DIY pet care tips for man’s best friend

Owning a pet, especially a dog, is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have. And it can be one of the most expensive. Pet care can include costs for special food, shots, grooming and other medical issues. But you can save money with home remedies for fleas and other DIY ideas.

Provide your pet with a little TLC to show him how much you care. (Credit: Quick Meme)

Provide your pet with a little TLC to show him how much you care. (Credit: Quick Meme)

Our animal friends are always there for us. They deserve the best care that we can give. Here are a few ideas on how you can care for man’s best friend even if you’re on a college budget.

DIY pet care ideas

There are many things that you can do to take care of your dog’s basic maintenance. Several ideas were presented by Dr. Patty Khuly in her November 14, 2013, post for EmbracePetInsurance.com, “Eight Home Remedies for DIY Pet Care.”

Dr. Khuly’s recommendations included:

  • fleas: sprinkle Borax laundry detergent powder on your floors and vacuum the excess. The powder dehydrates the fleas without presenting any danger to your pets.
  • rashes and irritations: use a strong chamomile tea that has been chilled in your refrigerator. Put it in a spray bottle and apply it liberally to the skin.
  • odors: mix four cups of hydrogen peroxide with one-third cup of baking soda and add a squirt of Dawn dish soap. Put the solution in a spray bottle. This concoction even works on skunk odor.

When your cat or dog gets constipated or has diarrhea, try giving them some pumpkin. It may not always work, but at least it won’t do any more harm.

“But here’s the thing: never let your pet suffer more than a day or two of mild symptoms before you talk to your vet,” Dr. Khuly advised.

Tech gadgets to care for your animal friends

Remember Doc Brown’s gadget for feeding his dog Einstein in the movie “Back to the Future?” You can have your own gadgets and there are some out there that rival those of the Doc.

Emily Gertz listed several in her November 13, 2013, post for PopSci.com, “6 DIY Gadgets That Will Care For Your Pet While You’re Away.”

You’ll want to check out these innovations which include:

  • Water Warden: automatically fills the water dish
  • VCR cat feeder: uses a VCR timer to deliver cat kibble
  • Twitter-controlled pet feeder: dispenses pet food on receipt of a tweet command

If you think those are unique, check out the Frankenfeeder. According to Gertz, “It utilizes a Raspberry Pi instead of Arduino in order to include additional features, such as a wireless WiFi connection, taking commands via a Gmail account, and ‘feedback’ via camera surveillance of the feeding pooches.”

Spoil your dog

No person will ever give you love like your dog will. So if you’re looking for ways to return that love take a look at “6 Brilliant DIY Tips for Dog Owners” on EffectivePetWellness.com.

In this May 20, 2014, post you’ll discover affordable ideas for spoiling Fido including:

  • Lap dog: take an old pair of jeans that still have your scent on them. Stuff them with rags and fold the legs to form a surrogate lap where your dog can cuddle when you’re not around.
  • Doggie popsicles: put your choice of chopped apples, berries, or chicken chunks into an ice cube tray and add chicken stock. Freeze to make cool chewy treats.
  • Doggie breath: add a sprig of parsley to their food; works for humans too.

You can also make your own chicken jerky. Just cut the meat into strips that are sliced thin and beat with a tenderizing hammer.

According to the article, “Place the strips on a lightly greased baking sheet (a bit of olive oil does the trick), and cook for about 2 hours at 200°F.  You’ll know they’re ready when they’re brown and crispy.  Once they’re done, they’ll keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!”

Don’t try this at home

Not all pet issues should be attempted at home. Never give your pet human medications or over the counter drugs for example. Neither should you use folk remedies such as chewing tobacco as a heart wormer or turpentine to kill mange.

Other procedures best left to the professionals include:

  • castration
  • euthanasia
  • tail-docking

When in doubt, check with a veterinarian. It could be a matter of life and death to your pet.

What DIY tips do you use to care for your pet? Tell us in the comments.

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