Animal games and fun

Easy DIY Toys for Dogs

By Eva López. Updated: December 14, 2023
Easy DIY Toys for Dogs
Dogs

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The purpose of toys is to entertain and stimulate dogs and allow us to play and interact with them to strengthen our relationship. Some of these toys can be very expensive, but fortunately there are many that we can make at home from old materials. From teething rings to food dispensers to intelligence toys. Each of them has a function beyond just entertainment, such as stimulating the sense of smell, relieving teething pain or stimulating the mind of puppies.

The following AnimalWised article shows you how to make simple homemade toys for dogs from reusable materials.

You may also be interested in: DIY Cat Toys
Contents
  1. DIY kong for dogs from plastic bottles
  2. DIY kong for dogs from empty cardboard rolls
  3. DIY teether for dogs from t-shirts
  4. DIY teether for dogs from sock
  5. DIY treat dispenser for dogs from cans or plastic bottles
  6. DIY snuffle mat for dogs
  7. DIY pyramid with treats for dogs

DIY kong for dogs from plastic bottles

KONG is a brand known for its rubber dog toys that have a cavity where owners can put all kinds of treats. Fortunately, you can make your own KONG toy at home using a plastic bottle. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best anti-stress toys for dogs, because it allows them to occupy themselves with getting the food out for a while and focus on nothing else but this task. For this reason, it is also ideal for dogs with separation anxiety.

Supplies:

  • Clean plastic bottle
  • Cutter or similar tool
  • Ribbons (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Open the plastic bottle, but keep the tab.
  2. Pierce holes into the bottle, you can make as many as you want.
  3. Make sure there are no pieces of plastic inside.
  4. Use the ribbons to decorate (optional).

Do not miss this video where we explain in more detail how to make this toy.

DIY kong for dogs from empty cardboard rolls

If you do not have plastic bottles, do not worry! You can use cardboard toilet paper rolls to make a smaller food dispenser toy. The cardboard version is ideal for puppies, small dogs, and toy dogs. However, it is not recommended for larger dogs or dogs that are rough when playing, as they will likely break them or, in the worst case scenario, eat them.

Below, we show you two simple ways to make a Kong out of empty cardboard rolls.

Cardboard ball

This toy is super easy to make because you need a toilet paper roll to form a ball.

  • Cut the roll into strips. You should end up with six or seven "hoops" of about 1in wide.

  • Take one hoop and push it into one of the other hoops. Do this with 3 or 4 hoops until you have the basic shape of a ball.

  • Add a treat or pellets to the inside of the ball. Complete the shape of the ball by adding the remaining hoops and give it to your pet.

Kong type tube

This time, in addition to the cardboard roll, you will also need a cutter to make holes. If you do not have one, you can also use a knife or scissors, but be very careful. These are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Offering your pet several holes to eat will stimulate him and make feeding time more interesting, so there will be no boredom. All you need is a paper towel roll and scissors or another sharp tool.

  2. Cut out diamonds with the scissors by cutting out a triangle. Each cut should be about half an inch long. To do this, you will need to flatten the pipe slightly. Continue in an alternating pattern along the length of the pipe.

  3. Then close the roll on one side by folding the ends down as you see in the picture.

  4. Insert the treats and close the other side.

They are both considered intelligence toys, since they stimulate dogs' minds by motivating them to search for food. However, we must be careful that our dog does not eat the box.

You may also be interested in this other article, where we talk about dog toys that are not recommended for dogs.

Easy DIY Toys for Dogs - DIY kong for dogs from empty cardboard rolls

DIY teether for dogs from t-shirts

Are you familiar with biters? You can make them at home from old t-shirts! Instead of throwing them away, give them a second life by making this simple homemade toy for your dog. It is also a highly recommended toy for puppies, for very active or hyperactive adult dogs. It allows them to bite, throw and shoot to their heart's content. If your dog is very anxious and even hyperactive, do not miss this other article where we talk about hyperactivity in dogs.

Besides, this teething ring is also ideal to play with your dog, because you can throw it to him to look for it and bring it back to you.

Supplies:

  • One or more cotton t-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers

Instructions:

  1. We start by cutting the t-shirts into vertical strips. You can use the tweezers to stretch the t-shirts from one end to make them easier to cut. They do not have to be too thick.

  2. With the tweezers, we hold three strips of fabric and begin to braid a braid. It's very easy to braid a pigtail. Just bring the ends alternately left and right in the middle.

  3. Once we have three braids of the same size, we hook them together with a tweezer and braid the braids into one big braid.

  4. Then, we repeat the process two more times until we have three braids that we braid again to make a new, very thick braid.

  5. Finally, we need to knot the braid well on both sides and cut the remaining fabric.
Easy DIY Toys for Dogs - DIY teether for dogs from t-shirts

DIY teether for dogs from sock

If you do not have any old t-shirts, you can make dog toys out of socks. You can use any kind of old socks that you no longer need. However, it is better to avoid those made of wool, as your dog might tear them more easily and swallow the fabric.

This toy is ideal for puppies or dogs that are not very destructive. Since it is a fabric toy, it is more likely that a very destructive dog will break it. In any case, we also give you some tricks to strengthen the toy. Follow these steps:

Supplies:

  • 2 socks
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers

Instructions:

  1. Take one sock and cut off the closed end, creating two openings.
  2. Fold the other sock into a ball and tuck it into the previous sock so that it is in the middle.
  3. Tie a knot at each end so that the ball is tight and secure in the center.

If your dog is not very destructive, you can leave the ends as they are, or you can reinforce them as follows:

  1. Cut the ends into three or six strips.
  2. Form one or two tight braids from the cut strips and knot the end again. This way, it will be harder for your dog to break off the ends of the toy.

It is even easier to make a toy for your dog if it is a puppy or an adult that normally plays quite delicately:

  1. Take a sock and tie different knots, trying to keep them as tight as possible.
  2. Cut the strips into different lengths if your dog enjoys playing with strips without tearing them.

When a dog becomes destructive, it's an obvious problem for the household. Whether they destroy toys, sofa cushions, or other household items, the result can be that stuffing or other parts of the item are scattered around the home. Continue reading this other article on why my dog destroys his toys.

Easy DIY Toys for Dogs -  DIY teether for dogs from sock

DIY treat dispenser for dogs from cans or plastic bottles

Playing with this toy will give your puppy a lot of fun while earning treats. The toy consists of a container for treats, held by a wooden stick that your dog can use to turn the container so that the treats fall. Depending on the size of your dog, you will need to adjust the size of the toy. For example, for small or medium-sized dogs, a 33 ml can, or a small bottle is more than enough, but for large dogs you will need to use much larger containers. The same goes for the wooden sticks you use to build the structure.

Supplies:

  • Empty cans and plastic bottles
  • Wooden or plastic sticks
  • several sheets of cardboard
  • Wooden base
  • Silicone or pet-friendly glue
  • Cutter or scissors

Instructions:

  1. First, you will need to create the structure that will hold the food dispenser. To do this, if your dog is small or medium-sized, you can glue different sheets of cardboard on top of each other. After gluing them, you can mask them with masking tape to secure the base. If your dog is large or very strong, we recommend that you choose a base made of wood or a more resistant material than cardboard. The size of the base will depend on the number of bins you want to add.

  2. If you use a cardboard base, you can use two wooden sticks or even pencils. In either case, you will need to nail them to the cardboard at both ends and secure them with silicone or glue. If you used wood, take sturdy wooden sticks and use silicone or an adhesive strong enough to prevent them from coming off easily. Now you should have a base with vertical sticks.

  3. Take the container you want to use and drill two vertical holes to pass the rod that will hold it to the previous structure. Insert the rod and check if the container can be turned without problems. If not, enlarge the holes.

  4. Attach the rod with the container to the ends of the frame. You can use silicone or glue again. You can also attach it with masking tape.

  5. Let it dry completely before letting your dog play with their new toy.

If you are handy, you can attach the structure of the toy with screws, so it will be much safer.

Your dog may not understand the game at first. So, you will have to teach them that the treats will fall out when they turn the container with their paw or nose.

DIY snuffle mat for dogs

Dogs love snuffle mats because they stimulate their sense of smell as well as their brains. These mats are generally quite expensive, because they are made of different parts inside the carpet, each with its own texture and shape that alters the difficulty of the game. Therefore, we recommend you to make your own mat to achieve a similar result, and at a much lower price!

Supplies:

  • A fluffy blanket or a sweater
  • Scissors
  • A rubber shower mat or an outdoor rubber mat with holes

Instructions:

  1. Cut the fleece into long strips, about 2 inches wide.

  2. Tie the strips through each hole in the garden mat. Keep in mind that the longer the strips, the longer it will take your dog to find the treats.

  3. Keep going to fill all the holes.

  4. When the strands are finished, bury small treats in the strands and then watch your dog have fun getting them all out.
Easy DIY Toys for Dogs - DIY snuffle mat for dogs

DIY pyramid with treats for dogs

Often the simplest toys are the ones our dogs enjoy the most. Since we won't hide treats in all the tubes, the dog will feel the need to "hunt" for them, stimulating their sense of smell and intelligence.

Supplies:

  • 15 empty cardboard tubes.
  • Pet friendly glue.

Instructions:

  1. Cut the tubes in half, so your dog can stick their nose, paws, or tongue in them.

  2. Glue the tubes to the bottom of the box in the shape of a pyramid. Use a pet-friendly glue in case your dog breaks the toy. You can also fill the entire bottom with the tubes without giving it a pyramid shape, and you can even let your imagination run wild and give it the shape you want.

  3. Let the pyramid dry completely and throw random treats into some tubes.

Even a dog needs physical activity when we are stuck inside to stay healthy and happy. Continue reading in this other article about games for dogs at home, in which we present 6 games you can play with your dog indoors that are a great way to keep him happy.

Easy DIY Toys for Dogs - DIY pyramid with treats for dogs

If you want to read similar articles to Easy DIY Toys for Dogs, we recommend you visit our Animal games and fun category.

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Easy DIY Toys for Dogs