It’s that time of year; have you checked everyone off your list? Really? Everybody?
What about your pets?
Sure, they may not know that it’s the season of giving, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate a little gift.
But you don’t have to break the bank to give your pets something nice. Often you can make them a little something with a little bit of elbow grease and ingenuity (or the internet, where other people provide their ingenuity).
Let’s dig in!
Homemade dog treats are pretty easy to make, and honestly, there’s nothing like knowing exactly what’s in your pup’s treats, in addition to knowing that your dog thinks you’re a pretty good cook!
While the internet is littered with dog treat recipes, we found this one that we liked quite a bit. It gives lists of what ingredients dogs can and can’t have so that you can customize your treats any way you like. The author also gives the great advice to really experiment with flavor combinations like molasses and beef broth or something equally weird because you never know what gross thing your dog might like.
You had to know there’d be some toys in here somewhere. Come on, it’s the best gift! What dog doesn’t want a toy for the holidays?
What kind of toy should you make? Well, that depends on what kind of pupper you’ve got. If you’ve got a little friend, you might try some of these toys from Ammo the Dachshund that should fit the bill. Are we talking about a big, tough dog? Try this Rope Ball Surprise toy.
Got a treat eater that needs stimulation to keep them busy? This interactive feeder takes a little more work, but we’ve made them here for clients with high-energy dogs, and they do the trick.
Speaking of things that might need a little extra effort, this old suitcase bed has us over the moon! What a cool idea! Am I handy enough to make it myself? No. This no-sew dog bed is more my speed. And even easier? This bed, made from an old dresser drawer.
If you’ve got a food-motivated kitty at home like my Tenar, then you know that treats can be a powerful tool for getting things done. Like if, say, your cat will only let you put flea preventative on them with the promise of treats (as an example, certainly Tenar doesn’t have me that trained. Or does she?)
These homemade tuna treats from Supakit will fit the bill for sure. They only use two ingredients, egg whites and tuna. Because the egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks, they act as a great binder and crisp up wonderfully in the oven without any flour at all! And because there’s no egg yolk, they don’t have a bunch of extra fat.
Your cat more “turf” than “surf”? Use canned chicken instead of tuna. You want to give them an extra special treat? Add a little bit of catnip!
We know the old adage about cats and toys: the more expensive the toy is, the less they play with it. At least that’s the way it is in my house. The favorite toys are the cheapest, and some of their favorite things are things we’ve made, or even just things we’ve found that they’ve adopted as their own. Cats are cats, after all.
It’s so easy to make cat toys. You can even use an empty toilet paper roll, which we all have on hand (unless you’re a bidet family, in which case your cats already have a fun fountain toy). This Catster post has five, count ‘em, five toys you can make from them. The treat puzzle is especially fun for food-motivated kitties.
This is a tough one, because, as we know, “If I fits, I sits.” You can’t necessarily control where your cat decides to nap, but you can provide them a cute place to consider, maybe as a vacation home when they’re not sleeping in the windowsill.
This cat tent made out of a t-shirt and a couple of hangers, though, provides cats exactly what they want: an isolated spot where they can hide and be comfy. Think they’d like a hammock? Check out this one made from a towel that hangs underneath a coffee table.
We hope this shows you that you don’t have to go for the pricey stuff to show your pets that you love them. Whatever you do, however you celebrate, make sure to do something nice for your pets this season. They deserve it for all the joy and happiness they bring you throughout the year.