Most responsible dog owners will surely see the sense in keeping their pooches entertained as much as possible, whether that be when they are with them or during those long hours when the dog is home alone. There has always been a huge selection of squeaky or jangly toys available at good pet shops – things to chew, toss around, chase or simply to lie in the basket as a treasured doggy possession. The thing is though all these items can end up costing a lot of money so why not consider making your own? You might even have as much fun making something as your dog will have playing with it.
Some key elements to consider when making toys are: will it last more than an hour or two; will it engage my dog’s interest; is it possible to make it tasty as well as entertaining? Well, here is an idea that should fulfil all three of those criteria – an unstuffed and then RE-stuffed teddy bear. It could be some other kind of toy animal but let’s stick with teddy bear for now.
This could be an old, unloved one surplus to home requirements or it could be out of the 25p basket at your local charity shop. First off it will need a good soak in something sterilising to rid the toy of any family-type odours. Then the gruesome bit – slit it along the body just enough so you can get at all the stuffing, and remove it. The empty cavity can then be RE-stuffed with doggy chews. Put in as many as you can and then sew the toy back up nice and tightly but leave a tiny exit hole somewhere.
Make sure your dog is watching all this – he will be intrigued to the point of distraction! Toss the newly stuffed toy onto the floor and standby for action. He will sniff it, grab it, throw it around, bark at it – you name it, every kind of dog reaction in the book will come out. He knows there are good things in there and he will spend time working out how to get them. Eventually his probing and sucking will see one popping out of that tiny exit hole that you left. Lots of effort and interest = instant reward!
Homemade Hoopla – DIY Dog Toy
There is so much more you can do for your dog without spending a fortune. Things for both of you to play with might include something like a home made hoopla that you can throw for him to catch or retrieve. Take a short-ish length of old hose pipe from the garage and jam a piece of rounded tree wood one end. Curve the hose round and engage it with the other end of the wood, forming a closed and secure circle. There you have it – a DIY doggy hoopla. Toss it in his vicinity and he will delight in catching it in mid air. Another great result in your campaign to keep your dog both active and entertained!