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.
Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you have any frugal chew toy ideas for dogs that are safe? By Joy
July 4, 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.
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
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
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.
I sell these for $4.00
By Joyce from Benson, MN
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
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.
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
February 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 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
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
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
March 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.
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
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!
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.
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.
Approximate Time: 2 minutes
By Regenia from Richmond, TX
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
By winterz 1
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.
Tips and ideas for making your own dog toys. Post your ideas.
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)
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)
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)
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)
If your dog loves tennis balls, grab one and soak it in chicken/beef stock they just love it! (07/29/2005)
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
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).
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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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)
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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)
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)
My Siberian husky loves to play with empty Gatorade bottles. (09/08/2007)
By Siberian husky luvr
Get A empty water bottle and fill it with dog treats and when your dogs roll it food comes out! (09/22/2007)
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)
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)
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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)
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)
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)
(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.
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)
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Paige from Delray, Florida
My dog likes a carrot tied in a sock. It is good for teething. (08/17/2008)
I bought my dog a "Kong" toy when he was a pup for about $8.00 or so. I've had to replace it just recently and he is 13 years old.(Boxer) To me it's safer for him than fabric or plastic would be and well worth the money. (08/20/2008)
I just did this with my puppy and he loves it. I took and old paper towel tube and put Scooby snacks and some of his other treats in it and cut a hole in the tube and he loves it. (09/13/2008)
If you have a tree in your backyard, try this one. Find a limb that's approximately 20 feet up in the tree and tie one end of a 25 foot rope around the limb. Tie knots and loops in the other end so that it hangs about 2 feet off the ground. It works like a tug'o'war they can play by themselves. I found rope at a farm supply store and spent about $10 for the whole thing. I have a high energy dog and this keeps her entertained for hours. (09/25/2008)
After finishing a 20 oz. plastic bottle of soda, wrap it in a towel and hit the bottom end with a hammer a couple of times to take out the shape, then take some small treat bones and put them in the bottle. The pup gets a "rattle" and has to work for their treat. (11/06/2008)
I just make an origami claw out of strong paper and give it to my dog and she can play with it for a few hours before I have to make a new one (they are very easy to make). My dog is a big Husky Pit Bull mix and is three years old.
By Kristina Emily
I got some cellophane and stuck it inside a roll of paper and used duct tape to tape the ends up so it doesn't come out. Then I wrapped it all up in more duct tape. But you have to wrap it in like heaps of duct tape so your dog doesn't chew it up. Don't forget to go over the ends with duct tape too or else your dog could get it off the end and then eat the cellophane and its probably not that tasty. This toy suits big dogs because when they bite it the cellophane crackles and often a little dog like a Pomeranian doesn't have a strong enough jaw to bite it so it crackles. Its called a Munch and Crunch. (01/07/2009)
I take the empty cardboard tube that comes with a paper towel or toilet paper roll, insert a doggie treat, then fold and pinch the cardboard ends several times to seal it up. It's ungainly, but he doesn't care.
I throw it, he fetches, I grab it and throw it again, he's interested in guarding it. The toy is good for a few minutes of his attention. Not exactly a doggie long lasting toy, but good for the occasional diversion. (01/11/2009)
My dog loves to eat peanut butter. What I do is take a squeaky toy with many nooks and crannies. I smother on PB in the hard to reach places. My dog loves to try to get his tongue to reach the PB. (02/16/2009)
My opinion is for heavy chewers or dogs that weight over 50 pounds. My Bull Terrier loves to chew as much and often as possible. I tried putting a container with water and letting her bob for apples, this entertained her for a hour till she got the apple and ate it. Putting rice in a plastic bottle worked for 2 minutes.
But I found the best way to get her chewing habits relieved was a normal Kong (I have to use the extra strength black, but whatever fits your breed), and making homemade dog frozen treats like (mixed banana honey or plain yogurt honey and oats) keep her busy the most, changing up what you put in the Kong keeps them more interested than just freezing peanut butter every time. And to give her something to just destroy I give her paper towel rolls. I put treats in the middle and fold up the ends. (do not use string or ties on the ends if you dog eats or swallows it it can cause deadly intestinal damage). (02/20/2009)
By Bull Terrier Owner
I have an 8 week old chocolate Lab/Shepherd and he always tears up his toys. If it's a stuffed animal toy it's gone in at least a minute. I love to make toys; do you have any ideas on toys I can make him before Christmas? Thanks.
Store bought stuffy toys are quickly torn up in a minute or so and can become costly to continually replace with the same old thing, so I give my dog an ice cube and he loves running after it as it slides across the floor besides crunching down on it and eating it. It's the cheapest toy, very entertaining, and easily replaced.
I can't buy stuffy toys for my other dog because of my male being too destructive towards them, so I buy a lot of different sized balls that do different things to keep them entertained and also safe chewy toys that seem to last long.
An old sock is another favorite for my dogs and they play tug o' war with it often. Also, the red LED light that dogs like to chase after. They play a few minutes chasing after the light, but don't ever shine it into their eyes or make it a long time at play as it can drive a dog wild and become obsessed with the light searching all over for something that's long been put away. This is strictly in moderation and not frequent play. When the finger tires of holding down the button on the light, that's when the play ends and even sooner for a puppy.
You could buy a bag of squeakers that go into toys reasonably priced on the net and then make a blanket the dog can walk on and sew into squares and insert a squeaker into each square and when they walk on it, sound comes out and each time they take a step, a sound comes from where their paw was placed. Keeps them busy trying to go after that newest sound, and I'd try making it from a strong material like heavy denim or heavy remnant upholstery material. It should last longer than the stuffed toys. Still have to watch out for any holes made from teeth trying to remove the squeaker so they don't swallow plastic parts. I wouldn't let the dog have it when unattended for this reason. (12/07/2009)
My puppy loved a carrot tied up in a sock. (12/10/2009)
Go to your hospital's lab and ask for a few of the used huge over sized rubber band type tourniquets they use when drawing blood. Go to Walmart and get a card of cat toy balls with the little bell inside the plastic cage type ball for $1.98. Tie the balls with the rubber band through the slots. Then shoot them across the room. He will chase them, they will skittle and ring, then he can spend hours holding the rubber band down and trying to stretch the ball loose, only to have it snap back and scoot some more. The rubber band keeps him from swallowing the ball, but the slots in the ball would still allow him to breathe if he DID somehow manage to. As the ball skittles and rolls, the tourniquet flies around like a tail on some creature he is chasing! (12/10/2009)
Take a long (knee high) sock and tie several knots in it. Good for tossing or tug-of-war. Stuffed animal toys can be found very reasonable at yard/tag sales or thrift shops. You can just toss them in the wash and then give them to your dog. You can also go onto Craigs list and ask for free dog toys or stuffed animals. A lot of people just throw them out and will give them to you for free. (12/11/2009)
Our puppy has a lot of fun with empty gallon-size jars of milk. We take it from him once the plastic starts breaking up, and just hand him the next empty one. He likes them better than most store-bought toys. He also loves potholders and oven mitts. I gave them a couple that were falling apart--probably because of all the food smell. Always be careful to make sure he doesn't end up swallowing stuff he shouldn't swallow. (02/13/2010)
I am unemployed and even when I had a job, we wasted a lot of money on pet toys our Lab/Pointer destroyed in a few minutes. Cheap toy ideas (please supervise your pet during play) can be right (almost) in your garbage.
Take an empty tissue box (cut off the plastic liner around the opening if there is one) and stick some small treats (food) inside. The dog will rip up the cardboard and play with this "busy box" you can then throw away. Get a paper lunch bag and stick some treats inside (I used bits of left over cheese or meat). Close the top and toss to your dog.
By Di from VT
A good source for stuffed toys for your pup is your neighborhood thrift store. Small stuffed toys are usually around 50 cents. Just make sure that you get the kind with sewn eyes, etc., so that your dog won't be eating little plastic features or accessories. (01/04/2009)
If you have an old pair of jeans (or any sturdy pant leg material) cut a leg off, you can put a tennis ball (or squeaky type toy if you prefer) inside and tie each end, or two tennis balls and knot each space. Good for tough chewers. Be careful with stuffed toys, the stuffing can be swallowed and become impacted and then you get a lovely trip to the vet. (01/06/2009)
Our lab loves empty water bottles, without the cap of course. Also, if you don't mind the mess, ours also loves to carry off an empty 12 pack soda box and carry it around the house. Eventually it ends up shredded, but provides a lot of entertainment in the meantime. (01/11/2009)
I am looking for a pattern for fleece dog lanyards/pull toys. Anyone out there have any ideas? Thanks.
By Michelle from Highland, MI
Newspaper ball: roll up newspaper. Cover it with several layers of duct tape.
Jeany the octopus: cut eight strips from a pair of old jeans. Tie a knot in the end of the strips. Make a face on the knot. Make duct tape hair. Cover the tentacles with duct tape.
Sock ball: put a tennis ball in an old sock. Tie a knot at the end.
Sock bottle: put a bottle inside the sock. Tie a knot in the end.
Hope this helps! :-) (05/02/2010)