Upcycle Gifts For Dogs: 5 DIY Dog Gifts

DIY dog toys albuquerque
DIY dog toys

Upcycling is a great way to make fantastic gifts for your pets that they will love, that will save your money, and that will keep our landfills free of trash. It is a win, win, win!

Are you tired of spending money on everything? Our pets, our kids, our life, can all be a big drain on our bank account. Spend your money on your pets on what is important, such as vaccinations, microchips, spay and neuter, and your pets overall health. You don’t need to spend your hard earned money on toys when you can make great ones that your pets will love!

Here are some great DIY gift ideas for your pets that won’t break the bank and are fun and easy to make that we found on some great sites.

  1. Crinkle Shirt – wrap an empty water bottle in an old t-shirt. When your pup chews on it, it makes a great crinkly sound. Read the DIY instructions.
  2. Dishtowel Braid – take your old dish towels and make a braided chew toy. Great recycling and makes a great chew. Read the DIY Instructions.
  3. A milk jug! – Yup, that’s it. Take an old milk jug, wash it out and let them play. It is fun to run around with because they can grab the handle with their mouth. If your dog is a chewer, then don’t give this as the pieces can break off.
  4. Frozen sock balls – Yummy, feet! Take a sock, tie it in a ball. Dip it in water then freeze. Give the frozen sock to your dog. They will chew it for hours.
  5. Tennis ball puzzle treat – Take a tennis ball and cut a slit in it so when you pinch it it opens like Pacman. Put some dog treats in it. This will keep your dog busy for hours as they try to get the treats out. You can also cut an X which can make it easier to get the treats out.


Dig through your closets to find great potential toys that your pets will love. All it takes is a little creativity and some fun upcycling. Don’t let your pet savings stop there, Vetco offers the lowest cost vaccinations, spay and neuters, and microchipping in any Albuquerque veterinary clinics. You can also save a little more by visiting our promotions page before you bring your pet in. Come by to our daily walk-in shot clinic at the Albuquerque Vetco on Menaul, or make an appointment for a low cost spay or neuter. 

GASP! My Dog Has Asthma

pet breath Albuquerque vet
pet breath Albuquerque vet

It is always amazing how much we have in common with our dogs. We look alike, we pant when we run, we like chasing cats, and belly rubs, and we get asthma. Ok, maybe that last one is not so fun. Though dogs get asthma just like their human companions, it presents itself a bit differently and the treatment is different. Always remember, they are dogs and we are humans, what is good for us is very often not good for them.

FACT: Dog asthma tends to affect young and middle aged dogs, though older dogs can be affected, it is less likely.

Just like in humans, asthma can be very serious. For many dogs it is often a dry hacking cough that is persistent. It can be an occasional breathing problem or a very severe breathing problem that can lead to suffocation.

Symptoms of Asthma in Dogs

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing problems (aka. Dyspnea)
  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • “Blue” gums
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lack of interest in exercise
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

Any time your dog is having great difficulty breathing, or difficulty breathing over a long period of time, you need to get them into a vet immediately.

How Do You Get Dog Asthma?

Dog asthma, also called chronic allergic bronchitis, is most common in small dogs, though all breeds are susceptible.

This is a list of common allergens that can lead to chronic allergic bronchitis:

  • Smoke: Tobacco, fireplace, or wood stove
  • Perfume
  • Air fresheners
  • Household cleaners
  • Pesticides or fertilizer
  • Air pollution
  • Pollen
  • Mold spores
  • Particles from cat litter (see, your dog was right, the cat is out to get them)

How to Prevent Asthma in Dogs

Dog asthma is not always reversible so the best treatment is prevention.

  • Give your dog regular baths so any exposure allergens that can stick to their coat is cleaned off.
  • Don’t smoke near your pets. If you must smoke, please do it outside and away from your pets. This includes vaping.
  • Upgrade your wood burning stove for a pellet stove and convert your fireplace from log to gas or fake glowing logs. – Ok, we know that for most of us this is an unrealistic request. If you can’t do this, then make sure to get your chimney swept and exhaust pipes cleaned. If your fires are properly ventilated you will greatly decrease smoke exposure, and it will keep your house safer from fire.
  • Do not let your dog out for a couple days after you have been using fertilizer.
  • Use natural cleaners around your house.
  • Don’t wear perfume when not needed, or use essential oils.
  • Install air purifiers to reduce the air pollution in your home.
  • Make sure your evaporative cooler pads are not moldy and replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Use dust free cat litter.

Treating Asthma in Dogs

The most important treatment option for dog asthma is removing the source of the allergen. If you do not remove the source of the allergen, it is more likely that your dog will continue to suffer. If you are not sure what is causing the asthma, you can speak with your Albuquerque vet and they will help you figure it out.

If removing the allergen is not enough to clear up the symptoms, or cannot be identified, your vet may prescribe a medication to help manage their symptoms. If your dog escalates to chronic asthma then some of the symptoms, such as the cough, will never fully dissipate.

Some of the treatments may include bronchodilators to reduce the severity of the attacks. These are given through an inhaler which fits over your dogs mouth. If there is an infection, he may be prescribed an antibiotic and a cough suppressant.

Asthma is not common in dogs. If you are concerned that your dog may have asthma, call your Albuquerque veterinary clinic to make an appointment to have them evaluated. Asthma can be very serious and should not be overlooked.

Safe Food for Dogs

human dog food ok to eat
human dog food ok to eat

We spoke about what your dogs can’t eat, let’s talk about what your dogs can eat. There are a lot of great foods out there that are yummy and healthy for your dog to eat.

  • lean meat (no skin and excess fat removed)
  • eggs
  • bananas
  • apple slices
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • watermelon
  • cantaloupe
  • cranberries
  • mangoes
  • oranges
  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapples
  • raspberries
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • carrots
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • green beans
  • peas
  • potatoes (only if cooked)
  • spinach
  • sweet potatoes
  • White rice (cooked)

Typically it is a good idea to remove seeds from any fruits, and stay away from canned or pickled vegetables, though frozen is ok.

Ask Your Vet

If you are not sure if it is ok to feed it to your dog, call our local Albuquerque veterinarians and ask. We are happy to go over your dog’s dietary and nutrition needs. If your dog starts showing symptoms such as upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, it is a good idea to call your vet. It is always better to be caustious becuase waiting too long, if your dog has toxic food poisoning, could be deadly.

Can’t Reach Your Vet?

If you can’t reach your vet you can alwayscall the animal poison hotline at 888-232-8870. You can also try the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Never induce vomiting without the supervision of a veterinarian. This can cause more damage. Always consult with your vet before you try any veterinary interventions.