Looking to keep Fido and your other pets in good spirits during the spring season? Try these five simple pet care tricks that will keep them entertained, happy, and stress-free!
SOS for Kitty’s hair ball stress.
Ack! As soon as temperatures get warmer, the familiar sound of your feline coughing up hair balls begins. Help her out by giving her one teaspoon of pureed squash or pumpkin once a day. She will think she’s getting a treat, while the veggie provides extra lubrication to help easily move hair balls through her digestive tract. You can make your own or buy a jar of baby food, which will keep in the fridge five days after opening.
Engage your pup on rainy days.
Spring’s wet weather and muddy streets can make it hard for your dog to get outside and exert energy. You don’t mind playing fetch inside, but worry that throwing his harder toys could result in a broken vase or wall damage. A better solution: Save the cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls to toss to your pup on the next rainy day. The lightweight tubes are easy for dogs to catch and fetch but don’t damage household items or decorations. Plus, you’ll still be able to wear Fido out so he’ll be much calmer by bedtime.
Keep your cat entertained with a DIY toy this Easter.
Have the Easter Bunny pay a visit to your sweet Whiskers with her very own “egg.” To do: Take a plastic egg (which you might already have on hand) and use a crafting knife to cut a couple of holes big enough for kibble or treats to slip through. Toss a couple of treats inside the open egg and snap shut. Then hand it over to your kitty. She’ll have a blast batting it around the house and trying to get the treats out.
Get Buddy used to the crate.
You’d really like to train your pup to get in his crate, but he won’t even go near it! To get him used to approaching his kennel without fear, try this: Smear a thin layer of peanut butter on half of a paper plate and cream cheese on the other half. Punch a hole in the top, thread a string through the hole, then tie the string to the top of the kennel gate. As your pal licks the plate it will swing back and forth, making it a fun challenge. This trick will eventually train Buddy not to think of his crate as a scary place to be.
Scratch here when Fluffy’s on her back.
Ouch! Whenever your cute kitty rolls over to expose her belly, you take it as an invitation to give it a rub — only to be clawed! According to research by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Fluffy does this because “social rolling” is her body language cue to greet you — basically saying, “Hello!” Since this position puts your sweetie in such a vulnerable position, she sees it as a betrayal of trust when you rub her belly. Researchers say you should respond to a belly roll by gently scratching Fluffy’s head and ears to say hello back and get her purring, instead of clawing, in no time.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.