Making toys for your dog can be a rewarding and economical alternative to buying toys – especially if your dog goes through them rapidly! It gives you the opportunity to be creative. Alternatively, it also allows you to practice the art of letting go if your pup typically rips everything placed in front of him to shreds. If you’re feeling crafty, here are just a few examples of DIY dog toys to get you started:
The T-Shirt-Wrapped Water Bottle
This is a deceptively simple idea from Ammo the Dachshund. It takes only a few materials, and allows you to be as creative as you like with the colors and design.
All you need to make it is an empty plastic bottle, roughly a yard of fabric (you can use anything from an old T-shirt to a bedsheet), and a pair of scissors.
First, cut three or four one-inch strips from the fabric, then use the remaining fabric to wrap the bottle “like a hoagie”. Then, secure it with the small strips you cut previously. Afterwards, cut the excess fabric hanging from one side of the bottle into two-inch strips. Braid these and then knot them.
Voila! You have a delightfully crunchy, vaguely squid-like toy that can provide hours of fun for your pup.
The “Indestructible” Toy
Instructables offers a set of directions for what the site claims is an “indestructible” dog toy. If you’re the human companion to a very–well, destructive–canine, you might just want to test this one out.
This allegedly un-destroyable toy requires several commonplace materials: a length of hemp or jute rope, one or two sweet potatoes, a baking sheet, parchment paper, a sharp knife, a round cookie cutter, and a vegetable peeler.
To make this toy, start by slicing up the sweet potatoes and then puncturing the middle of each slice with the cookie cutter. Then, bake them until they dry out and are hard. After the sweet potato slices cool, create a rope toy on which the potatoes are strung between two knots. Finally, pass the toy to your pup and see how long it lasts!
A Squeaky Shark
One enthusiastic crafter who loves making toys for her Dalmatian offers a design for an adorable shark toy. This toy is pretty accessible to the average person who knows how to wield a needle.
All you need are your chosen colors of fabric, scissors, stuffing, “squeakers”, and sewing supplies. You can actually buy these so-called-”squeakers” from various online retailers. As a note, the fabric you choose to use should be pre-shrunk.
The design of this toy is simple, and could be a really fun project for you and the kids to do. It involves two identical panels for making the shape of a shark and scraps for the jaws, teeth, etc. Sew any embellishments, like teeth, mouth, and eyes, to the base. Flip it so the embellished side is inside and line up with the other cut-out at the tail. Sew along the seams while leaving an opening for stuffing.
Remove any excess thread and then inverse so your toy is right-side-out. After that, add stuffing and your squeakers, if you’re using them, and then sew up the gap. Check for any excess threads, trim them if necessary, and then toss to your pup to enjoy! You can also let your creativity fly and make other stuffed designs.
For safety reasons, when your dog is playing with a new toy, you should be in on the fun just to make sure he’s safe.