DIY - Best Pet hacks for Summer and Winter

The summer is already upon us. Although it is one of the great times of the year for the pet, the heat can be super dangerous to your little furry friend.

There are 1001 ways to beat the heat to keep your pet cool in summer. Here are some of the most popular DIY Hacks for you to try.

Unlike us humans who are covered in sweat glands, dogs only sweat through sweat glands in the pads of their feet and noses. They release heat by panting, which isn't super-efficient so they can quickly become overheated. To avoid the dangers of heat, they need our help.

10 Best DIY Pet Hacks for Summer

Here is the list of ten best Do-It-Yourself Hacks to beat the heat this summer and keep your furry friend cool and happy.

Frozen DIY Treats

  • Creating a frozen pet treat is one of the most popular DIY hacks. It’s easy and very much loved by dogs. You can choose to buy frozen pet treats from the market and keep it inside your freezer until you need them or you can create one yourself.
  • You can create frozen treats at home by using these ingredients
  • Frozen broth cubes - Pour beef or chicken broth with no salt in the ice-cube tray and freeze them overnight.
  • Frozen yogurt - Yoghurt is good for dogs. Choose to buy lactose-free yogurt and freeze it in an ice-cube tray for a few hours.
  • Frozen Kong - You can use oven-baked traditional kibbles and spread some peanut butter or cream cheese and free it.
  • Peanut Butter Popsicles - Who doesn't love popsicle? Mix peanut butter, mashed bananas, and plain yogurt and free it in an ice-cube tray.
  • Remember that you must use healthy meal options to create frozen treats for your dog, to keep it active and relished.

Summer Dog Shoes

You must have heard of dog shoes, but have you heard dog shoes for summertime? Yes, pet essential manufacturers have come up with dog shoes that keep your furry friend’s paws safe from blistering hot asphalt and tiles while providing enough hydration and air-flow.

  • Summer dog shoes can be very useful you take your dog out for a walk or play during day time. Keep in mind to find the right size of shoes for your dog.
  • Features of proper dog shoes
  • Rugged – Rugged and strong shoes with a sturdy sole protects sensitive paws from sharp objects, heat, rubble, and hot pavement.
  • Comfortable – It should be comfortable to put on and take off. If it’s difficult to get off, it’s likely that your pet’s paws are squeezed inside.
  • Reflective - Reflective strips on the shoes help to make sure your dog is visible if you’re adventuring during dawn or dusk.
  • Durable- Consider durable over cheap options. Durable shoes can be used for years.
  • Breathable – Remember that your pet’s paw needs to breathe. Dogs sweat from paw and nose, hence, air circulation is a must.

Proper Grooming

Pet grooming is essential throughout the year. There are certain times during a year when your furry friends need more grooming and care. Summer is one of the times when your pet needs extra attention. Many dogs with double coats and thick fur are prone to overheating during summer. Regularly brushing their fur using grooming brushes and keeping their coat neat and clean helps to maintain the airflow. Regardless of the season, it’s important to ensure that fur is never matted or disheveled. Never get your pet fur entirely shaved off. Direct sunlight on the skin can cause sunburn and other allergies.

Many pet owners believe that double-coated dogs can’t handle the heat, but during summer they actually shed their undercoat which helps them to stay cool. Ensure to keep their fur clean and unmated.

Pet Mini Pools

What could be better than creating a mini-pool for your furry friend and their friends? Mini pools can easily be assembled and fit in your backyard. If you have any outdoor space to offer your pet some relief in the form of a quick pop-up water park, try purchasing a small kiddie pool.

If you’re buying a blow-up pool, ensure that it’s made out of harder plastic that is claw-friendly. You can always add accessories such as water-hose over the pool, pet toys, and games, etc. to fit inside the mini-pool!

Damp/Wet Towels

While some dogs enjoying jumping into a water pool, few dogs may shy away from stepping into one. Fear of water is common in many dogs. To ensure that they get to enjoy cool water during summer, you can use damp or wet towels and wipe your pet with them.

If your furry pet doesn’t mind, you can use a water hose to spray cool water on them. Both of these are less scary ways to ensure that they aren’t missing out on the relief of a cool bath.

Ice Cubes in Drinking Water

Ice cubes are the best treats for your furry friends during summer. You can simply put it in front of them or add in their water bowl to keep the water cool.

If you’re unsure how your pet will react to ice, start off with smaller chunks. Get them used to it! Dogs enjoy licking ice cubes which can keep their tongue cool. Aggressive chewers might find danger in larger ice cubes, but many dogs love them. Teething puppies can also use this as a way to soothe their gums.

You can also add ice cubes into water bowls to keep the temperature down during summer.

Make a Frozen Treat Bowl

Just like frozen kibble, you can keep your pets occupied and refreshed with a frozen treat bowl. Ensure to use a different kind of mixture and solution in the frozen kibble. The chicken broth works well because the flavor keeps them interested until they get to the good stuff. Don’t make a mistake of keeping the frozen treat bowl outside the house. It will melt instantly!

Create a Shaded Sanctuary

Shaded sanctuary works well for both humans and pets. Originally designed for a child, you can use the tiny shaded sanctuary for your furry friends. Building one in the backyard ensures that your dog can find shade at any time of the day. This cute tepee tent is the perfect shady spot for a pet on a sunny day and can easily be created by hand using few tools.

Protect Pet Paws with a DIY Wax Treatment

You cannot always prevent your dog from stepping on a hot surface such as hot asphalt and tiles during a sunny day. To ensure that their paws aren’t scalded by hot surface, you can apply paw wax. If you can't your dog from walking outside during the heat of the day, ensure that you provide an extra layer of protection against the heat.

You can create paw wax at home.

  • In a small pot – or double boiler – over low heat melt the oils, shea butter, and beeswax. ...
  • Pour the mixture into lip balm tubes and/or tins.
  • Let them cool on the counter until hard.
  • Cap and label.
  • Keep away from extreme heat.
  • Use within 1-2 years

Freeze a Toy

For added fun, you can add water, treats, and your dog’s favorite toys to a plastic container and freeze them. This will help keep them entertained for hours. The ice will also help keep them cool and hydrated.

Some of the useful DIY hacks for winter are as such:

  • Use basic cold tap water to fill pet water bowls. It takes longer to freeze in the cold outside.
  • Always wipe down your dog's paws after a walk outside to prevent the build-up of residues such as rock salt, and antifreeze
  • Get them winter booties or use Vaseline on their paws to keep them protected
  • Reduce the number of dog baths during winter. Let them stink a bit.
  • Let their hair grow during winter. No need to trim them off!
  • Feed them more during winter as they can easily burn up calories to stay warm
  • Dress them up in a winter coat or doggy sweater. You can also repurpose old kids' clothing.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Get in touch with us to find the best doggy daycare in Des Moines.

 

Pet Essential that Every Pet Owner should Own

Pet essentials are assorted items that you will need at the beginning, middle, and end of your canine’s journey. They aren’t only items but essentials that make their and your life easier. These are things every pet owner should have on hand at the beginning, middle, and end of their journey with their canine companions.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines, has compiled a list of ten pet essentials that every pet owner should have at home.

  1. ID Tag

Although many say that ID Tags are old school, it is one of the easiest ways to identify a dog and its owner. Like us humans, the pet needs identification in case they are lost, wander off, or fall in some accident. Although microchipping your dog works almost all the time, if they escape or get lost, personal ID tags can help identify them without going through the microchip reading process. ID Tags can ensure to get them home as quickly as possible.

Along with ID Tag, it’s essential to microchip your pet. There are greater advantages to micro-chipping such as during holidays and celebrations where there are many cases of missing pets. Most of these pets are lured into a trap or are distracted. Once the ID tag is removed, it becomes difficult to locate a dog even when they are found by rescue shelters. A microchip can help prevent this by easily identifying the dog.

  1. Pet First Aid Kit

Pet First-Aid Kit is another pet essential that should in your home, car, or office at all times. Owning and being able to use the first-aid kit can prove to be a life-saver! These are the items that should be in the first-aid kit all the time.

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting
  • Ice pack (Replaceable)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Scissors with the blunt end
  • Tweezers
  • OTC antibiotic ointment
  • Oral syringe or turkey baster
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent (for bathing)
  • Towels
  • Small flashlight
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Styptic powder
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear gel
  • Phone number, clinic name, address of your veterinarian

 

  1. Comfortable Harness/Leash/Longline

There has been a debate about harness and leashes for dogs. While it is true that a harness can be more comfortable for your pets compared to a leash, for smaller dogs and pups, leash works best. Most harnesses won’t fit the small-sized dogs unless you make a customized one for them.

Take suggestions from your pet trainer and veterinarian if you should buy a harness or leash for your dog. Longline works best when you take your dog out in the park or near forests. This will prevent it from running off into the forest or bushes and also keeps it away from the reach of coyotes and other wild animals.

  1. Dog Diapers

Dog diapers become essential at different points of time in the life of dogs. While dog diapers are common when they are young or older, some dogs may need dog diapers when they are facing certain medical conditions such as incontinence.

Diapers help to prevent dirt and germs on the floor from entering the urethra and causing a Urinary tract infection in dogs. The thing to keep in mind is that you should change the dog diaper frequently. Just like children, dogs n`eed to feel fresh and clean to stay in a healthy state of mind.

  1. Pet Hair Brush

Even though you frequently take your dog for grooming, it’s quite handy to keep a comfortable pet hairbrush around the house.  Frequent grooming in dogs is linked to their mental well-being. Regular grooming is linked to a balanced mental and physical state of the pet. It keeps them stress-free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

There are different kinds of pet hair brushes which you can choose from,

  • A slicker brush helps to get rid of any debris, loose hair, and mats/knots.
  • A pin brush is made for dogs with longer and silkier coat types.
  • A bristle brush is well suited for dogs with short or wiry coats.
  • The undercoat rake is designed to get deep into double and heavy coats of dogs.

 

  1. Steel Food and Water Bowl

Using plastic food and water bowl for dogs is a complete No-No. The plastic bowls often form cracks after extensive use which leads to debris or residue. These can lead to the formation of germs and bacteria which can easily pass into the digestive system of your pets. Using a ceramic bowl is another best option.

You should fill the water bowls often during summer because dogs often perspire while sitting indoors. This is the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t remain dehydrated. Additionally, some dogs may develop an allergy to the plastic, resulting in a mild skin reaction on the chin or face

  1. Cozy Bed with Heating Pads

Your dog spends most of its life in its bed; hence ensure that you provide a cozy and comfortable bed. Using a cozy mattress is one of the options to make the bed extra cozy. During winter, you should consider installing heating pads in their bed. Do not use heated blankets meant for humans. Heated dog beds heat up safely for a dog's needs and work on low voltage making them safe for canines.

  1. Toys and Puzzles

Keeping pets engaged with different forms of toys and puzzles help to keep them away from developing isolation, boredom, or stress. This is important because dogs that “need a job” have a problem-solving mindset and will find puzzles very satisfying. You can find different forms of interactive games for pets. When you’re home, you can consider hiding treats and giving them clues to solve the problem. This helps to strengthen you and your pet’s bond.

  1. Flea Treatment Agent

Fleas can also sneak into your home any time of year. Easily available flea treatments can help to remedy your home from flea infestation. As an option, you can create your own concoction of home-based agents to develop flea treatments.

Use flea shampoos to wash your dog when it's flea season. This prevents flea from getting into your dog's coat, which is later carried inside your home.

Flea infection becomes common during spring and summer.

  1. Stain and Odor Remover

Stain and odor remover helps to remove stubborn urine smells from just about anywhere while removing the underlying pheromones. These pheromones are like a marker where your dog tends to return to and re-mark. You can find many enzyme-based cleaners on the market.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about other pet essentials you can gift your companion.

How Pets help to minimize Stress?

Pets are more than a part of the ownership. They are life companions. We share a special bond with our pets. Most of the times, they’re our savior and confidants.

Studies show that interactions with therapy animals can decrease stress in humans.

Playing with pets is known to increase oxytocin in the blood, a stress-reducing hormone, and is also linked to decreasing in cortisol – the stress hormone. The increase in oxytocin helps to keep you calm, relaxed, and happy. There are many psychological and physical benefits to owning a pet.

Another study revealed that owning a pet help you live longer.

Here are some of the benefits of owning pets

Improve Your Mood

Owning a pet and playing with them helps to refresh your mood. The constant care, touch, playtime, and company helps to keep your mood fresh. Owning a pet is linked to decreasing stress, depression, and other psychological trauma. A recent study suggested that men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet.

Control Blood Pressure

Humans generally take drugs to keep their blood pressure in check. While it’s true that drugs can keep your Blood pressure in control, however, it has many long-term drawbacks. The rise in BP can cause stress, hypertension, and other stress-related ailments. Playing or hanging out with pets tend to keep you fit and keep your heart rate and pressure in check. In a study, it was revealed that hypertensive stockbrokers who got dogs and cats were found to have lower blood pressure!

More Time for Exercise

Owning a pet keeps you fit. It encourages to go out with your dog, often jogs, hit the gym, visit the park, plays with pets etc. Daily walking or jogging keeps your heart rate in check. Dog owners spend more time walking than non-pet owners. Regular exercise is good for stress management and overall health. Owning a pet can be credited with increasing health benefits.

Help with Socialization

Walking a pet often helps you to meet other people. While walking a dog, you often meet neighbors, pet owners, and friends. This helps to socialize and keep your social life maintained. Pet owners often hang out together, or get together!

Confidants

You can share anything with pets because they can’t tell anyone! You can share your secrets with pets, tell them about your problems and worries. People tell pets the things they can’t tell other people.

Personal Touch

The importance of touch is undeniable and has been proven to be beneficial by the psychologists. A recent article in Psychology Today revealed that physical touch decreases violence, builds trust, boosts the immune system, and reduces stress.

Increase in Self-esteem

A recent study from Miami University and Saint Louis University revealed that pet owners have better self-esteem than the non-pet owners. They tend to be less fearful and have lesser stress level.

It’s undeniable that owning a pet has many benefits. It’s time to get a new pet if you do not have one. The better is to get a pet from the shelter home or adopt one, as they equally need a companionship.

September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month

September is marked as the Responsible Dog Ownership month by the American Kennel Club. This day is celebrated to bring the importance of responsible dog ownership into the light. As a pet owner, you are responsible for your dog’s behavior in public or private, hence, you must take the responsibility of training your pet under consideration when you own a new pet.

There are many pet training centers, veterinarians and videos on Youtube which can help you properly train your dog, so you mustn’t face the embarrassment from the nuisance created by your beloved pet.

Dog Ownership Commitments

  • You must train your dog for basic commands; Sit, Stand up, Come, Drop it (Unnecessary or harmful stuff in its mouth), and Down
  • Keep your dog leashed in public
  • Clean up their poo
  • Keep your dog fit with regular walks and exercise
  • Make sure you’ve trained your dog to not bark unnecessarily
  • Take them to vet regularly

As a pet owner, you can

Evaluate your lifestyle –Assess if you can own a pet mentally and economically.

Choose the right breed –This is the most essential point, as many pet owners choose the breed that is wrong for them.

Choose the age of dog –Not everyone can adopt a puppy. Assess if you can pet a older dog better.

Adopt a Dog – Millions of dogs land up in shelter every year. You can do a great deed by adopting one.

Register your dog –Consider registering your dog with American Kennel Club. Registering comes with great advantages for both the dog and an owner

Train your dog –To enjoy stress free ownership, you must train your dog properly and also save yourself from the embarrassment

Groom your dog –Consider grooming your dog regularly. A dog can suffer greatly both mentally and physically if they aren’t properly groomed.

Keep clinic visits, vaccination and nutrition on check –A healthy dog can survive longer and with sound health.

Offer a better home –The environment of your home determines the overall health, manner and longevity of your pet. A proper dog house, nutritious meals, daily exercises and socialization with other humans can be of great help.


To learn more about responsible dog ownership, check pet training information.