Tear stain remover: one part Woolite, one part 20-volume peroxide (human hair kind) and mix with two parts water.  Suds and let set for 3-4 minutes, rinse and shampoo as normal. You should dab mineral oil in the eyes first to help avoid getting the solution in the eyes.

Hot spot remedy: mix one cup distilled water, one tsp. Calendula flowers extract and half tsp salt, apply to the hot spot, then pat with towel and apply aloe vera gel.

Fleas and ticks: they hate Stash Earl Grey Tea. Tear open a few bags, scatter the tea about on your carpet and vacuum up in a few days. People have noticed that dogs like to roll in the Stash also.

Search flea markets for window panes. Remove the glass, paint and decorate for a ready made frame to display your dog’s photos.

Paint dog bones and paw prints on stepping stones in the kennel area.

Eliminate ear mites: all it takes is a few drops of Wesson corn oil in your dog’s ear. Massage it in and then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for three days. The oil soothes the dog’s skins, smothers the mites and accelerates healing.

Save your back: by using a taller grooming table (like those used for smaller breeds) when training your puppies to stack. You can see them better, take better photos and are still able to stand up straight after all that practice.

Buy cream cheese: when you have to give your dog a pill, slice off a piece of cheese, put the pill on it and fold over. Dogs love cream cheese.

Decorate the kennel yard with those “old” galvanized buckets. Using a nail and hammer, put several drainage holes in the bottom of the bucket. Fill with potting soil and plant your favorite flowers.

A cure for hot spots: Lysol in the gold can is a fungus killer – that is what hot spots are: moist fungus.

Rub a Q-tip around a puppy’s toes when they are still in the whelping box, when they are older and standing on a grooming table. This gets them used to having their feet handled and nail clippers should not be a problem.

Why do dogs dig? They are bored, foraging for food or buried treasure and, it’s fun! The simple fact is that they are dogs, and it’s the “dog” thing to do.

Hint: Use baby diaper wipes to clean the dog’s ears. They are anti-bacterial and do not keep the ears moist, just cleans them.

Look for old wooden boxes with partitions (like those used to hold beverage bottles.) They make great containers for grooming supplies or meds.

Blood: Hydrogen Peroxide will remove blood on both clothing and dog’s fur. Great for after a c-section.

Hitting the bottle: When puppies are feeling the heat of summer, freeze small bottles of water and put them in the pet enclosure. The pups drape themselves over the bottles and seem much relieved by the coolness.

Cedar chips are a great repellent for fleas, ants, mice and ticks. Use some for dog bedding. Place the used ones around rose bushes, they will bloom like crazy.

To remove dandruff in your dog’s coat, pour vinegar into the hair, massage into scalp and let dry for a few minutes. Wash the hair and repeat daily until the dandruff disappears.

Homemade nontoxic disinfectant: Fill empty spray bottle with half cup white vinegar, quarter cup rubbing alcohol, and the remainder with water.  Spray the area.

Chewing puppies: they don’t like the smell of oil of cloves, so dab a little onto legs of precious furniture you don’t want chewed.

Never buy over-the-counter medication for your pet without knowing exactly what you are supposed to get, and never medicate your pet without your vet’s guidance.

If your dog has to wear a bandage on a paw and keeps chewing it off, spread some soap on it and he’ll leave it alone.

To get rid of lint/dog hair, add a half cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Dawn dishwashing liquid kills fleas, just add a few drops to your shampoo and suds up well.  Be sure to rinse thoroughly. Dawn is great for degreasing dogs too.

Diane Radcliffe, Arizona, (compiled from the 2006 SBCA “Around the Kitchen and Kennel” reference book)

December, 2013

DISCLAIMER – the tips and helpful hints in this column or any elsewhere on this site are not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical advice, and should not be used to make a diagnosis, or to replace or overrule a licensed veterinarian’s judgment and advice.