DIY is everywhere. Whether it's a homemade dog treat recipe, pet bed, or toy, there's no shortage of tutorials and how-to's to find on the internet. While these dog DIYs can be a fun, productive way to spend your free time, make sure that your enthusiasm doesn't cloud your judgment. Check out these tips to make sure your dog DIY will be safe and high quality for your pet.
Here are 7 Tips for Dog DIY Safety:
1. Food? Check Toxic Ingredients
Homemade dog treat and food recipes can be fun and healthy for your dog, too. Real, whole food ingredients mean more nutrients for your dog, and a fresher alternative to commercial pet treats. However, you have to be careful that the ingredients that you select for your homemade recipe are a safe and nutritious option. There are many human foods that dangerous for dogs and cats. Keep them in mind when creating in the kitchen. Even if you find the recipe online, you should double-check. Anyone can post a recipe online, and they may not have been doing their homework.
2. Use Quality Materials and Construction
If you are going to take the time to work on a project for your pet, you want to invest in quality materials. Poor materials not only have a short life, but they also can pose dangerous risks to your dog. Just as you should look for well-constructed, durable toys when purchasing them, you will want to pick hardy materials and practice good workmanship when making a toy or other pet DIY for your dog. Your pet toy will last longer and be ultimately safer for your favourite furry friend.
3. Always Monitor Your Pet with the DIY
No matter how skilled you are at DIY, never leave your pet alone with a homemade toy or treat. Good commercial toys and treats often go through rigorous safety and quality testing and they often STILL recommend that you monitor your pet with them. While I wouldn't doubt the care and attention you may pay to your own homemade dog craft, there is no way it undergoes the same process. The take home? By all means do your DIY (I'm sure it's adorable), but ALWAYS monitor your dog while he has it.
4. Read Comments
If there's one thing that Pinterest has taught me, it's “what you see isn't always what you get”. I don't know how many times that I've seen a recipe on Pinterest with a gorgeous picture, only to reproduce the recipe in my own kitchen and find that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Whether you want to try someone's homemade dog treat recipe or a tutorial for dog collar charms, always – ALWAYS – read the comments. There's a good chance that you will find some helpful reviews and maybe even an insightful addition. Or maybe you'll decide you don't really want to try it out after all. Shares, likes, and sheer prevalence are no way to judge real quality.
5. Take a Good Look at What's Already Out There
Find a tutorial that you really like? Do an internet search for it. By comparing different tutorials and recipes, you can get a feel for what might be better options, whether you're considering ingredients or materials, process, or look. Or maybe there's a real product out there that will serve your needs better.
6. Cost/Benefit Analysis
Assess whether the DIY you want to do is worth your time, the cost of materials, and any frustration you can see yourself having. I love cooking DIYs, and recently found myself testing out this recipe for homemade tater tots. Over an hour of on-hands preparing and assembling later, and I think it's safe to say I will NEVER try them again. They were pretty tasty and healthier than store-bought ones, but SO not worth the time investment. Remember: DIYs, even “free” ones, cost something. Save yourself the trouble. Sometimes, the DIY is just not worth its price tag.
7. Get the Okay From a Vet
With your pet, a DIY's cost can be deadly. This is especially true concerning supplements or home remedies for your dog or cat. Always keep in mind: just because it's natural, doesn't mean it's safe. DO your research. Does it make a pet health claim? Make sure that valid, peer-reviewed scientific studies are referenced. Don't just take someone's word for it unless it comes from a trusted, referenced site. If you are unsure at all about the safety of a pet DIY, make sure you talk it over with your vet before using it on your pet. And if need be, get a second opinion. There are many options for different kinds of natural alternatives on the market. Don't let your chemistry mistake put your pet at risk. Some pet DIYs are better left to the pros.
Pet DIY can be a fun way to save money on pet supplies and put your creativity to work. But don't let the excitement get away with you. Keep these tips in mind before trying any dog DIY for your pet's safety and your own sanity.