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Dog Life Hacks!

Modern Dog readers shared their best dog tips!

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Header photo: Bogdan Sonjachnyj/

Modern Dog readers shared their best dog tips, from the easiest way to get your dog to swallow a pill to what to do if you forgot poop bags, and genius techniques for bathing a reluctant dog.

Poop Emergencies and an Ingenious Pet Travel Tip

Caught without a bag? I emptied treats into my purse and used the bag to scoop the poop.  Another life hack for pet parents: if you’re traveling solo with your dog, map your restroom breaks at pet stores. They allow you to bring your pets inside, so you don’t leave them in the car.—Laura Riddle


How to Give a Dog a Pill: Mini Marshmallows and Other Discoveries

I had a dog who would NOT take a pill. I finally discovered he loved mini marshmallows and he couldn’t eat around the pill.—Sue Flint

Wet cat food on a spoon works every time!
—Karen Louise, Mehlville, Missouri

I get our Pom/Papillon mix to take his monthly heart worm medication by crushing and stirring it into a small jar of Gerber’s pure chicken baby food. I tried everything else with no luck. Now he looks forward to it.—Rebecca Wood, Beckley, West Virginia


Genius Grooming Tips

Want to get your pup ready for the groomer, besides brushing regularly? Get an electric toothbrush and slowly rub it on them so they feel the vibration. The clipper will then not be as scary when it comes to grooming. Make sure to give lots of praise and rewards.—Jessica Lichtenwalner, Groomer and owner of Pawlished Tails Pet Salon, Trexlertown, Pennsylvania 

Peanut butter spread on a plastic lid taped to wall of tub helps occupy a dog who isn’t too fond of baths. Same works on a grooming table for nail trims and scissoring.—Jennifer Hollis

I keep my dog’s head dry as long as possible when I bathe him. He doesn’t shake as long as his head is dry.—Sue Flint

The best way to keep a dog from shaking water all over you is to keep their head up. If their head is up, they can’t shake. If they get their head down to shake, gently grab their scruff and they won’t shake.
—Samantha-Kate Brown, Cambridge, ON


Find Your Tribe

Don’t be afraid to reach out to other dog owners. I belong to the Jack Russell Terrier Rescue and two dog park groups. It is nice to be able to ask questions without feeling silly or stupid. I have asked some weird questions about my two rescued Jacks. There are so many dog groups and different breed rescues that you could find help and comfort with someone who has been there, done that.—Lorri Najbor, Hamilton, ON

If you don’t have a dog, get one! Their love is unconditional. Our advice would be to socialize your pup when it is young (of course make sure it is fully vaccincated beforehand). — Travis and Adrienne Ennis, Moreno Valley, CA

Curious Pup?

Keep all your shoes locked up in the closet and all of your socks in the hamper! — Nannette Metz, Schererville, IN


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