If your dog gets through toys at racing speed, you likely wind up spending a small fortune to keep him entertained. Consider, instead, saving your cash and spending a little time creating a few dog toys of your own.
These two toys take only minutes to make and are easy enough for even the least-crafty pet parent to manage. Gather your supplies, sit down with Fido supervising, and get to work.
DIY Rope Toy
This is the perfect toy for dogs who love playing tug-of-war. And if you have a teething puppy or a dog who loves to chew you can soak this toy in water and place in the freezer for a couple of hours for your pup cool down as he chews on it.
“Toys like these are good for dogs that aren’t focused on ripping and possibly ingesting pieces of the toy,” says Dr. Courtney Marsh, founder of BCCB Pet in Richmond, Virginia. “And if pieces start coming off, I would dispose of the toy right away.”
Pets are capable of swallowing things that you would never expect them to, so when it comes to DIY toys, Marsh recommends using materials that will not come apart immediately. “And always supervise playtime with toys whether they are homemade or not,” she adds.
Rope Toy Supplies
- Three or more T-shirts in different colors, textures and/or thickness
Rope Toy Instructions
Cut T-shirts into strips. You need a minimum of nine strips, more if you want the final product to be a thick rope toy.
Tie all the strips together by knotting one end.
Divide the strips into three groups of three strips each (if there are more than nine strips total, divide into three even groups).
Braid the groups together by crossing the right side over the middle part, then the left part over the new middle section. Keep repeating right and left until you get to the end of the strips.
Tie the other end of the toy by knotting the ends of the braided strips.
DIY Crunch Toy
If your dog loves toys that make crinkly, crunchy noises, this simple toy will keep him busy for hours.
A final word about DIY-toy safety: when making dog toys at home, use larger supplies and items and stay away from long pieces of anything that might get stuck in the intestines if swallowed whole. Make sure not to include plastic pieces that could be swallowed and cause an obstruction, says Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian.
Crunch Toy Supplies
- One 20 oz. soda bottle
- One thick, long sock
- Dry kibble
Crunch Toy Instructions
Wash the bottle well and let it air dry. Make sure there’s no moisture left inside the bottle before moving on.
Once the bottle is dry, put some kibble inside of the bottle and put the lid back on tightly. About one tablespoon of food will do – enough to be noisy and provide some tempting smell.
Slide the bottle inside the sock and tie the opening of the sock in a knot to close it up. You can then leave the opening as it or cut it up for a more fun finish.