Category Archives: pet bed

Making Pet Beds from Repurposed Items

By Ruthie Bently

I love going to auctions and yard sales; they are a great place to find inexpensive items you can repurpose or reclaim and use with your pets. Repurposing, which is different from recycling, means to give a new purpose or use to something. Reclaiming is the act of making something available for use or to rescue it from an undesirable state. If cash is limited, you don’t even need to go out to find these reusable items. You can make pet beds (including stuffing) out of your old blankets, pillow cases, mattress pads, sheets, towels, quilts and clothing.

If you have the time, you can sew your pet bed by hand. For large beds, you may want to use a sewing machine. You don’t have to be an expert with a sewing machine – knowing the basics and being able to sew a straight stitch is all you need. You shouldn’t need a heavy duty sewing machine, but it’s good to have several sturdy needles suitable for sewing heavier fabrics or multiple layers. Thread, a stitch ripper and sturdy pair of scissors round out the supplies list.

If you are totally helpless around a sewing machine, Velcro® is a handy thing to have. The fabric you choose will depend on how roughly your pet treats things. If it’s for a dog, their digging ability needs to be considered, as dogs will dig to adjust their bed to their liking, especially if it is used in their crate. Cats scratch things and while dogs don’t scratch in the same manner, you want to stay away from fabrics that have an open weave. Your pet’s toenails may get caught in it.

Some of the items you choose can be cut with scissors to fit your purpose. You may choose to sew items instead, depending on what you intend to use them for. If you’re making a simple mat for a small dog or your cat’s favorite sleeping spot, a mattress pad or quilt cut into four to eight pieces works well. Trim the elastic edge off the mattress pad, fold it in half and cut the halves apart. Take the remaining two pieces and cut again. If it is still too large, fold and cut the remaining pieces until you have the desired size. A simple whip stitch or straight stitch will keep the edges from raveling. If you want a thicker pad or more substantial bed, you can use a pillow case as a cover for the layers you have just cut. You can stitch thin pieces of Velcro to the inside edge of the pillow case’s opening to use as an easy closure.

If you’re using a quilt or a mattress pad to make a pet bed for a larger dog, folding in half and folding again creates a good size. Tacking the corners will hold it flat, but may make it harder to wash. If you just want a flat mat, folding in quarters and cutting as above works well. You can find dog bed patterns you can make online. Though some suggest using old couch cushions, I wouldn’t, since you don’t know what may be lurking in the foam of the cushion. Over time the composition of the foam tends to break down. You don’t want your dog to chew it up and ingest it either.

I have found making a bed from blue jeans to be an easy project. I rip the inseam leg stitches out up to the crotch, and stitch the fronts of the legs together at the center creating a new seam. I then sew a new seam by stitching the backs of the legs together. To make a bottom seam, I stitch the bottom of the pants closed where the feet would have exited. You can then stuff it with cotton towels or the items you created above if you want more layers. A blue jean skirt works well for a bed too, you only have to sew one seam. I would not suggest using Velcro on more than one seam if you have a dog that likes to shake things; you may come home to find stuffing all over the room.

Whatever item or items you choose to repurpose or refurbish to suit the needs of your pet’s bed, you are only limited by your imagination. You may never look at an old pair of blue jeans the same again. Not only are you keeping something from ending up in a landfill, you are giving new life to an item that still has life to give.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Great Ways to Pamper Your Pet

By Julia Williams

My mother once informed me that my three cats were spoiled rotten. At first her comment irked me, but then I realized it was true. I also realized that there was absolutely nothing wrong with spoiling them! People who love their pets want to treat them in a way that makes the animal happy and enriches its life. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a pet? Besides, no amount of pampering could ever equal the amount of love and joy they add to my life.

Then too, what one person sees as pampering might seem like a necessity to another. In my frugal mother’s eyes, feeding my cats a premium food like FELIDAE® is a waste of money. However, I know that this high-quality, all natural food is worth every penny because it improves my cats’ health and extends their lives. So while she may think I “spoil” them with cat food that costs more than the cheap supermarket fare, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Besides feeding your dog or cat good food, there are countless other ways to pamper your pet. Here are just a few:

1. Give them your undivided attention by petting and grooming them, talking to them and hugging them. While some people insist that cats are too independent to want or need attention, I have to disagree. I’ve had many different feline companions over the years, and not one of them was aloof or indifferent to my doting ways. It’s true that every cat has a distinct personality, and some enjoy the attention more than others, but they all enjoy it nonetheless.

The best thing about pampering your pet with attention is that it’s free. Dogs and cats that are petted and loved on a daily basis will be happier and better behaved. A gentle brushing of their fur is something almost every pet loves. Once a week, you could give your pet a soothing body massage, too. Don’t laugh – massaging your pet increases circulation and makes their coat shine – and most dogs and cats really seem to love it!

2. Pamper your dog or cat with a nice cozy pet bed. Since they spend the better part of their day sleeping (or at the very least, relaxing in a half-awake state), providing them with a comfy bed is really not so much pampering as it is a necessity. An added bonus for you is that a bed of their own keeps the pet hair contained to one primary spot. A heated pet bed is great if you have an older, arthritic dog or cat. They’re safe to use, and the gentle heat will soothe their joints.

3. Dog sweaters and coats may seem silly and superfluous to some people, but many short-haired breeds do get chilly going outdoors in winter. For these dogs, a sweater or coat is not a fashion statement – it’s a practical way to keep them warm and dry.

4. Treats can be a great way to pamper your pet, provided you don’t overdo it. A fat pet is not a healthy pet, so give them treats only once in awhile, and make sure to factor the treat into their daily food allotment. Bits of plain cooked chicken or turkey, or freeze-dried liver, chicken and fish treats that have no additives or preservatives are the healthiest treats you can give your pet.

Homemade dog biscuits and cat treats are also healthy ways to pamper your pets, and they’re easy to make. I have two “pet recipe” books that I use, and there are some good recipes on the internet as well. If you’d rather buy your dog treats, try the SNAP-BISCUITS® made by CANIDAE®.

5. Toys are an inexpensive way to pamper your pet, and they can help them get some exercise, too. The nice thing about both dogs and cats is that they’re pretty easy to please when it comes to toys. In general, anything that keeps them safely amused instead of looking around for trouble, is a good toy to get.

The main thing to keep in mind is that pampering your pet should be all about what your pet likes, rather than what you want. And you don’t need to be able to speak “dog” or “cat” to tell the difference! Pamper your pooch or spoil your kitty with the things that make them happy, and you’ll be rewarded with a lifetime of unconditional love and joy. In my eyes, that’s a pretty darn good trade.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.