My mom's dog, Molly, loves to play - an activity that for her usually involves rounding up all her toys and ripping them to shreds. In an effort to make some kind of indestructible toy or at least something that she could play with that might last longer than a half hour, I rounded up a few things and gave it a shot.
While she was able to dismantle this awesome rope and dried sweet potato contraption, it at least took her a little longer, and she seemed to really love it. Molly was probably able to obliterate this because she is so tough (doesn't she just look so tough?), but it would be awesome (and probably last a little longer) for dogs who don't shred toys up in record time, as well as for puppies.
Note: Homemade treats or an awesome princess bed are other great options for your fabulous furry friends
Step 1: You'll Need. . .
- Hemp or jute rope (I used 9 pieces of a thin-ish diameter braided together to make a larger rope. Approximately 2 1/2 feet works well for medium dogs, less is needed for a toy for a smaller dog and more for a larger dog)1
- Sweet potatoes or yams (2 for a medium-sized dog toy, one for a smaller one and 3 or 4 for a larger-sized toy)2
- Sheet pan and parchment or foil
- Sharp knife
- Round cookie cutter a bit larger than the diameter of your rope
- Vegetable peeler (optional)
2Sweet potatoes and yams are awesome for dogs as well as people. Dogs seem to love to chew them, and when they eat them they're also getting a big dose of nutrients
Step 2: Potato Prep!
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
- Wash your sweet potatoes really well (you can peel them if you want, but I just leave the peel on)
- Slice the sweet potato into rounds approximately 1/2" thick
- Using the cookie cutter, remove the center of each round1
Step 3: Bake 'Em Up
- Place on cookie sheet and bake for 2 1/2 hours
- Flip and bake for another 2 1/2 hours
- When they're done they should be totally dried out and hard - if there are any squishy bits, bake longer and keep checking every 30 minutes or so
- Once they're totally dry, allow to cool fully
Step 4: Lots of Knots
- Make a knot in the end of your hemp rope
- If using multiple thinner pieces, braid them together to make stringing the pieces on easier
- String on two sweet potato rings and make a knot above them
- Add two more rings and knot
- Repeat until you reach the end of your rope
- Give this awesome new toy to your canine companion!