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Make a Reusable Toy for Your Hard-Chewing Dog
Does your dog love to disembowel, chew, and destroy toys? So does mine, and here's how I made a great re-usable toy that he loves.
Badger's a big dog, and he likes to work delicately and persistently until he has all the stuffing out of a toy. Even heavy canvas won't stop him. And he can crunch up hard plastic. It became too expensive--and hazardous--to keep buying him toys that only lasted a few minutes, so he's been chewing on hooves and rawhides. But I still wanted him to have something a bit challenging to play with.
Then I heard this great idea about stuffing a Hol-ee Roller toy full of rags and few treats, and letting the dog pull them out. That sounded like something Badger would enjoy (he likes to steal rags and chew them) so I bought one and tried it out.
I cut an old T-shirt into wide strips and wrapped a few treats up in one end of each strip. Then I stuffed them into the holes in the toy, leaving the other ends sticking out so Badger could get started. He loves it! He grabbed the ball and carried it off to his mat, where he worked and tugged until he got all the cloth out and found the treats.
Note that the Hol-ee Roller toy by itself, while durable, is not indestructible--nothing is! I wouldn't just throw it empty to a hard chewer and leave him alone with it. But since Badger first saw it filled with rags, he doesn't try to chew on the toy itself. He just pulls the stuffing out and drops the toy. Then I can stuff it again for next time.
This looks like it may well be a long-term, reusable toy!
Treats in the Hol-ee Roller Toy
Sometimes I just push some dog cookies through the holes in the toy, with maybe a couple of strips of dog jerky. These won't come back out unless Badger can break or tear them, which is a challenge in the soft flexible ball. The exercise is good for him mentally and emotionally, and it's lots of fun for me to watch, too!
More Tough Toys
More tough-long lasting toys for dogs who love to tear things up! Please remember that NO toy is indestructible - if your dog is strong and destructive, use them under supervision. Organic chewies like hooves, antlers and rawhides are good for a hard chewer; just make sure he isn't swallowing large bits.
Fire hose has the reputation of being extremely tough and makes a good tug toy for a hard chewer.
Bouncy rubber balls that are much tougher than tennis balls. You can use them with a tennis ball thrower.
The classic chew toy! Soak your dog's dry kibble in water, then stuff it inside the Kong and freeze. Your pooch will spend all day chewing.
© 2014 Valerie Proctor Davis