You consider your dog a member of the family and are happy to provide food, care and supplies for your pooch. In fact, the American Pet Products Association predicts that pet owners in the U.S. will spend more than $69 billion on their canine companions in 2017 alone.
But pet toys can be exceedingly expensive, especially when your four-legged friend can tear through a new one in a matter of minutes.
Still, you don’t want to deprive your pup of entertaining playthings. Instead, save some cash by making economical and easy homemade dog toys your furry buddy will love.
1. Dog Treat Glove
If you have ever had a puppy destroy your favorite shoes, you know that dogs love leather. Give your pet a leather plaything that’s okay to chew up by sticking dog treats into the fingers of an old, clean glove. Leave the end open and let him work on getting to the goodies.
2. PVC Puzzle Feeder
Puzzle toys that dispense food or treats entertain and stimulate dogs, keeping boredom and naughtiness at bay. Make a DIY dog puzzle toy by putting caps on the ends of PVC pipes and drilling small holes where treats can come out.
3. Braided T-Shirt Rope
Gather up those old, worn out tees and turn them into a homemade rope toy. Cut shirts into strips, braid a bunch of them together and tie them off at both ends. Perfect for fetching or a game of tug-of-war.
Here’s an easy-to-follow video from Sophie’s World that shows you how:
4. Monkey’s Fist Knot Surprise
All you need is a length of sturdy rope and some doggie treats to make a toy your pooch will enjoy for hours on end. Tie the rope into a giant monkey fist knot and slip in some goodies just before you tighten it.
5. Snuffle Mat
Some dogs like nothing better than to dig for things that smell interesting to them. Satisfy this urge with a DIY dog toy in the form of a rug. Just tie pieces of cloth all over a rubber mat with holes. Sprinkle some kibble into the snuffle mat and let your dog start digging.
6. Rawhide Alternatives
Rawhide treats are fun, but they pose choking and blockage risks. Instead, dehydrate some apple rings or sweet potato slices and give the goodies to your pup as-is. Alternatively, string several of the treats onto a length of rope and tie at both ends for a tasty chew toy.
7. Toys On Ice
Make your pet’s current toy stash last longer and give him a cooling treat. Place several toys and goodies into a bowl, cover with chicken broth and pop in the freezer. When the concoction is frozen, pop it out and let your dog indulge in some summertime fun.
8. Upcycled Denim Toss And Chew
Don’t toss those old, ragged blue jeans. Instead, chop them up and weave several lengths of denim into a rough and rugged toy. You can toss it, tug it or just let your dog chew on it.
9. Muffin Tin Puzzle
Dogs who tend to trash their homes while their people are away are often bored and lonely. You can help your pooch pass the time and avoid coming home to disasters with an engaging homemade toy such as this. Simply place yummy treats into the cups of a muffin tin and top each one with a ball (tennis balls work well, but any small ball will do). Your dog will have a ball getting to the goods (sorry not sorry).
10. Water Bottle Stuffy
What is it about water bottles that makes them so appealing to pooches? Let your dog safely enjoy the crinkling crunch of plastic bottles by stitching a homemade toy that you can slip them right into. Alternatively, cut a slit in a thrift-store stuffed animal, remove the stuffing and tuck in an empty water bottle.