Last week we discussed Christmas dangers for dogs, and there are more than you'd think. With Christmas less than two weeks away, many pet parents are trying to think of what to get their favorite four-legged friend as a gift. You can spend tons of money buying your dog the latest toys, tech or fashion accessories. Or you could choose to make your pet a homemade item that will show her how much you care.
The best thing about dogs is that their love and affection is unconditional. They could not care less if there was a gift under the tree with their name on it or not. But that's not how we feel as pet parents, is it? Our dogs are like our furry children, and we would never let our children go without having a present to open on Christmas morning.
Best Homemade Gifts for Dogs
There are many great reasons to make homemade gifts for dogs. Of course they'll save you money, but there's also a lot more meaning behind a homemade gift than a store bought present. Many homemade gifts for dogs can be made from recycled materials, making them eco-friendly and inexpensive too.
Lots of pet parents don't think that they can make a quality product at home, but that simply isn't true. You can make dog toys, dog beds, dog blankets, and you can even make your dog her own advent calendar with just a few materials and a little creativity. Your dog is sure to love anything you give her, and these DIY gifts will check a few things off her Christmas list.
Homemade Dog Toys
Homemade dog toys are a great DIY gift. Not only will your pal have a new toy to play with, but you can use it with her and that'll make her very happy! Tug toys and chew toys are the easiest to make yourself. There are a lot of options and they can be as simple or creative as you want.
You can make a tug or chew toy with strips of cloth from an old t-shirt. Cut strips of the material about .5-inch wide. Once you've cut enough strips to make the toy as thick as you desire, tie the strips together at one end. Split the strips into three sections and braid them together. Be sure to leave enough material at the end of the braid so you can tie the other side together to secure it.
You could do the same thing with any type of material. Old t-shirts are great because you're re-purposing an item that you won't be using any more. You could also make a homemade braided toy with old jeans if you have an aggressive chewer. If you don't have any old clothing, towels, blankets, etc… lying around you could purchase any type of material that could be easily cut and braided.
Dogs also love the noise made by empty bottles. Placing an empty bottle inside an old tube sock is a great way to recycle old materials into homemade gifts for dogs. You could also make a sleeve out of any material of your choice and place an empty bottle inside. Your dog will enjoy the crinkling sound and you'll also be able to use the toy for a game of tug or fetch.
You can even make an interactive toy for your pet with a little bit of creativity. One easy way to do this is by using a muffin tin and numerous tennis balls. Place dog treats inside the muffin cups and place a tennis ball on top of the treats. Your dog will need to work to get the tennis balls out of the muffin cups in order to retrieve his reward. Once your pet gets the hang of the tennis balls, you could try smaller balls or other objects to increase the difficulty level.
Homemade Dog Beds and Blankets
Dog beds are simple to make yourself. You can buy stuffing at any craft store or use old towels and blankets to stuff the bed. All you'll need are two rectangular pieces of cloth and some basic sewing skills. Stitch three sides of the cloth pieces together, but leave an opening on one end. Fill the material with whatever stuffing you've chosen and sew the open end shut.
If your pet prefers a bed with sides, you can use pool noodles. Measure the top rectangle of fabric about 10 inches longer on each side than you'll actually need. Cut a pool noodle to fit the length of each side. Starting at each end of the fabric, roll a pool noodle until it is completely covered with fabric and then stitch the fabric together.
When you're finished, you'll have a pool noodle sewn into all four sides of the top rectangle of fabric. Sew the top and bottom pieces together on three sides, add your stuffing, and then sew the last side shut. You'll have a fluffy dog bed with supporting sides all around it.
You can also make a no-sew dog bed cover or blanket in just a few minutes. First you'll need to decide how big your blanket or bed cover needs to be. Purchase two rectangles of fabric (my dogs like fleece) that are 6 inches longer on each side than the dimensions that you require.
Lay the pieces of fabric flat and make 6-inch cuts about 1 inch apart all the way around both pieces of fabric. The ends of the fabric should look like a hula skirt all the way around. If you're making a blanket, all you need to do is lay the two pieces on top of each other and tie them together all the way around.
If you're making a bed cover, lay the bottom piece of fabric on the floor, put the dog bed in the middle and put the top piece of fabric on the top. Then go around and tie all the strips together. This is the bed cover that I made for my girls, and as you can see, I don't tie all the strips together. I tie a few on each side so the cover stays on the bed and I let the rest dangle. Bed covers like these are super easy to wash!
Homemade Dog Treats
Dog treats are the perfect homemade gifts for dogs. You can make them in the flavor that your pet prefers and you can make them much healthier than traditional store bought dog treats. With a quick search online you can find TONS of recipes for dog treats. Keep the ingredients in mind if your dog has any allergies or sensitivities.
…and many more offer a variety of recipes that any dog would be happy to find under the tree.
RELATED: The Best Dog Treats
Homemade gifts for dogs are fun to make and they'll give you something to be proud of. Who knows, you may find that homemade products are better than anything you've ever purchased at a pet store. Plus, you can cater your homemade gifts for dogs to meet your individual pups wants and needs.
Now it’s your turn
If you've made a homemade gift for your dog, we'd love to see it! Post pictures to our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ page or share your ideas right here in the comments. Maybe your creative idea will inspire other pet parents to get creative and make a homemade present for their pooch.