Gifts for Good Dogs (and Cats)
Pet owners know that their pet is a part of the family. Make sure you include everyone in the gift-giving process this holiday season with special gifts for the pets in your life. From homemade treats to DIY toys, there are so many ways to create pet gifts that will warm hearts and get tails wagging.
No-sew Blanket: A great idea for new pets to give them something sentimental and comforting. There are tons of tutorials online for simple, no-sew blankets that you can customize to fit your furry friend.
Catnip-filled Toys: By laying 2 pieces of fabric on top of each other and cutting out your design, you can create a catnip-filled toy. Stich up one side before adding the catnip and closing.
Tug toys: Cut 4 pieces of fleece and braid them together. Then knot both ends to create a tough toy perfect for playing tug of war.
Collar Bow-ties: If you have old neckties lying around, we’ve got the perfect way to use them. Cut the fabric into a rectangle and fold it in half lengthwise before sewing it together. Iron it flat, making sure that the seam is in the middle. Fold the 2 ends to meet in the middle. Then sew them together before pinching to create the bowtie shape and sewing it in place.
Dog Shampoo Bar: You can use a fun mold to create these bars. There are a variety of recipes for dog-safe shampoo bars online, but most have a combination of coconut oil, goatmilk soap and essential oils. Just make sure to double check that the oils you’re using are pet friendly. Colorful Scratching Posts: You can DIY a scratching post to fit any décor. Just use a fence post for structure, a nylon rope and dyes for whatever color you want.
DIY toys are great, but the way to most of our furry friend’s hearts is through their stomach. Homemade dog treats, and cat treats, can be a simple and healthy option when you’re looking for pet gifts.
Ingredients to avoid:
There are many different recipes available for treats, so finding one that fits your pet’s needs won’t be difficult. What can be difficult however, is knowing what to avoid.
- Chocolate: Most of us know this but it bears repeating. There are pet-safe options though, such as carob, a fruit that grows in a dark brown pea pod.
- Raisins: Raisins, grapes and currants can all cause kidney failure in both cats and dogs.
- Onions and Garlic: Alliums in general can damage red blood cells in both cats and dogs.
- Xylitol: xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol and is found in a variety of things as a sugar substitute. Check labels for it before using any pre-packaged items to make your treats.
So, what are some good ingredients that work best in homemade dog treats?
- Pumpkin: Soothes their stomach and aids in digestion.
- Apples: Provide fiber and a number of vitamins.
- Sweet Potato: Promotes healthy skin, eyes, muscles, nerves and shiny coats.
- Carrots: Provides immune support and eye health.
Most pet owners know that the part of gifts most likely to entice pets is the wrapping paper. If using traditional wrapping paper, make sure to use minimal tape and ensure that the paper is wrapped loosely.
A more interactive route could be a forage box. Using a shallow cardboard box, place treats and toys inside and cover with newspaper or tissue paper. This is a great option for both cats and dogs as it engages their natural instincts. You can also hide treats around the house for your pets to sniff out.