As pet owners, we are responsible for providing our animals with everything they need to keep them healthy and happy. But sometimes the things sold at pet stores are extremely expensive or inappropriate and unsafe for certain pets. An easy solution is to use items around your home or at the dollar store to make your own pet supplies.
**All of these items are 100% pet safe, but some will say “please supervise pet during use”. These are items that require human effort to use or are items that aren’t toys.
Sock-Tie Toy Lots of knotted, braided fun!
What you will need: Old socks, treats or kibble (optional)
How to make: tie old socks together or braid three of them together. You can stuff them with some tasty snacks to entice your dog to play with it, too!
Chilly Bones Brrrr! The perfect treat for a hot day!
What you will need: Water, freezer, cookie cutters, weighted objects, metal pan
Step 1) Take out a metal cake pan/cookie sheet.
Step 2) Select a cookie cutter with the shape you’d like. Ideally, try to find one that won’t leave very sharp edges just in case.
Step 3) Hold the cookie cutter down firmly and pour water into the shape. Repeat if you choose.
Step 4) Place the weighted object on the cookie cutters.
Step 5) Freeze. When they are frozen take one out and rinse it quickly in warm water so your dog’s tongue won’t stick on the ice. Let your dog chew on it and play with it!
*Alternatively you can fill a cupcake pan with water and freeze for simple round shapes.
Fishing for Kitties Toy Reel in the elusive Cat-fish! *Please supervise pet during use*
What you will need: Wooden dowel or long stick from non-poisonous tree, cotton yarn, small cat toy, scissors, pocket knife, tape (optional)
Step 1) Take a pocket knife and make a divot all the way around the dowel about an inch from the top.
Step 2) Tie the string in the divot.
Step 3) Tie the other end of the string to the cat toy.
Step 4 (optional) Tape the bottom of the dowel/stick as a handle so you don’t get splinters (especially helpful if you’re using a branch)
Mouse-in-a-Hole Where did it go?
What you will need: 1-4 inch tall box, scissors, catnip toy
Step 1) Cut multiple round holes from the top of the box. Make them just wide enough for your cat to stick her paws in, but not big enough to put her face in.
Step 2) Stick a catnip toy inside the box.
Paper Tunnels (Any small pets) To run through, sleep in, or hide treats from thieving cage mates!
What you will need: Construction paper or heavy cardstock paper, non-toxic glue or paper tape, scissors (optional)
Step 1) Cut the paper down to whatever size tunnel you want.
Step 2) Fold the paper into a tunnel shape and glue or tape it down.
Chopstick Nibblers (Any small pets) A great excuse to go out for Chinese food!
What you will need: Wooden chopstick or dowel, small paper clip, wooden chews toys or wooden shapes (not dyed), thumbtack, superglue, cheerios or other round cereal (optional), your pet’s favorite veggie or fruit (optional)
Step 1) Twist half of the paperclip until it breaks in half.
Step 2) Take a thumbtack and stick it into the wider end of the chopstick. The wood of the chopstick should be soft enough to do this.
Step 3) Put a very small drop of glue in the hole you just made. Stick the straight end of the paperclip in the hole and hold it until the glue dries.
Step 4) Lay out your objects and decide what order you want them in. Then, string them onto the chopstick on the opposite side the paperclip is on. One of the wooden shapes should have a hole just wide enough to hold everything on, if not you can use a very small drop of superglue.
Step 5) Hang up using the paperclip.
Hay Stuffers (Guinea pigs and rabbits) Stuffed with the things they love most!
What you will need: Hay, small pieces of your pet’s favorite treat, toilet paper roll or paper towel roll
How to make: stuff the hay and treats inside of the cardboard roll.
Fiesta Piñatas All your bird needs is a poncho and sombrero for a real fiesta!
What you will need: newspaper (with ink made from soybeans), flour, water, balloon, cotton string, thumbtack, pot, stove, seeds
Step 1) Blow up the balloon about the size of your fist for the average sized parrot and tie it up. You can make it smaller or larger depending on your bird’s size.
Step 2) In a large pot on the stove mix up one part flour to five parts water and boil for three minutes. Let cool.
Step 3) Cut strips of newspaper. Dip the newspaper in the mixture and run it through your fingers to get off the excess. Place it over the balloon and smooth it out. Repeat until you have two layers all around the balloon, but leave the top uncovered!
Step 4) When it is dry, pop the balloon. Make sure all of the balloon parts are removed from it.
Step 5) Push the thumbtack through the top on both sides in multiple places. Fill with seeds. Then take the cotton string and weave it through the holes. Pull and tie tightly closed.
Step 6) Hang it up in the birds cage.
*Tip: You may want to tear a little hole or two so your bird is aware of the yummy treats inside!
Watch your pet’s behaviors and try to determine their favorite activities. With a little creativity, you can create your own pet products!