Homemade Dog Toys

Dog toys can come in all shapes and sizes. Good dog toys don't have to come for the pet store; you can make great toys for your best friend at home. This is a guide about making homemade dog toys.

December 8, 2010 Flag
Kelly Ann Butterbaugh11 found this helpful

As I watched our puppy rip apart yet another toy, it occurred to me that I might as well hand her the ten dollar bill to chew. I'm wasting my money buying pet toys at the store time and time again. Instead, there are cheaper homemade toys that are just as fun for the pup and much easier on my wallet.

Sock Toys

Old socks make great dog toys. Watch out that your pup doesn't think every sock is a toy, but it's easier to put socks away than to buy dozens of expensive chew toys. Be creative and make some great toys with your old tube socks. Just remember to take any small pieces so the dog doesn't eat the sock.

Stuff multiple socks inside one main sock. Tie the end and hand it off. Your dog has a great new chew toy without the stuffing that becomes such a problem. She can peel the layers off like an onion or chew all day. If you have a young pup, make the sock toy before washing the sock. We might not like the smell, but your puppy will appreciate your scent when you're away from home.

Double layer socks by stuffing one inside another. Then, fill the inside sock with sawdust. It's a different type of chew toy for a less aggressive chewer. If sawdust isn't available, use small animal bedding or a similar product.

The tug rope is the greatest toy to have when playing with a dog. Instead of purchasing a knotted rope at the pet store, make your own with old socks or t-shirts. Hold two socks together and knot them with other socks to create length. Make the knots tight so they don't give way while playing.

Water Bottles

Recycle in a whole new way with bottled water. After visiting the pet store for one more dog toy, I found an expensive but innovative toy. It was a stuffed raccoon, but instead of stuffing inside there was an empty water bottle. It made a pleasing crunching sound, and when the bottle was crushed a Velcro opening allowed it to be replaced. This gave me an idea, and I started to raid the recycling bin.

Combine the sock and the water bottle to recreate this toy. Place an empty plastic water bottle inside an old sock. Knot the sock and watch the fun.

Poke holes in the water bottle and remove the cap. Then, fill it with small or crushed dog treats. It works like the well-known Kong, allowing the dog to pester the bottle until small pieces of treats come out of the opening. If she destroys the bottle and gets the snacks, take the plastic before she can eat it and use a new bottle tomorrow.


On hot days fill the water bottle half way with water and lay it on its side in the freezer. Your dog has a solid chewing toy that will cool him in the hot weather, but it isn't too hard for his teeth.

Our pup invented the water bottle toy on her own. I left an empty bottle on the floor only to find her running through the house in absolute joy at her newly found toy. I did nothing to it, and it was just as pleasing to her.

Sew Your Own

Know that certain craft stores sell the squeaky inserts for toys as well as sound chips that will be activated when squeezed. Inserting these deep inside the sock toys or generic stuffed toys found at yard sales will make a perfect toy.

To create the stuffing free toy that so many stores sell, buy some heavy fabric and get out your sewing machine. Cut out a basic shape - dogs don't care. Layer six or seven layers of the fabric on top of each other, sewing each layer to the one below it.

Remember, it's okay for your furry friend to destroy his toys now. It only takes five minutes to make new ones.

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March 20, 20140 found this helpful

What brilliant ideas for our four legged friends - especially the plastic bottle in a sock idea. I can't wait to try this with my dog. She already loves to play with empty soda bottles and is always pinching them out of the recycle bin! Thanks for all the ideas.

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November 11, 20140 found this helpful

My pit-boxer loves a large "Monkey Fist" ball. You can make them yourself from plain old cotton clothes line--or any other rope you have (don't use sisal rope because it frays apart). These can last for months if they are made tight enough! There are instructions on the internet for making the "Monkey Fist"

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January 5, 2009 Flag

I started making these for the local humane society to sell at fundraisers as well as at the local vet clinics. The vets found this to be a perfect toy. It is stitched, so it is safe. My own dog steals them from the sewing machine.

Approximate Time: At first I would suggest 30 to 45 minutes, I made a lot at one time.



  1. Take 1 large adult t-shirt, the more colors the better, but no grease or paint stains. Cut off at the armpits, use the bottom of the shirt. Without cutting the seams, cut 9 strips across.
  2. Snip the seam now. If you do a couple of these at the same time, you can mix and match the colors.
  3. Take 3 strips of choice by color, pin at the top so that you have 3 sets of these, run a double stitch across the end.
  4. Tie a tight knot at the top, then start braiding it to the end.
  5. Double stitch the end on all sets.
  6. Take the 3 braided sets and find center of all, stitch them, then start to braid together.
  7. Knot the ends again, and then knot in the center. It is bulky, but this is what the dog wants. With the human scent all over it, the dog will find it is favorite family toy.

I sell these for $4.00

By Joyce from Benson, MN

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March 3, 20130 found this helpful

I can really understand. Triple the money spending! My Mother, Brother and I spend so much money buying dog toys, not only toys, treats or dog food. I bought $2 bag of peanut butter popcorn made for dogs and they didn't like it. I bought certain dog bones and they didn't like it. Bought a huge bone, was like the size of a cow thigh bone, and they were $10 each. There went my $20.

Found the bones in the yard all muddy, and covered with whatever else... (Uknow! lol. )

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November 18, 20160 found this helpful

Old denim jeans work really well for making dog toys!

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December 21, 2010 Flag
12 found this helpful

Many of my friends and family own dogs, so when I decided last year I wanted to give all my canine 'friends' presents, I needed to find something fairly inexpensive to make. I bought a few packages of fleece remnants from the fabric store, (75% off original prices) and cut them into strips. I then braided them and knotted them and I had dog toys! I made different sized ones depending on how big the dogs were and knotted some in the middle.

The fleece is pretty indestructible and if you can find remnants of the expensive fleece it doesn't shred or pill. Completely washable, and great for friends with more than one dog, the best tug of war toy ever! I was amazed by how happy all my puppy pals were, and so was I, every dog got one, and all their humans said they loved them.

By Kathy from Seattle, WA

Braided Fleece Dog Toy

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Great idea! I remember making a fleece teddy bear for a Labrador of mine as a puppy, who has since passed away. That teddy was also indestructible, and Ebony just loved it. It was super easy to wash in the machine to get off the dog slobber and it is still in use today with our other 4 dogs and Ebony has been gone for 5 years now. Again, great idea.

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December 23, 20100 found this helpful

I love this idea because it is so simple and doesn't require sewing! Thanks so much for sharing it!

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June 1, 2009 Flag
15 found this helpful

When making noise-making pet toys, such as the ones using empty water bottles, potato chip canisters, or pill bottles, use dry food or treats instead of the suggested marbles, bells, etc. If the pet gets the container open, there will be no risk of swallowing something harmful.

By jf63 from IL

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June 3, 20130 found this helpful

I second that, Brilliant idea! Peanut butter jars, not washed out, and given to the dog make great "Kongs" as they lick out the peanut butter.

I wouldn't let them keep after it for more than an hour. I always watch them when they have any kind of toy if they are heavy chewers.

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June 16, 20130 found this helpful

I believe you might want to rethink what you are planning to make these toys out of. Many of these items if chewed or swallowed could be a health hazard to a dog. For example a plastic water bottle or definitely a plastic pill bottle. Chewed just right, the pieces could potentially end up sharp and could cut the dog's insides. Some dogs would chew and spit, but some would ingest the pieces...I don't think I want my dog's stomach full of plastic. Is it worth it to save a dollar or two?

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September 13, 2010 Flag

Puppies are the best! That is, until you're trying to do your house work and your puppy is constantly underfoot. I have a tip that I use once in a while to gain me some peace. I take once slice of lunch meat, roll it up and stuff it into an empty water bottle with the cap off. Then I lure our puppy to a quiet corner of the house away from where I am working and let her try to get it out.

The chewing feels good on her baby teeth, which aren't big or strong enough yet to tear through the bottle. She ends of throwing it around and getting bits of meat out while I get things accomplished. It's a win-win situation!

By Brianna from Dutch Harbor, AK

Puppy laying on towel.

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April 18, 20110 found this helpful

Looks like you have a great dane pup! We just got ours 3 days ago and he's underfoot too! I love this idea!


Zeus's Mommy !

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April 15, 20160 found this helpful

My puppy is already too big to do this with, she crushes water bottles and then starts ripping them apart (at which point I worry that she'll accidentally eat the plastic).

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April 22, 2005 Flag
4 found this helpful

My dog loves to chew on empty 20-ounce pop bottles, so I made an inexpensive variation of that. Take a 20-ounce pop bottle, drop a couple of dried beans inside, and put the cap on tightly.

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October 8, 2010 Flag

Now that our puppy is older and much bigger, I've been forced to come up with a new way to keep her entertained and out of my hair when I am cooking dinner.

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September 10, 2008 Flag
5 found this helpful

Check out the remnant rack at your local fabric store. Find fleece, any kind, and cut it in 2 inch wide by 24 or 36 inch long strips. Place 3 together tie the ends together knotting it twice and start braiding to the end. Tie the other end.

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February 11, 2012 Flag
2 found this helpful

My dog loves a light stuffed toy hanging from a doorway on a length of elastic at a length that requires her to leap at to snatch at and grab. Then the toy is snapped away by the elastic when she lets go! She loves it, and so do I. It gives her exercise and we never get bored.

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August 30, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

Give your furry friends a Christmas present by sewing these cute animals. The patterns are very simple and inexpensive to make. This is also a great way to use up those scraps!

Homemade Pet Toys

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July 28, 2015 Flag

Use your old socks to make dog toys. Buy some squeakers, you can buy them in bulk online. I found them on Amazon. Roll one in some socks to make a small ball. Stuff that in a long one and tie one or two knots in it. It lasts longer than all those toys. Squeakers are optional, but the dogs like the hanging parts that flip around.

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February 13, 2009 Flag

I would like to make my dog's toys but I need the round squeaker that goes inside them. Does anyone know where I can get these?

DDJT from IL

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February 13, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

PetSmart has them in 2 sizes. I just bought a package of the small [6 in pack] and medium/large [4 in a pack]. Each pack was $1.99. A tip: Use lots of batting, as my pups really chomp on the toy [usually where the squeaker is] and the top pops out. With a bit of patience, it can be put back in.

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February 15, 20090 found this helpful

I've seen them at craft stores like Michaels or someplace like that.

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March 12, 2012 Flag

I put small bits of food in a Parmesan cheese container for our dog. Older dogs are unable to chew it up, but can get hours of enjoyment trying to get the treat out.

Parmesan Cheese Container

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March 29, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I'm looking for an inexpensive way to make toys for a lot of hounds (hunting dogs). Any ideas? Thanks.

By RinRin from Gloucester, VA

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March 31, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I put a tennis ball into the toe of an old sock and my puppy went wild for it. As he got older I used two socks for added strength. He's nearly two years now and gets excited when a new one surfaces! Tennis balls can be bought cheaply at sporting good stores, but you can easily pick some up at your local college or high school. Tennis players will leave balls that aren't responsive anymore and your dog doesn't care.

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April 15, 20160 found this helpful

For toys - you can get a kitchen roll core (the cardboard bit) put treats / kibble in the middle, stuff a ball of screwed up card / paper into each end, another layer of treats / kibble after each ball of paper, etc until the roll is full. They will tear the roll apart to get to the treats but it's great fun for them and it lets them be destructive in a way that protects your belongings and furniture.

I've also seen a DIY puzzle toy: Get an open-topped box (could be cardboard or plastic, whatever you have) fill it with plastic cups some right way up, most upside down, place treats / kibble under cups and into cups, let dog investigate and figure out how to get the treats.

A game that hounds in particular really love is sniffing out treats. Put them all in one room (or kennel, or just keep them away from the hunting ground for a while). Then hide a bunch of treats of different types (some kibble, some cubes of cheese, some cubes of bacon / ham or anything else you have that's safe for them to eat) all over the place. If you're playing this outside you can dig some into the soil, hide a few under leaf piles, put some around the base of a tree, put some in a hollow log etc. If you're doing this inside, scatter a few around the floor, hide small piles under furniture, in corners of the room, under their own bedding / blankets, under a rug etc. You can even bring cardboard boxes and put treats under those too. Hide the smelliest treats in the best hiding places, and put the less valuable treats (e.g. kibble) in open view. Then let them go to investigate and find the treats and tell them a command as you let them go (e.g. "Find" or "search").

Have fun :)

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March 5, 2001 Flag
0 found this helpful

Do you have any frugal chew toy ideas for dogs that are safe?

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September 11, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

Put a dog treat under a jar lid and put it on the floor with the dog watching. It works a treat, just keep something handy for rescuing the lid from under the freezer, etc.

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