Pets—we sure do love them! Dogs, cats, bunnies, birds and many more. They are often our best buddies and we want to treat them right. Here are some clever ideas for keeping pets comfortable year round and also for solving some common household pet problems without spending a lot of time or money.
Many pet birds love to take baths. Next bath time, try using a new plastic paint tray as a bathtub! The ribs on the bottom of the tray provide traction, and the tray's slope allow your pets to wade in the shallow water until they're ready to move into the deep end. Paint trays are cheap and easy to clean, and they also make great turtle pools (but don't tell your birds).
In the summertime, a favorite destination for ants is often a pet's food bowl. Here's a simple way to keep them out of your dog or cat's food—set the dish in a pan of water. Not only does it keep the ants out of the pet food, but your pet can take a gulp of water from the pan whenever he or she needs a drink.
Hot summer days are tough on bunnies. Here's a great way to recycle plastic water bottles and keep your bunnies cool at the same time. Fill the bottles with water, freeze them solid and then set them out in the rabbit hutches. The bunnies love to laze against the bottles as the ice thaws. This works great with puppies, too.
Does your dog's barking in the car drive you nuts? Try this trick: Every time your dog barks, close the windows (watch her head). She'll quickly learn that barking means no fresh air and no slobbery tongue flapping in the breeze. After a few car rides, you'll both be driving around in blissful silence.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Wynn, Dreamstime.com
Is your dog getting a little chubby? Try replacing his high-calorie treats with plain rice cakes. Even if you think they're tasteless, dogs go nuts over them and vets often suggest them as a lower fat (and less expensive) substitute for regular dog treats.
Some dogs love to gnaw on electrical cords around the house. This is not only dangerous but also really irritating when they destroy your computer cables. Solve the problem by wrapping the cords with split flexible plastic conduit that you get at home centers and automotive stores ($3.50 for 10 ft.). Just cut the length you need and push the cords into the pre-split slot. Your dog will soon lose interest in the cords. Now if you could just get him to stop chewing up your slippers!
Does your dog eat your cat's food? Put a stop to the double-dipping by moving your cat's dish into a different room that has a door. Attach adhesive-backed hook-and-loop fasteners to the back of the door and to the front of the trim. After filling the cat's dish, hook up the fasteners so the door only opens 5 in. Now your cat can come and go and eat his meal in peace.
For a calmer and easier bath time, make a dog washing station in your shower. Cover the drain with a hair catcher ($3.50 at hardware stores) to prevent fur from clogging it. Cut a hole in a bath mat so it fits over the drain and lay it in the shower to prevent your dog from slipping around. Using a handheld sprayer gives you more control and lets you avoid spraying water into your pet's ears. Everyone involved will find bath day a whole lot more pleasant.