White dog Hamish playing with toy inside

Five ways to get creative with your pet

During this time of strict stay-at-home coronavirus measures, why not immerse yourself in some artistic escapism with your four-legged friend? These top creative ideas are a surefire way to take your mind off the news while practising training or providing enrichment for your pet. 

Draw your pet

Grab a drawing pad and pencil, pens or paints, and create your very own pet portrait. This is a perfect opportunity to help dogs perfect sit and stay while they strike their best pose.

Make a snuffle mat

Making a snuffle mat will keep your mind occupied and then provide hours of fun for your pet once it is complete. All you need is an old bathmat, some unwanted fabric and plenty of tasty treats!

Find out how to make one.

Photograph your pet

Use this time in isolation to bring out the inner photographer in you, while practising training with your pet by getting them to pose in different positions, such as sit and down or with a high five! But be sure to capture plenty of candid shots, too – these are the snaps that make your pet’s personality leap out.

Follow these tips to capture your pet’s best side while keeping things fun for them.

Write a short story or poem

If your creative streak lies behind a pen and paper (or your computer), you could use this time of reflection to write a short story or poem about your pet, or simply get down on paper just what your pet means to you. Take a look at old photographs for inspiration and think back to adventures with your pet, and the funny and quirky things they might have done. Pets help us in so many wonderful and unique ways, so now’s the time to tell the world about it. And you never know, you might have the next Marley and Me on your hands.

Make a toy

Using this time in isolation to have a good clear out? Lots of things can be recycled to create toys and fun things for your pets. If you’re throwing away any old t-shirts, these can be made into a ball tug toy for your dog – therapeutic for you to make and, once finished, a great way to help your dog use up any excess energy gained from more time indoors. They’re simple to make - here's how!

Step one: Lay your t-shirt out on a hard, flat surface
Step two: Using your scissors, cut your t-shirt into three strips, snipping horizontally across the t-shirt. Two strips need to be five inches wide, and the other two inches wide. 
Step three: Cut each bit of fabric at the seam so that you end up with longer strips
Step four: Get your two wider pieces of fabric and form an X shape
Step five: Place your ball in the middle of this X and gather the fabric to form a layer over it
Step six: Using your thinner piece of t-shirt, tie the fabric at the base of the ball to stop the ball from falling out
Step seven: You will be left with four pieces of fabric dangling from the end of your ball. Grab your scissors and cut each strip into three even pieces, following the fabric up to the base of the ball.
Step eight: You can now plait the fabric to create a rope-like effect. Be sure to tie the ends with the leftover fabric dangling at the bottom.

Read our advice on playing tug of war with your pet

And if you have a cat, why not make a DIY cat wand

— Page last updated 14/04/2020

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