Toys play an important part in making sure our dogs are stimulated and active, especially if you want your pet to be healthy, both in mind and body. They also play a bigger role in your dog's activity, much more than people think. Toys are more than just cute furry things you bring home and watch your dog dismantle. However much fun that is, to watch, it can start to add up in cost.
We at Voxie wanted to show you some ways to get your pup all excited and eager, that won't create a receipt, and with items already in your home. Playing and pulling with toys help facilitate the development of cognitive functions in your pup. This actually helps to relieve them of separation anxiety, which can lead to unfavourable acts, especially to your shoes or couch.
Aside from being fairly easy to design, these DIY dog toys are adaptable to items you are willing to part with and are perhaps already on their way out the door.
Upcycle that bag of clothes you were going to donate and make a *WHIPHIR*
a stick, something you can hold in your hand, anywhere from 12 to 18" ( we used the end of an old hockey stick)
an old T-shirt, like that one from the 5k, run 6 years ago, or you can use a worn-out pair of track pants, really anything of natural fabric, that we can take from that donation bag. Your dog will be chewing on it so for their health use natural fibres like cotton or denim.
Take scissors, and make strips of 4" widths of fabric. If it is a shirt you are using, we suggest cutting around the chest horizontally to get the most even and best strips; pants, down the leg from the waistband. You will need at least three strips to create the braid. Length is up to you.
The braid will be more interesting for your dog to chew on, should they apprehend the toy, and adds a layer to the shelf life of this toy.
Once you have braided the length of strips and knotted both ends, attach the stick to an old tennis ball, or really anything that would make your doggie happy to see flop around.
This kind of toy allows you to really play with your pup and let them get out some steam and spunk they have built up over the day. They do spend much of their time inside and need to move around when we get to come home to them.
This toy gets us, humans, up and moving as well, as you whip this toy around. It also keeps the action quick, as you play with your dog.
Really, you can take most of your dog's old toys and jazz them up with a piece of braided fabric, to swing it around with. Or you can cover that ball, in a piece of shirt and create the toy. A series of knots and string.
What About a Stuffed Animal?
Yes, this toy will be destroyed. But what a way to go. Taking existing toys and making them look new for our doggies, benefits our dogs but also us. Making, and braiding, using your hands, is good for our brains to alleviate stress. It lets us express ourselves when we create these toys. We are using available material and keeping it from the landfill, (+1 for the planet), and by wrapping the old ball, or toy, in fabric, there is less doggy slobber and allows this new toy to be washable.
We hope you enjoy your creative time, in making what was old, new again, and our opportunity to create something for the wonderful doggies that give us so much.
Monica Polo is Co-Founder of voxie. As a practising interior designer (BID) and a Materials Health and Wellness educator, Monica brings current and relevant practices on how to holistically design a healthier world. This allows her readers, students and clients, to own their own wellness and move toward positive change, at their pace. As a social activist, she weaves the Burning Man, 10 principles into her personal wellness philosophy through her work at the Design Center, at RSID. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her two sons.