Frugal Pet Tips

As seen on Canada AM: A simple selection of frugal tips for pet owners! Easy to assemble pet toys offer a great temporary distraction for your pets. They work great if you’re in a pinch and need something quick. And who doesn’t need a few frugal tricks for cleaning up after Fido? Two tried and tested clean up tips below…

NOTE: I’m sure this goes without saying, but be sure to supervise your pets when you provide them with these toys and games. And keep in mind the size of your pet and adjust the size of your finished products accordingly. Have fun!


Slit open a tennis ball on its seam and insert treats into the opening. Your dog will try and remove the treats and gets to play with a ball at the same time.


Remove the lid from an empty bottle of water. Add treats into the bottle and then insert the bottle into an old sock. Tie off the end(s) of the sock. Your dog will probably LOVE the sound of the crinkly plastic. Be careful though, too much of this and your dog may start to associate ALL socks with fun!


Twist and tie a towel into an interesting shape. Something that is safe the size of your dog and its mouth. Soak the towel in water, wring out the excess, and place it in the freezer. The next time your dog needs to chew—give them this frozen towel treat and it will keep them busy for at least a few minutes.


Inspired by this VIDEOInstead of a cardboard box, you can use a plastic storage container for extra durability. Line the bottom with your cat’s favourite surface i.e. fleece blanket, wrapping paper, etc. Cover the bin with a t-shirt—position the neck of the t-shirt as the opening of their cave. TIP: stick with a dark colour t-shirt to give it a more cave feel. Your cat will appreciate a more moody covering.


Inspired by this PRODUCT. Keep your cat engaged with a puzzle that includes treats! Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find this product in Canada. This DIY version take a bit more time to make, but it’s easy to do and the end result is worth the effort. Find a sturdy and deep shirt style cardboard box. Use a utility knife to cut different size shapes/circles all over the box. Include a couple of circles on one long side too. This will allow kitty to push the treats out of the box and onto the floor. Have fun watching your cat plot ways to remove the treats from the puzzle.


Do you have an area on carpet or furniture that is smelling a bit too much like dog or cat? Try this cool trick. Mix two parts water with one part mouthwash. Spray the area and then cover with tissue paper, newsprint, or newspaper (make sure the ink is dry if using newspaper!). Let this sit for a bit and you’ll be amazed at how the smell clears. Read more about this method HERE.


Oldie but goodie tip. If you’re not already doing this—get to it! Wet your hand and rub it across surfaces where your pet has left a lot of fur. The fur will lift up easily onto your damp hand. If you prefer, slip on a rubber glove and run it under water and then do this.


  • Reply March 1, 2016

    Jeryl MacDonald

    Please be careful with the tennis balls. Only small dogs should use this as a treat ball. There have been larger dogs choking to death as the ball gets stuck in there throat. They bite down on the ball it sides into the throat then pops open again and it if hard to remove. BIG CAUTION.

    • Reply March 2, 2016


      Thanks for the warning, Jeryl. So sad. I hope everyone is wise enough to supervise all new things to make sure they aren’t harmful to their pets.

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