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Playtime with Pooch

Simple toys are best

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Playtime with Pooch

Choose a safe toy for your pooch. One way is to make a DIY dog toy with simple materials such as old T-shirts for a pulltoy Fido will love.

Dogs will almost always be in the mood to play. The only exceptions are when they are not feeling well, when they are exhausted at the end of the day, and, of course, when they are eating.

The simple mention of the word “outside” would send our dogs into a frenzy of excitement. Whenever we left our dogs at home, Jordon would greet us at the door on our return, carrying whatever toy was nearby, his tail wagging so hard that we thought it might come off his body.

Play is about companionship and enjoying every minute of each day. Dogs love their toys, and owners love to buy them. Dogs also love to chew their toys to the point of destruction, at which point they are in danger of ingesting some of the materials.

Toys to Avoid

The most dangerous toys out there are the soft, squishy, plastic ones that bounce and squeak; these are usually the ones dogs love the most. The main material to avoid when purchasing a new dog toy is di-isononyl phthalate (DINP), which is used to make hard PVC plastic soft and pliable.

The manufacturing of products containing DINP can cause pollution in the atmosphere and in nearby water sources and sewage systems. In addition, the ingestion of DINP by animals has been shown in tests to cause liver and kidney damage, and sometimes cancer.

When searching for a new dog toy, be sure to look for ones made of natural rubber or latex. These materials provide a nontoxic and environmentally friendly alternative.

DIY Dog Toys

You can make a variety of dog toys yourself using simple materials, some creativity, and a little bit of time. Chew toys are a great way to keep your dog entertained. Use these bones at the park or around the house.

Braided T-shirt Bone

Making toys for your pup out of old clothing is easy, and it’s a great way to get a second use out of old jeans or sweatshirts. When the bone is dirty, simply throw it in the washing machine on the cold setting, and dry with high heat.

These bones are great if you have a teething puppy. Soak the bone in water, and then place it in the freezer until frozen. Give the frozen bone to the puppy to gnaw; the cold cloth will soothe her aching gums. It is recommended that you do this outside, as the melting of the bone can create quite a puddle.

You’ll need:

  1. Old 100 percent cotton T-shirts
  2. Scissors
  3. An extra pair of hands
  • Cut the sleeves and the collar out of the T-shirts (leaving shoulder seams intact).
  • Cut 2 in (5 cm) wide strips from the rest of the T-shirt, so you have at least 12 strips.
  • Cut from the shoulder seams to the bottom seams to get the longest strips possible.)
  • Once you have all your strips cut, arrange them in any combination, so that you have three sets of strips containing at least four strips in each set.
  • Holding all three sets together, tie one end in a knot and pull tight. (This is where an extra pair of hands comes in!)
  • Make sure the knot is as tight as possible. Separate the strips again into their sets so that the three sets can be braided together.
  • Braid the strip sets together, leaving about 8 in (20 cm) at the end in order to tie another knot.
  • As before, tie a knot in the finishing end, and pull very tight (with your extra pair of hands). Pretend you are playing tug-o-war!
  • Trim the ends a bit smaller to make them tidier.
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