2001-Sat Dec 03 12:49:39 EST 2016
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Got an avid chewer? A big mouth who’s likely to go through at least a couple of toys a month? Maybe yours are the fickle sort, always on the lookout for the newest bauble in the basket. Or perhaps you have a puppy with a thing for killing the plushies.
In any case, you’ll understand my predicament: A pet’s oral fixations can be pricey!
I knew all about this back when I had a pair of Boxers who terminated every toy with extreme prejudice. Though I tirelessly sourced all manner of so-called indestructible playthings, they made quick work of them all, nonetheless.
All, that is, except perhaps for the truly indestructible. I say “perhaps” because these were the toys they refused outright. The world may never know their true degree of durability, given that my dogs held them in such disregard. Consequently, these pariahs were the only imperishables to ever grace our home.
Fast-forward 15 years and now I have Violet, my mouthy Belgian Malinois pup extraordinaire. Since my Boxers I’ve not had the pleasure to handle such toy-directed obstinacy. Focused and frantic about most everything (not just toys), she has proved extra special in this regard. Such, I’ve been told, is the fate of those who take on this kind of working dog.
Luckily, I have a saying I can truck out at times like these: “When the going gets tough, the tough get crafty.” With this pithy verse in my head I then get started on one or more projects designed with my heavy chewer in mind.
Disclaimer: While I'm about to share my favorite homemade creations with you, not every toy is for every dog. Though these toys tend to be safe when used under supervision, some dogs are, well, special. Keeping a sharp eye trained on your pet whenever you’re using any toy — especially for the first time! — is always a good policy. If your dog gnaws off any smaller pieces, it's best to dispose of them before they're accidentally swallowed.
This project involves those ubiquitous tennis balls. Even if you don’t play (I don’t), there’s always a tennis ball or four banging around at work (my workplace, anyway).
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