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Every Dog Owner Should Learn These 20 DIY Pet Projects

Every Dog Owner Should Learn These 20 DIY Pet Projects

As every dog parent will tell you, having a cute and energetic doggie in your life – or even a lazy one that just wants to eat and snuggle all the time – is a true joy, but a serious obligation as well. You have to care for the little rascal, take him for walks, feed him, get doggie snacks and constantly replace chewed up dog toys, not to mention things like pillows and cables that puppies happily chew up while they are teething and know no better. A 2011 survey found that the average family spent more money per year on their dog/dogs than they did on alcohol, phone bills or men’s clothing. When you factor in things like proper nutrition and hygiene, not to mention medical bills, it’s easy to see why the bills stack up quickly. The following DYI project are a cheaper and more fun alternative.

1. Plastic bottle chew toy

Plastic bottle and socks

    To start off, here is a simple chew toy that your dog will love – take the cap and ring off a big plastic soda bottle, put it in an old sock and tie off the end. It is light, cheap, easy to replace and makes crunching noises when a dog bites into it.

    2. Paracord braided chew toy

    Paracord chew toy

      For those people whose dogs go through chew toys quickly, paracord may be the best solution. It is resilient, fairly cheap and can be braided into tough chew toys which can be easily replaced.

      3. Dog crate furniture

      dog crate furniture

        Since buying a combination furniture and dog crate can end up costing you several hundred dollars, it’s better to invest some time and sweat to make your own unique creation for a fraction of the price. Here is a great dog crate end table combo design that you can make for about $50.

        4. Old suitcase dog bed

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        suitcase dog bed

          One of the most overpriced pieces of furniture you can buy are fancy dog beds. I mean, really, I’ve found my dog sleeping on the floor next to his bed on several occasions, it’s not like they will know the difference between a $15 and $35 bed. For a fashionable, yet inexpensive dog bed you can get an old used suitcase, some furniture legs and a comfy pillow.

          5. Soft and warm doggy bed

          soft doggy bed

            Those with even the most basic sewing skills can make an even simpler doggy bed using an old hoodie, a pillow, pieces of cloth and some needle and thread. It won’t take much to complete, most people already have the needed materials lying around and the end result looks really great.

            6. Baked treats

            doggy treats

              Not only will you save money, but you will also know exactly what goes into the recipe and can make sure that your dog is getting the proper nutrients. With these few simple recipes you can bake a large number of dog cookies and similar treats.

              7. Crochet animal toys

              crochet dog toys

                Dogs love to have something to chase and play with, say a little animal friend, and you can create tons of fun and easily replaceable crochet animals. They can be designed any way you want and incredibly cheap to make.

                8. Boiled chicken breast, vegetable broth and boiled rice for an upset stomach

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                chicken broth

                  If your dog has a problematic stomach or is vomiting his food you should fast him, i.e. give him no food and only a bit of water for the next 12-24 hours. Then you can give them some nice chicken or vegetable broth that you can make yourself, combined with some boiled rice in a few small servings during the day for the next few days until he starts feeling better.

                  9. Yogurt for dogs with diarrhea

                  dog eating yogurt

                    Sometimes our little buddies will get some serious tummy problems, and it’s mostly due to the fact that they will put almost anything in their mouth. For those times when your dog has diarrhea it is important to keep him hydrated and not to upset the stomach further, and yogurt will help soothe the inflammation and promote the growth of good bacteria.

                    10. Homemade dog shampoo

                    Let’s not beat around the bush here – dogs will take every opportunity to get dirty. While decent dog shampoos can end up costing you quite a bit in the long run, an easy to make DIY shampoo can last you a long time and cost you very little. It doesn’t take a chemist to mix a few ingredients together and pour it into a bottle, so anyone can do it.

                    11. Tasty bacon sticks

                    bacon sticks

                      When you need a quick tasty snack and don’t want to spend a fortune on high-quality store-bought treats, you can make these delicious bacon sticks. You only need a little bit of each ingredient and you can make a bunch of very healthy and wholesome snacks that your pooch will enjoy.

                      12. Frozen treats for the hot summer

                      dog eating frozen treat

                        You can take all kinds of things from fruit to chicken broth and freeze them in a bowl of water to create a big frozen treat. Your dog has to spend some time licking away at the icy surface before he or she can melt enough of it away to get to the tasty treats inside. It can easily be a couple of hours of fun for your furry little friend and it will help him keep cool down and stay hydrated during the hotter months.

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                        13. Fancy DIY dog bowl

                        calk-board-dog-bowl

                          A very simple, yet very original project is the chalkboard doggy bowl. You’ll need a simple ceramic bowl, some tape to put around the edge and a can of flat black chalkboard paint. Once the paint has dried you can take off the tape and then write little messages with chalk.

                          14. Dog eating station

                          dog feeding station

                            If you have a bigger dog, chances are he or she is going to make a mess when eating as the bowl will get moved around as the dog enthusiastically chows down on the food. With a few simple items and a bit of elbow grease you can make a dog eating station that keeps the food and water bowl in place.

                            15. Light treat puzzle

                            PVC pipe dog treat puzzle

                              Treat puzzles are a great way to keep your dog occupied for a while and to help him develop his cognitive skills. The problem is that store-bought puzzles can easily cost $30-$60. Luckily, you can make some very simple snack puzzles with muffin tins, tennis balls or some PVC pipes that will keep your doggie excited and occupied. You can even just put some treats in a small cardboard box, and put it inside a slightly larger one, then just let your dog tear through it to get to the goodies.

                              16. Doggy backpack

                              doggy backpack

                                You often have to carry poo bags, snacks, some water and other items along on long walks or hikes, so why not have your dog carry his own stuff? If you know your way around a sewing machine you’ll be able to whip up a stylish backpack for your best friend using some basic dirt cheap materials.

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                                17. Cheap and easy tug of war rope

                                braided t shirt dog toy

                                  There is no need to spend any money on ropes and similar toys that can be easily destroyed and are often somewhat overpriced for what they are. We all have tons of old t shirts lying around, and you can cut them into strips and use them to braid your own rope. You can play tug of war and let your dog chew on it as much as he wants, as you will have a good supply of extra material that allows you to easily make new ropes.

                                  18. Sock ball for playing catch

                                  sock ball

                                    Old socks can also make a very simple, but incredibly effective dog toy. You just put a sock inside of another and keep rolling and covering, then add another one and another one until you have a ball of sufficient size. You can play catch or just let your dog slowly go through the layers. It is inexpensive and recyclable, i.e. you can make it again after your dog untangles it.

                                    19. Simple slingshot for playing fetch

                                    slingshot

                                      Using simple items like a branch and some rubber tubing you can easily make a great large slingshot which you can use to propel small balls across large distances. This way your arms won’t get too tired when playing fetch and you’ll be able to throw the ball really far, giving your dog a good opportunity to exercise.

                                      20. DIY dog tags

                                      handmade dog tags

                                        You can have lots of fun and come up with some interesting DIY dog tag designs in your spare time – this way your dog gets a great little dog tag, which can help you find him if he gets lost, and you get to spend some fun time crafting the perfect dog tag.

                                        I hope you find some of these DIY projects useful and that you can save yourself a lot of money, while at the same time keeping your dog healthy and happy.

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                                        Ivan Dimitrijevic

                                        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                                        Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                                        How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                        How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                        Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

                                        Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

                                        I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

                                        You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                        Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

                                        When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                        I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                        Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                        Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

                                        If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                        Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

                                        1. The Inner Critic

                                        This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                        • Other people’s words—many times your parents
                                        • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
                                        • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
                                        • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                        The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

                                        Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                        2. The Worrier

                                        This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

                                        The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                                        3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

                                        This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                                        This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                        The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

                                        4. The Sleep Depriver

                                        This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                        The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                        • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                        • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                        • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
                                        • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                        How can you control these squatters?

                                        How to Master Your Mind

                                        You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                        Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                        There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                        • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                        • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                        This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

                                        The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

                                        Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                        1. For the Inner Critic

                                        When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                        You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                        For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                                        You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

                                        “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                        If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

                                        This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                        • They rile up the Worrier.
                                        • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                        • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                        • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                        • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                        Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                        Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                        2. For the Worrier

                                        Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                        Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

                                        You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                        • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                        • Muscles tense

                                        Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                        If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                        Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                        “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                        Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                        If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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                                        Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

                                        Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                                        For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                        “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

                                        Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                        Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                        “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                        Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                        3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                        Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                        The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

                                        I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                        Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                        Breathe in through your nose:

                                        • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                        • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                        • Focus on your belly rising.

                                        Breathe out through your nose:

                                        • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                        • Focus on your belly falling.
                                        • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                        Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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                                        One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                                        Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                        4. For the Sleep Depriver

                                        (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                        I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                        Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                        1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                        2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                        When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

                                        From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                        For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                        If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                        You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                        • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
                                        • Shut down your thinking
                                        • Calm your feelings
                                        • Simply focus on the present moment

                                        The Bottom Line

                                        Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

                                        You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                        Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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                                        Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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