Doggie toys are essential for your dog’s well-being and your sanity. You can purchase doggie toys online or in a store. You can also make them yourself.
We are not worried about pet stores going out of business, but you might find out that you will enjoy your dog more, and that your dog will enjoy you more. And that is always a good thing.
Making Dog Toys Is a Good Idea
There are several reasons to make your own doggie toys:
- They cost less than purchasing them from a store.
- You control the quality of the toys because you select the materials.
- Making your own dog toys gives you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
- Making your own dog toys uses up the materials you have lying around your home and reuses/recycles them.
- Families can make dog toys as a family activity that everyone can participate in.
Home-made versus Store Bought Toys
Companies that make dog toys have research departments to determine the best materials and types of dog play to provide a good experience for your dog and the different types of play that your dogs engage in. They have developed the Kong, puzzles, squeaky toys, tugs, Frisbee, and Chuck-its. These are wonderful toys, but some dogs are very rough on their toys and will destroy them quickly. Many of these toys are built to withstand the most destructive dogs, although tales abound of dogs who destroy their toys within the first 15 minutes of play! Then you have an angry human and a confused dog!
Commercially produced toys are varied, colorful and attractive, but mainly for the humans who buy them. Dogs can only see the colors yellow and blue and the variations between them as shown here. So you should tailor your colors to appeal to your dog.
Homemade toys provide you with the opportunity to make a toy that will truly appeal to your dog. You know your dog better than anyone else and can look at what types of toys your dog likes best. If your dog is a chewer, there are different types of chewing toys that you can make. If your dog needs a lot of activity, you can make a tug. There are different types of things that you can make that can be tugged on, or chewed, or tossed.
Types of Dog Toys to Make
There are different types of dog toys to make. The materials that you can use for your homemade doggie toys include old clothes, rope, tennis balls, and treats.
You can take old clothes, tear them into strips and braid into a rope and use this for tug of war.
For added play, and assuming that you don’t mind these toys getting torn up by your dog’s roughhousing, you can braid small treats into the braided clothes.
Old socks are good for making chew toys and tossing toys. You can take a tennis ball and stuff it into the sock, and throw it far away.
For a squeaky toy, you will need to get a working squeaker from another dog toy. Build it into a braided clothing rope.
Drill a hole in a tennis ball and insert a rope through the hole to create another type of tossing toy. You can throw a tennis ball a long way, but this toy will give you the added distance of a sling shot! Just as good as a Chuck-it, but a lot less.
Caution in Making Toys
When you make toys for your dogs, please be concerned about their safety. Never leave a dog to play with these toys without adequate supervision. Dogs chew things apart and swallow everything. Innocuous substances can be chewed up, swallowed, and cause an intestinal blockage.
When you are pulling your old clothes out to make these toys, be careful of the materials. Use only natural fabrics without nap (fuzziness). Synthetic fabrics are not good for dogs.
With the rope for rope toys, use natural material ropes such as cotton, hemp, or sisal rope. Don’t use nylon rope or other synthetic materials. Don’t let your dog play with the toy without supervision if you see the dog eating the rope or the individual strands out of it.
There have been stories regarding tennis balls being dangerous for dogs. These stories promoted using the balls specifically made for dog toys instead of real tennis balls. There is nothing toxic to dogs in tennis balls. Still, you should not let your dog play with tennis balls without supervision because dogs can chew them apart and swallow them. This can result in intestinal blockages and large vet bills.
I’ve seen plastic bottles flatten out with treats added inside. The cap is removed to prevent a choking hazard. The bottle is added to a sock which is then tied off in a knot. This results in a crunchy, chewing toy that will occupy your dog for a long time. Again, be careful to not let your dog use without supervision because you don’t want your dog to get to the treats by chewing up and swallowing the bottle.
Doggie toys are an excellent way to increase bonding with your dog. They are fun to make with every member of the family participating in the design and manufacture. They are fun to play with your dog and will keep everyone occupied for hours. This is the essential reason for making your own dog toys — fun for you and your dog.