Natural Fiber Dog Tug Toys
Save Your Hands From Your Puppy’s Sharp Teeth
PUPPIES LIKE TO NIP, GRAB, PULL AND MOUTH ON EVERYTHING, AND THAT INCLUDES YOUR HANDS. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAVE YOUR HANDS FROM THOSE SCRATCHES CAUSED BY YOUR PUPPY’S SHARP TEETH?
There are plenty of dog toys to purchase, and we have accumulated more than our fair share over the years. But we were missing a tug toy that met all of our criteria: long, soft on the mouth, flexible (with some give to it) and strong at the same time. We bought our own fleece and made a few for our dogs. Our dogs loved them. Boarding dogs loved playing with them. Puppies in classes loved them. We decided it was time to share and start offering them for sale.
While we liked the feel of the fleece – and the dogs loved it – we were not happy that fleece is a petroleum-based product. We want to provide the best possible products for our dogs, but for us, that includes considerations to the impact we are making on our environment. Fleece is not the ideal product in that regard.
We considered organic cotton, but in our search for alternative materials, discovered bamboo and hemp, two really amazing plants that produce strong, yet soft and durable products, but with far less environmental impact than fleece and cotton.
Our Power Tugs are 70% bamboo, a great material for the following reasons:
- technically a grass, so it can be cut and regrows on its own, rather than having to be replanted with new seed
- grows quickly;
- uses one third the water of cotton;
- has natural resistance to pest and fungi infestations, so there is no need for pesticides and herbicides, whereas cotton requires significant pesticides and accounts for 25% of the world's pesticide use;
- finished fiber retains some of the plants antibacterial, antifungal and odor resistant properties;
- biodegradable, bamboo can be composted and disposed of in an organic and environmentally friendly manner;
- certified by Oeko-Tex, A Switzerland-based independent testing and certification organization. Our material adheres to Product Class 1, standards, which are the organization's strictest standards that test materials to certify they are safe against the skin of babies and toddlers.
Our Power Tugs are 30% hemp, a great material for the following reasons:
- uses half the water of cotton;
- produces 200% more fiber in the same amount of land as cotton;
- requires no pesticides and actually out-competes weeds for growing;
- grows in a variety of soils and conditions – hemp crops are actually starting to be planted in Colorado for industrial uses;
- offers a perfect combination for dogs – softer, stronger and more durable than cotton;
- biodegradable, hemp can be composted and disposed of in an organic and environmentally friendly manner.
Handmade in Colorado
We source the material from a trusted importer who vets the manufacturers for us in Asia. We make each Power Tug by hand in Colorado.
While a possible drawback is the shipping costs to transport bamboo and hemp textiles from Asia, the reality is that it costs less to ship an item by boat from China to California than it does to put that same item on a truck from Los Angeles to San Francisco. So, considering the environmental and health benefits of using bamboo and hemp over even organic cotton, we think we're still coming out ahead.
We do not dye our Power Tugs. The color is the natural color of the bamboo/hemp weave. Dyeing adds cost to the final product and adds greater environmental impact overall, so as much as we love bright colors, we decided against it. And even using natural dyes still adds additional chemicals to the fabric that dogs would have in their mouths.
Plus, colors don't matter as much to the dogs as they do to us. Dogs are red-green color blind, so they see muted shades of blues and yellows. Most everything else is shades of grey.
Long, Soft and Flexible, Yet Strong
Our Power Tugs are long enough for you to hold in your hand and let dangle to the floor – approximately 45 inches, or almost 4-feet in length. They consist of three 4-5 inch wide strands braided together. These can be used for any dogs who like to play tug or simply chase moving objects. We especially recommend these for puppies who like to nip, play tug, and/or make “puppy attacks” on you! These make a great toy to redirect puppies to bite at toys and not you. The three strands make them soft, yet surprisingly strong. One of our favorite things about them is they are flexible – they have some give to them, which most tug toys do not. We've played tug games with 120 pound dogs and they hold up quite nicely.
Instructions for Use
Power Tugs should be used ONLY to interact and play with you, not left out for dogs to play with unattended, especially for puppies or dogs who like to chew soft materials. Even though they are made of natural materials, they can still be dangerous if ingested. By only bringing them out to interact with you, these toys are extra special to your dog and work great to reward your dogs with some interactive play.
Please note that many people have been misinformed that playing tug creates aggression in dogs or that allowing a dog to “win” at tug makes them think they are the alpha. That is simply not true! Tug can be a great game to learn some important skills if you have the right rules in place. We only play with approved tug toys. Dogs need to Drop immediately when cued. And for our dogs, we have the added rule that you don’t get to grab it again until we say “Get it!” The best tug toys are long durable toys that will not rip easily and that your dog can grab easily without grabbing your hands.
When playing Tug with your dog, you should mainly provide resistance and let your dog do most of the tugging. Never yank in an up and down motion, as this is not a natural way dogs move their heads. When they tug, they shake side to side.
Washing instructions: we use our washing machine on a delicate cycle and then let them air dry in the sun or a dry room. The braids can hold moisture if left to dry in a humid environment, which can lead to mold, so put them in a dry room.