Tag Archives: dog hacks

Ice balls in dog’s fur? Socks make dog life easier

We’re essentially lazy people. Which means we find the least-effort way to do stuff. One of the things we keep on hand for multi-functionality is socks. We buy them in bulk – men’s work socks multipacks from big-box stores are great. Because socks make dog life easier.

Sock hack #1: Stop the ice balls in dog fur

Socks would have helped Aleena's legs stay ice-ball free

Need leggings for your dog to keep the snow or ice balls off their fur? Just snip off the toe edge of a sock and slip it up your dog’s leg. For this hack you do have to get socks suited to the size of your dog – nothing smaller than a Golden Retriever really needs men’s sizes. 

The nice thing about sock multi-packs is you can get them in any size you need. Have a long-haired Chihuahua? Get the baby or toddler size socks. Italian Greyhound? You may need the adult size for length, so pick up some hook-and-loop cable ties to secure them on your dog without cutting off circulation. And since you have a multi-pack, there’s always a dry quartet ready for the next outing.

Sock hack #2: Turn balls into tug toys

Most dogs love balls. They love chasing balls. Not all of them love bringing balls back, or giving them up when they do come back to you. 

Slip the ball into the toe of a sock, tie a knot anywhere to keep it inside. You have a better throwing toy, a much better tugging toy, and an easier toy to retrieve from under the couch. Where they always wind up. 

Even the sturdiest socks won’t hold up to indefinite tugging – but they don’t have to! The beauty part is that there’s another sock waiting in the package. Just cut the knot, get a new sock, and your dog has a brand-new toy. 

Sock hack #3: Snood life

If your dog is a messy eater and has long fur, it’s a major pain to try to keep them clean. Once again, find a size of sock that fits around your dog’s head and cut off the toe seam. If the sock is long enough, you can even get multiple snoods out of a single sock, just cut to the length you need to cover your dog’s ears and neck. Keep a lingerie laundry bag handy to toss them in after use. You can toss the whole bag in the washing machine whenever you run a load. Dryer, too. They sock snoods will unravel in time, but it’s no big deal. There’s always another sock.

Sock hack #4: Cuddle pal

Many dogs are comforted by sleeping with some piece of their person’s clothing. When you notice that hole in your sock’s toe, instead of throwing it away, keep it until there’s a mate.  Instead of throwing away your worn socks, stuff one sock inside the other, tie a knot in it, and give it to your dog – before washing your scent out of it. Some people think this may encourage your dog to steal socks that aren’t yet theirs. Our answer? Put your socks away in the drawer or the hamper and you don’t have to worry about it.

Sock hack #5: Winter warmth

The only dog boots we’ve found that actually work are Pawz – the balloon-looking things that are made of rubber. Some people worry their dogs’ feet will be cold, since Pawz are good for traction, not warmth. As long as dogs’ feet are dry, you generally don’t have to worry about the cold. But if your dog is the exception, you can use baby socks inside the Pawz for an extra layer of insulation without interfering with traction.

There are a bunch more household uses for socks, but these are the main ways we’ve found that socks make dog life easier. Got some other ideas? We’d love to hear them!

Dog Tips Tuesday – Free Feeding Fail

Free feeding, or leaving a full bowl of dry dog food down for your dog, used to be a common practice among pet owners. Now we know it’s a bad idea – for many reasons.

  • It’s difficult to get your dog’s “business” done on a regular schedule if he/she doesn’t have a regular feeding time. If Fido eats whenever he wants, he doesn’t have a regular time to eliminate, either.
  • There’s no way of knowing exactly how much the dog is eating, or when. One of the first questions a veterinarian will ask at your dog’s check up is “Any change in eating or drinking?” If you’re free-feeding, there’s just no way to know.
  • If you have more than one pet in the house, one may be a rather finicky eater, another may be a chow hound. With food always available, there’s nothing to keep one pet from eating the other’s food and another may not be getting an adequate amount.
  • There’s an obesity epidemic among pets. If the bowl keeps getting refilled, and no one in the house is monitoring exactly how much the dog is getting, he may be getting much more than a healthy portion of food.

Getting your dog to eat his or her meals on a regular timetable may require an adjustment period. Prepare the food, leave it down for 10 minutes. That’s it. No healthy dog will voluntarily starve. It may take a few days for Fido to adjust to the new regime, but it’s better for his health and your schedule.