He’s making a list, and checking it twice… Santa Paws is coming to town. The holiday season is upon us once again and it is the ideal time to reward our pups for being good boys and girls. Yet, don’t let the Christmas craziness throw you into a spin.Take a leaf from our dog’s book and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. We don't have to fork out $$$ for pet gifts, they will be more interested in the packaging anyway. Let's cut out the middleman and get crafty with some DIY gifts for the pampered pup. If you are stuck for ideas, don’t panic. We have tried and tested some classic at-home gifts so that you can show your pup just how much you care while having cash in the bank for delicious treats - it's a win-win.
First things first… safety!
Our pups are precious and must be protected (from themselves) at all times. To ensure a happy playtime certain safety measures must be taken. Avoid accidents, expensive trips to the vet and ensure that your puppy’s playtime is as enriching as it can possibly be by following these top tips:
Don't leave scissors lying around or any sharp objects (pins, needles, screws)
Make sure that your creation is well put together and won't get destroyed
Avoid using things like beads or buttons on your creations - these can cause choking
Never leave your dog unattended during playtime
With that being said, it is important that your handmade creations bring fun and joyful moments into your day-to-day life. Use what you have at home to fashion the most festive of toys and carve out chunks of time in your schedule. After all, the best gift you can give your dog is your time and undivided attention. So, without wasting any more valuable playtime, here are our favorite diy dog gifts.
1. A snuffle mat
Dogs are very smart and active animals who need constant opportunities to exercise their minds. One way to do this is to make them a snuffle mat. This is a very fun activity for your dog, and very easy to make for you! For this DIY you’ll only need some felt, a sharp pair of scissors and a shower or outdoor mat with holes. Start off cutting the felt into 5 cm long strips (the longer the strip the harder it will be to find the treat), then knot the strips through the holes. When the strands are all done, hide some dog-safe treats in the mat and watch your dog try to find it. This activity is not only cheap, but also portable and washable. Plus, it is a handy tool for greedy pups who chow down their food too quickly as you can feed them their kibble using this mat for a more relaxed mealtime.
2. Rope and tennis ball tug toy
For this next DIY we will make a tug toy with only a rope and a tennis ball. Playing tug is one of the most tiring exercises physically and mentally for dogs. Not only do dogs love it, it also mimics their natural hunting instincts. To make this toy, you will only need to cut or drill a hole through the tennis ball, large enough to fit the piece of rope. Fit the ball onto the center of the piece of rope and tie a few knots to keep it in place. Brading the rope will make it tougher. Play this whenever you need your dog to participate in serious exercise- the kind that tires them out completely. It’ll certainly do the trick.
3. A bouncy octopus toy
Just like the toy above, this creation uses a tennis ball and a t-shirt. Give your fur-baby their own baby this Christmas and craft them a bouncy, chewable octopus toy that’s bursting with fun. This simple creation will keep your pup entertained for hours, yet it only takes a few minutes to make. It is perfect for dogs who love to tug and chase - you can either hold both ends and encourage them to tug the middle or drag it along the flow so that they chase it. All you need is a t-shirt and a tennis ball. Place the tennis ball in the middle of a square of t-shirt fabric. Tie a knot at both ends to keep the ball in place, then using scissors cut the end into strips to create tassels. Braid the strands to create tentacles.
4. A braided tug toy
Who knew that old t-shirts provided so many hours of fun and games for our pups? Have some old t-shirts you don’t use anymore? Give them a second life by turning them into a braided tug toy. Our pups enjoy rolling around in our laundry, and they sure will enjoy playing with this toy that smells like us. Start this super easy DIY by cutting 5-7 cm slits at the base of your t-shirts, after that you can just rip them until you have all the strips for the next step. Gather all the strips and tie them together, then divide them into three portions and start braiding! When you get to the other end tie those strands together voila! You’ve got a homemade braided tug toy! This is a way to make something special for your puppy out of something you used to wear. Recycle - Reuse - Relove.
5. A DIY dog ball
Next up is this DIY dog ball surprise toy, the best substitute for squeaky stuffed animals that end up, well… not looking like animals anymore. Now, this diy may look complicated but once you have mastered the art of a monkey knot, you are good to go. This toy is ideal for dogs who have mastered the art of getting their treats out of a puzzle toy in record time. Heidi from Hands Occupied helps us learn the ropes so that we can craftthis diy gift without getting tied up in knots. Simply check out her step-by-step guide and give your pup something made with love.