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Homemade Dog Toys

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Dog Pulling on Rope and Tennis Ball Toy

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.


Solutions: Homemade Dog Toys

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Use Pet Food in Homemade Pet Toys

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

Article: Homemade Dog Toys

dog with rope toyAs 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.

By Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Tip: Rag Knots Chewing Toy

Dog chew toy.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.


  • 3 adult large washed T-shirts
  • sewing machine
  • scissors


  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

Tip: Bacon Grease in Can for Dog

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.

Note: This ONLY works with that special "Safe-Edge" type of can opener, where it leaves the edges crimped and not sharp!

If you have one, use on your canned vegetables for the week, keeping the tin cans. I pour bacon grease in the bottom of one of the cans, and let her try to lick it out. You'd be amazed how many hours this simple and safe trick can buy you!

Like I said, though, NEVER USE on a sharp-edged can as it will hurt your pet.

By AlaskanAurora from Dutch Harbor, AK

Tip: Braided Fabric Dog Toys

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. Fleece will not shred and your dog will have tons of fun. This is an excellent item for kids to make and give to local pet shelters. Have them make some for pets of family and friends.

By Doreen from Bartow, FL

Tip: Sock Bottle Dog Toy

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. Slip the bottle inside an old tube sock and tie a knot in the top of the sock. My dog loves to chew on these and toss them around.

By truerblue

Tip: Make Dog Toys from Mystery Socks

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.

    By marion jaworski [2]

    Tip: Parmesan Cheese Container Dog Toy

    Parmesan Cheese ContainerI 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.

    Approximate Time: 2 minutes


    • Parmesan cheese container
    • dog food or treats


    Once the plastic container is cleaned and dry, I put treats or dog food in it then close it. I then give it to my dog who is very old, but loves to work for her food. She is unable to chew up the container, but gets hours of fun out of it with a treat in the end.

    By Regenia from Richmond, TX

    Tip: Attach Dog Toy to Doorway

    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.

    By virginnyb65 from Charles City, IA

    Pet Pals

    Homemade Pet ToysGive 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! The kitty holds a catnip mouse that you just slip under his paws. I found catnip in the pet section at Dollar Tree. The dog carries a felt tote that holds a bone. Make this one using durable material and your pet will be entertained with a new toy also.

    Approximate Time: 1-2 hrs.


    • scraps of material
    • felt
    • catnip
    • stuffing
    • ribbon and yarn
    • infant sock
    • photo of pet, optional


    I made the tail for my cat by braiding yarn and used a few extra pieces for the hair tuft at top.

      Cat Template

    1. Cut out the two body pieces and arms using the pattern.

    2. Sew on all facial features to one body piece.

    3. Sew arms together, leaving ends open. Stuff lightly.

    4. Sew body pieces together, inserting top hair and arms as you go.

    5. Make a long tail by braiding yarn or string together and insert into body at one of the bottom side seams.

    6. Tie a ribbon around the neck. Bring arms together to the front and tack paws together with a few stitches.

    The mouse only requires about a teaspoon of catnip so one package will make many. You can also add some to the cat, if desired.

    1. Cut across sock about an inch above the heel. Stuff the toe area firmly. Put a teaspoon of catnip in the sock and continue stuffing until full.

    2. Make a running stitch around opening. Insert long tail and pull opening closed. Stitch closed.

    3. Sew beads or felt circles on for eyes pulling to slightly indent them.

    4. Use thread and knot for whiskers.

    5. Place mouse in arms of cat.

    I made my dog from a heavy placemat purchased at a dollar store. You can get two dogs from one placemat.

      Dog Template

    1. Cut out all pattern pieces. Sew body together, leaving a small opening for stuffing. Stuff firmly and sew opening closed.

    2. Sew facial features on one face piece.

    3. Sew ears together. Pin ears to head and sew head parts together, leaving a small opening at neck. Ears are not stuffed.

    4. Stuff head lightly and sew opening closed. Place head on body and stitch in back of head to secure to body.

    5. Sew paws, leaving end open. Stuff lightly and turn raw edge in.

    6. Sew to body. Do the same for tail.

    7. Sew on felt heart to tummy, if desired.


    1. Cut two- 2 1/4" squares from felt. Cut one frame from felt slightly smaller. Cut out center of this square for opening in frame.

    2. Print photo of pet to fit this opening. Glue to frame, then attach by sewing frame to one square.

    3. Sew squares together, leaving top open.

    4. Cut small strip from felt for handle. Sew ends to each side of tote.

    5. Place bone in tote and hang from dog's arm.

    By Mary from Palm Coast, FL

    Tip: Dog Toy IQ Challenge

    This cheap dog toy also provides an IQ challenge. Put a piece of dog biscuit or a treat in a Propel water bottle (with no cap and the plastic retainer ring removed). Let the dog figure out how to get the snack out. I got the Propel idea from one of the posters and some free bottles from someone who likes to drink it. Use the Propel bottles because they are quite sturdy.

    By Holly from Richardson, TX

    Tip: Hide Dog Treat Under Jar Lid

    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. Poppy is busy knocking one around on the kitchen floor right now.

      By winterz [1]

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      Here are questions related to Homemade Dog Toys.

      Question: Squeakers for Dog Toys

      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


      Best Answer

      By Joan [13]02/13/2009

      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.

      Check You Local Pet Store

      Question: Thrifty Homemade Dog Toys

      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


      Best Answer

      By Tahloolabelle [36]03/31/2010

      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.

      Question: Frugal Dog Toys?

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

      Most Recent Answer

      By Janet [7]07/04/2008

      My dog, Jake loves me to put a raw carrot into an old sock and tie off the top. They last him a few days. You can throw them for the dog to fetch, too.


      Below are photos related to this guide.

      Make a Fleece Tug-of-War Dog Toy

      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

      Puppy Chew Toy

      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.


      Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

      Archive: Homemade Dog Toys

      Tips and ideas for making your own dog toys. Post your ideas.

      Homemade Doggy Toy

      Take old beat up towels, cut them into thin strips. Braid the strips together into one long rope. Tie a knot on each end. Now you have a homemade Doggy toy! By RRementer2003 (03/11/2005)

      By ThriftyFun

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      We use old socks as dog toys. Tie one or two knots in it to use as tug-of-war toy. Works great! (03/11/2005)

      By ladybear

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      I have spent lots of money on toys for my pup, and the ones that make him the happiest are the ones that don't cost a dime. Put peanut butter in a cloth, wrap it, tie the ends, wet it and freeze it. Its great for teething. Secondly I put out a margarine container for water and found him tossing it and having a great time (just watch out for it breaking). Then we thought he'd love a Frisbee, so I tried the margarine lid as a Frisbee. It works and he loves it. Good thing I spent $11 on a Nylabone he doesn't touch! (04/19/2005)

      By angie79

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Take an old cotton rope, tie a couple of knots in it so it is about a foot long. Soak the rope in a chicken/beef broth for a while and then let it dry. The dog loves it and it is cheap. (06/28/2005)

      By matt

      Homemade Dog Toys

      If your dog loves tennis balls, grab one and soak it in chicken/beef stock they just love it! (07/29/2005)

      By sabrina_leegue

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      You can give your dog or puppy an old stuffed animal that someone doesn't want or like anymore. Just be careful that it doesn't have any glass beads as eyes or a nose. (08/09/2005)

      By Aspen Corren

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      We put about a cup of rice in an empty pop bottle! The noise it makes keeps the dogs occupied and it's hard for them to grab (2 liter pop bottles work best for larger dogs). (12/10/2005)

      By Abby

      Doggy toys - homemade

      If you take a hand towel, knot one end (easier done when dry- knotting is optional), wet it really well, twist the towel gently without letting much water squeeze out, leave it twisted and place in freezer. Leave in freezer for half a day to a full day and let dog play with outside. Its great for the teeth, its healthy (as its just water), plus its refreshing for the dog in the summer because it nice and cool. The knotted end is great to hold when you throw it. (02/26/2006)

      By GuineaPigLover

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Cut off the leg of an old pair of jeans. Tie in a knot and it makes a great tug toy. My dogs love to play tug with this together. Careful not to let them chew it up and swallow pieces. (03/21/2006)

      By mtnrin

      My 5yr. old dog luvs it!!!!

      All we do is get a bottle of water or just get an empty bottle (plastic) then squeeze it so it makes that crackly sound. Then throw it up in the air a lot so that your dog sees it and just keep squeezing it. Your dog will love it! (06/04/2006)

      By Hattie

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      My dog loves to lounge on the couch and just sit there and chew the couch to pieces. So if your dogs likes to chew furniture find an old pillow with no zipper, or if your dog chews wood find an old piece of wood that doesn't splinter and if you want even soak it in beef broth for awhile. (08/08/2006)

      By Nevaeh

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Use an empty plastic bottle to make a Kong toy. Put dry food inside a hard plastic bottle, and cut a small hole in the end of it. As the dog pushes and shakes the bottle little bits of food come out! My Labradors love these and I leave them one each every day to play with. (09/10/2006)

      By Joanne

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Take an old shirt, cut into 3 strips, and tie them together at one end. Then braid the three strips and tie the other end. You can spread peanut butter, soak it in broth, wet dog food or anything your dog likes or you can leave it plain. (02/04/2007)

      By jackie

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      I love the sock idea as it works brilliantly also if you take a tennis ball and drill a hole through it, thread some rope through the ball and knot the rope so that the ball can't come off. Your dogs will love this tug rope and tennis ball. (02/18/2007)

      By ludo...<3

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      I have a small Dog but even he can play with this toy. Take a plastic cup (The party kind or the kid kind for bigger dogs) and put a spoonful of peanut butter and a little bit of yogurt inside. Give it to your dog and they try to lick the cup clean. (06/29/2007)

      By Emily

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      This is a great one! Put some dog treats/food in the end of and old sock and watch your dog try to get it out! (08/10/2007)

      By dougalgirl

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      My Siberian husky loves to play with empty Gatorade bottles. (09/08/2007)

      By Siberian husky luvr

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Get A empty water bottle and fill it with dog treats and when your dogs roll it food comes out! (09/22/2007)

      By Christy

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Take 1 tennis ball and poke a hole in it fill it with dry food and your dog will roll it around for hours! P.S. If you want you can soak it in chicken/beef broth for 1 day and your dog will love it more!!! (12/18/2007)

      By Lily

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Gunner loves his 3' of cheap bright green hose! The house water hose is black and he hasn't had a problem. (12/22/2007)

      By custompetcare

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Here is a little something: it's called "Peanut Pops". Instructions: Take a regular rawhide like the ones sold in stores, and take some peanut butter. Use an ice cube tray and fill it with peanut butter. Insert the rawhide in the middle of the peanut butter. Freeze overnight or until hard. These are best in summer when your dog is hot. NOTE: If your dog gets sick with peanut butter, use water. It is just as good. (02/24/2008)

      By Hattie

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Take 2 5x7 sheets of fabric sew them together and stuff them then give it to your dog it will love it. (05/03/2008)

      By froboii

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Freeze a water bottle in the freezer. My dog loves it! When it thaws, just freeze it again! P.S. May make floor a little wet. (05/21/2008)

      By SAlly

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      (submitted via email) Ham bones have been known to be brittle and break off in very sharp edges, not good for a dog. Ingested, they could cause permanent damage for the the sharp edges. I myself purchased a beef bone from a local store to find the same thing happen. I actually cut myself on sharp edge. needless to say it got pitched. Never give dogs pork bones, they shatter into very sharp pieces. Please think again regarding this practice. Thank you for reading. Louise (06/09/2008)

      By jess_admin

      RE: Homemade Dog Toys

      Remember anything you give as a toy is letting your dog know its ok to play with it. If you give socks, shoes and kids stuffed toys they will then see all as a play toy that they can take anytime. We have lost a few kids toys and shoes we wanted to keep as he didn't know the difference because we were giving puppy the old ones. My experience of stuffed toys is the stuffing all over the yard! And a lot of clean up. (08/04/2008)

      By Margaux