Practical Uses for a Dog

I’ve talked to people considering getting a dog. They wonder if they have enough time to care for a dog. Or money. Or even if they want the responsibility.

But when I think about all the practical uses for a dog, I ask: “Can you afford not to have a dog around the house?”

Honey the Golden Retriever hates daylight savings time.

Look at me. I’m the dog with 1001 uses.


Uses for a Dog Around the House

Paperweight  – no worries about your papers flying around with the windows open. One dog butt should keep everything exactly where you put it.

Bathroom vent – why waste electricity on a bathroom fan when your dog is there to force the door open when you’re showering or, you know.

Doorbell – you failed to hear the UPS driver dropping something on your porch? Your dogs didn’t.

Pillow – get comfy reading in bed or watching television. Your dog’s got your back. Or your head. Or your feet.

Recycling sorter – you wouldn’t want that plastic peanut butter jar or yogurt cup to go to the recycling center with a smidgen of food in the bottom, would you? Your dog will make sure it never happens.

Exercise weights – Lifting just one sleeping dog off your side of the bed will keep you fit and strong. Lifting two or three will prepare you for athletic competitions.

The quicker picker upper – There isn’t a paper towel in the world that works as fast as a dog when you spill something yummy.

Uses for Dogs in the Car

Sun screen creator – the sun’s harsh rays will never penetrate the thick application of dog snot and tongue juice on your windows, keeping your car cooler longer.

Deep cleaner – no fast food french fry will escape a dog’s nose, no matter how deep it’s buried in the seat.

Anti-theft device – remember how little time it took for car owner’s to learn to ignore their anti-theft alarms? Just try blocking out the bark of a shepherd mix or a pair of dachshunds.

Seat cover manufacturer – Tired of the black upholstery that soaks up the heat? Get a golden retriever. A few rides in the car with a shedding dog will ensure the original seat covers are thoroughly disguised.

Lookout – No squirrel will escape the vigilance of your personal car guard.

Uses for Dogs in the World

Finder – Never wonder again what happened to that cookie that dropped out of your pocket when you reached for your keys.

Personal trainer – With only one thing leash, your dog will motivate you to walk more than you ever have before.

Corpse finder – Please tell me I’m not the only one who apprehensively follows my dog when she’s on the trail of an interesting smell because it’s always the dog walkers who find the dead bodies in the news stories.

Dude (or Chick) magnet – After all, why would you want to attract anyone who didn’t ooh and aah at a cute dog?

Honey the Golden Retriever loves rolling on the grass.

I bet you thought you’d never find the remains of that dead mouse. Well, I got you (or rather, me) covered.


The #1 Best Use for a Dog

Best friend – They don’t judge. They stay by your side (especially when you smell like hot dogs). And there are very few people I enjoy spending time with as much as my own sweet pup.
Your Turn: What creative uses have you found for your dog? 

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  1. OMG! I love these! I hate to say “use” but in my boy, I’ve found my best friend, my son, and my soul mate. His primary objective? Shower mommy and daddy with unconditional love. My primary objective? Keep Titan happy and healthy and spoil him rotten for the rest of his life. :)

  2. Ha ha ha! I never have to sit on the couch alone! I also never have to worry about those pesky Jehovah’s Witnesses or door to door salesmen!

  3. I love these. Last night I found out that my dogs are great at providing the “trick” part of trick-or-treat. Two preteen boys knocked, and then stuck their up to the window to see who was coming. Two large breed dogs flew at the door, barking with paws and teeth everywhere. Scared the crap out of the kids. LOL! I gave them (the boys) extra candy for their trouble. So creative use – interactive Halloween decoration. :)

  4. Great examples, and all too true. We too never let a peanut butter container go to the recylcing center with food left in it…and I have to smile at the anti-theft device.

    In the cooler weather, while I still balk at the idea of leaving Toby or Medi in the car to just run in to the store, I love having Leah accompany. I’m not so worried about my car, but about having my dogs stolen…but I never worry about that with her. I don’t think anyone is going to break into my car with an 85 pound black and tan mix who doesn’t care much for strangers. And so my senior gets to go on special “field trips” with me, while the other two stay home. :-)

  5. Yep, we have all those benefits around here.

  6. We are very useful. Mom doesn’t go to the gym, has never lifted weights and most exercise is walking or running, but she has to laugh every summer. When she wears sleeveless tops people often comment that she must really work out because of her very muscular arms…she politely thanks them and goes on but laughs to herself knowing it comes from pulling and tugging on leashes with us as well as lifting us around. So, drop those silly kettle bells you pay a fee for every month and get a dog…it is more fun, has more benefits and you can put that gym membership into the dog costs and work out with your pal wherever you want to!

  7. These are great but you left out the biggest money saver of all–

    There is NO BETTER THERAPIST than a dog!! They love us unconditionally, they listen without judging, and they know instinctively when we need them to just curl up next to us.

  8. Mummy says I’m the best hoover for crumbs :-)

  9. Ellie Haith says:

    Perfect! I’m not the tidiest of cooks, and couldn’t get along without Annie and now the newbie, Harry.

  10. I love these.

    My dogs work hard to be a burglar alarm for the entire neighborhood. Oh, and heating pad and hot water bottle, but mostly as therapists working for a lot less than $200 an hour. How can anyone afford not to have a dog?

  11. How about garden helper? When you need a deep hole dug a terrier will take care of that for you :)

  12. Rita is also my night watchman, and my bug killer! When the hub’s not home to kill them for me, I can always count on her.

    And, yes, my shepherd mix is definitely an anti-theft device in the car!

  13. I never realized they could be so useful.

  14. When I go into the chicken yard, there is no rooster stupid enough to sally forth thru the gate with a few of my personal chicken guard Wieners standing at the ready. Otherwise, I would have to do things like close gates and watch out for killer Roos.

  15. I am convinced! You make a great case for dog ownership.

  16. Similar to the recycling benefit, a dog makes a super pre-wash cycle on your dishes – especially if I’ve grilled some chicken or porkchops…no need to scrub so hard on that grill pan, just give it to Jack for 10 minutes. (Sorry to all those offended that I let my dogs eat off ‘human’ dishes…its not like I don’t WASH them afterwards!)

  17. Cooper and Bailey agree with all of the points you made and I don’t have to worry about the kids dropping their food on the floor and cleaning it up, they have it covered, lol, also don’t forget the saying “my windows aren’t dirty, that’s my dogs nose art.” Cooper and Bailey send their love and coop wants you to give a kiss to honey for him until he can do it himself.

  18. Love Love Love this! I have a Great Pyrenees and truly he is my personal trainer. And he doesn’t care how cold it is – or if I am just not up to doing the full 3.5 miles – he is a motivator for sure and my best friend. Best and Blessings for NaBloPoMo!

  19. Those are perfect uses for a dog. Maya and Pierson also make great foot warmers. Who needs slippers when you have a dog? And they are also great at relieving stress.

  20. You forgot “house cleaning time saver”. Having Chester and Gretel around reduces my need to clean the kitchen floor. Perhaps you thought of that though and left it out because they DO increase the need to do laundry…and that might cancel out the floor cleaning :)

  21. I love this post because it is absolutely true! Don’t forget that they are great encouragers of weight-loss. Suddenly you become more aware of what you are eating when every single mouthful is being watched by hopefully puppy eyes – and since getting Mity almost 13 years ago I haven’t eaten a full banana to myself – he always gets the end!