Easy DIY Tug Toy For Your Dog

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FeedDogsPurina #CollectiveBias

Is your dog a fan of the traditional tug toy? Here's a #DIY way to make one, using items from your house - a t-shirt and a tennis ball. #FeedDogsPurina #ad

Athena had her annual well visit at the vet late last week.

I actually get as nervous for it, as I do for my kids. She’s my kid. She’s my world! I work at home and spend long days at home after the kids and Cassidy are at work and school. While Juniper is good company, she can’t go outside and play like Athena. Athena goes on road trips with me, weather permitting, and is solely responsible for getting me to exercise regularly for the last year or so. She always looks so excited to see me, and she is quite photogenic. Just look at this incredible cuteness:

dog toy

Is your dog a fan of the traditional tug toy? Here's a #DIY way to make one, using items from your house - a t-shirt and a tennis ball. #FeedDogsPurina #ad

dog toy

I was relieved that everything went well at her checkup. Des accompanied me for “moral support” and to grab a goody bag and a bag of snacks from the baskets they leave for kids. We spent some time on questions and concerns I had – about food and play. I’m going to share a few cool things here! For one, Athena’s favorite toy is a tug toy. I experimented at home and found out that you can make one using items you have around your house – like old t-shirts, a tennis ball, scissors and a ruler.

Is your dog a fan of the traditional tug toy? Here's a #DIY way to make one, using items from your house - a t-shirt and a tennis ball. #FeedDogsPurina #ad

This tug toy is EASY! I wasn’t as diligent as I could have been, but I tried hard! We’ve been having weird weather, and I want to get Athena outside today for some play and running, before the Great Blizzard of 2017 hits! So I gathered my supples:

1 – You will need between 1-3 old t-shirts. I chose the softest ones I could find that I don’t wear anymore. Then I gathered a tennis ball, a ruler, a marker, and the strongest scissors I could find that would cut neatly through the cloth.

dog toy

2 – Next, using the ruler, I cut out strips of t-shirt that were about 25 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. I used two t-shirts to have different colors in the eventual braid, and ultimately used about 9-10 strips of t-shirt to be woven into the toy.

dog toy

tug toy

3 – Then I gathered my 9-10 multi-colored t-shirt strips together and made a STRONG knot at one end.


4 – Then I wove all of the pieces together in a braid, and tied a strong knot on the other end.


5 – Next, I carefully cut holes in both ends of the tennis ball to add the ball! This is optional but I loved the idea.

dog toy

*Lastly, enjoy!



Now, let’s talk about FOOD! It’s an important one.


We go on a weekly trip to Target, because as you probably know, it’s a wonderful place for one-stop shopping. Especially before a blizzard! Target has a wonderful variety of Purina dry dog food products available in the pet aisle.


Purina Beyond

Purina Beyond

No matter which food you buy at Target, the variety is amazing. We love Purina Beyond® – Superfood Blend Salmon, Egg & Pumpkin Recipe Natural Dog Food. Real meat, poultry or fish is the #1 ingredient in Purina Beyond, and there is no corn, wheat or soy. There is also no poultry by-product meal and no added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.


dog toy


Take advantage of great Purina savings at Target using the Cartwheel app!

20% off Dog Chow (all sizes) – 3/5 – 3/11

20% off Beyond Dry (all sizes) – 3/12 – 3/18

20% off ONE dry (all sizes) – 3/19 – 3/25


For more info about Purina dry dog food:

Purina at Target
Cartwheel offer

10 Ways to Bond With Your Kitten or Cat

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OneStopKittyShop #CollectiveBias

Now I am someone who NEVER thought she’d ever have a cat, much less love one.

10 Ways to Bond With Your Kitten or Cat. Are you looking to expand your relationship with your #cat? Look no further! #OneStopKittyShop

As I write this, Juniper – my six-month-old kitten – is sitting in the kids’ trampoline right next to my computer. When I woke up this morning, Scarlet was sleeping on my shoulder and the kitten was sleeping on my feet. I felt the weight and heat of it while still in my sleep and dreams, and then woke up to find us all huddled together on this cold morning. I have to say – it’s moments like this that make me realize that my heart is big enough to love dogs AND cats. They bring different personality traits, tasks, concerns, joys, and pros and cons to the table, I’m sure, but pet love is love. And love is love. STRONG.

About two years ago, we found two feral cats in our garden. We wanted so badly to make them our pets, as we had never had cats before, but it didn’t work. They were too feral. We were able to find them good homes luckily, without kids. Early this past summer, we decided to take a leap. We adopted an abandoned kitten from a wonderful animal shelter in Springfield, MA. She was tiny and malnourished and had yet to be socialized, but we were introducing her to our loud family of two kids and a rescue dog. What can I say? It worked. I worked closely with the adoption counselor, and then my vet, to ensure my kitten would have a GREAT life, and not just a good one. She’s currently moved from the trampoline to my lap, as we speak!

Cat bonding is REAL! You can’t change your pet’s personality, just like you wouldn’t with a person, but you can change your relationship to introduce and maintain trust, respect, bonding, and love. How? Good care, good play, good products.

I know I talk a lot about Stop & Shop, but it’s such a favorite place for my family – for many reasons. Lattes, doughnuts, produce, pumpkin everything, etc. One big perk for me is the element of one-stop shopping. I can meet all of Juniper’s needs in ONE place! Not only that, I can do the same for the family and the dog. With the holiday season approaching, it’s a perfect place. Stop & Shop has an extensive pet care aisle, filled with everything from cat litter to kitten treats to wet and dry food.

Cats do a lot for their humans. They provide support, affection, soothing, humor, and love. How can we give back?

10 Ways to Bond With Your Kitten or Cat:

1 – Play with your cat every day. So many days pass me by and I am too busy or I forget, but luckily she reminds me. When I go away, even for one night, she’s more affectionate than ever when I get back. I think she misses the play! My vet recommends 10-15 minutes of play a day to keep the cat healthy, at a good weight, and bonded to us. She loves feathered toys, balls, catnip, and stuffed mice. She gets tired after playing, and I know that’s when it’s time to stop for awhile.

2 – Let your cat come to you. And they do! They really do! Cats are funny this way, though. They generally need to issue you an invitation first, or they may feel that their personal space is being invaded. Allow your cat to take the lead!

3 – Make sure your cat is comfy at home, and feels “at home” – this will enable more bonding for sure. Provide your cat with warmth, food, clean water, toys, a bed, and a litter box. Give your cat a room or designated space in the home. Choose your cat litter wisely because the products you choose for your cat are a direct reflection of how much you care.

I pick up Tidy Cats® litter at Stop & Shop. It now features TidyLock™ Protection that locks away odors that can lead to Stank Face! Their range of litters are pretty awesome – what’s the right one for you and your cat(s?). Find out HERE.

4 – Learn cat body language and use your own to convey emotions. My vet says that cats don’t like direct stares, which might explain why cats always loved me way before I warmed to them – I wasn’t interested in staring at them, so they were more interested in approaching me. I lie down with Juniper while she’s relaxed and blink at her a few times. Generally she blinks back and then looks away. If she doesn’t look away, I look away. Somehow this makes her more relaxed with me!

5 – Brush your cat! Many cats enjoy this, and it creates happy feelings of safety and comfort, while also helping to keep their coats free of dirt and flakes. Our cat is short-haired so we use a metal comb recommended by our vet.

6 – Ease them into transitions. Transitions are inevitable, but we all hear stories about cats not adjusting well to other pets, new babies, house moves, etc. Do adjustments gradually and slowly, with your cat in mind. Stay calm.

7 – Don’t pet your cat on the stomach. It can be tempting when they roll over and reveal a fluffy belly. Some at least tolerate it, but most cats don’t enjoy a human petting them there, so use caution when your cat rolls over.

8 – Learn both good and bad cat signs. If a cat bumps you with her head or rear, kneads on you, licks you, or gums you, these are signs he or she is bonding. If your cat has puffed up fur, an arched back, flattened ears, or dilated pupils, these are signs of cat aggression.

9 – Know your cat’s personality! Cats aren’t dependent on us the way dogs are. While our bonds can be strong, all cats are different. Some may need affection 24/7. Some may need very little affection. To truly bond with your cat, know and respect the personality he or she was born with.

10 – Love is in the details. Pamper your cat with delicious wet and dry food varieties – formulated for your cat’s tastes. Fancy Feast and Friskies have medleys, broths, and treats that will celebrate your cats. Also found at Stop & Shop!

SAVE $2.00 on any one (1) package of Purina® Tidy Cats® brand Cat Litter when you purchase one (1) Purina® Friskies® OR Fancy Feast® Wet Cat Food Item – through 12/30/16. Pick up your Stop & Shop Savory Magazine for this money saving coupon in stores.

Do you like to do your one-stop shopping at Stop & Shop? How do you bond with your pet?

*Not to be taken as professional veterinary advice. Please consult your veterinarian for recommendations and practices appropriate for your pet.