4 Easy DIY Dog Toys to Keep your Dog Busy

5 Minute Read
Updated January 17, 2023

Raise your hand if you love spoiling your dog with lots of new toys and natural chews! We do too. Introducing new toys is a great way to keep our dogs mentally and physically stimulated.

But buying a new dog toy every week isn’t always feasible!

If you love treating your doggo to new toys regularly, you should try making your own. It’s easy and fun to get creative with what you have on hand. All it takes is a little bit of crafting, and you can give your dog’s playtime a whole new twist!

From homemade puppy toys to challenging dog puzzles for your genius, full-grown pooch, here are 4 fun and easy DIY dog toys you can try. Let’s get crafty!

4 Easy DIY Dog Toys

When it comes to making homemade dog chew toys, it’s important to remember that our four-legged pals need mental exercise too! DIY interactive dog toys, treat dispensers, and puzzle toys for dogs are excellent ways to provide them with a mental challenge.

1. DIY Snuffle Ball

A DIY snuffle ball is a fun foraging toy! Use small treats or kibble that are easy to sink down into the center of the ball, making it a challenge to shake free. You can also create a DIY snuffle mat instead of a ball by using a rubber sink mat instead of the ball in our instructions below. 

DIYs Snuffle Mat

The snuffle ball is an excellent toy for helping your dog explore their natural foraging instincts. It's great for mental stimulation and indoor playtime. It's easily customizable too. Use different fabrics to suit your dog's play style and prolong the life of your dog's new DIY toy. 

Denim, for example, is a tougher material that might stand up to more aggressive play. Just keep in mind this is not a chew toy, and it should only be used when your dog is supervised. 

Wanna see it in action? Check out how much our friend Farley loves her new snuffle ball!


2. Upcycled Puzzle Toys

If your dog is bored of his usual puzzle toys, make a new one out of your recyclables! Entertain your pet with treats while making a sustainable choice. It’s a win-win. This DIY dog toy is also an excellent slow-feeder for dogs that tend to scarf their food down too quickly!

DIYs Upcycled-1

The best part of this toy is that it is so easy to make, and you can use whatever recycling you have lying around. Try different things to find the upcycled toy that is the most challenging for your dog. 


3. Muffin Tin Puzzle

No baking is required for this DIY dog puzzle – just the bakeware! Enjoy watching your pooch nudge with his paws and snout to remove the tennis balls and reveal the treats. Great for physical activity as well if your dog starts chasing any runaway balls!

DIYs Muffin-1

4. The Shell Game

Play a classic memory game with your dog! The Shell game is a fun way to stimulate your dog’s mind and test their attention to detail.

DIYs Shell-1

The shell game is a classic and requires no construction or craftsmanship. Just use whatever household items you want, like bowls, cups, mugs, or Tupperware. You can level up the game when your dog starts to catch on to the basic trick.

Add more cups, change the pattern you use to hide the treat or have your dog turn around so they can't see where the treat is hidden. This will teach them to follow their powerful noses. 

This is a less challenging game, but it's great for dogs that are just starting out. Our pal Cricket is already a pro at the shell game, but he doesn't mind the rewards!


Switch It Up

Mixing up your dog’s usual routine is essential to keeping his mind sharp and physical health in check. Treating your pet to a new stimulating activity or interactive toy allows you to engage your pet more and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Remember, all dogs are unique and require different levels of difficulty. Certain games and the best homemade dog toys may be too complicated for your pet. If you notice your dog showing signs of frustration, take it slow, simplify the game or try something new.

Interactive toys are not only fun for your pet but for you, too! So, for your next DIY project, skip the candle-making and make something really worthwhile – a special toy for your dog :)


DIY Dog Toy Frequently Asked Questions

What are DIY dog toys?

DIY dog toys are homemade playthings created from common household items or craft materials. Making your own dog toys can be a fun and cost-effective way to provide entertainment and mental stimulation for your furry friend.

Are DIY dog toys safe for my pet?

Ensure that the materials you use are non-toxic and won't pose choking hazards. Regularly inspect DIY toys for wear and tear, discarding them if they become damaged.

What are some simple DIY dog toy ideas for beginners?

Simple DIY dog toys include braided fleece ropes, cardboard puzzle feeders, or tennis ball treat dispensers. These can be made with minimal materials and crafting skills.

Are there specific DIY toys for different dog breeds or sizes?

While some DIY toys are suitable for all dogs, it's a good idea to consider your dog's size, age, and play preferences when crafting toys. Small dogs might prefer smaller toys, while larger breeds may need sturdier options.

Can DIY toys help with my dog's mental stimulation?

DIY toys can provide mental stimulation through puzzle-like designs or treat-dispensing mechanisms. These toys engage your dog's problem-solving skills and can help prevent boredom and destructive behaviour.

Where can I find DIY dog toy ideas and instructions?

You can find DIY dog toy ideas and tutorials on various websites, pet forums, and social media platforms. Also, pet supply stores may offer DIY toy kits or materials, and there are many DIY dog toy books available for purchase or borrowing from libraries.

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Written by

Krystn Janisse

Krystn is a passionate pet nutrition enthusiast. She has worked in the pet industry for over a decade and loves to share her passion for animal welfare with others. She is currently working for one very rebellious cat, Jack, and hanging out with a goofy but loveable doggo named Roxy.


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