How to Create DIY Pet Toys

Your pet will love playing with these homemade gifts.
By: Kimberly Gauthier
Dog playing with homemade rope toy.

We’ve spent a lot of money on pet toys only to have them be ignored after a few days. I’ve often asked myself why I spend the money as I’m browsing the toy aisle at the pet store.

When our family increased from two to four dogs, we became more cautious with our budget, not wanting to waste money on products that wouldn’t last more than a month. I started looking at the items our dogs loved to play with and immediately saw where we could save, recycle products around the house and entertain our dogs. 

Sock Toys

We have an amazing washer and dryer, but socks still go missing from time to time. Instead of throwing the remaining sock away, I check for holes and then re-purpose the sock as a toy.

Sock Dog Toy - I remove the cap from an empty water bottle and simply slip the bottle into a sock and knot the top. This works for socks with or without holes.

If you have a puppy or small dog, you can take an old sock, put a knot at the open end, and it becomes a tug toy. Scout and Zoey still play with their turquoise sock.

Sock Cat Toy - Use a sock that’s a few inches above the ankle or cut a knee sock down. Fill the sock with catnip and knot the end. If you really want to drive your cats crazy, add a few leaves of fresh catnip to the mix.

When the cats lose interest in the sock, simply empty a little bit of catnip out and replace with fresh/new catnip and they’ll love their toy again.

Fabric Rope Toy

The only time my boyfriend will join me at the fabric store (and enjoy himself) is if we’re making toys for the dogs. I purchase 3 yards of flannel (like pajamas) material in various designs and colors.  And the fun begins…

  • Cut the fabric into long 2 inch strips

  • Gather 3 strips together, make sure they’re even with each other on both ends, and then knot them together in the middle

  • Take one end (you can have someone hold it for you or use a heavy object to anchor the fabric) and braid the strips together then knot when you’re a couple inches from the end; repeat on other end

I spent less than $15 at the fabric store (including a pack of fabric scissors) and created 6 tug toys in 2013 that our dogs still play with today.

Image via Shutterstock