Friday, 6 June 2014

The Really Easy DIY Dog Toy

Since becoming a puppy walker* for Guide Dogs, I've become acutely aware of toys for puppies - tug toys, chew toys and the need to stop them chewing your furniture and other important stuff.  The dog toys I've bought have either been too expensive for something that's meant to be to be chewed (although significantly less than my sofa cost!!) or they fell apart within minutes (and however cheap they are, falling apart almost immediately still makes them too expensive - really, what's the point?).

So I made some.  This one is the very easiest one to make.  You could have it done in two minutes, you may have the materials lying around the house, and there's absolutely no sewing.  The cost in time and money is close to zero.

You will need:

  • At least one pair of old jeans, preferably two
  • A pair of scissors

This is how to make the dog toy:

Cut three seams from your jeans, leaving a little fabric at the sides of the seams. It doesn't need to be neat - nobody will care (the dog certainly won't!).  You could do this from one pair of jeans, but if you have two pairs you can select the double-stitched seams (which are stronger).

Tie one big central knot with the three seams.

Tie a couple more smaller knots either side of the large central knot, this time using two of the seams for each knot.  This just secures the toy a bit more and gives the dog a bigger chewing area.

Add a dog.  This is great fun for chewing, tugging and throwing games.


*puppy walkers in the UK have a puppy to live with them from it being about 8 weeks until it's about 14 months, when it's ready to move on to further training.  You socialise the puppy, take it for walks (and in shops) and do some basic training (things like sit, down, wait - and they soon learnt the word no!).  I'm sure there are similar schemes in other countries too.  There's more info on the UK Guide Dogs website.

I'm rather in love with "my" puppy Quentin and we have lots of fun together.  I don't know quite how I will give him back, but it's probably a good thing they got me to sign a contract!

A note about safety:
Puppies should be supervised as much as possible with chew toys, and if the toy starts falling apart it should be discarded.  To remove loose fibres before giving to a puppy, you could throw this in a washing machine first (although the puppy is unlikely to care).

OK, now you can stop making toys for me and go and get the lawnmower out.


Lyn said...

What a good idea - it's going on my 'dog' pinterest board so that others can come to see it on your blog.

Teresa said...

Our cats' favourite 'toy' is a bunch of old shoelaces tied to a drawer handle in the kitchen - they chew and swing on them and bat them about. If one gets broken we just tie it back on to the bundle. Hours of fun!

Wendy said...

Thanks Lyn!

The simplest ideas are sometimes the best, Teresa!

Rose said...

While I was on searching for getting some good ideas on dog toys for our Sam, I was able to explore this wonderful post. The handmade toy idea you unveiled here was really a happy experience to me. Though it looks a bit simple, it can be an effective way of making any dog pleasant I do believe. I would like to adore you for bringing such a nice and shortest process of making a useful toy before us. This was indeed an innovative touch. Love your pretty job.