How to Make Homemade Dog Toys for Your Dog

Dog toys are expensive these days. Here’s how to save money by making your own unique dog toys.

All dogs need some type of toy to reduce boredom and burn off some excess physical and mental energy. But dog toys from the pet store can be so expensive. Plus, even the toys that are designed to be rugged and durable may not last long with an aggressive chewer. Fortunately, there is a way you can save money and still provide your dog with recreation .How? By making your own homemade dog toys. It’s really quite simple to put together inexpensive dog toys if you use a little imagination and creativity. Here are quick and easy ways to make dog toys your canine will appreciate:

Think out of the box.

A dog toy doesn’t necessarily have to be a bone or a ball. Something as simple as a piece of fruit can keep your dog entertained. Fill up a big pail with water and drop a fresh apple into the water .Now watch your dog entertain himself while he participates in his own game of bobbing for apples. Plus, you don’t have to worry about safety. If your dog destroys the apple by eating it, the only thing he’ll only get is a healthy dose of antioxidants.

Avoid using clothing or shoes as toys.

Some well meaning dog owners will give their dog an old shoe that they no longer need for chewing purposes. Unfortunately, your dog may generalize from that old shoe to other shoes you wear on a daily basis and steal one of them for his chewing pleasure. It’s best to reinforce with your dog that all shoes are off limits.

Use your sewing machine to make inexpensive, homemade dog toys.

This can be as simple as taking scrap, heavy duty fabric such as canvas material and cutting it into squares. With the wrong side of the fabric facing outwards, sew around the edges of three sides of the square. Turn the fabric inside out so the right side of the fabric faces outwards again. Now stuff the fabric pocket you’ve created with soft stuffing material and sew the open edge closed. Give it to your dog to enjoy.

Give new life to your dog’s old bones.

Sometimes a dog will chew on a bone for awhile and then become bored with it. You can renew interest in those deserted bones by flavoring them with a small amount of peanut butter. This works well for bones that have a hollow interior where you can place the peanut butter to make it challenging. Dogs will sometimes lick these bones for hours to savor that last hint of peanut butter flavor.

Recycle an old rope.

If you have a large rope laying around the house, tie several knots at each end and you have a perfect homemade dog toy for chewing and fetching. This is a simple and inexpensive dog toy that can go a long ways towards relieving dog boredom.

With a little imagination your dog can stay happily occupied and you can save some serious money by learning to make fun and stimulating homemade dog toys. Why not give it a try?

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User Comments
  1. Shaylee

    On November 28, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Re- Think out of the box…
    Apple seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides. They can make a dog sick at best and kill a small dog or puppy. Several fruit seeds are posionous. Core the apple first or pick a safe fruit, like an orange.

  2. Natalie

    On February 14, 2008 at 5:35 am

    omg no way its just a apple seed jeeesh yup if u feed them like a billon every single day but nope s just 1 or 2 maybe 5 like your one of thoose people hu brush ur dogs teeth wth thoose wierd fnger brush things there just a waste of money mean a dog is a dog they dont need tooth brushes gve them a good bone to clean there teeth ( NOT A DENTASTICK I MEAN A PROPER BONE ) and yes i belive n some dogs wearing dog boots but thats either sled dogs or dogs n harsh conditions ect but seriously you have to draw the line somewhere ….

  3. yum yum ghosties®

    On March 20, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    LOL =) You are too funny Nat =) I loved all of the ideas. You can turn an old pair of jeans into a fun toy as well. I cut up a pair into the shape of a bone and put in a squeaky toy out of my dog’s old knashed up one and he loves it!

  4. loverbuddy

    On May 4, 2008 at 8:18 am

    yeah toys are really a lot of $. I like the apple idea a lot, but if you are scared that it’s not heathy for your dog then, simple just cut out the core and the seeds as easy as that!lol!

  5. loverbuddy

    On May 4, 2008 at 8:34 am

    yeah toys are really a lot of $. I like the apple idea a lot, but if you are scared that it’s not heathy for your dog then, simple just cut out the core and the seeds as easy as that!lol!

  6. loverbuddy

    On May 4, 2008 at 8:41 am

    i just tryed the apple thing and it didn’t even work he just licked the water so i disided that i would let him eat the apple and it is too big of an apple for him to eat it all. Sorry but this website idea was not a good one! hopefully they will think of more. LOL!

  7. ali

    On May 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    My dog loves this homemade toy. I got an old large sock and stuffed it with two old smaller socks then tied a knot at the end of the big sock. He loves to fetch and play tug a war with it!!

  8. coconut club

    On May 12, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    i am running a club for dogs and have to make toys for the animal shelter

  9. Coconut club

    On May 12, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Cut a hole all the way through a tennis ball and tie rope through it

  10. jack and daisy

    On June 3, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I have found getting a old t-shirt and cutting it into 3 strips and tying one end together and then tightly, braid it all the way down and then finish by tying the knot at the end and you have a cheap and awesome toy for your pet. MY pet loves them and i also donate these toys to the animals shelter. it really makes them feel better and cleans my closet all at the same time.

  11. rj

    On June 23, 2008 at 1:53 am

    some good advice there

    keep up the good work :)

  12. Tara

    On July 13, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    really nice ideas there! :)

    just, avoid giving them bones. They may have sharp edges and can shatter in your dogs mouth injuring their gums and digestive systems leading to intense internal bleeding and most likley death. so if you treasure your dog(and your money) I suggest you don’t ever give them a bone of any kind.

  13. Kay

    On July 29, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    RAW BEEF SOUP BONES are perfectly safe to give your dog. The problems start when you decide to cook them. I realize some people refuse to feed their dogs raw bones. If so here is a rule of thumb to make sure your cooked bone wont break into slivers or get too sharp when your dog starts chewing.
    –Take the cooked bone outside to a paved area.
    –Throw the bone as high up in the air as you can.
    –Let the bone hit the ground.
    –If anything breaks off the bone you have cooked it too long and it SHOULD NOT be given to your dog.
    Great ideas on the website!! Good Job!

  14. Emma

    On August 10, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I was just messing around with some cloth tying it in knots! Finnaly when i finished i thought it would be a good dog toy… all you have to do i make a strip of fabric and then you tie it in knots until you cant anymore!

  15. Emma

    On August 10, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    I donate money and toys to the animal shelter…and of course I make the toys! I make sock balls and tug awar things and much more! If you know any sites that tells you how to make homemade dog toys please post here telling me what they are! Thanks!!!!!

  16. Deanna E.

    On October 14, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Hey I loved the bobbing for apples idea but I just wanted to remind everyone that it is in fact bad for dogs to eat apple cores, one probably won’t hurt but there is a small amount of cyanide in the seeds of apples, so if your dog ate enough cores the effect of that poison could be very dangerous, even fatal.


    Not meaning to be a kill-joy just thought people should know. Happy DIY dogtoy crafting everyone! :D

  17. Tricka

    On November 11, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    My 16 year old German Shorthair ate multiple apples everyday of his life and never suffered any ill effects from the seeds. My vet approved of his apple eating. I think they would have to eat a very large quantity of seeds (in relation to their weight) to be dangerous.

  18. rat lover

    On December 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I like the apple idia! Even if they just drink the water because after they drink the water they have a yummy treat!

  19. jack and m

    On February 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    how could you make a dog toy just out of jeans? this dosent answer my question sry but love the ideas i think i might try them! :)

  20. Selma

    On March 15, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I have an American Pitt Bull Terrier named Diesel who is very energetic and loves to play. I’ve found purchasing toys in a store is pretty much pointless… He destroys them in a matter of seconds. We jokingly call him “jaws of steel” and “Captain Destructo” :) I’ve recently tried a few ideas that hopefully some of you with bigger dogs can enjoy as well. His favorite is the tire on a rope. It’s simple, go to the hardware store and purchase a rubber wheel barrow tire or lawn mower tire, and 3 feet of rope. Then my boyfriend drilled a hole in the tire, and threaded the rope through the hole and knoted it. Tie a knot in the other end for you to hold on to. Swing it around and he grabs on and has a blast!
    Help Educate America About APBT’s! Knowledge is POWER!

  21. Steph

    On April 1, 2009 at 6:34 pm


    I just found a stray and he loves to play with a 2 liter bottle that has been put in a sewn-together denim bag. Just make sure to take off the cap and ring of the bottle so your dog doesn’t choke.

    Great page. It has really great Ideas!

  22. kaitlyn

    On April 11, 2009 at 7:22 am

    hey my dog is a black lab, so that means it is a big dog! i make toys all the time for her(precious). if you have a rope cut it into as many equivalent pieces as you can. when you have done that find different pieces of fabric and tie around it.

  23. Mary

    On April 15, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I have a Shi Poo named Mr. Tumnace. He is really, really playful, but he refuses to use any store bought toys. I later discovered the one thing that he just couldn’t stray away from:
    a bean bottle.
    How to make it:
    1. Empty a plastic bottle and remove the rings (if you have a large dog, use a 2-liter or a milk jug, if you have a small dog, like me, use a mini water bottle)

    2. Fill the bottle 1/4 full with dry beans or nuts and close the cap tightly

    3. (Optional) If you want, you can fill it with a few treats; you could also put a denim sack around the bottle

    *I’ve found that Mr. Tumnace likes those braid ropes too, so I really suggest making one. They’re really cheap and easy to make.

    I hope I’ve been a good help!


  24. Kaytee

    On April 15, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I found these EXACT ideas on another website. Word for word. I think it was on eHow or something.

  25. Sarah

    On June 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    help! i need some new, fresh,creative ideas for homemade dog & cat toys!! i just got a new dog, and i can find any toys 2 make him,or for my cat whuich ive had for almost 9 years now. I dont need a website to tell me about how to fix the toys or what to do with them after i dont want them anymore!!!ok then well gimme some real websites, please though i love your backround.

  26. Annie

    On June 28, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    1. Rattle-
    Dried rice in a plastic coke bottle.
    Choose what bottle dependant on the amount of mess your dog will make with it! Eg. chew it to pieces!
    I died the rice with food dye to make it look prettier (to me)!

    2. Bungy Ball/Tug-o-war
    Drill a hole through a tennis ball. Cut a length to bungy cord (stretchy rope) and tie it at one end to secure the ball.
    Then tie the other end to….its up to you! The roof of a verandah or patio, a fence, pole or post.
    Keeps dog entertained without you needing to do the work!

  27. Annie

    On June 28, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Also- my dog pulled the rubber rings off the bottom of his bowls and loves chewing on them-anyideas how I could turn this into a toy would be appreciated!

  28. roni

    On June 30, 2009 at 11:49 am

    take a empty sprite plastic bottle and take off the label and the ring so the dog doesnt choke on it and put some dog food in it and close the cap as tight as you can. your dog will love it. my dog goes crazy when he plays with it.

  29. Elise

    On July 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Ya but thats mean cuz ur dog wants the food but cant get it so give them some after a few mins so they dont get to frustrated.

  30. Annie

    On July 2, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Cut a small hole in the bottle with a knife (or drill it)
    That way the food will come out every now and again once the dog learns how to use it-gets there brains working and they get rewarded!

  31. CKlebs

    On August 29, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I’m not sure why so many dog owners are afraid of bones, what exactly did dogs use to eat? The truth is they need to be RAW (soup bones, and yes even chicken bones) if your afraid of them getting food poisoning then you have been misinformed, dogs have a system to protect them. Bones only splinter once cooked. You may freeze the bones first for extra safety. Don’t miss out on the nutrients, vitamins, and the chewing action that greatly benefits the animal. Store bought bones (Dog bones) are not good. Really if you think about it, it only makes sense. I’ve had 9 beautiful dogs’ different varieties and they all ate frozen raw chicken. They loved it and so did their body, coat, health and longevity.

  32. Hello

    On November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    how long does it usually take a dog about 11 pounds to fully eat the entire soup bone?

  33. kaitlyn

    On December 14, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    hi i need some good ideas of toys i could make for my new puppy bella and im nine so they have to be easy

  34. katie

    On December 14, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    i have a really good idea for making a dog toy.
    you need two pairs of knee socks and some stuffing(i get it from the toys my dog rips up)and then you stuff both pair of knee socks and tie them together and you have a four way tugg a war rope that your dog will love so the whole family can enjoy fun with the dog!!!!!!:)

  35. Zoey

    On January 30, 2010 at 11:06 am

    i love all of these new ideas and everything,but I’m 11 years old
    and my dogs are very sensitive to these toys sometimes and
    i can’t use the stove.i don’t have a machine to do this so can you help me please. i will really appreciate it.1 more thing one top of that i need to make dog close for my chiwawa and sorry for misspelling so can you please help me! :(

  36. Zoey

    On January 30, 2010 at 11:26 am

    you can make a really no sewing dog toy ;) and you can make it
    any size! :D you need all this things.
    -you need though fabric (any kind but it needs to be though)
    -take the fabric and cut it into even pieces (2 pieces)
    -then take the fabric and cut three inches all around (NOT CUT OFF! D:< )
    -then you tie the fabric together (to make an fuzzy edge )make knots.
    -then you stuff it and finnish tieing
    then you have a great toy! ;)

  37. Charlotte

    On May 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    k so there are 2 things that my great dane loves to play with
    ice cubes sliding across the floor and a frozen water botte

  38. alli

    On October 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    hi! i really need help finding a homemade toy for my german shephard huskie mix. she is really playfull and energetic. she will chew up any thing she finds. please help. fast.

  39. alexis

    On October 21, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    hi! i really need help finding a homemade toy for my german shephard huskie mix. she is really playfull and energetic. she will chew up any thing she finds. please help. fast.

  40. alexis

    On October 21, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I tried the bobbing for apples. it was a great idea except she just drinks the water out of the bucket. i need a more playful toy that she will like. she was found as a stray and someone turned her in to the shelter (horrible shelter) the people who rescued her saw that she in the corner of her kennel in the back and her kennel was so dirty. i felt so bad. she probably dose not even know how to fetch and she is scsrsd of people. she probably never played with her old ownwers. when they found her at the shelter she was going to be pit asleep. please help me find some toy for my dog that wont hurt her.

  41. Shonargh

    On November 10, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Old sock (longish one) + tennis ball.

    Put the tennis ball in the sock and push it right down to the end where your tows would be. Make a tight knot right next to where the tennis ball is and give it to your dog.
    My dog, Ace goes crazy :)

  42. Ashley

    On November 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Yes! Give them bones! Without bones tarter and plaque will start to build up and the dog may get gingivitis

  43. Ashley

    On November 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    The 2 new labs my grandpa just bought loves the toy I made them. Here’s how I did it:

    *get an emty pop or water bottle of any size
    *take the plastic ring around the cap Off
    *put a couple pennies in the bottle and close the cap TIGHT

    I reccomend a 2 leader pop bottle for bigger dogs. Put the toy away if you are not watching the dog. To get their attention you can just shake the bottle and throw it.

  44. Kelly

    On January 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Plastic bottles are great fun for our dogs (of any size). Please don’t fill the bottles with dried beans, dried rice or coins. Your dog may ingest these things causing far more harm than the previously mentioned apple seeds. Instead use ice cubes or kibble to get the desired rattle without the potential foreign body emergency. You must also make sure your dog does not ingest the plastic. It’s up to you to supervise and see how these toys work for your dog.
    Bones: raw (non splintering) or the commercially smoked are okay when given in moderation and when SUPERVISED. You must supervise the dog and be able to take away the bone as needed (you can replace it with another favorite toy or a favorite snack). Dogs that ingest too much bone material or splintered bones can cause a veterinary emergency.
    Vet tech, 18 years.

  45. rachel

    On March 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    does anyone have any ideas for puppy toys??? I have a 14 week black labrador puppy and he bites everything :) and im ten so it needs to be super ez

  46. dog lover

    On April 24, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Hey if you have a playful dog then go to Dog Collars By Design on facebook they have great homemade dog tug toys collars and more. They run sales alot like half off on the toys. I have two of the toys and they are holding up great with my 5 shepherds and pit bull. They have them for large breed dogs and small breed dogs the small breed toys are great for puppies. They have it to wear you can make the color of toy you want they are cute and pretty durable.

  47. Gabrielle

    On September 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I am presentation for tafe I need some good home made animal toys if any one have any ideas pls let me no

  48. Alex

    On January 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Card board tube and put peanutbutter in the inside (alot of peanut buttter) my dogs love it

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