When the holidays come around -- or a beloved furry family member celebrates his or her birthday -- you may want to give your pets presents, too! Or maybe one of your friends loves their puppy as their best friend, and you want to honor that by giving the dog a gift as well. You don't have to spend inordinate amounts of money at a pet store just to get presents for animal companions; here are some frugal pet gift ideas you can fall back on.
Homemade treats are always a delicious goodie. You can use any one of many different inexpensive recipes, from healthy treats that give pets their vegetable servings to treats for pets who need cleaner teeth, and customize it based on what you know the pet likes or dislikes. Bake up the treats and bag them like you would holiday cookies, leaving one out of the bag to give to the pet as a sample. Owners will be just as delighted as their animals to get homemade treats!
Blanket scraps are easy to pull together, especially if you sew at all. If you've recently completed a sewing project, sew the remainder fabrics together (haphazard doesn't matter, because the pet won't care what the blanket looks like) into a blanket and give it to the pet for warmth and comfort. Leftover fleece fabric is also perfect for this purpose, since you don't have to worry about fraying edges.
Homemade toys can come in a wide range of types. You can tie some string and a feather to a sanded stick and keep a cat occupied for hours on end. You can sew up catnip inside a discarded infant sock, along with some scrap stuffing or shredded paper, and kitty will be entertained for weeks. You can modify a baby chew toy for a teething dog, pull together an obstacle course from scraps from your latest around the house project, or buy a squeaker and sew it inside a piece of brightly colored fabric.
Retooled bowls are great when you need a more practical present for your pet or someone else's. Find a bowl you don't use somewhere in your house and decorate it with pet-friendly materials (safe paint, etc.). Or craft a bowl shaped for the pet you have in mind out of clay and fire it in the oven if you want a truly customized gift.
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