Dogs look forward to Christmas just as much as their humans do. Their owners are off work and get to spend extra time with them, and they usually wake up on Christmas morning with a stocking filled with delicious bones and treats.
To help our furry friends count down to Christmas, we created a pet-friendly calendar loaded with 25 delicious dog treats. Starting December 1st, reward your pet with a special snack each day as the clock ticks away the time till Christmas arrives. Then, on the big day, you can spoil your pup any way that you like. Follow our step-by-step directions below to make your own pup-friendly countdown-to-Christmas calendar.
Tools you will need:
- Corkboard (any size)
- Several pieces of felt
- Fabric, sparkly paper, or wrapping paper
- Push pins
- Christmas stickers
- Sharpie and/or fabric markers
- Dog treats
Find a fun piece of festive fabric, wrapping paper or sparkly paper to match the size of your corkboard. Flip it over, squeeze glue onto the back of it, and glue it onto the corkboard.
Measure your corkboard and estimate what the size of the felt pouches should be to fit your board. You will need to be able to fit 25 separate pouches on your board, so you’ll likely want to aim for five rows of five pouches.
Cut out a rectangular piece of felt in the size you’ll need to make a pouch for your corkboard. Make sure to cut it large enough that it will be able to fit the dog bones inside. Once you have obtained the right size piece of felt, use this as a stencil and cut out 25 pieces of equal sized felt to match.
Decorate your corkboard however you would like. You can jazz it up with holiday stickers, write something fun like “Merry Christmas” or “Days till X-Mas,” or cover it with stickers.
Take your felt pouches and number them “1-24” with a black sharpie. Make Christmas Day special and decorate that pouch with a fancier fabric pen or use glue and glitter to make it stand out from the rest of the pouches. Get creative!
Secure the felt to the corkboard and make the individual day pouches. Fold your piece of felt in half and secure it to the corkboard by pinning it to the board with a pushpin. You’ll need to push the pins into the top two corners of the corkboard. If the pins are too long and start to poke through the back of the board, you can cut them to be shorter in length with a pair of wire cutters. To make sure that the bones fit into the pockets, it’s a good idea to stick the treat inside the felt pouch before you pin it.
Repeat step 5 until you have 25 separate pouches pinned to your corkboard. Fill pouch 1-24 with the same treat and then give your pet something extra fancy on day 25.
Once your corkboard is done, prop it up in a prominent location in your home so that you can enjoy it throughout the holiday season. With each new day in December, pull a treat out of the pouch and give it to your pup. For extra stimulation for your pet, command him to do a trick before you reward him with a treat. One day he can sit, the next day lie down, and so on.
When the holiday season is over, store your corkboard for future use. Pull it out again next year and refill it with treats. It will become a fun holiday tradition that both you and your pup can look forward to.
Nicole Pajer is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, energetic Doberman, and rat terrier.