A few years ago, my dog club made doggie advent calendars for all of the participants at our annual December competition. They were simple and fun to make, so we thought we’d include instructions and some alternative ideas here so your pup can enjoy the holiday season as much as you!
Here’s what you will need:
- Red or Green Felt – about 18 x 18 inches
- Festive cotton cloth – about 16 x 16 inches
- Narrow festive ribbon. Curling ribbon works well
- Pinking shears
- Fabric glue or sewing machine
- Dog treats
- Make a paper pattern of a bone shape, and use it to trace out and cut your piece of felt.
- Reduce the bone pattern by about 1 to 1 ½ inches and use it to cut out your festive piece of cotton with the pinking shears to avoid fraying.
- Cut slits in the cotton bone to run the ribbon through. You’ll need to cut 48 slits altogether to accommodate 24 treats. We did 8 rows of 3 biscuits each. Optional to cut two more slits on the bottom to accommodate a larger treat for Christmas Day.
- Run ribbon in and out through the slits and secure with stitches or glue at each end on the back of the cotton bone. Leave a little slack so you can slip biscuits in underneath. This may take a little adjusting depending on the size of the treats you are using.
- Alternatively, if your treats or biscuits will not be easily secured by the ribbon, you can make rows of ‘pockets’ with strips of felt and sew them on the front of the cotton.
- Stitch or glue a ribbon for hanging on either side of the top on the back of the felt bone. If the biscuits you are using are fairly heavy, you may need to secure a piece of doweling at the top and tie the ribbon onto that to make sure the calendar does not collapse into the middle.
- Sew or glue your cotton bone onto the felt bone.
- Slip your treats under the ribbons where they are exposed on the front of the cotton bone.
- Hang it up and let your pup enjoy his advent treats once a day! Caution: Hang out of reach of prying paws!
Thinking ‘outside the box’
Here is another novel idea. While your loved and lucky pup is enjoying his advent calendar treats, why not think about making a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’? It can be as simple as a liquor store box that is sectioned off for bottles. The idea here is to ADD something to the ‘calendar box’ every day in December for donation to a local shelter, rescue or humane society. It’s a great way to teach kids the joys of giving. It doesn’t have to be treats. It can be anything at all that the organization might need. Once all the compartments are filled up with gifts for the organization, put a big ‘ol bow on it and deliver it to receive that warm glow that comes from giving to those who need it most.
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