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Bright Eyed and Bushy Tails: Keeping Your Pets Looking Great


1st Jan 2015 Animals & Pets

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tails: Keeping Your Pets Looking Great

Do-it-yourself grooming tips for your pets: from recycling a belt, reusing an old jumper to using household products to keep your pets fresh and happy!

A bicarb bed freshener

In between washings of your pet’s bedding, sprinkle it with bicarbonate of soda, then let it sit for about an hour. Shake off the bicarb outdoors, then vacuum off the rest. This will freshen and deodourise the bedding.

Shrink an old jumper to fit your dog!

To keep your dog warm during cold-weather walks, provide her with a jumper by shrinking one of your old round-necked or v-necked woollen ones to dog size. (Use a child’s jumper if your dog is small.) First, measure the jumper against your dog; if it’s at least three times too big, it should work. Put it into the washing machine with 60ml mild detergent and set the water temperature to hot, on a large wash even though the load consists of a single item. After removing the jumper, press it between two towels to squeeze out as much water as possible. While it’s damp, it’s time for a fitting.

Reshape the jumper so that the neck is wide enough to fit easily over your dog’s head. (If it won’t, cut a slit and bind the edges with seam binding to prevent fraying.) The arms of the jumper should fit over the dog’s two front legs and the body of the jumper should reach about halfway down her back. Lay the jumper on a drying rack and let it dry in a well-ventilated room. Lastly, take your dog out to strut her stuff in her new warm winter outfit – which didn’t cost a penny.

Recycle a belt as a collar

Save money by making a pet collar from a small leather belt that’s no longer used. (A grosgrain belt is suitable for smaller, lightweight pets, but only if it has a binding along its length.) Cut the belt to the desired length for your little dog or cat. Place the new collar on a block of wood and poke holes in it with an awl or heavy metal skewer, then buckle it around your pet’s neck to make sure it fits comfortably. For a cat, split the collar and add in a piece of elastic so that it can slip off if she gets it caught.

Shoe-bag pet-stuff organiser

A hanging shoe bag placed inside a kitchen cupboard door or in the laundry or garage can help control all your pet clutter. Use the pockets for storing toys, treats, cloths – even your pet’s vital health statistics, including the vet’s name and number. With everything in one place, you – or a pet-sitter – should find it easier to locate what you need whenever you need it.

Polish makes your pet easy to find

Glow-in-the-dark, pet-safe nail polish (available at pet shops or online) dabbed onto your cat or dog’s collar – and on claws – will make him easier to spot when he’s out after dark.

Keep basic info handy

Place all important papers that relate to your pet in a small lidded box (an old lunch box is ideal) so that you can easily find it if you have to run to the vet’s surgery in an emergency. In the same way, a pet sitter will be able to easily find everything in one place if they need to.

Don’t throw away an old comb

Use it as a belly scratcher for your dog or cat. Your fingernails will do the job, too, but pets seem to love the feel of a fine-toothed comb digging into their fur.

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