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.
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My hamster looks bored in his cage. He's 2 years old -- should I introduce a new hamster in his cage to keep him company?
On a hamster's report card, the teacher always checks "does not play well with peers," as hamsters are solitary animals and prefer to live alone. Remember that hamsters are nocturnal animals, so they sleep all day and are active at night -- your "hammie" may not be as sedentary as you think. You are probably not watching him at his most active times.
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.
Cats are known for being clean and tidy, but their food can get messy. Martha contains spills by placing her cats' food dishes in a tray. A galvanized one for plants, available from garden centers, does the trick nicely. The system will keep your home neat and make cleanup easy. This works well for your canine friends, too.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2009
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
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