Posts tagged "dog"

What can I reuse or recycle to make a dog/puppy toy?

Recycle This regular Anna left a question on the Suggest an Item page:

What could I use to make dog toys?

My friend got a puppy and I’d like to make him some toys. I’ve made cat toys for ages, but puppy toys definitely need to be stronger and bigger.

Dog toys do typically need to be bigger and stronger than cat toys – it’s quite important that they’re the right size for the hound, given the variety of pooch sizes — neither too big or too small.

I’m still quite new to dog ownership – we’ve had Lily for about six months now – and she’s not really one to play with toys, just carry them around, so we’ve not made any toys for her.

I do know though that a quick and easy tug toy can be made plaiting together old tights/stockings/pantihose or strips of an old tshirt.

Or make the equivalent of a ball on a string by placing an old tennis ball (or the like) at the end of an old stretched sock, tie a knot in the sock to secure the ball, then play away!

Any other suggestions? What homemade toys have you made for your dog? Or, more typically, what has your dog found itself to reuse as a toy? ;)

(I illustrated the equivalent cat toy post with a picture of our cat Boron going mad with a piece of string. Lily refused to perform. So comedy photo by Miguel Vera instead – great expression!)

How can I reuse or recycle small chunks of rawhide bones?

Wow, last week was lots of fun with all the giveaways (final draws at noon today!) but back to regular rescheduled programming now.

Readers of my personal blog (all three of you ;) ) and my personal Twitter feed will already know we’ve got a new addition to our household – a lovely old springer spaniel called Lily. We’ve wanted a dog for a while and have been actively looking for a cat-friendly rescue dog since November. The cat-friendly bit was the most important thing – we didn’t care about breed, sex, age etc – just that they’d be cool around our cats — and Lily is the coolest. The cats are doing really well too: they’re still a little wary when she’s running around but after a week, they’re comfortable enough to sleep near each other and the other day, Lily stretched out in her sleep and threw her legs around Boron and he was bemused rather than scared.

We’re both first time dog owners and we’ve got a lot to learn about everything – particularly food & toys. I nearly missed the once-an-hour bus the other day because I was in the dog food aisle of the supermarket for so long, looking at all the different options. Out of all the different things she’s tried so far, she loves rawhide bones the most but as a paranoid new dog owner, I’m worried about the potential choking hazard – small chunks can break off the chew and the dog, unable to chew them any smaller, swallows them then chokes – or the chunk swells in their belly and causes a blockage. I’d rather that didn’t happen to my Lily dog.

I’m quite happy to supervise her nibbling but wondered if there is anything I can do with the chunks I rescue – can I break them up smaller and add them to her food? will rehydrating them help?

I’ve also heard about smaller/older dogs soggying up the rawhide rather than actually chewing/eating it – are there any options then instead of just binning it?

How can I “recycle” dog poop?

DogIf you thought my fingernail question was icky a few weeks ago, you might want to look away now.

We’ve had an email from Anne, who says “my suggestion is dog poop!”:

I don’t have a fenced yard, so I walk my dog, so I have lots of little bags of dog poop. I’m told it’s not ok to use in a vegetable garden–maybe a flower garden? any other ideas?

The vegetable thing (or compost heap for use of vegetable garden thing) is because poop from carnivores or omnivores can contain harmful organisms that aren’t destroyed during the standard composting process. (Some hot composting systems claim to be able to do it but I’m not 100% convinced.)

To be on the safe side, I probably wouldn’t want to include it in compost to be used anywhere – because the neighbourhood kids go through phases of digging in our garden and they’re not opposed to eating while doing so, and also I’m not organised enough to keep track of what’s a poo-bed and what isn’t, so would probably end up planting carrots in poo-central or something.

But that does beg the question: can anything be done with it instead of just winging it into the landfill? Any suggestions to minimise the landfill impact (biodegradable bags?)?

(Photo by Minita – I went with a picture of a cute (albeit sad) dog instead of its poo. I thought most people would prefer that. Plus, John and I just played a caption contest thing with it: “you mean I have to stop pooping until someone comes up with an answer?” etc :) )

How can I reuse or recycle an old pet bed?

Pet bedI spent most of yesterday afternoon in the garden with a few of the neighbourhood children because one of the girls got it in her head that she wanted to dig over our veg plot ahead of this year’s planting and I’m a firm believer in exploiting child labour at every opportunity.

Since we’ve all been pretty much in hibernation over the winter, it’s the first time I’ve seen them in a while and it reminded me about something her dad made last year. He’d got the metal chassis of an old pull-along trailer and rebuilt the rest of the trailer out of scrap wood etc. Over the random spare tyres, he had some natty wheel arches and he asked us to guess how we thought he’d made them – we guessed scrap wheel arches from something else – but as the title of this post might suggest, they were in fact an old plastic dog bed cut in two and spray painted to match the rest of the trailer. They really looked the part and as a bonus, didn’t add any extra weight to the trailer either. I thought it was a pretty great re-use and kept meaning to post it on here but forgot until now.

So that’s one idea – but probably not one most people would use – so any other suggestions?