Want to treat your dog or cat to a little something special? Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to hide some of the less attractive tools of the pet-owning trade? Well, we’ve been on the outlook for simple do-it-yourself projects you can complete in minutes or hours, without spending a bunch of money. Here are a few we think our Springs pet-owner residents will really like!
Pet Food Canister
An open bag or box of pet food can attract bugs, doesn’t smell great, and allows the food to get stale. Keep your pet’s food fresh in an old popcorn or cookie tin, dressed up with some Contact® paper and decorative Washi tape. If your dog is a large breed, use a small trash can with a foot-operated lid opener lined with a plastic kitchen garbage bag. These cute containers can be kept on the kitchen counter or right in your eating area and no one will be the wiser!
Dogs love tennis balls; dogs love treats. This toy has both! Take a tennis ball and cut a slit along the seam, or cut an “X” into the ball (an “X” cut makes getting the treat out of the ball easier for Fido). Stick two or three small treats inside, toss the ball and watch your furry friend try his darndest to get them out. Make sure you use pet-safe tennis balls from your pet store, as those for tennis might contain some toxic glues.
If your dog likes playing tug-of-war with you, try this DIY toy: take the leg of an old pair of jeans, preferably without any holes or rips, and cut off just above the knee; now cut along either seam. Roll the denim from the bottom hem up, then into a single knot. Voila – you’ve made a durable tug toy for your pet that’ll keep him entertained for hours!
Pets love beds just like we do, and making one can be easy and inexpensive. Plus, it keeps dirty paws and pet hair off your furniture. We’ve found a number of clever ideas out there (like up turning a piece of vintage hard-sided luggage into a cozy spot, or removing the door of an old end table and placing cloth-covered foam inside), but one of the simplest is this bed, which can be made in about an hour, for around $10:
- Fold 1 yard of polar fleece fabric in half; cut off curled edges
- Measure 4” in from all cut edges and lightly mark with chalk or marker
- Create fringe by making slits along each cut edge 1” apart toward the mark you just made (you’ll be “eliminating” corners), cutting through both layers at once
- After making fringe all the way around, turn fleece inside out and tie knots using one “top layer” piece of fringe and one “bottom layer.” Do this all the way around, but leave about a 14” opening to stuff with pillows
- Stuff with 2 standard bed pillows; finish tying fringe, tucking in as you go
Cat Litter Box
No one really wants to see – or smell – a litter box, and there are plenty of ways to not only contain it, but also make it a more acceptable part of your décor. Shop thrift stores for an old top-opening bench or trunk, cut an “entryway” in the side, and then place the litter box inside. You’ve got an easy-to-clean, easy-to-fill spot for the litter box, plus an accent piece you can top with a lamp, pillows and a couple books! Here are instructions: http://nocturnalknits.com/2014/01/ikea-litter-box-hack-byholma-chest/
Sweet potatoes make great dog treats because they’re loaded with Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, potassium and iron. And, these crunchy/chewy treats are naturally sweet so you’ll have no trouble getting your pup’s attention. They’re simple to make, far cheaper than store-bought varieties, and they freeze nicely (in fact, your dog may actually prefer them frozen!). Here’s the recipe: http://daisyjd.com/index.php/2012/02/sweet-potato-dog-treats/
Do you have more pet project ideas we could share with our Springs pet owners? We’d love to post your suggestions, along with a picture, with our Springs community!