PDSA, the vet charity, has put together some ideas for making your own gifts for your pets this Christmas. And now the schools are on holiday this is something you can get the kids involved with too.
Tug toys provide dogs with endless fun and are easy to make at home using old t-shirts, blankets, or fleece. All you need to do is cut three thick strips of fabric and tie them together with a knot at each end. Always monitor your dog when they are playing with toys and remove them if any bits become loose.
Nothing screams Christmas like the smell of festive baking, and why should our furry family members miss out on a sweet treat? Many festive foods aren’t safe for our pets, but these gingerbread dog biscuits make the perfect gift – just remember that treats are best in moderation and be mindful to offer an appropriate amount for your dog’s size and weight. Watch PDSA’s step-by-step video here.
Cats need something to scratch as part of their natural behaviour, and to help keep their claws in tip-top condition. To make a cat scratcher you’ll need some sisal rope, staples, and a smooth piece of wood (make sure there are no splinters!). Wrap the rope tightly around the piece of wood, leaving an inch at each end so you can staple the rope into place. Make two holes at the top of the wood and feed some rope through so you can hang it against the wall or a piece of furniture in your cat’s favourite spot. Then sit back and watch them scratch to their heart’s content. Remember to make one for each of your cats so they don’t have to share.
If you have a hand for sewing, you can use scraps of leftover material to make your own catnip toys. Simply cut two pieces of fabric into your desired shape and sew them together, leaving the top open before turning it inside out to make a pouch. Just ensure the shape isn’t small enough for your cat to swallow. Fill the pouch with batting and up to a tablespoon of catnip. Finally, sew the hole closed so everything is secure.
Christmas wreath for small pets
Start with three small handfuls of long stranded hay and begin to plait them together. Each time you plait, add another small handful and you’ll begin to see a rope forming. Ideally the rope needs to be double the length you’d like your wreath to be. Once it’s long enough, take some scissors and trim any excess hay. You can now begin to fashion your wreath using thick handfuls of hay to make the shape. Wrap your rope around this to help it hold its shape. Now that you have your wreath, decorate it with your pet’s favourite veggies – you could even cut them into festive shapes! Watch PDSAs festive wreath video here.
Rabbits and guinea pigs need to eat at least their body size in hay every day, so finding a way to make this fun is the perfect boredom breaker.
Take your leftover toilet or kitchen roll tubes and cut a festive shape in the middle. Then simply stuff them with hay and watch your furry family member enjoy foraging for their food as they would in the wild.
Forage surprise bag
You can incorporate some festive joy into your small furry friends’ day by putting hay into a small paper bag or box and cutting some festive shapes into the sides. Place it in their enclosure and let them hunt for their favourite snacks.
For more advice on making Christmas a magical yet safe time for your pet, visit