Do you have a puppy dog? I do. She’s an old lady now and I love every single moment with her. But I bet if I had found Homemade Clove Oil years ago, she might not now be known as the “other” vacuum cleaner. Melissa shares her natural puppy training solution, made from items in your kitchen right now. -Maggie
My kitchen is my happy place.
It’s where I go to relax, chopping and cooking my way through stress on days when life is just unnecessarily tough or weird. It’s where I celebrate little joys over date nights at home with my husband, making our way through a new cookbook or cooking magazine, one new recipe at a time. It’s where we share the simple gifts of homemade food and cocktails with friends and family. Like many of you, it’s the absolute heart of our home.
My other happy place is with my dog. But with a new rescue puppy who loves to counter surf, my two happy places are currently colliding.
Few things make me more frustrated with my pooch (or worried for her safety) than a stolen roast chicken from its resting place on the cutting board or a half-licked antipasto platter. In addition to chocolate, so many kitchen staples like onions, garlic, tomatoes, grapes and macadamia nuts can be toxic, even deadly, to dogs.
So I did what any DIYer would do and started looking for a homemade solution. Turns out there’s one hiding in the pantry!
A simple infusion of freshly ground cloves in olive oil is an old trick for weaning your dog off counter surfing or chewing up your favorite furniture and shoes. Just spray the infused oil on counter edges and wooden furniture legs or carefully slick on non-staining parts of your shoes, and your bitey bud will soon learn to leave them alone because the bitter heat from the clove oil is not something they want to keep licking. It’s a totally organic and harmless solution that will restore harmony to your home.
Ah, serenity now… er, well, in a few weeks or months of very diligent spraying.
Natural Puppy Training with Homemade Clove Oil
Regardless of which method you use (windowsill or double boiler), you’ll need:
- 3-inch round cheesecloth (or linen coffee filter)
- 4-inch piece of baker’s twine
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves, ground fresh
- ½ cup olive oil
- Small glass jar with tightly sealed or locking lid
- To infuse the olive oil with cloves, I took a shortcut method using the natural heat of the Texas sunshine and just let the bound cheesecloth pouch of freshly ground cloves sit in the jar of olive oil on the windowsill for about a month. It worked nearly as well as…
- The “right way” using a double boiler to jumpstart the infusion (get the full step-by-step instructions on WikiHow).
Pixie, my rescue pup, still hates the taste of my clove oil, but when we run out of this batch I’m going to make a more powerful second batch using the “right way” method. An added bonus? Clove oil has also been used for hundreds of years as a homeopathic remedy for humans, providing organic pain relief for teeth and canker sores, headaches and ear aches, indigestion, and even as an antiseptic for skin. So after we break Pixie of her counter surfing habit entirely (fingers crossed!), the clove oil won’t go to waste.
Infused oils and vinegars are an essential part of any homemade pantry for cooking and cocktails, and now they should be a part of any medicine cabinet and puppy training toolkit, too. Chewing and counter surfing are two “bad dog” habits that tend to land pups in animal shelters, and keeping them from that fate is a cause close to my heart. Give the clove oil a try and let me know how it works out for you — hopefully it restores harmony to your home as it looks like it’s doing for mine.
Photos taken and styled by Denise Woodward.
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