Making your own dog toys

You don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive toys to make sure your dog has fun at playtime. In fact, some of your pet’s favourite pastimes probably involve something as simple as a cardboard box!

Here are some of our favourite DIY dog toys and ideas for how to make them. Have fun, get crafty, and spend some great bonding time with your favourite canine companion while you play.

Box of treats

Probably the simplest dog toy you can make, this will really please your pet. It also repurposes a household item when you’re finished with it.

Find an empty box, such as a cereal box, and place a dog treat such as Bakers Whirlers inside. (Remember to count it as part of their daily food allowance.) Tape it up and there you have it. It might not look like much, but your dog will definitely know what to do.

This DIY dog toy is intended for demolition, so don’t be surprised when your pet starts chewing it to pieces! It’s a great way to keep them curious and make treat time more interesting.

Bag of Whirlers

Braided tug

They line the shelves of commercial pet shops, but did you know you could easily recreate these pup-favourites from items you have around the house? If you have any old clothing or fabric lying around, it’s a great way to recycle and repurpose as well.

Simply cut up your chosen fabric or fabrics into long strips. You can use just three pieces or even more. When you begin to braid them together, if you have more than three, just bundle them up into three separate bunches of strips to start plaiting.

When you have your braid, create a loop in the top and secure the ends together. It makes a great DIY tug of war dog toy. As long as they’re clean and safe for your dog to chew (not fraying), you could make this toy out of your old clothes, their puppy bedding or toys that need to be replaced. It’s a brand new toy that smells of all the things they love!

dog with tug toy

Bottle of fun

If your dog likes their squeaky balls and crinkly toys, then they will love this DIY dog toy that is incredibly easy to make.

Some canines really respond to toys that make noises. If you pet fits in to this category, then try recycling an old plastic water bottle!

Simply place the empty plastic bottle into an old sock or wrap it in a piece of fabric. Your pet will love the sound of the crackling plastic coming from their brand new dog toy, and it’s a great toy to play ‘fetch’ with. Remember to supervise your dog when they’re using this toy.

happy running puppy

Jean knot

Here’s another way to recycle an old piece of clothing and give your dog a great new tug of war toy.

Denim is notoriously durable, so this DIY dog toy is perfect for some rough and tumble. Whilst other tug toys might fall apart after a while, fashioning this toy from an old pair of jeans should really increase its lifespan.

You can make multiple smaller knots or a lovely long tug: it’s your choice! All you need to do is cut a strip of denim (make it nice and wide) and then tie a knot tightly in the centre. If you want to create a longer rope style toy that your dog can use to play with others, then cut a wide length of denim from the leg of a pair of jeans. Tie a few knots along the length of the strip. It is also a good idea to hem the ends of the fabric, to stop them from fraying.

long haired dachshund in field

Cool down toys

If you’re in the middle of a long, hot summer that sees your pet lying in the shade and panting, cheer them up with this frozen DIY dog toy.

Take your pet’s favourite (waterproof) toys and place them in a bowl full of water. Put the bowl in a freezer and wait overnight.

The next day you’ll have a giant dog ice lolly full of your pet’s favourite things! Take it out to them in the middle of the day when they are at their hottest and watch as they eagerly lick to release their treats.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to please your pet, and sometimes you can even recycle old items into brand new DIY dog toys. Don’t forget the most important part of a good dog toy is time spent bonding with you!

white collie in field
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