Out with the Old, in with the New: How to Get Rid of Old Dog Toys

    If you're stepping on dog toys when you walk through your home in the dark, and your dog is staring off into space at old, lackluster toys, then it might be time to tidy up and update your dog's toy box.

    Here are a few tips on sustainable ways to get rid of those old dog toys, as well as some of our fun, eco-friendly new toys that will be sure to bring the fun back to your dog's playtime activities!

    Chopper is done with the Santa in the Chimny toy

    It's all fun and game but when they find the 'treasure' in the toy. It's time to throw it away.. even though they might not like that idea!

    Inspect Old Dog Toys

    Before you round up the most obvious and oldest dog toys, it's a good idea to inspect all of your dog's toys as you decide on which ones should stay and which ones should go.

    To determine which toys your dog is ready to part with:

    Gather all of your dog's toys. After you've collected all toys—even the forgotten ones in that storage box in the attic—inspect each one for signs of wear and tear.

    1. Make three separate piles. Next, make three piles: one for toys you're going to keep, one for toys that are too damaged to donate, and one for toys that are in good condition but your dog rarely ever uses.
    2. Clean the toys. Whether you plan on recycling them, fixing them, or donating old dog toys, you'll still need to clean the dog toys.
    3. Know which toys are safe. Now is also a great time to make sure the toys your dog plays with don't actually pose a hazard to your dog. Sticks, human frisbees, synthetic rubber toys, and some common chew toys can all hurt your dog, and some are still on the market!

    Out with the Old Dog Toys

    Once you've sorted the toys, you'll need to figure out what to do with them all. Here are three tips for getting rid of old toys.

    1. Recycle Old Toys

    For toys that are made from recyclable materials, be sure to put clean toys in the recycling bin rather than the trash can. Companies like West Paw use a special material called Zogoflex, which can be melted down and remade into new dog toys. The company even has its own recycling program, where all you have to do is return the worn-out toy so that they can reuse it!

    The natural rubber toys from companies like SodaPup and Beco Pets are made with sustainably-tapped rubber from the rubber tree. Natural rubber is biodegradable, so you can either put these old toys in your recycle bin or simply bury them in the yard.

    2. Fix Old Dog Toys

    In some cases, you can fix up an old toy that has minor rips and tears. This will only work for plush dog toys with minor signs of damage. Either sew new fabric over larger tears in an old dog toy or simply repair a seam by hand. Your dog will be too busy playing with the newly restored toy to even notice if their favorite toy looks a little different!

    3. Donate Toys to Your Local Animal Shelter

    Dog food and blankets aren't the only items that animal shelters look for when you decide to donate. You can also donate old toys that don't show major signs of wear and tear. Be sure to call your local shelter ahead of time to make sure that they accept toys, as every shelter is different, and some might not accept used toys.

    Another way to donate is by giving old dog toys to a homeless shelter. Dogs provide so much emotional support and comfort to their owners, and many people who are facing homelessness have pups who could benefit from having a comforting toy of their own.

    Dogs with different guru treats

    In with the New Dog Toys

    Rotating dog toys after you've cleaned and sorted them can help keep playtime interesting for dogs. You can also change up the size or type of the treats you put in the interactive treat finder to switch the difficulty level, but sometimes you just need to invest in new dog toys to boost your dog's engagement with toys.

    After you've recycled, fixed, and donated any unwanted dog toys, you may be surprised to find there's very little left for your dog to play with—especially if it's been a while since your dog received new toys.

    Here at Chopper & Otis, we have many eco-friendly dog toys to accommodate your dog's playstyle and personality. You can find a few of our bestsellers below:

    Rumpus Chew Toy

    If your dog loves to chew, then you've probably already gone through a fair share of dog toys throughout your dog's life. This chew toy is sure to be a new favorite for your energetic pup. It rocks, it rolls, it bounces, and it's made from high-quality, Zogoflex material to meet the demands of even the most powerful chewers. The best part is that this toy is eligible for West Paw's recyclable program!

    Jigsaw Enrichment Mat

    Does your pup love to lick and indulge in snacks? Consider adding this cute jigsaw licking mat to your dog's toy collection. This non-toxic, entry-level puzzle stimulates dogs, giving pups an engaging, stress-relieving toy that can help with anxiety, improve your dog's breath, and boost digestive health.

    Qwizl Treat Toy

    The Qwizl treat toy is another option for dogs who love snacking (and might eat their snacks a little too fast!) Also made from recyclable Zogoflex material, this mid-level puzzle toy is ideal for dogs who love a challenge and enjoy the feel of a toy they can hold as they gnaw their way through to the yummy prize inside.

    Duraplush Fuzzball

    This adorable plush toy is every snuggle buddy's dream come true! If your dog loves to cuddle up with a favorite lovey, then the Fuzzball will be sure to provide your dog with lots of comforting hugs. Machine-washable, durable, and squeak-free, enjoy watching your dog relax with this low-maintenance and quiet toy.

    Fetching Twig & Stick

    Step up your fetch game by swapping out that dangerous, old stick or human frisbee with a recyclable, FDA-approved stick designed just for dogs. This fetching toy comes in two sizes—twig and stick—and will give you and your dog hours of outdoor fun.

    Until next time--

    Chopper & Otis See you Next Time