For first time adopters, a new pet can be overwhelming, especially when you walk into a pet store and see all of the different things you can buy. Even for veterans of pet care, choosing between 10 different dog beds, all of which come with a hefty price tag, can make you want to head home and just put down a pillow for your pup. For those reasons, I put together a list of some alternatives and DIY products for pet beds and toys! These should help in getting products that aren’t 100% necessary like food, without spending as much money. And don’t worry, I’ll link tutorials in each DIY picture!
Beds are possibly the most annoying things to look for when shopping for your bed because they’re expensive, there are too many options, and for a lot of us, they’re kind of useless. My dog’s bed is right next to mine, and no matter what I say or do he will end up in mine by the end of the night, and my cat just sleeps wherever she wants, but that doesn’t stop them from having their own beds.
For those of us who don’t want to be spending close to $100 on a glorified pillow for our pets, there are so many cheap DIY and repurposing alternatives that we can use.
For cats, rabbits, or any type of small pet, one of the coolest DIY’s that I have seen is the DIY sweater pet bed. All you need is an old sweater and a pillow and you’re basically done. It’s comfy, it’s affordable, and best of all it’s easy to wash.
If you’re not a big DIY-er, then don’t worry, because you can turn basically anything into a bed. If you have an old wagon, drawer, suitcase, or picnic basket, add a blanket and a pillow and it can easily become a stylish bed for your pet, without having to go through the void that is “animal beds” on google.
Another easy refurbishing technique is taking an older nightstand, or coffee table and turning it upside down. Add a pillow and a blanket, and voila you have a bed.
Animals are pretty easy to entertain, and while chew toys aren’t expensive, sometimes you don’t have time to get to the store. Growing up, we constantly had relatives and friends leave their pets with us while they went away. Because they were never permanent pets, we never bought actual toys for them, so here are a few makeshift toys I used to make in a pinch.
My personal favorite for cats is possibly the easiest to put together. All you need is a paper towel, and a string and you’re set. Just fold up the paper towel and tie the string around it in the middle and you get a makeshift teaser. You could also entertain your cat for hours with the simple laser pointer, and you never even have to go to the store.
For dogs that like to make noise, put an empty water bottle in a sock, and your dog will bite onto it for hours.
For dogs who are more chew friendly, take a tennis ball (or any other durable ball or sphere shaped object) and wrap it up in a shirt or a towel and tie it up. Your dog will both have fun chewing the ball end as well as the tied up end to release it.
And honestly, with dogs the classic throwing of the tennis ball will keep your dog entertained while also getting it the exercise it needs.
Hopefully this post gave you some ideas for pet store alternatives. Honestly, as with anything in life, adding your own flare to the things your pet uses on a daily basis makes it all the more special. Whether you go out and buy a dog bed or make one yourself, make sure to add something to it, like a blanket or something, to give it the warmth for your pets. If you want more DIY posts in the future make sure to tell me and I’ll keep making them!