I hope they provide you with some inspiration for making your own dog toys – please add to the list with any other suggestions you have.
Plastic Bottle Toys
The plastic bottle is a much under rated toy in my opinion, Zoe has had hours of fun chasing plastic milk bottles around the deck.
Don’t let your dog play unsupervised with the bottles, they can easily crack and you don’t want your dog swallowing the plastic. Ideally, just use the bottle once and then dispose of it.
Here are some ideas:
The Plain Plastic Bottle – it doesn’t get any easier than this; just remove the cap and labels, squeeze the bottle so it makes a great crackly sound to get your dog’s attention, throw it up in the air and off you go, an instant toy for your dog to chase and fetch.
Stanley Coren shows you how it’s done (including the crackly bit) in the following video clip (originally posted in Lead in Dog Toys – DIY test kits unreliable), and he reminds you that you can always take the bottle back for your deposit once your dog has finished playing with it.
The Plastic Bottle with Beans – to make the bottle more interesting you can put dried beans into the bottle before screwing the cap on tightly. Here’s a dog showing you how much fun this can be:
A variation is the sock bottle dog toy – put a sock over the bottle and tie a knot in the top of the sock; this will make the bottle more chewable for your dog.
The Plastic Bottle with Treats – put treats in the bottle instead of dried beans and cut a small hole in the side of the bottle. The treats come out as your dog is playing with the bottle.
You can use an existing length of rope that you already have and tie a few knots in it for an excellent chew toy.
Bear in mind that rope can fray so trim the ends of the rope frequently so your dog doesn’t swallow the rope strands. Avoid nylon rope as your dog can easily shred this, and if swallowed can cause intestinal blockage.
An alternative is to make your own rope toys from fleece or tea towels.
Here’s a step by step guide to making a fleece rope, and many thanks to Paula raised the point that you should avoid fleece material that has been treated with a flame retardant.
Whatever type of rope you use it can be made more exciting by soaking it in broth before giving it to your dog.
Yesterday I mentioned that Denise had found that Penn tennis balls are made in the US, and so may be safer for your dog to play with.
Ball on a Rope – drill two holes in the ball and thread a piece of rope or cord through the holes and tie the rope tightly just above the ball.
Here’s Stanley Coren again to show you how to do it:
Treat Ball – make your own treat ball by slicing through the tennis ball and stuffing it with treats; your dog will be kept busy trying to prize the ball apart to get to the treats.
Balls in the Tubing Toy – I found this idea on My Dog Parlance.
Attach a few pieces of water-pipe together (preferably corners), pop a ball in one end and then let your dog get the ball out again.
Have a look at Penny enjoying herself with this toy => click here, it looks like great fun!
In yesterday’s article Dog Toys from China – the Alternatives I mentioned that PVC can be a hazard, so either use non PVC piping or just supervise your dog and don’t let him start chewing the plastic.
Socks and Trousers
Barbara said that she cut the legs off old jeans and tied knots in them, thereby making an excellent chew toy for her Rottie, Tank – thanks for that suggestion Barbara.
Old socks can also be made into great toys – this article shows you how to make a sock ball and a sock swing ball.
A caution about using socks, or any item of clothing or footwear as a toy is that dogs don’t know the difference between an ‘old’ shoe and a ‘new’ shoe – if you give them an old shoe to chew on then every shoe is likely to be treated in the same way.
Another Zoe favorite is the cardboard box – when she was a puppy I used to put a few treats inside the box and tape the lid on. She’d spend quite some time attacking the cardboard box and pushing it around the floor until she could get to the treats.
Quite quickly she realized that if she pushed the box up against a wall it crushed and this was the easiest way to get the treat out.
Any size box will provide entertainment, as Toby shows us below:
I hope this has given you a few ideas – have fun!
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