I Tried 4+ Hacks For Dog Owners With Mixed Results

Diply 23 Oct 2018

As a single person with two dogs and a house to take care of on my own, I am always happy to find new ways to make chores quicker and easier.

Life with two dogs often means cuddling with one on the couch while the other keeps dropping slobbery toys on your face. I love them to death, but they are a handful.

So, I decided to try a few of the hacks and DIYs I've seen all over the internet to see if they help.

But first, an introduction:

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Wesley is the dark shih tzu/poodle mix with an unhealthy obsession with red balls. He has a throw quota and if I don't meet it in a day, he will expect me to play fetch from bed.

Basil is the black and white pure shih tzu who gets away with absolutely everything because he's too clever for his own good.

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1. See that bit of stuffing on the floor in that last pic? I need to do something about that.

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Wesley is the more toy-oriented of the two and when he's not making me throw his red ball across the house for the billionth time, he's ripping the stuffing out of some poor plush. Just when I think I've cleaned it all up, there's more.

So, I found a hack that uses felt and a hollow cage ball to create a toy he can tear apart over and over.

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I actually already had the ball, but you can usually find ones like it easily, maybe even at a dollar store.

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The only other thing I needed was some felt, which I cut into strips. I also wrapped a few treats up into it for extra fun.

I figure that it's the squeaker Wesley is so set on digging for, so a treat could be a similar incentive.

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Once the first, treat-filled packet of felt was inside, I stuffed the rest of the felt strips inside. 

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Once the whole ball was full, I stuffed a few more treats in among the folds.

It would be an understatement to say that the boys were very interested in what I was up to.

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Unsurprisingly, they were both ready for it when it was done. 

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But the big surprise was that Basil was the one who fell in love with it. It works as a pretty good puzzle toy, forcing him to work for his treats.

I think it's a win. I'm still cleaning up the innards, but I can reuse the felt over and over, saving money on stuffed toys.

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2. For the second hack, I was looking for something to help deal with the rug problem. 

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Basil is modeling his post-zoomies effect on the household rugs.

This particular rug gets it the worst since they charge over it whenever they greet someone at the door.

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The actual hack I found involved using Velcro tape, which my dollar store oddly lacked. 

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But I did find some no-slip carpet tape and figured I'd give it a try. If it worked, it would save me sticking something directly to my hardwood.

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With Basil's "help" I applied the tape to the back of the rug. 

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Hedging my bets, I put two big strips of tape on each end of the rug, using up all of the tape. If it worked, I could always go buy more.

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And it did seem to work... until it didn't.

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Here are the terrible twosome this morning, wondering why I'm not staying home and making them more toys and tasty treats today.

I may be doomed to sticking something directly on the hardwood.

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3. While looking for tips, I came across a recipe for homemade, breath-busting dog treats.

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I've been thinking of trying more homemade treats for the puppers, so I figured why not try this one? Dog breath sucks — especially Wesley's.

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It was super simple, but I'll admit to raising an eyebrow at the inclusion of fish.

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I chopped up the parsley, then mixed it, an egg, and some flour into canned salmon before kneading it into a dough.

(For the record, kneading fish dough is gross. And sticky.)

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Then I pressed it flat and cut it up. 

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They all went into a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.

By minute 10, my house was beginning to smell very fishy.

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After letting them cool, the boys were happy to taste test.

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There would be a picture of Basil too, but he was so excited that every single one I took is blurry.

After a few treats, I gave their breath a sniff and it wasn't bad. However, making the treats was pretty gross and left my house smelling strongly of fish for hours. So your mileage may vary.

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4. I'm never happy unless there's at least one DIY to do, so I decided to make them bandannas that slide over their collars. 

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I have a bunch of scrap fabric leftover from making sketchbook covers, so I figured this was the perfect use for some of it.

First, I measured the length and width of their collars and made a template with cardstock.

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The long rectangle at the top of the template matches their collar measurements. 

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Once I had my template and chosen fabrics, I traced the shape and cut them all to size.

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I don't have a sewing machine, so I used fabric glue. 

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Each bandanna is reversible, so I glued two pieces together along the top and side, leaving the ends of the collar section open. I also added a bead of glue along the bottom of the upper section, creating a sleeve for the collar.

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Once the glue dried, you couldn't see it at all, and I think the results are pretty cute. 

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Since the bandannas slide over their collars, I don't need to worry about them getting lost.

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5. Finally, it was time for a bath, which none of us are fond of. 

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They know something's up...

Neither of them enjoy baths. Basil is a wriggler and splashes everything. Luckily, his legs are too short to jump out of the deep tub. Wesley freezes up until you look away for half a second, and then launches himself out of the tub.

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I'd seen the hack of using peanut butter to distract a dog during bath time and figured it was worth a try.

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It was at this point that I began questioning my life choices.

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It looked promising, though.

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Normally, the boys can tell the difference between me getting ready to bathe myself and when it's actually their turn. As soon as there's an old towel on the floor and their shampoo in reach, they go into hiding. But Basil couldn't help following his nose.

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Which made him the first sacrifice.

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As Basil happily nommed the peanut butter, I thought I might have a winner, but then I got him wet. All bets were off and bath time became its usual wrestling match.

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He did get clean, but we were both soaked and the peanut butter was left alone. 

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Though, proving he has a short attention span, Basil did return after his zoomies. Which isn't a surprise because the warm, steamy room had the effect of making the peanut butter smell really strong.

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The same pattern happened with Wesley. 

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He enjoyed some peanut butter until he was wet, and then it was business as usual.

I think this is a very dog-dependent hack. It's worth trying with your pooch if they love peanut butter, but be prepared to have to wash your tub.

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So, what did I learn after trying all these hacks?

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That my dogs aren't sure what to make of being my guinea pigs, and no amount of freshened breath is worth making those treats ever again.

Since I wanted to get that smell out ASAP, they got the rest of the treats for dinner. So they were very happy.

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