Simple homemade toys can provide both comfort and healthy stimulation for dogs spending time in a shelter. Puppies, especially, benefit from toys that meet their chewing needs and occupy their time. Dog toys for use in a shelter environment should be durable and allow for disinfecting, due to the amount of wearing and sharing they receive. Toys for shelters also need to stand up to a fair amount of doggy abuse, either in kennels or out in the exercise yard.
Cut the fleece fabric into six strips measuring approximately 3 inches by 24 inches---a creative way to reuse old blankets or unwearable fleece clothing.
Knot all six strips together at one end and braid them together, using two strips per section. Once the braid has almost reached the ends of the fabric, knot the strips together again.
Soak the rope in beef or chicken broth, then let it dry completely. This optional extra step will make the rope a canine favorite.
Hem any cut edges on the fabric triangle.
Place a rubber ball on a corner of the fabric, then fold the fabric around it.
Sew the fabric securely around the ball, either with a machine or by hand.
Pour some dry beans into a clean, empty prescription bottle with a child-proof cap. This noisemaker will delight dogs, who enjoy it when their "prey" makes sounds, while providing a safer option than the squeakers found in commercial dog toys.
Stuff some small fabric scraps into the toe of the sock, then place the prescription bottle in the sock.
Pack additional fabric scraps into the sock until it is tightly stuffed. Knot or sew the cuff of the sock to secure.
Treats on ice
Fill the plastic container with a shallow layer of water or beef or chicken broth, then freeze it.
Scatter a few dog treats on the frozen surface, then add more water or broth and freeze again.
Repeat until you have several layers of treats frozen in a block of ice. This time-consuming snack will keep any dog interested and occupied for a long time.