Christmas this year will be a challenge for many families, with finances strained to breaking point. But there's no reason your dog cannot wake up to a special gift on Christmas morning with these great money saving ideas for doggie Christmas presents.
Christmas Dog Treats
Our first suggestion is something most everyone can do – bake some special Christmas Dog Treats. To make our dog treats you'll need 1 cup of wholemeal flour, ½ a cup of grated cheese, ½ a cup of cooked frozen vegetables such as peas, corn and carrots, ½ a cup of margarine or butter (melted) and a little bit of water.
To make, mix together the flour, cooked vegetables, cheese and melted butter (or margarine). If it is too stiff, add a little water until you have a dough like consistency.
Pop this in the fridge to chill for an hour or two, then remove from the fridge and place on a floured work surface. Roll out to about half an inch thick, then use seasonal cookie cutters to cut out Christmas shapes.
Place these on a greased baking tray and cook at 185°C / 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely before placing in an airtight container.
Note: you can make more biscuits by doubling the ingredients, however these biscuits do not keep for as long as traditional dog biscuits (due to the cooked vegetables). Can be refrigerated.
Doggie Neck Scarves
These are also very simple to make. They are basically a triangle of fabric with a seam sewn all the way around. Scour your local fabric shops for their remnant bins. You can quite often buy smaller pieces of fabric (the ends of rolls) for a very reasonable price. A patterned fabric looks great, or you could get some plain fabric and write your dog's name on the scarf with a fabric pen (or draw a Santa – use your imagination!).
To make the scarf, just draw out a triangle on your fabric using tailors chalk. Here's how you do it. The bottom of the triangle is a straight line, so just mark on the edge of your fabric a length which is equal to your dog's neck measurement plus 12" or 30cm. When measuring your dog's neck, don't measure too tightly! So if your dog's neck is 10", make 2 marks on the bottom of your fabric 22" apart.
Now the point of your triangle should reach your dog's mid chest. So measure from under your dog's chin to the middle of his chest, then add 1½" (for seam allowance).
From the midpoint of your line on the bottom of your fabric, mark the point the right height for your dog. Then just draw the two lines from this point to either edge of your bottom line.
Cut out, pin and sew a hem all the way around, and you're done!
Bone Soft Toy
This one is a little trickier and requires some drawing skills! Again, search the remnant bins for some fabric to make your bone soft toy, but make sure that it's durable, because most dogs like to have a good chew, and it would be terrible to have your Christmas present destroyed before Christmas Day is over.
You'll also need some filling material. You can either use scraps of leftover fabric, or buy special filling material from your local fabric or craft shop.
Now just fold your fabric in two with right side together, and draw a bone shape (don't worry – the dog won't mind if it's not perfect)! Keep in mind when you are drawing the bone that you need to make it big enough to have a seam sewn all around. Cut out your bone shape and sew around almost the entire outside, but leave a gap of around 2" to allow you to fill the toy.
I also suggest you sew the seam twice (remember those teeth!). Now turn the bone right way around and stuff with your filling. Hand sew the final bit of seam closed.
Here's another easy one. Just buy a length of rope (the thickness should be suitable for your dog – the bigger the dog, the thicker the rope). Now cut into three equal lengths. Tie a sturdy knot near one end, and then plait the 3 strands of rope and tie off with another sturdy knot at the other end.
If you have an elderly dog, they may be finding it more and more difficult to bend down to eat. If so, why not make them a wooden tray for their food bowl to sit on. You can use scrap pieces of wood – have a look around your garage or shed and see whether you have anything suitable.
You really just need a square or a rectangle, depending on the size of your dog's bowls. If you are going to put the water bowl there too, you may want to consider waterproofing the top of the tray.
And make sure the height of the tray is suitable for your dog.
So that's it – 5 relatively easy, and cheap, Christmas Gifts you can make for your dog. The whole pack can have a great Christmas now!
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