Walk around any pet supplies store these days, and you will be overwhelmed by the variety of goods on offer for pets of all kinds. From a huge range of pet foodstuffs to houses, bedding, clothing and toys, there is probably everything that you can think of to be found there (in the large pet supermarkets, that is). There is, however, an alternative to the shop-bought produce in the dog toys line – why not try making some DIY Dog Toys for yourself? Two things to note about that – you will have fun making stuff and, even better, you will save a lot of money!
The great thing is that there are so many things around that you don’t even need to use your imagination for new ideas, but the more you create, the more fun it will be, so there is every chance that you WILL come up with some original ideas eventually. A good example commercially available but easy enough for you to copy is a cardboard box with a ramped hole on one side. A tennis ball is dropped into the top of the box, finds the exit ramp and rolls out. Once your dog has worked out how to do this himself, he will enjoy chasing the ball across the floor, retrieving it and then repeating the drop/roll cycle.
An even more interesting addition to that toy will get your dog even more interested! You need to jam something inside the box – a small plastic bottle will do with small holes in it. The bottle can be filled with little doggy crunchy treats, and the dog will have lots of fun getting them out. The idea is that the ball drops on the bottle and dislodges one or two treats. They slide out down the ramp with the ball – double delight for the dog!
Less complicated DIY Dog toys can be made, of course. How about cutting a small hole into a hollow rubber ball, maybe one that doggy has already had fun playing with. The hole needs to be just big enough to stuff treats inside but not so big that they all fall out at once. As before, the dog will have fun chasing the ball around but will also soon catch on that good stuff comes out when it rolls. Another winner!
How about something that is, potentially, a bit messier but will be even more fascinating for your dog? Take one small, round-sided plastic bottle with a few holes punched into the sides. Be careful that the holes are neat, as you don’t want the dog cutting his tongue on any jagged edges. Feed a few pieces of chopped raw meat through the screw top – the cheaper and juicier, the better! Watch your dog go wild, licking the sides of the bottle and trying to work out how to get at the meat. He can roll it around the kitchen floor for hours. As I said, potentially very messy, but what a treat for your dog!
A firm favourite recommended by dog trainers is the Muffin Tin Game