At the CELEBRATE home office, we have a large black Labrador retriever named Panini (don't ask). As we got used to Panini's demands and quirks, we realized we could make our lives and the lives of thousands of pet owners lives easier if we wrote down some of the interesting tips and tricks we have used, created, thought of over time! Here are a sampling of them!
TIPS FOR BETTER CO-SPECIES COHABITATION:
- Pet's absorb through their paws whatever you wash your floors with. To save puppy pain, rinse your floors using a mixture of vinegar and water.
- Beware the following foods and plants are hazardous to your pooch: chocolate, garlic, chicken bones, sugar free gum with xylital, aloe, ivy, and amaryllis.
- Keep your dry dog food in an airtight container. It keeps out bugs, prevents spills, and stops pup from raiding the pantry.
- Panini has a crate but she used to whine watching the busy goings on in the DIY Lab so we draped a light blocking blanket over the crate to create a comfy cave. Now at nap time, she is happy a grilled sandwich!
- Give your dog it's own plump bed, not yours! You can make it yourself. Sew or use iron-on bond tape to create a rectangular pocket the appropriate size of your dog and fill with a mix of fiber-fill and cedar chips. The cedar chips repel fleas! Make it soft and plump and your dog will think he's on cloud nine. Here is another thought for small dogs. Just use an old pillow of yours you were going to throw away. Your dog will love how it smells like you. You can even open the seam a bit to add those handy cedar chips. In that case, a pillow case would be an easy to wash cover.
- When we first gave Panini a bath, we clogged the labs test tub with her fur. Our solution, we took a small piece of window screening, placed it over the drain, and held it down with a couple pieces of masking/duct tape. The screening catches the loose fir and makes it easy to remove. You could also glue heavy washers or small stones to each corner of your screen to weight it down so that you wouldn't need to use the tape.
Dogs like Panini that like to chew things should have their toys rotated frequently to avoid boredom which can lead to chewing of furniture or important experiments that may being going on it the lab. Oh yea, we learned the hard the way!
- Take an old sock and add a handful of dog treats to it. Roll it up, similar to how you would when doing your laundry. Put the rolled sock inside another. It will take the dog a while to get through to the treats.
- Take a soda bottle (remove the cap), slide it inside a sock and tie the end. The dog will love the crinkly sound the empty bottle.
- Take three strips of old t-shirt or fleece (which is incredibly strong) and braid them together into a rope of sorts. Next, take a tennis ball and cut a hole just large enough to push the braid through tightly. Knot the braid on both ends. You can toss this around like a fox tail toy.
- Place several tennis balls in a deep muffin tin. Your pup will spend hours trying to figure out how to free the balls from their enclosures.
- Put snacks inside a paper towel tube. Press the ends of the tube flat. Cover the whole thing with duct tape and give it a toss! The dog will love trying to get at the snacks.
- Take a PVC pipe, place dried beans inside and cap both ends. It makes a great rattle!
- A plastic milk jug that is rinsed and has the cap removed makes the cheapest and quickest dog toy.
- A large plastic jar from your local wholesale super store that would normally have held nuts or candy makes an excellent toy! Remove the lid and give it a toss. Your pup will take time to realize she can only grab it from the open end and will have fun chasing it around as you toss it and bounce it all over!
- Try making "doggie pops"! Freeze beef or chick broth in plastic containers. You can even suspend treats or meat scrapes in the broth for added treat value. We recommend using low or no sodium broth if you are buying from the supermarket. Make them in the size that is appropriate for your breed. They will LOVE them as a treat on a hot day!
- Take slices of sweet potato about 1-1.5 inches thick, using a hand held corer put a hole in the center of each slice, and then bake the slices on a lined cookie sheet at 200 degrees for several hours or until the slices have dried and are leathery. Next, thread the dried potato "rings" onto a length of thick nylon rope. Knot both end and give it a toss. Your pooch will love gnawing on this treat.