Our pets are a part of our families and strive to give them the very best. Working, running errands, parenting little humans, and everything else in between can make it quite challenging to get it all done. So, we’ve rounded up ten pet parent tips to give you more time to focus on giving your furry friends lots of love.
Tips For Cat Parents
1. No-fuss bathing. Cats are naturally designed for self-bathing, but if your feline’s mischievous nature has left them in a particularly messy situation, they may need extra help. When bathing, be sure to proceed calmly, never force it—this will result in much wasted time and a sloppy mess in your bathroom. A wet washcloth or Earthbath grooming wipes can be a better choice for anxious kitties.
2. Dust Bust Daily.Fur clean up can be daunting, with sprigs sprinkled on tough to reach places and all over your furniture. The best bet for busy folks is to clean as you go—keep lint rollers and a hand vacuum or two to prevent accumulation. No time for a thorough vacuuming? Try the rubber glove trick!
3. Brush Often**.** A few strokes of the coat regularly can dramatically reduce the hair load within the home, and keep kitty from developing skin irritating mats.
4. Go Auto**.** Automatic litter boxes can be a magical thing, but kitties have to be eased into it, as the mechanical potty can be frightening at first. Keep the old box around while they get to know their new self-cleaning friend.
5. Contain the Litter**.** Cleaning up litter granules can be more annoying than scooping the poop. Domed boxes can be an option, but some cats don’t like the confinement. Cat litter trapping mats help dislodge debris from paws, then drop pieces through holes into an easy to clean tray below.
6. Preventing escape**.** We’ve all been there—domesticated fluffy darts off into the night, to a world she doesn’t know. Scary stuff. A solution is to take your kitty on walks, while attached to a harness, while only using one specific door for exit. This eases the curiosity and helps them associate that one opening as the outlet to the outside world.
7. Indoor play**.** No time for walks, or maybe your cat just won’t have it? Create an indoor play space full of carpeted cat trees and toys to satisfy them. If you’re looking for practical toys to help with obesity or boredom, check out these cat toys.
8. Claw care**.** Keeping claws in check can save you from having to shop for new curtains, or spending an hour buffing out a leather couch. You can trim claws, but do so carefully, only trimming the sharp tips. Nail caps can also be a safe option to declawing. If you are struggling with unwanted scratching behavior, check out these tips from a veterinarian.
9. Buy the right crate**.** Invest in a cozy crate, because if your fluffy one loves it, it becomes a life saver when transporting to the vet, or preventing shenanigans after you place that juicy turkey on the table for Thanksgiving. You’ll want something they can see well out of, and it’s also recommended to leave the crate out, with the door open, on an everyday basis, filling it with blankets and treats to encourage familiarization and fondness. Amazon has super cool multilevel stationary crates, which you could adorn with blankets, bedding and toys.
10. Keep a lint roller in your car**.**Rather than picking hairs off one by one after discovering your cat has fluff dusted you on your way out the door, always have a roller in the car.
Tips For Dog Parents
1. Grooming shortcuts.Try out a dry bath, where a pet specific dry shampoo is rubbed into the coat and simply brushed out. Also, mobile groomers will come to you, if your baby is need of a trim and wash.
2. Prevent Fleas**.**Flea and tick prevention is vital—no one wants to deal with an infestation. Talk to your vet about the safest options for your dog, whether is be oral meds or topical.
3. Keep wipes everywhere**.**From rolling in the mud, getting poop on furry tushies to diving head first in the garbage, dogs are good at getting dirty. Keep Stallmates flushable wipes around for quick scrub downs—they can be flushed because they biodegrade.
4. Puppy proof**.**Like cats, pups are curious, and they’re likely to get into a conundrum here and there. Puppy proofing your home can consist of purchasing a sturdy trash can with a tightly fitted lid, blocking off rooms with delicate furniture, using toilet locks and placing all food and snacks in higher cabinets. Having a designated spot for your dog when not around to supervise can solve the problem as well.
5. Auto feed**.**Feeding isn’t difficult, but being around at the exact time your furry one is due to eat might be a challenge. An automatic pet feeder can not only be set to feed at specific times, but parents can feed on demand from their iPhone. Plus, portions can even be perfectly measured out.
6. Veterinarian house calls**.**Mobile veterinary care is a thing, making it increasingly easier to not just save time, but to ease anxieties that come along with stressful car rides and going to a strange place. Vaccinations, general exams, imaging services, and behavioral assessments are just a handful of services provided by these clinics on wheels.
7. Bathroom hacks**.**Potty training takes time, but consistency expedites the process. Keep treats in hand to reward when all goes well. This will quickly create a positive association of where to “do the doo.” When the weather gets rough, consider filling a kiddy pool with turf and other earthy materials for a garage or sheltered potty spot that’s easy to clean, and won’t confuse your puppy when normal outdoor training continues.
8. Energy burning toys**.**Exercise is an important part of any healthy pup’s life, but we don’t always have enough time to go on daily walks. Take advantage of practical dog toys that will require some energy expenditure, like a Kong ball that can be filled with not so easily accessible goodies.
9. Dog bed cover.When choosing the right bed for your furry companion, select one with a removable fabric cover. A quick wash and tumble should leave the fur in your dryer’s lint trap. You can add a pet-safe dryer sheet to reduce static and remove even more fur.
10. Hire the neighborhood kids**.**If you’re in desperate need of extra help, whether it be bathing, walking or cleaning, there’s bound to be a kid you know who’d love to earn a few extra bucks!
We hope these tips will save you some time, so your life can be filled with less work, and more play.
Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.