According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans will spend an estimated $62.75 billion on their pets in 2016. It’s a staggering amount of money, but if you’ve ever owned a pet, you know firsthand just how costly they can be. While there are many ordinary and expected expenses, such as food, toys, and annual vet visits, there are others that take you by complete surprise. No one plans for their kitty to get sick or to replace a carpet that their dog has destroyed, but these are just the facts of life when you are a pet owner.
There are some expenses that you’ll never be able to avoid, but for others, there are simple tricks and life hacks that can help you provide for your pet without going over budget.
From keeping their food fresh to toys that will keep them entertained for hours, there is something for everyone on this list of 15 pet DIYs. And if you don’t own a dog or a cat? Don’t worry! We even have something just for bird watchers. So, sit back and prepare to save big in an industry that’s had pet parents on a tight leash for too long.
1. Wood Plank Feeding Station
Does your cat or dog have a lot of spills while eating? Use a jigsaw to cut holes in a wood plank, then fit your pet’s food and water dishes inside. Not only does it look adorable, but it will keep you from having to clean up messes at every feeding. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Tin Can Food Container
You know those big tin cans full of popcorn that somehow end up in your house every Christmas? By simply spray painting one and adding a label, Tidy Mom recreated a product that typically sells for an average of $50. Visit her blog for more details.
3. Car Seat Hammock
If you travel with your dog often and you’re tired of vacuuming up hair, this car seat hammock is for you. It only costs about $10 to make, while store-bought versions will set you back close to $100, and the best part? Whenever it gets dirty, you can easily remove it and throw it in your washing machine. Find the pattern here.
4. IKEA Cat Shelves
Cats love to climb, but cat towers take up a lot of space and can cost anywhere between $50 and $200. Avoid both problems by gluing inexpensive bath mats to the top of IKEA shelves to create a stylish space that your cat will love. Tatiana’s Delights has the details.
5. Cardboard Castle
Set aside a few cardboard boxes from your next Amazon delivery to make this cardboard castle for your cat. If they pee on it, you won’t feel bad about throwing it away. Click here to see how it was made.
6. Braided Fleece Dog Toy
Dog toys are expensive, and if your pup is anything like mine, they don’t last long. Braid together a few strips of fleece to make the perfect toy for dogs who are determined to destroy.
7. “Kit-Tea” Catnip
Fill reusable tea bags with catnip for a treat that will entertain your cat for hours. If you don’t have tea bags, any small swatch of fabric will do. For more details, click here.
8. Suitcase Pet Bed
Not only is it stylish, but this suitcase bed can be easily folded up and stored when not in use. Full instructions can be found at The Gold Jellybean.
9. DIY Dog Food Station
This food station is similar to the one we saw previously, but it has an added bonus – a secret compartment to store food! Visit Addicted 2 DIY to see how it was built.
10. Table Pet Bed
Any cat or small dog would love this DIY table bed, made by simply turning a table upside down and adding a small mattress.
11. Ribbon Cat Toy
Cats aren’t quite as destructive as dogs when it comes to toys, but they do tend to get bored easily. Keep them entertained with this “fishing pole” toy covered in ribbons and feathers. From the looks of things, kids will get a kick out of it, too!
12. Citrus Cup Bird Feeder
This one’s for all you bird watchers out there! Hollow out half a piece of citrus fruit, such as an orange or a grapefruit, fill it with bird seed, and hang from the nearest tree with twine. Soon, the birds will be feasting! Detailed instructions can be found here.
13. Crochet Pet Bed
If you are handy with crochet, try making your pet their very own blanket or bed. More details can be found here.
15. Fancy Furniture Pet Bed
If crochet isn’t your thing, repurpose a piece of old furniture instead. The unusual bed is sure to delight your pet, as well as any house guests.
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