How To: Make Dog Toys For Your Local Shelter

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Not only are these homemade tug toys for dogs a great way to support a local shelter, they’re also a handy way of recycling worn-out, unused clothes.

  1. Contact a shelter. Find a shelter in your area and ask what their needs are. You should also double check that they accept handmade toys.
  2. Collect the supplies. Some good tug toys can be made using strips of fabric from old fleece blankets, towels, or discarded clothes. Ask friends and family or use your own closet to find clothes/blankets that could be transformed into a dog toy. Keep in mind that it should be thick and durable fabric.
  3. Tear up your old clothes. Cut three same-size strips out of old clothing. A longer strip equals a longer toy, as a thicker strip makes a thicker toy. Different dogs need different size toys, so mix it up.
  4. Braid away. Tie the ends of all three strips into a single knot. Then braid the strips together tightly. If you don't know how to braid, no stress! It's very simple:
    • Anchor the knot at the ends of the strips under something heavy so it doesn't twist or move as you braid.
    • Make sure the strips are lying flat and untangled next to each other.
    • Take the right strip, bring it over the middle strip and rest it between the left and middle pieces.
    • Now take the left strip and bring it over what is now the middle piece without crossing the now-right strip.
    • Repeat until you run out of fabric.
  5. Tie it up. Once you've finished braiding, tie the other ends together to secure the braid. You can tie a knot or two in the center of the braid as well to give the dog something extra to tug on.

Once you've mastered making tug toys for dogs, get more people involved. Try hosting a "Make a Dog Toy" event at your school. More people = more animals helped.

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