Making your own dog advent calendar

Dog with a Christmas tree

All dogs love a homemade advent calendar.

Advent calendars are one of the nicest things about the run-up to Christmas: opening a little door every day and enjoying a new surprise. It isn't at all difficult to make your own dog advent calendar. This makes the wait until the festive period sweeter for your four-legged family member too.

Advent means anticipation of Christmas, candlelight, gingerbread and mulled wine. An advent calendar is essential, ideally a homemade one. 

Why not make your own dog advent calendar too? Instead of chocolate, the calendar contains tasty snacks for your pet or fun dog toys. Not only will your dog will be happy about a DIY advent calendar, it also makes a wonderful gift for dog owners you are friends with!

Material for a DIY dog advent calendar

The little doors in a DIY dog advent calendar are made up of 24 Christmas paper bags filled with different little gifts for your dog. Suitable content includes, for instance, home-baked dog biscuits or other dog snacks. Your beloved dog will surely also appreciate one or two dog toys.

You'll need the following in order to make your own dog advent calendar: 

  • Cord or string (around 1.5 metres in length) 
  • 24 paper bags 
  • Thin ribbon 
  • Gift tags 
  • 24 surprises (snacks or dog toys) 
  • Hole punch 
  • Scissors 
  • Pen 
Homemade advent calendar for dogs
Clothes pegs are good for attaching presents for your dog to the string.

Tip: buy the content for the advent calendar first

When making purchases for the dog advent calendar, make sure that the paper bags are big enough to fit a chew bone or larger toy, for instance. It's best to get the content for the advent calendar first and the bags afterwards. 

You can get paper bags in different sizes and designs in stationery stores or online. 

Alternative materials for a DIY dog advent calendar

Fabric bags are a good alternative to paper bags. Instead of ribbon, you can also use little clothes pegs to fix the gifts to the cord, although you can of course also hang the advent calendar on a nice branch. 

Making your own dog advent calendar: instructions

If you make your own dog advent calendar, label the tags from 1 to 24 first of all. It looks particularly festive with a golden felt tip. Alternatively, you can buy ready-made stick-on advent calendar numbers in specialist stores. 

Then stick a gift tag to every paper bag – ideally in the middle, then make a hole in the top of the paper bag with the hole punch. The ribbon is later pulled through the hole to hang up the bag. 

Now comes the best part: fill each of the 24 paper bags with a surprise for your dog. It's best to use two bags together for heavier things so that the paper doesn't tear. 

Then cut 24 pieces from the ribbon, which should be around 20 centimetres in length. Now you can thread the ribbon through the holes in the bags. 

Last but not least, you have to look for a suitable spot to hang the cord and attach the 24 bags to it. Don't do so based on date order, but mix them up. In this way, the dog advent calendar will still look good just before Christmas when many bags are missing. 

Dog biscuits for an advent calendar
Fill the DIY advent calendar with dog biscuits, for instance.

Fun with an advent calendar

Once you've finished making your dog advent calendar, you can open one package each day with your dog by giving it one of the bags. It's also fun though if you connect giving the gifts with a game. For instance, you can hide the bags and get your dog to look for them. 

Your pet will certainly also like it if it can unwrap its own present, but be sure to keep an eye on your dog at all times.

Ideas for 24 surprises

There are countless opportunities to fill the 24 paper bags for your DIY dog advent calendar. Good food options are, for instance, chew bones, dried meat strips or dried sausage. Balls or stuffed toys are suitable for playing. It's best to alternate between edible goods and toys. With treats, make sure that they remain in date for a while. 

Here are some suggestions: 

You can wrap something really special in the bag on 24 December. How about treating your pet to a cool new collar?

Deducting snacks from the daily food portion

Just a note to end on: if your dog has a tendency to gain weight, you should deduct treats from your DIY dog advent calendar from its daily food portion.

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