Treat Your Pet to 7 Days of Gifts with This Pretty DIY Advent Calendar

By: Ashley DavidsonUpdated:

DIY advent calendar for pets
Lynn Karlin

Treat Your Pet to 7 Days of Gifts with This Pretty DIY Advent Calendar

'Tis the season for sharing joy—and what better way to do it than with a DIY advent calendar full of tasty treats and fun toys for your best furry friend? Your dog or cat will love seeing what surprise each day brings, and you’ll love how happy they are with each of their gifts!

We’ve made it easy for you to create an advent calendar for pets with step-by-step instructions, along with suggestions for holiday-themed treats and toys to tuck away inside. This seven-day advent calendar will help you and your pet get into the holiday spirit in the week leading up to Christmas.

Supplies

DIY advent calendar for pets supplies
Photo: Lynn Karlin

Garland

approximately 6 feet

Pro tip: Swing by your local crafts store for a ready-made garland that’s pre-lit and battery-operated. Then, forage some real conifer greenery to add to it to give your faux garland a lush, authentic look—and that heavenly holiday smell.

Ribbon

1- to 3-foot strips per bucket, depending on how you hang the buckets

Pro tip: Choose either one print/color for a consistent, coordinated look or a variety for a more festive feel.

Tin buckets with handles

Pro tip: Use two sizes to accommodate varying-sized gifts!

Tissue paper

Numbered stickers

Treats and toys, of course!

Optional: Pinecones, artificial berries or seasonal pet-safe florals, lights, etc.

Instructions

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Photo: Lynn Karlin

pink number oneNumber each bucket.

If you have nice handwriting (or happen to be a calligrapher), you can simply use a black permanent marker to number the buckets from one through seven. But if not, follow the instructions on your store-bought stickers to apply one per bucket.

pink number twoFill each bucket with goodies.

Don’t overdo it on the treats or toys, though! You don’t want the buckets to be too heavy. You also don’t want to feed your pet too many treats.

So, opt for a small or light toy; and for treats, follow the feeding instructions on the packaging and only drop in the recommended amount for your pet. (Treats should only constitute a small percentage of your pet’s daily food. Feeding too many treats can lead to nutrient deficiencies.)

Then, stuff the buckets with tissue paper for an added decorative touch and pop of color.

pink number threeAttach each bucket to the garland.

If you have longer, 2- to 3-foot strips of ribbon (as seen in the photo above), loop each piece of ribbon through the bucket’s handle and tie the two ends onto the garland.

If you have shorter, 1-foot ribbons, tie one end of the ribbon onto the handle and then tie the other end onto the garland. You can decide if your buckets will hang at varying lengths or if you’d like them to be the same across.

Continue until all buckets are attached to the garland.

pink number fourPlace your garland.

Gently lay your garland across a mantle, shelf or counter. Just be sure to keep your DIY advent calendar out of reach of curious pets. Otherwise, it’ll spoil the surprise!

If needed, secure the garland with adhesive hooks.

Optional:

Add more festive décor!

If you’re feeling like your advent calendar isn’t festive enough, add more flare. You can use anything from pinecones and faux florals to more lights.

Holiday Treats and Toys

Unsure what to drop into your tin buckets? Here are some gift ideas for cats and dogs.
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Photo: Lynn Karlin

For cats...

Temptations Classic Holiday Dinner Turkey & Sweet Potato

Temptations Classic Holiday Dinner Turkey & Sweet Potato Cat Treats ($9)

Give your kitty a yummy holiday dinner in treat form with these soft-centered—and low-calorie!—nibbles.

Shop now!
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Greenies Holiday Chicken Flavor Variety Pack Cat Treats ($8)

Add this to your cat advent calendar to help your kitty start the new year off right with less tartar buildup and fresher breath.

Shop now!
Homemade Gingerbread Man Holiday Cat Treats

Homemade Gingerbread Man Holiday Cat Treats

Make a batch of these easy cat treats packed with tasty ginger and pumpkin flavors. Gift a few to fellow cat parents, too!

Get the recipe!
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Frisco Holiday Mice Cat Toy with Catnip (four-count, $5)

These cute little mice are the perfect addition to any cat advent calendar for a catnip-loving kitty.

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Frisco Holiday Santa & Mrs. Claus Bouncy Cat Toy with Catnip (two-count, $4)

Playful cats love to bite and bat these bouncy string toys.

Shop now!

For dogs...

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The Lazy Dog Cookie Co. Home for the Holidays Maple Glazed Ham Dog Treats ($7)

While you’re enjoying your holiday ham, your pup can have their own tasty treat, too, from their personalized advent calendar.

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SmartBones Holiday Canes Rawhide-Free Chicken Flavor Chewy Dog Treats

SmartBones Holiday Canes Rawhide-Free Chicken Flavor Chewy Dog Treats (six-count, $14)

Tuck one (or two) of these into the advent calendar for your dog, and they’ll be a pleased pooch!

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Homemade Gingerbread Icebox Cookies for Dogs

Your pup will go crazy for these dried fruits-stuffed holiday cookies. Gift them to your pup’s friends, too!

Get the recipe!
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Frisco Holiday Hot Cocoa Hide & Seek Puzzle Plush Squeaky Dog Toy Set (four-count, $11)

Keep your pup active during those chilly winter days with this fun puzzle game.

Shop now!
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Frisco Holiday Wreath with Bow Braided Ring Dog Toy ($7)

No advent calendar for a dog is complete without a toy that’s perfect for a spirited game of tug-of-war.

Shop now!
Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your pet’s advent—and before you start giving away the treats and toys away to your dog or cat—why not use it as a backdrop in your holiday photos? Because an advent calendar this pretty should absolutely be captured and shared. Here are some tips on how to take holiday photos with your pet.

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By: Ashley DavidsonUpdated:

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