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DIY Pet Gifts

Martha Stewart Kids, Special Issue 2003

Our furry, feathered, and scaly family members are always happy to dole out kisses and comfort all year long. That's why, come holiday time, you wouldn't dream of leaving them out of the festivities. Rather than giving your pet a few extra tummy rubs or a store-bought toy, why not make him or her something extra special? To create the thoughtful gifts below, all you need are a few supplies from the pet or grocery store, a stray sock or two, and lots of TLC. And you're guaranteed to get oodles of tail wagging, purring, and bubbles (from your fish) in return.

Dog Biscuit How-To
After mixing and rolling out the dough, you can shape the biscuits using a dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter or by cutting around a store-bought dog bone with a butter knife.

Make biscuits that are appropriate for your dog's size. Before you put the biscuits in the oven to bake, spell out your dog's name or a holiday message in the dough with a toothpick (wet the toothpick first so it won't stick).

Bunny Basket How-To
You'll need a bamboo steamer or a natural wicker basket (do not use a painted one). Pad the bottom with hay, and fill it with treats rabbits will love, such as Bibb lettuce, carrots, apples, wheat grass, wooden chew blocks, seed treats, and salt licks, from pet or grocery stores.

Write your pet's name in crayon on a cardboard tag (it's safe for him to chew), and tie it on with twine.

Sock Fish How-To
Roll an 8 1/2-by-11-inch piece of paper into a cone for a funnel; secure with tape. Insert funnel into sock, and fill halfway with catnip. Knot just above filling.

Cut out eyes and a mouth from a piece of felt. Attach to sock with nontoxic fabric glue.

Bird Swing How-To
String wooden beads and spools, plastic buttons, and a bell onto a shoelace and your bird will busily move them around with his beak.

Fish Christmas Tree How-To
Bring joy to your pet's tank with a plastic Christmas tree. Attach a plastic bead to the top with silicone aquarium sealant (ask a grown-up to help).Wrap lead plant weights around the trunk or set it in a suction cup (for filtration tubes) stuck to the tank's floor.

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