Providing toys and hours of entertainment for your playful pooch doesn’t have to be expensive. A variety of fun and playful toys are simple to make with items you already have around the house. Not every toy you could make is suitable for a dog, though -- such as one he could destroy or ingest. Supervise your dog with each new toy to make sure they are a good match.
Tug Toys and Knot Ropes
Your local pet store offers a large variety of knot ropes and tug toys for small to large dogs, but making such toys at home requires a few simple steps and allows you to recycle torn blankets and those jeans that just don’t fit anymore. Fleece and denim are strong fabrics that work well for tugs and chew ropes. Cut the material into long strips. Use more strips for larger dogs. Tie the strips together at one end. Divide the strips into three sections and braid the sections together. Tie the other end. Tie additional knots in the center, if desired.
Plastic soda or water bottles, and old tennis balls, make great treat dispenser toys. For bottle toys, simply drill holes in the bottle that are large enough for your dog treats or kibble to pass through. Place a handful of treats in the bottle and secure the cap. Give the toy to your dog and watch as he pushes and rolls it to get the treats. Use caution if your dog is a chewer. Supervise your dog with this toy and replace if the bottle gets chewed or broken. For a tennis ball dispenser, make a small cut in the tennis ball. Place a few treats inside and, as your dog chews on the ball, he will earn treats.
Some dogs like carrying around a favorite stuffed toy or chewing on something soft. This toy idea is also a great project to use up those socks that have mysteriously lost their other half in the dryer. Stuff a long sock with other socks to provide padding. Tie a knot at the end and you have a stuffed toy. For teething puppies, soak the sock in water, wring the water out and place it in the freezer. This makes a suitable teething toy for your puppy or a nice cooling toy in the hot weather for a dog otherwise.
Some dogs enjoy toys that make noise. For small dogs, a sock filled with cellophane wrap creates a crinkle sound when your little pooch plays with it. For larger dogs, fill a plastic water bottle with beans or rice. Place the water bottle inside a sock and tie closed. This makes an inexpensive dog rattle. Again, for the chewing dog, supervise with the water bottle toy and replace if the water bottle breaks.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.