Life Hacks: How to get your pet to do what you want

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you own a pet, you know it can be challenging to get them to cooperate when it comes to trimming their paws or putting on a harness. Some pets are also a bit anxious when it comes to thunderstorms. So, how does a pet owner overcome challenges like these?

We spoke with Dr. Eric Bucki at Bayshore Animal Clinic in Tampa. He offered some tips to help you and your pet.

Dr. Bucki says canned spray cheese is dog-friendly and can be a big help when it comes to training your dog.

For instance, if your dog doesn’t like to have its toenails clipped, you can use the cheese as a distraction.

“Go ahead and put it all out on the plate, put it in front of the dog, and you can go ahead and clip his nails while he licks it off the plate,” says Dr. Bucki.

You can also use the same tactic for leash training and putting a halter on your dog.

The same distraction theory works for cats, but instead of using the spray cheese use baby food, he suggests.

Many pets have separation anxiety, or become frightened during thunderstorms. Dr. Bucki says if you pet has anxiety, a Kong toy is perfect to keep the animal’s mind off of things.

Fill the Kong toy with a mixture of leftover vegetables and frozen vegetables. The American Kennel Club has a list of vegetables and fruits that are safe to give your dogs.

“You want to make them work for it so it takes longer to get all of it out,” says Dr. Bucki.

Put a dollop of peanut butter on the top and stick in the Kong into the freezer.

“Give it to the dog about 10 minutes before you leave. The dog will have something to do while you are gone, and by the time it’s done getting all of the food out, he’ll be tired and want to take a nap,” says Dr. Bucki.

It’s better, he says to fill the Kong with the veggies instead of peanut butter, because the peanut butter will make them thirsty, resulting in them drinking a large amount of water while the owner is gone.

Another trick, if your pet eats too fast, it can cause big stomach issues. Try using a slow feeder that is shaped like a maze.

“By putting the food in there, it might slow them down and they won’t suck in as much air,” says Dr. Bucki.

Some hacks suggest sticking a tennis ball in the food bowl, which is not a good idea. Some dogs may try to swallow the ball, which would result in surgery.

Always be careful when giving your dog human food. Many human foods are dangerously toxic to dogs. Products containing Xylitol are also toxic.

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