Homemade Dog Toys
July 22, 2022 | 3 min read
Updated July 22, 2022
By Sarah Milton
Published: July 22, 2022
Updated: May 12, 2023
Dogs can experience loneliness and boredom just like we can. Unfortunately, many pet parents don’t realize that their fur babies need mental stimulation as well as physical stimulation to help keep their minds and bodies agile and happy. That’s because dogs are incredibly smart!
However, sometimes even throwing their toys up and down the living room may get a bit repetitive for both us and our doggos. Also, dog toys can be expensive!
So, what DIY dog enrichment toys are out there to try? Homemade dog toys and games can be a great way of keeping your dog mentally stimulated and contribute to their overall wellbeing and provide you with some different entertainment too! The following DIY dog toy ideas are perfect for days you’re stuck working from home, when the weather is too adverse or you just fancy spending some quality time with your pooch…
Homemade Toys For Dogs
Knotted Old Clothes Toy
Got an old t-shirt, tea towel or pair of jeans lying around? Perfect! Instead of throwing the item away to rot in landfill, why not run it through the washing machine, allow it to dry and then tear/cut the fabric into strips? Then, simply tie one end of the strips together (3 or 6 strips is perfect!), and simply plait the fabric and tie it at the other end. Et voila - you have a new DIY dog enrichment toy!
A toy like this is also easily machine washable again - so, you can keep it fresh and clean for your pooch!
PetLab Co. Pro Tip: Got an old sock with holes in? After it’s been through the wash and dried, simply tie it in a knot and throw it over to your pet to play with!
Muffin Tin Dog Puzzle Toy
Reach for your muffin tin and a collection of tennis balls - it’s time for you and Fido to play the Muffin Tin Game - a brilliant homemade dog toy! Grab some of their favorite treats, kibble and/or some chopped up carrots or green beans. Put your chosen treats in every muffin hole and cover each one with a tennis ball.
Your dog will be able to smell the treats, and will have to work out how to get the balls off the tin to get to the treats. If they start to get good at this game, only put treats in some of the holes, not all of them!
Sock It Up
Using either a plastic bottle or a ball, get a thick sock and put the item in it (make sure you remove the label from the plastic bottle if you use one first). Then, tie the open end of the sock as tightly as you can around it. Offer this DIY dog enrichment toy to them, and let them play with it under your supervision.
As your pup chews on the bottle, it will make crunchy noises which can be very stimulating. If the bottle disintegrates during/after play, simply dispose of the toy and make another when you next have a sock that’s ready to be up-cycled!
Food Tube Puzzle
For this DIY dog toy, you’ll need some inner toilet roll tubes, an empty shoebox and treats. Simply place your toilet roll tubes lengthways in the shoebox, closely packed together. Then, scatter a mixture of your dog’s kibble and their favorite treats in the tubes! Offer the box to your dog while supervised, and watch them work out how to get the treats out…
Enjoy playing with your pooch!
Author Madson, Cathy CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA “Dog Enrichment: Toys, Games, and DIY Ideas” Preventive Vet, Apr 21. 2020 https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/dog-enrichment-toys-games-and-more
“DIY Boredom Busters For Dogs” Pure Pet Food https://www.purepetfood.com/blog/diy-boredom-busters-for-dogs
Author Gibeault, Stephanie MSc CPDT “DIY Cognitive Dog Toys for When You Are Stuck at Home” American Kennel Club, Feb 14. 2020 https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/do-it-yourself-cognitive-dog-toys-for-home/
Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!