3 min read

14 Simple DIY Dog Toys

14 Simple DIY Dog Toys

A bored dog might quickly resort to self-entertainment – like chewing on off-limit household items. It’s essential to keep your dog mentally stimulated and physically active. Interactive playtime with toys that keep their brains buzzing is one of the best ways to provide this stimulation! 

And don’t worry, you don’t have to break the bank with toys that beat boredom.

If you want to save some cash, we’ve got some DIY ideas for you! DIY dog toys are not only cost-effective but also easy and fun to make, even for those who aren’t particularly handy with a glue gun. 

Just a heads-up: These activities to keep dogs busy should be supervised to ensure their safety. 

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1. DIY Treat Dispensing Toys

All it takes is a bit of creativity and imagination to make our bored furry friends work for their food — and keep them mentally sharp.

  • Repurpose a plastic bottle. Cut holes in it, fill it with your dog’s favorite treats, and watch your dog figure out how to get them out. 
  • Use toilet paper tubes.  Fill a tube with treats and cap both ends. This will encourage your dog to roll and play to retrieve the goodies inside.
  • Recycle your boxes. Stuff it with treats (and toys!), and let your dog discover how to maneuver the package to get rewarded. 

2. DIY Chew Toys

Stop bored dogs from getting into all sorts of mischief by giving them a satisfying and stimulating chew experience. 

  • Make a rope ball toy. Take an old tennis ball and wrap it with a durable rope. Knot the ends of the rope to prevent it from unraveling.
  • Create a scented chew toy. Soak an old washcloth in pet-safe bone broth, freeze it, and give it to your dog to chew on. 
  • Try a braided t-shirt toy. Cut an old shirt into strips, braid them together, and voila, you also have a fun tug toy for your dog. 
  • Use braided fleece strips. Strips of fleece that you can find in the bargain bin can make for a simple chew toy. Knot one end, braid the pieces as tightly as possible, knot the other end, voila! 

3. DIY Agility Toys

Create an agility course using common household items and customize it to your dog’s abilities. This boredom buster is perfect for dogs who love to run, jump, and play — and you also get to bond with your dog while keeping them busy and stimulated! 

  • Use blankets, pillows, and plastic cups to create obstacles for your dog to navigate.
  • Add a jumping bar by placing a broomstick between two chairs or on top of step stools if your pup is shorter.
  • Lay down a ladder on the ground to improve your dog’s footwork and coordination. 

4. DIY Puzzle Toys

These playthings for your pooch are a great way to keep them busy and stimulate their mind.

  • Build a cardboard maze. Cut a cardboard box into a maze and place treats inside. Add obstacles and encourage your dog to navigate the maze to find the treats.
  • Make your own snuffle mat. Cut up fleece strips and tie them onto a rubber or plastic mat. Then hide the treats in it, and let your dog sniff and search for their reward. 
  • Create a tennis ball puzzle. Cut a small hole in a tennis ball and fill it with treats. Your bored dog can enjoy the challenge of rolling and tossing the ball to get the goodies out. 

5. DIY Sniffing Toys

Keep dogs busy with boredom-busting treasure hunts. This engages their sense of smell and encourages them to find the source of the delicious scent. 

  • Try the muffin tin game. Fill each muffin cup with treats and cover them with tennis balls. Your dog has to sniff and paw at the balls to get the reward underneath. To make it more challenging, you can keep some cups empty, so your dog has to use its nose and brain to determine which cups contain the treats. 
  • Create a snuffle box. Take a cardboard box and fill it with treats. Make it harder for your dog to find the goodies by adding crumpled paper, tissue paper, or old fabric. 

Daily household items are dog toys hidden in plain sight (with you as the facilitator, of course.) 

Don't forget, you can enhance the enrichment by having DOGTV playing in the background as you play together. Try DOGTV for free today!