When I first got my puppy, he chewed on absolutely everything. Goodbye, nicest pair of leather shoes.
Goodbye, all four legs of my living room’s end table. Goodbye, every single sock I’ve ever owned. Of course, it’s a dog’s natural inclination to chew. It helps them relieve stress, is good for their teeth, and it provides them with something to do. That’s why rawhides and chew toys are so popular. However, as soon as I got a rawhide for my puppy, I noticed it had some unfortunate side effects on his stomach…that I had to clean up. According to Pets WebMD, there are some good aspects to buying rawhide for your dog, but some dogs may experience allergic reactions, the rawhide can get contaminated, and with any pet food, it can carry bacteria.
My vet recommended the following alternative to rawhide chew toys. It’s organic, homemade, and so far my dog is absolutely obsessed with it. This DIY dog toy only requires two things: some sweet potatoes and rope! I got this particular tutorial from Instructables user shesparticular. Don’t believe it works? See your yourself! Please SHARE if you love giving your pets treats that we know won’t hurt them!
The user who uploaded this tutorial recommends hemp or jute rope. These ropes are strong, durable, and less likely to cause digestive issues when compared to synthetic ropes.
Yams or Sweet Potatoes provide a nutrient-rich chew toy. Wash them thoroughly then cut them into relatively thick slices. Two full potatoes will be great for a medium-sized toy.
Use a cookie cutter to carve out the middle of your yams. (Hint: Don't throw the center parts away. You can use those later to make a treat for yourself!)
When you've got all the centers cut out, preheat your oven to 250 degrees and place the rings on a cookie sheet.
Once the oven's heated, bake the sweet potatoes for 2 1/2 hours.
You're not done there! Go ahead and flip them then continue to bake them for another 2 1/2 hours.
They should be fully dried out by this time, but if they're not, continue to bake them for another 30 minutes. You'll want to check to see that they're dry and chewy, but not burned.
While those cool, take a few strands of your rope and begin to knot the ends. (Hint: Make these as tight as possible. Your dogs are experts at destroying things with their teeth!)
The knot will need to be thick enough that your rings don't slide past it. Once you've added the rings, go ahead and make another knot right above those.
Continue this step until you run out of rings or you reach the end of your rope.
Just make sure you have enough excess rope to be able to tie off the other end as well.
It may not look very appetizing to us, but...
...wait until you show your canine friends.
The sweet potatoes may soften up a bit, but they are fully edible. They'll also keep your dog occupied for hours.
Have you ever tried this with your dog? Let us know in the comments!
Please SHARE if you love making healthy, safe toys for your dogs!