Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Recycled Doggie Tug Toys

© photo copyright Toni Boyko

Tanner and I Play Tug with a Recycled Tug Toy

Thanks to Carmen and Buddy Lee for this great idea. I hate throwing things away now. I'm getting so anal about my trash volume that I look really hard for ways to reuse things. I donate our unused clothing when it is in good enough shape to be used by someone else. But what about torn or stained clothing?

That's where Carmen's idea comes in. One night at agility class she was using a particularly cute tug toy with her little Corgi mix, Buddy Lee. When I inquired about it, she shared her secret. The tug toy was actually remade from a pajama top that was no longer being used.

With a little instruction, I went home to give this idea a try. It turned out to be so easy, that I just have to share it with you. Carmen's concept is simple. Use the strongest part of the clothing as a handle. Necklines with collars and waistbands are good.

Lay the item out flat on a table and cut two slits up the length of the item, creating 3 sections. Braid the 3 sections tightly and when you near the last 8 inches or so, tie the 2 longest pieces around the third and knot it tightly.

Trim off all the ends to create even lengths. Viola'! Your pup now has a new toy--free!

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

Assorted Recycled Doggie Tug Toys Made by Me

A few additional tips to make your experience less of an experiment than mine was:
  • For ease of braiding, hook the "handle" over a chair knob, as shown above, or a door handle.
  • I found that rolling the cut edges of the strips into the center of each strip make for a neater looking finished product.
  • Neatly trim out buttons, brads, zippers, and labels, along with any other metal or plastic items attached to the clothing.
  • Double knot the bottom for extra tough tuggers, like my Golden Retriever, Tanner.
  • Since all clothing has front and back sections, I cut double strips, so I actually start out with 6 strips, and combine them in twos.
  • For short sleeved shirts, simply invert the sleeve into the strips. You'll hardly know they're there.
  • Long sleeves make great strips of their own, leaving the shirt body to be a third strip. I found it wasn't a problem to have different thicknesses in the sections.
  • Denim is good and strong for extra large dogs.
  • Cotton knit polos have a little more give for the mouths of medium sized dogs.
  • Thinner fabrics make smaller braids for small dogs to get a good grip.

I hope you enjoy making some tug toys for your furry friends. I'd love to hear from you if you have any other great ideas for making recycled dog toys. Happy tugging!

Today at my All Things Dog Blog I am presenting some help on making mealtime a bit more mannerly for your pack. Even if you only have one dog, feeding time can be a bit of an excited time. Tanner, Oliver and Xena are there giving a rare peek into chow time at our house. Stop and see how easy it can be to bring a calm dinner to the....ummm......floor.

Tomorrow's post here at Organic Journey Online will be about greener dry cleaning. I hope you will come and share in my pleasure of finding a less-toxic dry cleaner, and also a place to reuse or recycle all those dry cleaning hangers I have collected.

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