It's a dog's life -- and a cushy one at that. This soft bed, suitable for small pooches, can be refreshed with a quick switch of covers. You'll need 2 same-size dish towels, 2-inch-thick foam (cut 4 inches shorter and narrower than the towels), and iron-on Velcro fasteners. Lay towels on top of each other, good sides facing. Sew 3 sides, about 1/2 inch in from towel edges. Turn inside out, insert foam, and iron the fasteners to the open side. For a neat appearance, fold that end as if gift-wrapping a box and use the fasteners to keep in place.
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I have hamsters and ferrets, and they can get stinky. How often should I bathe my little pets?
The animals only get stinky when they're kept in stinky cages, so the cleaner you keep the cages, the cleaner your ferrets and hamsters will be. Pet stores do sell shampoos that work well on both these kinds of pets; however, don't bathe them too often. It will dry out their skin and coats.
Wash your pocket pets once a week, and be sure the water is tepid to slightly cool -- most animals don't like very warm water. After the baths, remember to keep your hamster in a very warm place until he or she is completely dry. They chill very easily when wet.
If you take your pet on vacation this summer, add a tag like this one to her collar. That way, if she strays, people will be able to reach you.
Print your contact information on card stock. Using a 2-inch circular craft punch or scissors, cut out card stock and 2 pieces of clear self-adhesive shelf liner. Sandwich paper between pieces of liner. Punch a hole for a key ring to attach to a collar.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Fancy hats and a "cake" make a birthday purr-fect. For hat, make a paper cone, and then stitch on a pom-pom and add a thin elastic cord for a chin strap. For collar, attach Velcro dots to the ends of pom-pom fringe. Turn out canned food for a cake. Pom-pom fringe, in 3/8 inches, $2.59 per yd., mjtrim.com. Pom-poms, 1/2 to 2 inches, $10.24 per 8-oz. pack, by Darice, from createforless.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November
Cats have a thing for cardboard, but a plain old box doesn't do much for your decor. Instead, tuck felines into this Modernist chalet ($23, loyalluxe.com). The faux-bois cabin, made from recycled cardboard, is shipped flat for extra eco-friendly credit.
The Roll-a-Nest (from $5, at pet stores) looks like a decorative object but encourages natural nesting instincts. Woven from sisal, the hideout doubles as a snack for guinea pigs and gerbils in need of a nibble.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2010
Transform a canvas tote into a "doggie bag." A U-shape cutout lets your small pooch enjoy the scenery. To make it, use sharp fabric shears to cut a dip into the side of the tote. The depth and width of the U shape will depend on the size of your dog's head, but be sure to leave at least half an inch between the opening and the bag's handles. Cut cotton webbing long enough to cover the U shape. Fold webbing over the raw edge, and use a sturdy needle to hand-stitch it to the opening.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
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