3 DIY dog toys your pup will love!

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Guest Post by Jamie Anderson

I have never been the sort of dog owner who can justify spending $40 on a dog toy. Harley, my border collie cross, can destroy a store-bought toy within minutes, and to this day his favourite toy is an empty Tim Horton’s cup.

I started looking into homemade toys after my sister’s dog (pictured above) fell in love with his braided tug toy. I love that it can be customized to the pup’s chew level, and that most of the materials can be found around the house. Below are instructions for how to make it and two other DIY dog toys.

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Braided tug toy

Extremely customizable, this toy is great for chewing or tugging.

What you’ll need:

  • Two strips of durable fabric, roughly 2 m x 5 cm (I used an old pair of jeans, but you can also use fleece, flannel or an old towel)
  • An old dog toy

 

Step 1: Holding the two fabric strips together, wrap them around a chair leg so that you have four taut strands to work with.

Step 2: Make a four-strand braid (The tighter the braid, the harder to chew apart). You can find a simple tutorial here.

Step 3: Once you’ve reached the end of the braid, tie it to an old toy. I cut two slits into each side of a tennis ball, then threaded the braid through with the help of a knitting needle. You can do the same with a Kong or a rubber bone.

Step 4: Tie a tight knot at the end of your braid to ensure the toy won’t come off. (You can tie a knot at the beginning or the end of the braid. I chose to leave the existing loop as a handle.)

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Socktopus

My dog and I spend every summer lakeside, brushing up on his dock-diving skills. We’ve always used a floating toy made out of a tennis ball and a stray sock, but the Socktopus is much cuter! Also, the elastic in the sock helps you get great distance when throwing.

What you’ll need:

  • A thin pair of kneesocks
  • A tennis ball
  • Scissors

 

Step 1: Insert the tennis ball into the end of one sock.

Step 2: Insert tennis ball and sock into second sock, so that openings of socks line up

Step 3: Tie socks into a tight knot at the base of the tennis ball.

Step 4: Using scissors, cut socks lengthwise toward the knot, making about 8 strips (4 per sock).

Step 5: Tie a knot at the end of each arm.

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No-sew stuffy

Not recommended for dogs that love to chew, the no-sew stuffy is for dogs that take care of their toys. Great for quiet games of fetch indoors, and makes a comfy companion for pups who are crate-bound during the day.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 sheets of durable fabric, about 30 cm x 50 cm
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Squeaker, if desired
  • Cotton stuffing

 

Step 1: On one sheet of fabric, draw a simple pattern (such as a dog bone or a circle) with permanent marker. Cut it out.

Step 2: Place the cutout on top of the second sheet, trace it, then cut out second sheet. You should now have two equal-sized pieces.

Step 3: Keeping the two pieces together, make cuts at 1-cm intervals all around the border to create strips. Each strip should be 10 cm long.

Step 4: Double-knot the corresponding strips from the first piece of fabric to those of the second (tie the knots loosely in case you need to adjust them later).

Step 5: Leaving one or two strips left untied, begin stuffing your stuffy.

Step 6: If you’re inserting a squeaker, make sure it’s covered with stuffing and that it’s not right up against the edge of the fabric.

Step 7: Tie off the remaining strips, and adjust other strips as necessary.