Today's doggy DIY combines crazy pet-parent with a dose of practicality to create positively pawesome dog-friendly Easter baskets. Special occasions are a good opportunity to refresh any worn-out pet necessities like collar, leads, harnesses, etc. as well as indulge in a few new toys or treats. You can use this as inspiration for any occasion doggy gift giving, and a basket of goodies is a great idea for gifting new pet owners as well. Here are our tips:
Baskets: Buy a sturdy basket that you will be able to reuse around the house, such as a doggy toy box (so handy!) or general storage basket instead of a Easter-specific basket. Alternatively, you can swap the basket for a new bowl or waster dish. If you are creating a basket for your own pet, you can also repurpose a basket you already own/use. The fun of the basket is the mound of doggy treasures - you dog won't mind at all if some of it isn't new! The same sneaky tactic can be used for any of the fillings as well!
Linings: If your basket is large, you can pad out excess space with a large soft item, such as a pet blanket before you start to fill. Plastic Easter grass can be a hazard to pets, so give it a miss all together. If you have to have grass, you can use shredded paper instead; however, I suggest skipping the mess and going with colourful tissue paper to line and pretty up the gift basket. It has great tantalising "crinkle" noise when rustled, which is doggone exciting.
Practical Pressies: Special occasions are a great time to refresh or replace worn necessities such as leads, harnesses, collars, bowls, etc. Depending on your dog's daily diet, packages of everyday food might also be suitable your basket. Alternatively, you can slip in a jar of their bickies or make and fill a few easy pet pillow boxes for riptastic fun. To be honest, they're pretty fun empty too! I always enjoy using a few rolls of dog poo bags as decorative filler - it doesn't get much more practical than that.
Terrific Toys and Tasty Treats: Add some fun to your basket with a few new (or replacement) toys and some tasty treats. You can buy them, make some homemade pressies (we've got tons of ideas for you in our archives), or a little bit of both. Toys and treats don't need to be holiday specific since only us silly humans care about such things, but you can (of course!) theme them however you wish.
Special Occasion Fun: Whether bought or DIY, it's easy to add an occasion-specific touch to your basket. The simplest is to use colour to pick up a holiday theme, whether just in your embellishments or carried through into the presents inside the basket as well. DIY woven tugs are one of the easiest pressies to colour theme, and we've got tons of other ideas in our archives that you can customise to suit your gift basket theme. You can also use special occasion treats or toys, or general purpose ones in commonly associated designs - Easter examples could include bunnies, lambs, ducks, etc. You can also try a doggy version of common occasion/seasonal human pressies - bubbles are one of Humphrey's favourites, so into the Easter basket they go! You might also like to include something cute for dress-up, like a special occasion bandana, bow tie, or collar embellishment.
Assembly Tips: Prep your goodies by removing tags and any other hazardous bits. If you are including items that you don't want your dog to nibble, it may help to position strategically. Special or enticing goodies that you want to protect when/if the basket is "opened" by the dog, can be positioned at the bottom so they are buffered or on the top for easy removal before the dog is allowed access. Pad your basket (if needed) and add your paper lining (optional). Start with your larger items and incrementally fill the basket. Reserve small items and/or a few treats for dressing the top. If adding a bow (optional), do so before adding and arranging your final small items to dress the basket. Make sure that any carry handles can still be accessed and used if/as needed when attaching you bow.
Remember, safety first! I don't recommend allowing your dog uncontrolled access and take special care if you have multiple dogs. Toys are for supervised interactive play. Know your dog before giving him or her any new toy. Some dogs would rather eat their toys (whether store bought or handmade), and that's dangerous. Toys are for playing and playtime is safer (and more fun!) with you involved. You can read more about dog toy safety here. Treats are for spoiling your pup in moderation. Some dogs have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about your dog's diet and health, have a chat with your vet.