7 Easy & Durable Homemade Dog Toys You Can Make Out of Ordinary Household Stuff

October 18, 2022 / Dog DIY / By: Melanie Evans

Durable Homemade Dog Toys

Store bought dog toys are great, and you can find all kinds of them in pet stores both on and offline. However, you don't always need to buy dog toys, and, if you are willing to put in the time and effort you can make some great dog toys at home, using only some basic household supplies that you probably have hanging around already

Don't believe us?

You can, and it's easier than you think.

To demonstrate what we mean we've scoured the Internet looking for the best homemade dog toys you can create in a single crafty session at home.

But first, let's take a look at just why you should always make sure your dog has a toy on hand, wherever it came from.

Why Do Dogs Need Toys?

Bored staffordshire terrier teared pillow in pieces

A bored or frustrated dog may take out its frustrations through chewing.

For those just welcoming a puppy into their family it often seems like they need an almost never-ending list of supplies. Food, beds, grooming tools, training tools, leashes, collars and more.

So, do they really need lots of dog toys as well?

Maybe not lots of toys, but pups certainly benefit a lot when they have at least a few.

Apart from the obvious fact that they have lots of fun with them - and every kid deserves to have fun, human or fur - they are crucial to their development, and, later in life, to maintaining their physical and mental acuity for as long as possible.

In the most basic terms though, dogs need something to do, especially those breeds whose ancestral line comes from working dogs, as even if the hardest work they do is sit patiently when waiting for their food or occasionally bark at strangers that work gene still remains.

And if they don't have something to play with to satisfy it they will create 'work' by themselves, often in the form of chewing up all your stuff!

7 Homemade Dog Toys You Can Make Out of Ordinary Household Stuff

Now that you know the real reasons why your pup needs dog toys let's get to the real point of this piece: how to make your own at home.

If you're a crafty dog parent, these seven homemade doggy toys are just to get you started though.

As you find out how easy it is to create unique DIY dog toys you'll find that the Internet - especially video sites like YouTube and Vimeo - are filled with all kinds of ideas, and you can probably even brainstorm some of your own.

But now, without further ado let's get to these DIY dog toys and how they are made:

1. DIY Tennis Ball T-Shirt Dog Tug Toy

Dogs love to play tug of war, no matter what breed they are or whether they are large, small or in between.

The problem is that tug ropes and tug toys often don't last anywhere near as long as you might have hoped when buying them and don't always offer a great return on your investment.

This toy however makes use of the tennis balls you probably already have lying around everywhere if you have a playful pup and an old t shirt, something that most of us have lying around too, or rather stuffed at the back of a closet.

To make this toy the only tools you'll need are a sharp pair of scissors and your hands as there is more than a little knotting involved.

What You'll Need:

  • Sharp pair of scissors
  • Tennis Balls
  • 2 Old Tees
  • A cutter/knife

How It's Done

Using the scissors go ahead and make 5-8 cm wide slits at the bottom of both Tees.

Carefully tear the slits apart to form individual strips.

Take 3 strips and braid them together and make a knot on each end of the braid. Repeat until you have 3 braids.

Tie one of the braids around the other two braids and secure it with a knot.

Now, get your tennis ball and cut an opening on either end of it.

After that, push one of the braids through the tennis ball to complete the toy.

Check out the video below for for a visual of how it's done (it's only a minute long, to give you an idea of how easy this is).

2. DIY ChuckIt Dog Toy

Our final homemade dog toy inspiration is a DIY twist on the popular Chuckit toys for dogs.

This is another way to make use of those old t shirts you never wear and the tennis balls your pup already loves.

As the video demonstrates you don't even need to sew anything and a passable replica of a store-bought throw and fetch toy can actually be created in less than 15 minutes!

3. Homemade Puppy Treat Ball

Not only do puppies love to chew they actually need to in order to get through that awkward teething stage.

Treat balls are a great choice, as puzzling their way to the treat is a great mental challenge for their growing brains as well.

What you may not have realized is that you can make your own puppy treat ball using just a long piece of sturdy rope ad a few strong monkey knots.

What You'll Need:

  • 8 feet of 3/8" Manila or Jute rope
  • Treats

How It's Done

Make 3 loops around your hand.

Next, cross the 3 loops in the opposite direction.

Bring the end of the rope and loop it through the holes in both sides of the ball. Loop it around 2 more times.

Insert the dog treats in the center of the ball and tighten and tuck in the ends.

Here's a quick video demonstration of this economical treat dog toy for your tough chewer but we recommend supervision since this toy can pose a choking hazard if your pup tears the rope itself.

4. DIY Flirt Pole

You have probably seen dog flirt poles on pet stores, even if you have never purchased on for your pup. These neat poles have dangling objects-often that squeak when 'caught' and the idea is that you twirl and tease them in front of your pup so that she can 'dance' and try to catch the object at the end of the string.

They provide a great mental and physical workout for both you and your pup, and they can also be used as an effective early training aid if you are embarking on obedience training at home. 

The flirt pole is also a great muscle building equipment for strong dogs like Pitbulls.

So here's how to build a durable flirt pole for your dog. 

What You'll Need:

  • PVC Pipe - 4-6 foot long
  • Washers larger than the 3/4 in opening in the PVC
  • A chew toy, rag, or bandana
  • Para-cord or another type of braided synthetic rope, usually polyester with a core (find it Walmart to Home Depot, Lowes, or the Dollar Store)
  • Hockey Tape

How It's Done

Cut your PVC and make it long enough to keep your dog at a distance.

Next, add the elbow joint to one end of the PVC pole.

Now, feed your para-cord or synthetic rope through the PVC pole and add the washers to the end securing them by knotting the para-cord.

At the other end of the para-cord, tie on your chew toy.

Using the hockey tape, wrap the PVC pipe to create a grip on the handle starting at the PVC elbow and working about 1/4 of the way up the pole.

As this video from Bulletproof Pitbulls demonstrates, making your own homemade dog flirt pole is pretty easy (affordable too), and all you need is simple piece of piping, a few lengths of rope and some tassles and trinkets, all of which you can pick up at your local hardware store even if you don't have them immediately to hand.

5. DIY Water Bottle Dog Toy

Although it's a bad habit that ideally we should curtail to help the environment the fact is that lots of us still buy our water in plastic bottles instead of making use of a reusable water bottle instead.

If that's the case or you can still give that plastic water bottle a second life, reducing its bad impact on the planet, by turning it into a simple homemade dog toy.

What You'll Need:

  • An empty plastic water bottle
  • Pair of scissors
  • Treats or kibble
  • An old sock

How It's Done

Removing the bottle cap, using your scissors cut off the ring that sits just below the cap.

Next, add some treats inside the bottle and place the cap back on.

Now insert the bottle inside the sock.

Make a tight and secure knot at the top of the bottle and you got yourself a versatile dog treat puzzle toy!

As this video shows you, this is as simple as wrapping a treat filled water bottle in an old fleece blanket (the kind you can find at most dollar stores), making a few cuts and knots and then voila! you have a homemade dog puzzle toy that should keep your pup safely occupied - and mentally challenged - for quite a while!

6. Easy Homemade Tug Toy

So, your pup made short(ish) work of the tennis ball and t shirt tug toy (it happens) and you are looking to make something that lasts a little longer. This one from YouTube crafter INES (see video below) maybe just what you are looking for.

To make a longer lasting tug toy INES makes use of fabric scraps and braids them into ropes that are tougher for a pup to shred. The video below shows you exactly how it's done and while it might take a little longer your efforts should pay off in the form of extended playtime.

What You'll Need:

  • Fleece material x 2 (each in a different color - gray and pink)
  • Scissors

How It's Done

Start by cutting out some fabric strips so you end up with 3 strips in total.

Cut 2 strips from the gray fleece. Each one will be (4" x 24"). You'll only need one strip from the pink fleece. Cut the pink strip (2" x 47") - this will be longer and narrower than the gray strip.

Grab the two ends of the wider strips (grey) and wrap the narrow strip of the pink fabric around the two wider strips and tie an overhead knot. Tie a a few of overhand knots with the narrower strip to make the bond tight and secure.

Now, start your braiding until you reach the end of the strips.

Once you reached the end secure with another overhead knot - make it really tight and secure.

Repeat above steps to make a second rope.

Grab the two ropes together and make overhead knot - just make it really tight to make this tug toy durable and long-lasting for your power-chewer.

7. Tennis Ball Muffin Puzzle for Dogs

This DIY dog toy is a great way to keep your pup occupied -and mentally stimulated - while you get on with some work of your own in the kitchen.

All this puzzle toy calls for is a standard muffin tin and some tennis balls, and five minutes effort on your part can turn into hours of fun for your pup.

Need a visual?

Watch how much fun Callie has playing this game:



Melanie Evans

Melanie Evans is a professional freelance writer based in Scranton, PA, who, enjoys sharing her lifelong knowledge about dogs. When not working, Melanie enjoys playing a wide variety of sports, traveling and hanging out with her energetic boxer dog Bruce.

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