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A Carton of Magic

Posted: Friday, April 5, 2013 at 12:59:51 PM EST by Cam Day

The pet-toy market is flooded with so many different types and makes of toys. So it can be difficult to choose the right one.

But have you ever considered making your own dog toy using standard throw-away items you would normally put in your recycling bin!

That's where the Carton of Magic routine comes in!

How Can a Milk Carton Provide Hours of Fun for a Pet?

There is one gift for a pet that is the cheapest and best of them all. It's one that you have already but I bet you don't realise its value - the milk carton!

A milk carton, plastic or cardboard, is magic for dogs, cats and even for birds.

The Daily Rabbit

For instance, try the Daily Rabbit for an entrée. 

What self-respecting wolf ever eats its meal from a stainless steel bowl? Their 'daily rabbit' appears at random and the wolf delightfully chases the rabbit, catches it and eats the poor little bunny.

There is a way to mimic that without risking the welfare of any small critter. Use a milk carton with a hole in the side. 

VIEW A VIDEO OF THIS ROUTINE HERE

 So, take a one or two-litre plastic milk carton and, using a knife and a sturdy pair of scissors, cut a nose-sized hole in the side about half way up. Smooth the edges of this cut surface by running a flame from a match quickly around rim.

Now, place a small quantity of your dog's dry food inside the milk carton and give it to your pooch just before you leave for work. Pooch will be perfectly puzzled trying to work out how to get the snack out of the carton.

This mimics the natural tendency of a dog to want to eat their prey animal such as it's Daily Rabbit.

To answer a common question - no this does not cause a dog to develop aggression to small furry animals!

You can do the same for cats, and even for a pet bird such as a Cockatoo.  Alter the size of the hole to suit the size of the pet.

Carton of Magic Extreme

Two and three litre milk cartons can also be made into exciting brain expanders for dogs and cats by hanging them from the rafters of your Pagoda or the beams under your house.

Run a dog lead through the handle of the milk carton by placing the clip end through the hand loop, tighten the loop around the handle of the milk carton then attach the clip to a strong bungee cord or a tension spring that you can purchase for a few dollars from a hardware store.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

The KONG WobblerKONG Wobbler

The KONG company are famous for their brain-expanding toys but they have really excelled themselves with the KONG Wobbler. 

The Wobbler can replace your dog's food bowl and exercise your dog's bored brain in an instant.

We regard the Wobbler as being one of the best behavioural toys currently available.

More Details Here

Paw Propellor

For cats, make a Paw Propeller. Using a milk carton again, stretch a rubber band from the cap to the base and in the middle of the rubber band secure a paddle-pop stick like a propeller so that is just wide enough to catch on the edge of the bottle. Wind up the rubber band and when puss places a paw inside the hole, its paw is likely to activate a few turns to the 'propeller'. That'll keep it guessing.  

The Cunning Carton Cruncher

The Carton Cruncher is another alternative. Place dry food inside a cardboard milk carton with a hole in one side or you can also employ a toothpaste box for small dogs and cats or a cereal box for the big dogs. A toilet roll core is also useful - put food treats inside and fold the ends over like a bon-bon.

Would you like a sneaky way to feed your cats during the day? Try the Tricky Bickie Feeder. Get a one-litre plastic milk carton and cut a 20-cent-sized hole in the bottom edge. Fill the carton with dry biscuits but include a small number of highly flavoured dry treats such as Whiskas Cravers, to add some interest. Secure the bottle upright with a rubber band looped onto a chair leg or similar.

The Perplexed Puss will soon work out that a paw placed inside the hole will scoop out some biscuits. As it learns the technique, make the task slightly more difficult by cutting a small 'door' in the bottom rather than a hole. Make the hinge of the 'door' at the bottom, so that when puss pulls at the door, the spring effect is likely to shoot a biscuit or two into the air.  Puss will be happy!

The Sneaky Leaky Milk Carton

For dogs and cats that are bored during the day, the Sneaky Leaky Milk Carton is a devious treasure.  Use a drawing pin to place a hole in the bottom of a milk carton. It will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes for 250 millilitres of water to leak out of this hole. Place the leaking milk carton on the end of a DVD case high on a ledge where your dog or cat can't get to it. Now place a Milk Muncher or a Carton Cruncher on the other end of the ruler. When enough water leaks out, the leaking bottle will be too light to counter the weight of the gift on the end and the gift will then be delivered to your delighted pet.  

Bucket of Fun

And now for the Bucket of Fun. Make a Sneaky Leaky Milk Carton from a two or three litre milk bottle - one with a handle on the side. Tie a two the three metre length of nylon washing line to the handle and run the line though a pulley secured to a beam on the roof of your pagoda. On the other end of the line, suspend an ice-cream bucket at head height. (The metal clasp from a dog lead serves nicely as a pulley.) Now place some food treats, a bone or your pet's favourite toy in the bucket. In the leaking carton, place 250 millilitres of water to act as a counter-balance. When enough water leaks out, the heavier bucket will slide down to the ground, thus delivering the day's delights to the pooch.  

Water Treat

The Water Treat is also a useful idea. If you want to be sure your dog's water is always fresh, fill a two litre milk carton with fresh water and place a hole, the size of a knitting needle, three to four centimetres from the bottom of the milk carton. Be sure the cap is secured. Place the carton into the dog's water bowl and secure it upright to a post on your deck or pagoda with a belt or rope. When your dog drinks the water below the level of the hole, air will be allowed inside the carton and water will leak out until the hole is covered again.

When using a milk carton, safety is important. Where necessary, remove the lid of the milk carton and the plastic sealing ring in case you pooch tries to swallow it. Be sure the size of any hole you make is not large enough for your pet to get its head stuck inside!  Also, don't use any of these techniques if your pet is likely to chew and then swallow bits of the plastic.

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