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.
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
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
You love your dog -- and your dog loves your new sofa. Create fur-free zones the way Martha does, with accordion-style willow fencing from a garden center. (This is not to be used as a baby gate.) Attach two or three large eye-screws to both sides of the doorjamb. Sand unfinished ends of fencing, link into eyescrews, and ignore your dog's baleful looks. Willow lattice fence, $15.15, mastergardenproducts.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2010
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