Pets

8 easy DIY hacks for tricky pet problems

Solve tricky pet problems in a flash with common household items.

1. Care for your dog tag

To stop your faithful hound’s tag from rusting – so it’s easy to read in case they make a break for freedom at the park – use a soft cloth to apply a thin coat of car wax to the metal, let it dry and then attach it to the collar.

The wax will help shield the tag from moisture.

Just keep an eye on it because every few months or so it might require a quick little touch-up.

2. Break the biting leash habit

It can be pretty difficult to walk your pooch when they won’t stop biting the leash! To arrest this habit, mix two cups of lemon juice and one cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle, shake it up and spritz it all over the leash.

The bitter taste will deter your pup and you can have your walkies together in peace.

3. Freshen up a litter box

The snuggles make it worth it, but there’s no denying that cleaning out a litter box is the worst part about living with an indoor cat. Give the box a good scrub with a paste made from white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, rinse well and allow to dry in the sun.

Before you add new litter, sprinkle more bicarb soda into the box to absorb odours.

4. Calm their tummy before a car trip

There’s nothing worse than knowing your furry friend is feeling queasy on a car trip. To settle their stomach, give them a piece of crystallised ginger about 30 minutes before heading out. Ginger works just as well for dogs as it does for us.

You can buy these little treats or make them yourself.

5. DIY flea spray

To manage a nasty flea invasion without using chemical-laden sprays or collars, make your own natural flea spray.

Simply mix ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of baking soda and 120mL of water in a spray bottle. Slowly add 250mL of apple cider vinegar, which will react with the baking soda. Spritz the solution all over your pet, parting the fur with a brush to ensure the mix is evenly distributed throughout the coat.

The salt and the baking soda will dehydrate the fleas, killing them off, and the vinegar adds a discreet smell to your pet’s skin that will deter the pests from returning. So easy!

6. Take the panic out of bathtime

Outdoor cats are always getting dirty rolling around in the grass or climbing trees, which means they require the occasional bath.

While some kitties don’t mind water, most panic as soon as they feel the slippery surface of the tub and start scratching in an attempt to find something to hold on to. To help your feline pal feel more secure, place an old window fly screen or similar in the tub before running the water so your cat has something to grip.

7. Help your puppy unwind at night

It’s frustrating when you’re ready to hit the sack and your excitable puppy wants to play! To calm them down, create a quiet pre-bed ritual. Every night, spend a little time petting your energetic dog with long strokes on their back while you watch TV or read a few pages of your book.

These repetitive strokes will calm your pet and they’ll soon adapt to the routine, recognising it’s time to relax before bedtime.

8. Learn to read cat signals

Cats’ whiskers reveal a lot about their mood. Whiskers that extend straight out are a sign your kitty is relaxed and you can safely give him/her a cuddle.

If the whiskers angle back towards the cheeks, he/she is angry or scared and it’s best to give your moggy some space!