With the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be fun to write a post about easy homemade dog toys.
Many of us put as much thought into our dog’s holiday presents as we do our human companions. After all, who doesn’t love to watch our dogs dance, jiggle, hop around and wag their tails from the shear joy of receiving a new toy? I don’t know about you, but when Chase receives a new toy, he takes it in his mouth and proudly prances around the house with it. He’s just so excited he doesn’t know what to do!
Of course, you can find lots of toys – and many great ones – at pet stores and online. But, if you’re like me, you may have noticed that many of these expensive “store bought” toys just don’t hold up to your dog’s gnawing, tugging, biting and chewing. This is especially true if you have a big, hard chewer like my guy, Chase. What fun is it to buy your dog a toy, only to find scraps of fuzz and bits of plastic scattered around the house a couple of days later?
I know we’re all super-busy, but these toys are really simple to make. I’m talking you can literally whip them up in a matter of minutes. With just a few materials that you can find around your house or purchase at a craft store, you can quickly and easily create awesome dog toys that will provide your canine companion with hours of entertainment – and they will undoubtedly cost a lot less than similar toys purchased from a pet store.
Fortunately, dogs don’t care about the cost of a gift or whether it was bought at a chic doggy boutique. They just want to have fun with it! With these easy-to-make toys, you will definitely be Santa Claus in your dog’s eyes.
Whether making or purchasing a dog toy, safety is always the number one priority. Always follow these safety measures:
- Be sure the toy is durable enough to withstand your dog’s chewing strength and level of play.
- Conceal squeakers safely and securely within the toy.
- Avoid squeakers and stuffing altogether if your dog is a strong chewer or likes to rip apart his toys.
- Steer clear of using any choking hazards in your toys, such as string, ribbons or buttons.
- Always supervise your dog to make sure he will not destroy the toy.
- Be watchful for any torn, shredded or broken parts and remove the toy immediately if there are any.
Easy to Make Dog Toys
Sock Full ’o Balls
- Stuff 2 tennis balls into a large, clean gym sock.
- Tie a knot in the sock just above the balls, so they are tightly secured in the foot of the sock.
- For added amusement, use tennis balls with squeakers or bells inside (but be careful your dog cannot get to them).
- Watch your dog have fun grabbing the sock and shaking the balls!
Simple Rope Toy
It doesn’t get any simpler than this.
- Begin with a sturdy piece of rope, such as hemp rope, about 12″ long.
- Tie a knot at each end of the rope.
Makes a great tug toy.
- Choose a sturdy rope, such as hemp rope, made of tightly braided material.
- Wrap the rope around a tennis ball until the ball is fully encased in the rope, leaving a “tail” of about 16” of rope.
- Loop the end of the rope and tie a sturdy not, creating a “handle” about 4” in diameter and leaving about 12” of rope between the tennis ball and the knot of the handle.
Mama’s Little Helper
This toy is great for smaller dogs and dogs who are “gentle” on their toys. It is not appropriate for strong chewers or dogs that like to rip their toys apart.
- Start with a nice, soft fabric, such as fleece, velour or crushed velvet. You could also substitute a stronger fabric such as denim or canvas.
- Choose the desired size of the toy, depending upon the size of your dog.
- Cut the fabric into a two equal shapes (simple shapes such as a bone, heart or gingerbread man work well).
- Sew the two shapes together, leaving an opening for stuffing.
- Stuff with soft material. If your dog will not rip the toy apart, include a squeaker.
- Sew the remainder of the toy together.
- If you know how, you can even embroider a message onto the toy, such as “love” or “fetch”.
- Voila! Your dog will have a soft, comforting toy to cuddle with when he’s not cuddling with you!
Tennis Ball Tug Toy
Great for “tug ’o war.”
- Drill a hole through a tennis ball.
- Thread a rope about 12″ long through the ball.
- Tie the ends of the rope into a sturdy knot.
I hope you enjoyed these super-simple homemade dog toys “recipes.” Who knew so much fun could be so simple?
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Do you ever make your own dog toys?Do you have something to add to this story? Voice your thoughts in the comments below!