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By Juliana Weiss-Roessler

Being a pack leader is endlessly rewarding, but dog care still comes with its fair share of troublesome responsibilities. You know, the things you just dread dealing with — from pet hair to housebreaking accidents.

Here are our ten favorite quick tricks that can save you time and hassle with dog-related responsibilities.

  1. Store dry kibble in a new, plastic trash bin
    Sick of hefting that gigantic bag every time you need to fill your dog’s bowl? Just do it once: fill up a trash bin and place it near your dog’s feeding area. The containers are air-tight, so they’ll also do a better job of keeping the food fresh. Use a small plastic cup to dole out the food, or save the (unused) cup that comes with your dry laundry detergent. It has a handle, and it’s the perfect size!
  2. Make a simple treat to keep your dogs Cool
    On those hot summer days, put chicken broth and apple slices in the ice tray to make a cool, tasty treat. Just make sure that there are no apple seeds in the mix, as these can be highly toxic to dogs. For a variation, mix and freeze peanut butter and water.
  3. Try an escape-prevention harness for your small dog.
    A fence doesn’t do much good if your dog can squeeze between the bars or underneath. Escape-prevention harnesses are designed to add width to your dog, making it impossible for them to get through.
  4. Calm your dog with a dryer sheet during a storm
    Sounds like an odd tip, right? But sometimes dogs are not actually upset about the storm. Instead, it’s the static electricity that’s built up in their fur that’s bothering them. The dryer sheet can make the problem go away instantly!
  5. Fill up an inflatable pool to cool off
    They aren’t just for kids. Dogs can enjoy frolicking in some water — and even ice — as a way to cool down on a hot summer day. Just keep those nails trimmed and filed to help prevent the pool from being punctured.
  6. Use baking soda for pee stains
    You don’t need a fancy product to help eliminate the mess and smell when your dog has an accident in the house. Just pour baking soda on the spot, let it soak, and then vacuum. Be aware, though, that baking soda can be toxic to your dog, so make sure he or she stays away while you’re cleaning up.
  7. Add a ball to your dog’s dish
    If you have a speed eater, a simple way to slow her down is by putting a ball in the bowl with the food. She’ll have to move it around to get to the food, posing an extra challenge which makes the process take a bit longer. This is especially helpful for pups who may be coping with a medical issue that requires you to keep better tabs on their eating habits.
  8. Remove pet hair from upholstery with a rubber glove
    No matter how much you love your dog, it’s likely you’re not a big fan of his hair on your sofa. Hand vacuums don’t do the job justice, but this simple tip will. Just dampen a rubber glove and then run your gloved hand over the affected area. The rubber will attract the hair, so you can just rinse it off the glove.
  9. Remove pet hair from carpet with a squeegee
    Another area of the house that attracts pet hair is the floor. A vacuum designed to pick up pet hair can help, but you may find that a squeegee is more effective, especially for edges and corners where the hair tends to gather in clumps.
  10. Soften kibble in the microwave for older dogs
    As dogs age, they often suffer from tooth decay and pain that interferes with their ability to eat hard kibble. Help your elderly canine out by adding a bit of water, and then microwaving it (in a microwave-safe container) for 15 to 30 seconds. Make sure to touch it before giving it to your dog to ensure that it’s not too hot.

Do you have a dog hack of your own? Share your discovery in the comments!

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