• http://greenupgrader.com Matt Embrey

    From @refinnej on Twitter: @mattgup and @greenupgrader i filled the baby/toddler socks w/fabric scraps & sewed ‘em shut. fill socks w/catnip 4 the cats in your life.

  • http://daveconrey.etsy.com daveconrey

    Interesting idea, but those wouldn’t last 10 minutes with my Jack Russell.

  • http://greenupgrader.com/author/paula/ Paula Mitchell Bentley

    Jack Russell, that’s quite a handful!
    I’d recommend double stitching the ends together (at least) and maybe knotting it over and over instead of braiding it. It might take him a little longer to get through it that way!

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  • Rebecca

    The problems with this idea:
    ~giving your dog socks to play with = socks are ok to chew on (whether they are his toy or your good socks)
    ~rubber bands are a major choking hazard, and if they end up down your dog’s throat and into his stomach, they become a major intestinal obstruction
    ~why not repair the socks instead of giving them to your dog, or wearing mismatched socks if you’ve lost the second of the set?

  • http://www.greenupgrader.com Paula Mitchell-Bentley

    I’d never give a dog rubber bands to chew on. They’re only there temporarily to hold the ends together during the braiding process. Definitely don’t give a dog anything like a rubber band!
    There are several types of toys like this available to purchase — http://www.amazon.com/Petstages-Mini-Multi-Rope-Chew/dp/B001FKA482/ref=sr_1_130?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1242224317&sr=1-130. I just thought you might as well use something that was headed for the garbage can instead of buying something all new.
    It’s always best to reuse an item instead of throwing it away or even recycling it if at all possible. I am constantly darning socks and things like that in our house. Sometimes, especially with kids, the socks are simply too worn out to fix. Plus with their feet still growing, finding two socks the same size to match together isn’t always an option.

    • duh!

      she took off the rubber band dude!

  • Ali C.

    Having worked for a veterinarian, I’ve seen the end results of dogs consuming fabrics. I hate to shout, but FABRIC DOES NOT DIGEST! Lucky dogs will pass fabric through their digestive tracts without mishap. Unlucky dogs will suffer an impaction. Not all dogs survive surgery to remove impacted fabrics from their guts. Not all owners are able to pay for the surgery. I would hate to see that little cutie in the photo suffer or die after eating things that were not meant to be eaten.

    I would never, ever, ever, ever (!!) encourage a dog or any other animal to chew on fabrics. Socks in particular are a bad choice because they contain elastics and nylon. Some animals are prone to pica (eating things that aren’t food – everything from feces to fabrics), and this is a nightmare for the owners. I had a cat that literally ate my couch, in spite of my every attempt (every repellent on the market, and even dousing her favorite chew spots with hot sauce, pepper sauce, etc.). She destroyed blankets, bedspreads, clothing and pillows as well.

    Use your worn out socks for cleaning/dusting (they’re excellent for cleaning blinds and dusting houseplants). Use them to stuff a pillow. Use them for anything but dog toys.

    Also, if you give your dog socks to chew on, how is s/he to know that it is not OK to chew on every sock s/he encounters?

    Please, if your adorable little fluffer is a chewer, provide appropriate chew toys and train him to never chew fabrics.

  • http://greenupgrader.com/author/paula/ Paula Mitchell Bentley

    Thanks for the info Ali!! So many toys are made out of fabric for dogs. Plus there’s doggy beds, doggy blankets, doggy clothes all made out of fabric. I’ve never heard of any one having a problem but I guess it’s good to know. Our dog doesn’t “eat” fabric. He more just chews on it. He’s still a puppy so they need to chew to help get their adult teeth in.

    I’ll make sure that he doesn’t have these toys unattended but it would be next to impossible to keep your dog away from all fabrics, I think. Most of his toys are made out of them — and they are ones bought from pet stores instead of ones made in the home!

    • Ali C.

      You’re welcome, Paula. Just to clarify, I didn’t advocate keeping dogs away from fabrics (my own dogs would be on the phone in a New York minute to PETA to report me for cruelty if i denied them access to the furniture, their beds, and my bed!) :-) I cautioned against teaching dogs that it’s ok to chew fabric. The presence of so many fabrics in your home (and your dog’s life) is exactly why it’s a bad idea to teach him that chewing on fabric is OK.

      The problem with teaching a dog that it’s ok to chew on one kind of fabric is that you’re leaving it to the dog to remember which fabric is ok. If he thinks its ok to rip up a sock, and he destroys the one he has, he could easily decide to finish burning off his chewing needs on laundry he pulls from the hamper, or his bed or your bed or the couch or whatever.

      Believe me, I know there are tons of cloth and plush toys out there. My Shepherd mix (the world’s most neurotic dog) has what we call her “herd o’ babies,” a collection of plush toys and fabric toys that she plays with, but I taught her early on that fabric is not for chewing. She just likes to carry her babies around, and she will bring them to you when you come in the door (you’re not allowed to touch it, though; she just wants you to know that the baby is ok, as she clearly expects that you’ve been worried about that all day long). On the rare occasion when I find that she has torn a baby (as has happened during “That’s MY baby” arguments with the other dog), or has loved it to the point that it has developed a hole, it gets mended or – if unsalvageable – tossed and she gets a new one.

      Try offering your pup raw carrots to chew on. Investing in the rubbery Nylabones is a good idea, too. There are also bones made from compressed veggies. I don’t know green the rubbery bones are, but most dogs seem to like them. I’m glad you’re not leaving your little furkid unsupervised with his sock toys. He’s such a cutie! I’d hate for a well-meaning project to end up with a trip to the vet.

  • http://www.matchboxrockytruck.com/ MatchboxRockyTruck

    Interesting idea, I usually buy a new toy every month for my dog (i love her so much, what can I say). This surely will save some money and she stil can have new toy, thanks for the tip.

  • http://www.redwaterlily.com Suzanne

    I stuff my old socks – the oens that lost their partner in the wash – with catnip and sew them shut. the cats will carry them around, hump them, drag them around – it’s fun to watch. They wear them down to the point that the catnip is almsot gone – I then open them up and restuff them -that easy. The dogs don’t go for the catnip at our house, so they leave the socks alone – and even if they tried to go after them – our cats can get quite defensive about someone taking their catnip away LOL

  • Brice Lebarge

    Can any users here suggest a free site to find a vet tech job?

  • sunrae

    This is idea is great, but if you have a dog who has a tendency to eat toys or just about anything he comes across, don’t do this. Even if you’ve never seen him eat fabric before, if he gets into other things, this is a potentially dangerous situation. I did this the other day for my two dogs; of course, they loved it and I was looking forward to not having to replace toys all the time. Unfortunately, one of my dogs (the one that eats stuff) apparently ate some of the sock. He had to have surgery today to remove the material along with a section of intestine. Apparently, if the strands get stuck in the digestive tract, they can start sawing at the intestinal walls creating the potential for perforation. I think I’ll go back to spending $10 bucks every few months as opposed to the +2k I just spent on the surgery (and who knows what else is in store in the future with all the issues that comes with having a short intestinal tract).