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How To Manage Living With Your Dog

By Kathy Santo | Updated: April 22 2019

Check Out Some Of Our TOP Hacks For Simplifying Life With Your Dog!

Life wouldn’t be complete without our dogs. But, there are some unique challenges that arise when you share your life with a dog (or multiple dogs), like:

Cleaning dog fur off couches

Finding hotels that accept dogs

Creating quick, fun games to tire your dog out.

Here’s a few of our favorite “life with dogs” hacks:

The Never Ending Issue Of Dog Hair…Everywhere!

  1. Use dryer sheets to pick up dog hair from your furniture! Rub a dryer sheet over your couch or favorite blanket and watch as the hair clings to the dryer sheet!
  2. Eliminate the dog hair on your furniture issue completely! Use a cover to protect your couches in the first place. You can use a sheet, blanket, or custom covers. When too much hair builds up, simply throw it in the wash!
  3. Have you noticed a build-up of dog hair in your carpet? Use a window squeegee to help pick it up–run the squeegee over your carpet and watch how much comes up!
  4. Do you keep forgetting to grab lint rollers to help keep your work clothes clean of pet hair? Packing tape does the trick just as well for getting the dog hair off your new black work shirt!
  5. Dog Hair Stuck In The Carpet In Your Car? Rub a pumice stone over the hard to reach places to help remove any excess dog hair!

Out And About With Your Dog

  1. Hiking safety during hunting season! Make sure your dog is wearing a brightly colored bandana or vest (like bright orange!) if you are out hiking in an area where hunting is allowed.
  2. Make sure your dog is safe when traveling in the car: We advise all our students to have their dogs travel in crash proof crates or safety tested dog seat belts, so that in the case of an accident the dog is restrained and SAFE and does not become a projectile injuring themselves further.
  3. Dog First Aid Kit: Keep a kit in your car or backpack when hiking so that you’re able to help your dog if an unexpected injury happens.

*PRO TIP* A dog that is injured is highly likely to bite in reaction to the pain! Keep yourself safe from being bit AND be able to attend to your dog’s wound by keeping a soft muzzle that can be folded up in your dog first aid kit! Make sure to practice putting it on and off using high value rewards like hot dogs or chicken BEFORE you need to use it on the trails!

  1. Paw Safety: When going out for a walk with your dog in the summer (or any time the weather is HOT), ALWAYS check the pavement temperature by holding the palm of your hand to it for 5 seconds. If it’s uncomfortable for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!
  2. Pet Friendly Hotels: We use websites like BringFido.com to help find pet friendly hotels along travel routes or at your final destination!
  3. Carabiner: Keep a carabiner clipped to your dog’s leash so that you can tether them whenever needed!
  4. Airhorn: You can order a mini air horn from Amazon to keep in your pocket, treat pouch, or backpack when out on a walk or hike with your dog to protect you BOTH from a potential unfriendly off leash dog or wild animal!

How To Keep Your Dog Busy + Tire Them Out!

  1. Stuffed Food Toys! This is one of our absolute favorite ways to keep a dog mentally stimulated. We love to put our dog’s meals into a food toy or Kong and freeze it to give them a challenge when you leave for work for the day! Check out some of our favorite food toy stuffing recipes here
  2. Chew Toy: We swear by Acadia Antlers for our dogs, especially the ones who SERIOUSLY like to chew!
  3. Muffin Tin Games: You can place treats in the bottom of the muffin tin, and then place tennis balls on top of each muffin spot to create a fun and engaging game for your dog!
  4. “Use Your Nose” Games: Teach your dog to use their nose to find treats you hide throughout the house (keep track of how many treats you hide so that none get left behind for someone, or someTHING, besides your dog to find).

*Pro Tip* Don’t play this game in the kitchen or dining room where you wouldn’t want your dog to necessarily be looking for things to eat!

Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.

In Ramsey, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.