Simple Hacks That Will Make Life as a Pet Owner EasierSunday, August 14, 2016
Having a pet is a big commitment. Pets like cats and dogs have long life spans, so if you choose to adopt one then you have to be in it for the long haul. People can put off by the time commitment that's involved with owning a pet, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. There are plenty of hacks and shortcuts that can make your life a bit easier, save you time but still mean you have a happy and content pet.
When it comes to cat and dog food it's much cheaper and more convenient to buy in bulk. There's less chance of running out, and you don't have to keep dashing out to the shops to buy more. But big bags of food can lose their freshness over time, and so it's worthwhile buying a large plastic food container from a pet shop to keep it sealed. I personally free feed my dogs which means leaving food down at all times, and simply refilling the bowl when it's empty. Having two dogs I find this way means there's no competition for food, since it's always available and is the method that works for us best. However if you have a dog or cat who will overeat given the chance (or have a breed that gains weight easily) you'll need to weigh and portion out their food. Doing this all in one go and separating it into plastic boxes will not only save you space but time too, as each day you can grab a box and pour it into their bowl with no messing about.
A healthy pet shouldn't have an odour, but older cats and dogs or those with health conditions can be prone to being smelly. If you have a pet like this, it's a good idea to encourage them to sleep in their own bed or on throws on the sofa that can easily be washed. That way you can put the throws in the washing machine, and save your carpets, sofas or rugs from getting smelly! It might take a while to get them into the habit (especially if they've always been allowed on the carpet and furniture), but encouraging them to move to a place where you have washable throws and covers down will mean you can keep where they've sat clean. Between washes you could spray their bed to keep it smelling fresh. Use an old cleaning spray bottle and fill it with some water, and a few tablespoons of baking powder. Mix it up and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. It's a natural way to eliminate smells so you're not spraying chemicals all over your pet's stuff.
Cleaning up after your pet is an unfortunate yet unavoidable part of the job. But there are things you can do to make your life easier. Cleaning up after your dog in the garden for example is much easier with a scoop than a thin glove or bag! It's also worth having a hose installed in your back garden too to wash down where they've been each day. Jeyes Fluid is a great disinfectant that's recommended for cleaning dog urine, which you can dilute with water and use outside. Just make sure the area is completely dry before letting your dogs back in the garden. Similarly for cats you could get something like a robot litter box. It's able to clean itself and control smells and waste, so it saves you a horrible job and makes your life much easier.
Caring for your pet involves giving it plenty of attention, and dogs especially are needy and enjoy nothing more than spending time with their humans. Investing in some decent toys will give you hours of fun together, and help them to use up some energy- a tired dog is a happy dog! For bigger breeds or those that love to chew up their toys, go for pieces made with solid rubber. They'll last for ages, and while they cost a bit more money up front will save you in the long run where they don't have to keep being replaced.
Have you got any hacks that have made your life with a pet a little easier?