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17 DIY dog toys you can make from items in your house

Why spend tons of money on expensive dog toys when you can upcycle items from around your home?

17 DIY dog toys you can make from items in your house

The rubbish tip of deceased dog toys is vast. If your dog is one of those talented ones that can rip apart a stuffed toy in 20 seconds flat, it may feel like toy funerals are happening far too frequently and money is being thrown down the drain.

Toys are a necessity for keeping dogs happy, active, and out of trouble, but spending money on them doesn’t have to be part of the equation. In fact, dozens of potential DIY dog toys are just waiting to be made from unused things that have been lying around for ages, such as old T-shirts, jeans, towels, or bed sheets.

Check out these genius ideas for DIY dog toys. Choose one and get crafting!

1. Interactive dog feeder toy

A PVC pipe is the main ingredient in this sturdy feeding toy created by Dog Tipper, which aims to keep your pooch busy by making it work for the treats inside. You’ll need to be somewhat handy to drill holes into the pipe, which you can do safely when the pipe is secured in a vice. Sand the rough edges of your holes with sandpaper and when all of them are smooth, put the pipe into the dishwasher for cleaning. Put PVC caps on each end of the pipe.

2. Plastic bottle tug toy

Image via Eigil the Staffy/Instagram

Plastic bottles are so last decade, but if you still bring one home occasionally, why not fashion it into a tug toy before tossing it in the recycle bin? How perfect is this simple plastic bottle toy from Eigil the Staffy?  

3. Ball tug toy

You’ll need an old T-shirt, a tennis ball, and a pair of scissors to whip up this totally tuggable dog toy. Simply lay your shirt flat and cut across in three strategic places, according to She Knows, then wrap the ball inside two of the pieces. Use the smallest piece of shirt to tie the toy together. Cut the remaining pieces of cloth into strips and braid.

4. Rope ball toy

You’re going to need patience (and some pliers!) to tackle the tying involved in this rope toy recipe, courtesy of Instructables. Things you’ll need: rope (2 cm diameter), a lacrosse ball, and some electrical tape. First, unwind between 3 to 4.5 metres of the rope and tape the ends. If you’re handy with knots the next steps will be a doddle for you, but if not, there are how-to’s provided for each knot. Pliers can be useful pulling through strands of rope.

5. T-shirt rope toy

Image via Permacrafters/Instagram

That stack of T-shirts in the closet that nobody is wearing can be turned into a T-shirt rope toy for your dog. Permacrafters has a super-simple tutorial on Instagram for this stylish DIY dog toy. Your dog—and your wardrobe—will thank you!  

6. DIY agility jump

Give your pup some extra exercise with this easy-to-make agility jump that can be set up in the garden, or if you’re feeling brave, the living room. Gone to the Snow Dogs built their own using furniture grade PVC pipes (both white and blue) and different kinds of furniture grade PVC fitting. The important thing here is having a PVC pipe cutter—and knowing how to use one!—and carefully cutting each piece as instructed (the long white pipes, which will be the ground bar, need to measure 120 cm long). Follow the directions provided and you’ll have leftovers for future projects.

7. No-sew denim dog toy

Image via Siva Sobieski Mcmullin/Instagram

No sewing machine? No problem! All you need to make this denim dog toy from Siva Sobieski Mcmullin is some scissors and an old pair of jeans. The finished product is simple, sturdy, and so much fun to chew!

8. Towel tug toy

Tattered towels are given new life when they’re fashioned into (washable!) toys for your pup—and the key word here is: easy! Per Good Housekeeping, just cut three strips of towel, about 10 cm wide and at least 30 cm long. Tie them off at one end with a small towel strip (2.5 cm wide and 15 cm long). Braid and use another strip to tie off the end.

9. Apple pie pupsicles

It’s part toy, part treat, with a full serving of cuteness. These three-ingredient frozen yogurt dog treats from Dalmatian DIY require a cute silicone mould, but in all honesty, any shape will do because eating them will be the only thing on your dog’s mind. Mix 120 ml of yogurt and 120 ml of unsweetened apple sauce or pureed apple in a bowl. A sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon is optional. Freeze thoroughly and serve with a smile!

10. Sweet potato rope toy

Here’s a good way to add some fibre (and fun!) to your pup’s daily routine. Clean one large sweet potato and cut into 2.5 cm round pieces. Use a biscuit cutter or apple corer to cut a hole in the middle of each piece, as demonstrated in this video from Elmo’s Kitchen. Dehydrate by baking for 5 hours in the oven. Tie a knot at the end of your rope (about 30 cm long) and string the potato rings onto it.  

11. Simple sock toy

The mystical force that takes one sock from every load of washing would want you to do something good with the one remaining, and here it is! Simply cut a hole in the toe-side of a full-length sock and stuff a water bottle inside of it. Then tie each end with twine. The Barkington Post recommends hemming each side to make it last longer.

12. Homemade squeaky toy

Image via Luna and Two Boys/Instagram

Got a pup with a penchant for squeakers? Try throwing together this simple DIY squeaky toy from Luna and Two Boys. All you need is a few socks and the squeakers from old toys, and voila! Entertainment for hours. 

13. Soda bottle treat dispenser

This interactive toy—creatively made out of a chicken nest box by Daily Dog Tag—is a brain teaser for your pooch. A Chicken Ware nesting box, PVC pipe, and two 2-litre pop bottles are some of the important supplies you’ll need to make it. Drill holes in the box and hang the treat-filled bottles from the pipe. Spray paint it to match your home decor.

14. Pull-apart dog toy

Here’s one for the dog who enjoys sending stuffed toys to the bin by pulling them apart, piece by piece. Stuff pre-cut pieces of fleece fabric, along with yummy treats, into a 12.5 cm Hol-ee Roller Dog Toy. Toss and watch the destruction begin. Leopold’s Crate doesn’t recommend these for dogs who eat fabric.  

15. Fleece stuffed toy

Image via Christy Hikes With Jake the Dog/Instagram

Want to whip something soft up for your pooch, but don’t want the squeaky sound? Try a no-sew fleece toy like this bone-shaped one from Christy Hikes With Jake the Dog! Some knowledge of sewing is a must, but look at the happiness on this good dog’s face! 

16. Super-simple frozen sock toy

There is nothing easier than this idea from Tie a long sock into a knot, soak it in water, and freeze. Boom! Your dog has a cool new chew toy.

17. Flirt stick

Image via The Amazing Obi/Instagram

This tantalising flirt stick by The Amazing Obi is a guaranteed fun time for any active dog. You can make them as simple or colourful as you—or your pup—likes!