Having at least a few toys around the house is good for dogs. Toys can provide mental stimulation, a physical workout, an outlet for chewing instincts, and an activity that you and your dog can do together.
But dog toys can quickly get pricey, especially if you have an extreme chewer that likes to rip his toys to shreds. Fortunately, you can make many of the same types of toys they have in pet stores with items you have around your house. This offers an inexpensive alternative as well as a way to customize your dog’s toys.
Simple Toys to Make for Your Dog
When choosing what new toys to try, it is always a good idea to copy some of your dog's existing favorites, as well as introduce new types of toys. This is particularly affordable with DIY dog toys since there is less risk if your pet ends up not liking a new toy. Some of the favorite options that are easy to make at home include:
- Plastic Bottle Crunch Toy - Take the lid off an empty plastic water bottle and place the bottle in an old t-shirt or sock before you give it to your dog. The bottle will make a satisfying crunch when your dog bites down on it.
- Tennis Ball Treat Holder - Combine your dog’s love of tennis balls and food with this toy. Using a knife, cut a small slit into a Tennis ball and add in some treats. Your dog will get to toss around the tennis ball to get the treats out.
- Tug of War Rope - This toy requires two t-shirts. Cut your shirts into 2 inch wide strips from neck to hem. Gather up all the strips and tie them together at one end. Separate the strips into three groups and braid each third together. Tie them off at the other end and you have a tug of war toy.
- Plastic Container Puzzle Toy - If you have small plastic tubs, such as plastic planters from the nursery or plastic food containers, wash them thoroughly. Then turn several upside down on the ground and place treats under a few of them. Let your dog use his nose and paws to search out the treats.
- Denim Chew Toys - Instead of getting rid of your old jeans, cut off the legs and tie a knot in the center of each leg. This will give your dog a durable toy at no cost to you.
When using household items for dog toys, make sure that everything is clean and avoid small pieces that could be a choking hazard. You should also supervise your dog while he plays and take away any toys that have become damaged.