

Coming out of the grocery store and having to spend ten minutes untying knots isn’t fun for anyone. Simply use a carabiner and loop the leash handle through it. Wrap it around a post, and you’re done! You don’t need to worry about tying the knot or ensuring it’s tight enough to stay. You can shop in peace and your dog will be waiting for you when you’re back (Notes From A Dog Walker).

Puppy Leaks

Use Cornstarch And Water To Stop Nail Bleeding

It’s not easy cutting our pet’s nails. It’s one of the toughest tasks we face when we own a pet. They seem to hate nail cutting more than anything, and it almost seems impossible to get them to stay still when you’re trying to cut their nails. If you accidentally cut your dog’s nails too short, you can stop bleeding with water and cornstarch. Apply the mixture to the bleeding nail with a cotton swab. The paste will stop the bleeding (My Brown Newfies).


Invest In A Pet Bandana

If your pet tends to drool all over the shelves, your floor, and your furniture, you can invest in a pet bandana. This will catch any drool that makes its way out of their mouths and onto the floor. Not only that, but your pet will look adorable in their colorful bandana. You can even get themed bandanas for holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving (Reddit).


Line Your Cat’s Litter Trays

There’s nothing more annoying than having to clean out your cat’s litter tray. You can make this much easier by lining it with a garbage bag. When you need to clean it, you can simply take out the garbage bag and toss it in the bin. This also means the tray will never stink, since there’s never any litter touching it (Reddit).

Den Garden

Soak Up Smells With Baking Soda

After a while, your house might start to smell like your pet, especially if you’re not staying on top of your washing. The best way to get rid of smells is by washing your sheets with baking soda. This is especially helpful for pet bed covers. Make sure you opt for a removable bed cover when you’re shopping for your pet. Add a cup of baking soda to your detergent for an effective solution for removing smells (Filtrete).


Slow Down Your Dog’s Eating Habits With A Ball

If your dog tends to scarf down all their food at once, you can slow down their eating using a ball. Simply place the ball in the bowl before they eat. This will prevent them from scarfing down all that food since they’re forced to move the ball around while trying to eat. Even if they get the hang of it and manage to take the ball out of the bowl, at least it’ll slow them down for a little while. Make sure you use a big enough ball so they don’t accidentally swallow it while they’re eating. If you have a little more money to spend, you could also invest in a puzzle feeder like you see above (Primal Pet Foods).


Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Even though dogs naturally take care of their oral hygiene, it doesn’t mean plaque doesn’t build up. It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth every so often to keep them clean and healthy. It’s best to brush your dog’s teeth twice a day, every day. That might sound like an arduous task, so if you don’t have the time, once per day or every other day should suffice. The minimum recommendation is to brush your dog’s teeth three times per week. This is a preventative hack that’ll save you some expensive dentist trips in the long run (VCA Hospitals).


Save Space By Putting Dog Bowls In A Bottom Drawer

As you would with your dog’s bed, you can save kitchen space by putting your dog bowls in a bottom drawer. Simply open the drawer when you want to feed your pet, clean them and close the drawer when they’re not in use (Pinterest).


Freeze Carrot Sticks For Teething Dogs

When your puppies are teething, it’s important to help them through the pain, just as you would for a baby. The best way to do this is to freeze carrot sticks for them to chew on. This will help alleviate the pain and give them a tasty, healthy treat at the same time. Best of all, they don’t break your budget and are easy to buy at the supermarket. Carrots provide vitamin A, potassium, and fiber for your dogs. There’s nothing better than munching on a treat that’s actually good for you! (AKC)