While your pet store offers a large variety of dog toys, making your own toys out of fleece allows you to customize them to your pooch. With some fleece and a few simple steps, you can make pom-pom balls for your dainty Chihuahua or a thick braided tug rope for your active Labrador.
Cut your fleece into three 4-by-36 inch strips. This will make a braided rope for a medium-sized dog. For a smaller dog, reduce the strips to 3-by-24 inch or smaller. For larger dogs, increase the length and width of the strips or add additional strips to create a stronger braid. For example, cut out six 4-by-36 inch strips.
Tie the strips together at one end, leaving about 4 inches of tassel at the top. Separate each strip to prepare for braiding. If you are using more than three strips, bunch strips together into three groups. For example, if using six strips, create three sections of two strips.
Braid the strips together until you have about 8 inches remaining. Tie a knot at the end of the braid and trim the remaining end to create a 4-inch tassel. Tie a knot in the center of the rope, if desired.
Cut 30 strips of fleece measuring ½-by-4 inches. Again, you may adjust the size to fit your dog. For petite dogs, reduce the size and amount of strips. For larger dogs, increase the amount of strips for a larger pom-pom.
Cut a piece of string about 2 feet long. Bunch together the fleece strips. Place the string under the center of the strips. Bring the two ends of the string together and tie, pulling as tight as you can.
Tie the string in several knots to ensure the pieces are secure. Fluff up the pom-pom and trim the strips as needed to form an even pom-pom puff.
Supervise your dog with any new toy. If the fleece toy begins to fall apart over time, replace it with a new toy.
Experiment with size and colors when making fleece toys for your pooch. You may find that your small dog likes larger pom-poms while your larger dog would prefer them tennis ball size.
Braided chewing ropes offer a benefit to dogs that like to chew. Encouraging regular chewing of the rope helps to remove food residue and prevent the buildup of plaque on your dog’s teeth.
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