Dog Toys

An ongoing series of informational entries

Dog Toys to the Wash or to the Trash

August 2016

As I was collecting toys inside and outside for the wash this week it got me to thinking how some toys hold up and some dont and I have learned over the years that what I find appealing isnt always what my dogs seem to cherish, love and play with. For instance twice now over the course of several years and several different dogs living with me, I thought the Wobble Wag Giggle ball would be a huge hit and shelled out $15 to excitedly surprise my clan and in both instances it was a huge flop, we still have 1 because no one plays with it. :( Most (95%) plush, stuffed, squeak toys dont last 24 hours in my house, we live with the "Terminator" who immediately and instinctively knows the weak spot of any toy and proudly disembowels the stuffing to do the dance of victory with the squeaker... much to my dismay. I have tried making him toys and stuffing rubber toys for him to do this but he still would feel a failure if he didnt accomplish this every time I bring home fresh toys. I have a tendency to look for cheap toys I wont feel so bad about dooming but as if it is a battle of the wits I also inspect & purchase various more expensive toys in hopes this time I will win and the rest of the pack will have a toy to play with that The Terminator can not destroy! LOl What do I look for in a toy, My dogs often like small toys even though I look for huge soft squishy toys these are the 1st to get killed and never have a chance to get played with. I look for toys with nothing to rip off , limited shapes & limbs , round shapes seem to hold up longer. I like a toy that is 2 in 1 such as a stuffed squeaker with a rope up the middle because if it gets killed they will still have the rope. Keep in mind the rope must be complete not just 2 pieces sewn on the ends.

The 2 Christmas toys we sold last year have held up real well, The flatty present with crinkle & squeak I am finally throwing out this week, But the little fleece ball which crinkled and squeaked has been an on again off again favorite in the house and is still going strong minus 1 eye. They were definately a bargain for $1.50-$2 we will have more of these for the holidays this year. Recently we added the fleece dinosaurs in small & large and the griggle monsters. The dinosaur has been going strong for over a month, $2 for the small & $3 for the large Ive got my moneys worth. Im not sure why but fleece toys do seem to get played with and they seem to last, I can only think the stitching is hid by the fleece? Now the Griggle monster has only been with us a week I dont know how he survived. Everyone has played keep away with him and upon inspection I cant explain why he's lasted this long but he's already served his purpose for $2.50 and I dont mind if he dies a sudden death in the near future. I have been pleasantly surprised with the new soft ballistic xtra tough Kong squeak toy I picked up a couple months ago. The squeak is so packed in it makes a light, soft noise ,the toy is sewn very well in a criss cross double stitch. Its played with daily and hardly shows any wear Its far more appealing to me and I think the dogs than the typical ballistic toys that are made of a hard nylon type material. Ill definitely look into adding some of these to our retail at Missdoolittles. My personal Favorite and a pack favorite has been the snowman by Charmin Pet I got them at Christmas. This toy is everything in 1. It crinkles, it has squeaks in the stuffed head, it also has squeaks in the flat handles. It has a flannel hat & scarf amazingly still attached although the nose was popped the 1st week. The pieces of the toy are individually sewn so if they ever do pop the head , free a squeak or tare anything off, the toy wont be ruined. The bottom half of this toy has a whopping 8 squeakers all individually sewn in without stuffing, The material is thick & lined with soft corduroy rope edges it is a combination of luxurious fur and a velvety corduroy. When I first saw this toy I didnt understand it but having lived with it Im glad I spent the $9 it is still well worth it. I have tried a couple other Charmin Pet toys that lasted longer than most but this design is brilliant & well made! I hope they will have more this holiday season it will definitely be a toy Id like to have in our boutique. Last but not least the West Paw knot toy. This isnt much to look at and West Paw toys can be pricey as they are 1 of the few collections actually Made in the USA from recycled materials. In fact it is so unappealing that I couldnt sell it and finally brought it home some 5 years ago. Its a flat toy, no stuffing but it still has 2 squeaks that no longer work in either end yet my dogs dont mind as much as you think they still like to chomp on the end something like a baby pacifier to them. There has been an on again off again love affair with this toy, I occasionally find it outside or see them chasing after each other with this old standby and after all this time it isnt missing a stitch. Worth mentioning: I am never drawn to latex or rubber toys but the dogs do Love them! They last longer and get played with more if they are round, squeak and have a little bounce as well the squeaking, bouncing JW CUz ball toys are another less than charismatic toy to me but can always inspire play inside or out at my house and Ive yet to have to replace a Cuz. :)

Currently if you do not live with a Terminator Our Griggle pillows are a huge hit with small & large dogs who like a pillow, a soft place to lay their head and appreciate a toy "BFF" aka "wobby" . This pillow toy has been a repeat purchase for many that have it and came back for another color because their dog loved it so much! It makes a great grunting noise for only $3.50 while supplies last.

DIY Dog Toys

May, 2016

So over the weekend I decided to try making a few dog toys! I attempted to use a sewing machine but quickly gave that up and did a search for No Sew dog toys. I thought I would share some of my finds because many of them were super easy and use things you probably have laying around. I used some material scraps I had from another project to make fun water bottle tug toys. Some others I saw used socks, old pajamas, old towels ect. Here is a good place to start if your thinking about making your own toys but always surpervise your pet with any toy :

33 DIY Dog toys: http://barkpost.com/3-dog-toys-you-can-make-from-things-around-the-house/

Here is a good tutorial for a water bottle toy using an old sweater or sock: http://romprescue.com/2012/11/diy-dog-projects/

Here is the tutorial I used using an old Tshirl to make a ball or water bottle toy : http://www.ammothedachshund.com/2011/10/06/birthday-week-diy-dog-toys/

And I attached a picture of how mine turned out, not too bad My Clyde would have loved them! Have a Dogone Great time!

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