Pawfect presents

Giving your pet a gift doesn’t have to cost the earth – national pet charity Blue Cross has some great ideas of toys and treats you can make this Christmas

Destruction box

This is a great way to keep your dog’s brain active.

What you need
Empty cardboard box
Newspaper/old magazine
Empty egg box
Tasty bite-size treats

To make
1 Find an empty cardboard box, making sure it’s not too small for your dog.
2 Get some newspaper or an old magazine and shred enough paper to fill at least half the box.
3 Scrunch up the remaining paper and mix it in with the shredded paper to fill the box.
4 Pop some treats in the bottom section of an empty egg box and bury this in the paper, somewhere in the middle of the box.
5 Scatter some more of the treats in the box among the shredded and scrunched-up paper.
6 Close the box and let your dog into the room to investigate and dig out their yummy reward!

Cat treat vending machine

A great way to get your cat to explore ways to release their treats.

What you need
Empty cardboard shoe box
30 toilet roll inner tubes

To make 
1 Take the lid off your shoebox.
2 Start to glue your toilet roll inner tubes into the box on top of one another. The tubes need to have one side facing outwards.
3 Glue your shoebox in the middle of the shoebox lid. The lid will provide your vending machine with a base to keep it upright.
4 Wait an hour for the glue to fully dry.
5 Pop a treat into each inner tube and give this to your cat to fish out with their paw.

Flirt pole

A flirt pole is fantastic for dogs who love to chase – especially those with a higher chase drive than others, like sighthounds.

What you need
PVC pole
Bungee cord or rope (available in hardware shops)
An old, fluffy dog toy
Stanley knife
Coping saw

To make
1 Cut your pole to the size that you want using a coping saw – do this according to the size of your dog (the bigger the dog, the longer the pole).
2 Cut your rope or bungee cord to size using a Stanley knife. You’ll want this to be the length of the pole and add at least 40cm on to the end, depending on how big your dog is. Again, if you make the cord longer you can cover a wider area.
3 Push your rope through the pole until it starts to stick out the other end, then tie this end in a knot, so that the rope is secured within the pole.
4 Tie the loose bit of rope around one of your dog’s toys and you’re all done! You can then use the pole to encourage chase and play.

Home-made dog biscuits

Here’s a recipe your dog will love, and you’ll know exactly what’s going into his treats.

What you need
One egg
170g boiled chicken breast
100g cooked plain rice
1⁄4 pint chicken stock
680g plain flour
Blender/food processor
Cookie cutters
Rolling pin
Baking paper
Baking tray

To make
1 Preheat oven to 180°C.
2 Place baking paper on a baking tray.
3 Pop the boiled chicken breast, cooked rice and chicken stock into a blender and blitz until it looks like purée.
4 Transfer the mix into a bowl and add in the egg and flour, mix well.
5 Dust flour on to a clean, flat surface.
6 Turn the mixture out of the mixing bowl and on to the floured surface.
7 Knead the dough until it stops being sticky.
8 Roll out with a rolling pin – aim for 1.25cm thickness.
9 Shape the biscuits with cookie cutters.
10 Place on baking tray and cook in oven for 25-30 minutes.
11 Allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within one week.

Cat wand

A magical gift for cats who love to play chase!

What you need
Wooden dowel (around 30cm in length)
Five jingle bells
Fabric scraps
Fabric glue Baker’s twine Scissors

To make 
1 Wrap your wooden dowel with twine, leaving 25-30cm (10-12in) at the end of the rod to dangle.
2 Secure the twine with fabric glue at the base and the end.
3 Place all your jingle bells on the piece of twine left at the end of the wooden dowel.
4 Tie the fabric scraps to the end of the twine and you’re ready to play.

For more details, or to find your nearest Blue Cross centre or hospital, visit

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