If your English Bull Terrier or other playful dog is anything like my girl, you probably know this situation: TONS of used plush toys scattered across your home. But only a few of them, if any, are still in use. After their first “new toy” moments they are doomed to become the perfect trip trap, neglected and ignored by doggie. She could sit in the middle of a whole pile of toys and still be bored. There may be one or the other favorite. Yet nothing beats THE NEW TOY!
And we as the owners keep buying this useless plush just because we love to see our dog really happy from time to time. And we stick to the used toys unless their state is really beyond repair because wouldn’t it be such a waste to just throw them out? Of course, just buying less toys would be a solution … in a heartless world where doggie’s happiness didn’t matter.
Am I right so far?
Of course I am, I am a dog owner myself, speaking from experience.
Today I want to share a few tips on how I try to curb the waste of money and prevent my home from flowing over with toys.
1. Buy smart
I don’t know if you already knew. But this may be a tip that can save you a lot of money, if you have not tried these stores so far: As a girl loving a good apparel bargain you are probably familiar with stores such as Beall’s Outlet, TJMaxx or Burlington Coat Factory. But did you know that these stores also sell pet supplies?
Whenever I sneak in there to look for the next steal in clothing I never miss to take a quick look into the pet aisle – and often leave with a toy. And the best of it? These are good quality products costing less than they would in the pet store, sometimes much less.
2. Revive Your Bull Terrier’s or other playful dog’s plush toys
Yes! If you have trained your English Bull Terrier or other playful dog to play with its plush toys without completely dissecting them, you probably ended up with tons of toys in your home. Many dogs – such as mine – tend to use plush toys for some time. But when the squeakers start fading and the toy becomes too familiar … it also starts getting kind of boring.
After reading that taking away used toys and giving them out again after a while in order to make the dog think they are new I tried that and concluded it a try and kind of a fail for us.
Mila does not really buy it most of the time. But if you feel this could be something for you you can still give it a try.
The following tip may have the same results. Every dog is different. So success unfortunately cannot be guaranteed. But at least it’s worth a try.
What do you need
First of all, you should know how to sew a simple seam by hand OR know someone who does and will do you the favor. You will also need …
- a used toy
- sewing needle
- and … a bag of those toy squeakers they are selling on Amazon, for example. They only cost a few dollars. One bag will revive a lot of dog plush toys and it will cost just a fraction of the prices for new toys.
Here’s what to do
- Wash the toy(s) with a mild detergent and dry them.
- Use the scissors to cut one of the seams open just wide enough to remove the dead squeaker inside and put one or two of the new ones in.
- Close the seam with some stitches. Try to make the seam strong, yet not too thick. SO it does not particularly catch the attention of your dog.
- After you have done all this without your dog watching you, give the toy to your dog in the same way you always give out NEW toys.
I am able to revive a used dog plush toy 2-3 times this way. Not every toy that has risen from the dead will be met with the same enthusiasm. In my experience it’s about the entire experience. Once the toy is prepared make sure it really feels like getting a new exciting thing when you give it to your dog. Or in other words, just handle it like it really were a new toy.
Here’s a tip for new toys: If your Bull Terrier tends to rip and tear on toys try to find pieces without parts sticking out. I will never understand why a plush toy for dogs does need a loosely sewn on scarf or bow, ears or nose. This is all “tear feed”. If possible I remove this stuff before giving the toy to Mila. She is gentle with her stuff.
Still, one thing I definitely ALWAYS remove are little hanger strings and the wash tags … off they go!
And – but you know that already, don’t you:
Don’t let your dog play unattended. Once a seam tears, curiosity kicks in and that thing could be gutted in a heartbeat. Hopefully then doggie does not like a “polyester flake diet”.
I hope the tips help! If you try the tips, I’d love to hear about how they work for you!
If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comments.