Have you noticed your dog or cat is a little bored this weather? That might mean sitting around more than usual or jumping around more than usual. The solution is to find some new and interesting toys for them to play with, but how can you do this without spending a bunch of money at the pet shop or online. The answer is with DIY pet toys, and here’s how to make them.
Ball tug toy for dogs
Dog love toys they can tug on; it simulates what they would do in the wild – back when dogs were more like wolves – and it trains the muscles in their jaws and neck. Of course, you can easily buy a ball tug toy from the pet shop but that costs money and it’s less fun.
A ball tug toy for your dog is easy to make. Find an old t-shirt – that shouldn’t be too hard after your recent spring clean. Get a tennis ball and put it inside the t-shirt. Twist it, so the ball stays fixed, then cut strips into the t-shirt. Braid the strips, then tie a piece of material around the neck to hold the ball.
A hanging scratchpad for cats
Have you noticed that cats love scratching things? No doubt it’s your furniture they love to tear to pieces. That’s because cats have a natural urge to scratch things; it helps them take off old claws and marks their territory with scent glands in their paws.
A hanging scratchpad is one of the best toys for your kitty; it gives them a safe place at scratch and keeps your furniture safe. Take a plank of wood and drill two holes in the top for the scratch post to hang. Now wrap sizzle rope around the board from top to bottom; it attaches to the board with glue.
An interactive dog feeder toy
Some people think dogs like to work for their food or treats; no doubt the dogs themselves would disagree, but it does help to work their brains and their instincts if you can make their food a little bit less accessible. One good way to do this is with an interactive dog feeder.
An interactive dog feeder is made using a piece of PVC pipe. Drill and cut some holes along the pipe big enough for treats to fall out of. Sand the holes, so there is little danger of hunting your dog’s snout and wash it in the dishwasher. Finally, fill it with treats and watch your dog enjoy the challenge.
Wands for cats
Cats love wands, and not just the magic kind since they’re witches at heart. They love to play with wand toys because it simulates a hunt for them, and it’s satisfying when they catch the little feather or ribbon. So how do you make one of these for yourself?
You can buy a piece of doweling rod from a craft shop. You will also get the ribbon and feathers you need there too. From there, it is just a simple case of attaching the feathers and ribbon to the end of the rod. You can use thread for this.
Plastic bottle tug toy
If you thought there wasn’t any use for a plastic bottle these days, there still is, so if you accidentally buy one or if you still have some in the house, why not put them to good use and make a neat dog toy out of them?
The plastic bottle tug toy is made using a two-litre plastic bottle and an old bedsheet. If you’re feeling super creative, why not tie-dye the bedsheet first. Cut four one-inch strips from the bed sheet to act as ties; then it’s just a case of wrapping the bottle in the bedsheet and tying it with the stips.
The cat Olympics
The Olympic games in Tokyo might have been cancelled because of coronavirus, but it doesn’t have to be all over for the cats. Cats are brilliant athletes – they can jump six times their own length – and they love to exercise.
For this great Olympic event, put your cats in another room while you set it up. Make a passageway for them using cushions on the floor and stand-up toilet roll holders. Your cats will be curious when they come in and walk through the passageway – count how many of them they knock over.
T-shirt rope toy for dogs
Rope toys are brilliant for dogs; dogs love to tug on them and test their strength. Unfortunately, these toys tend to disintegrate quite quickly because of the punishment they take; that’s why it’s better to make your own; it’s a little less harmful on the pocket.
The t-shirt rope dog toy is made using a t-shirt cut into strips and braided together. You will need to braid the rope as well to strengthen it further and make it suitable for tugging. You can braid the rope using the scoubidou technique, which is very easy to learn and gives you a tough, resilient finish.
Treat-filled mouse for cats
Cats love to hunt; it’s in their nature to run around and catch small animals like mice and birds. If you have outdoor cats, they will probably bring these animals to you like trophies, but indoor cats don’t have the same opportunity to express themselves. One answer is a treat-filled mouse.
This is probably the simplest toy on the list to make yourself. Get one or two loo roll holders from the bathroom and fold up one side of the cylinder. Now put some treats inside and close the other end. That’s your mouse. You can launch it and let your cat chase it or put it on a stick or string to pull it around.
Simple sock toy for dogs
Dogs love to chew on things; it’s just one thing they love to do, but why continue to buy expensive dog toys from the shop when you have the materials at home laying around. Save the money instead and buy something nicer for your dog, like a new collar, lead, or dog house.
The simple sock toy is made using one half of the other sock that was lost somewhere. You know the ones. Take that single sock and cut a hole in the toe. Now insert a plastic water bottle and tie both ends. Give this to your dog, and he will love to chew on it.
Build a cat castle
A cat castle is one of the coolest and easiest cat toys on the list; it’s also super cheap, much cheaper than you would pay in the shops for something similar. Cats love this toy because it lets them hideout away from prying eyes and feel secure.
This toy is made using a TV stand that you turn on its side. You then cover it with a bedsheet and make a little teepee roof with some canes. Make sure one side of the castle is open so the cats can come in and out. They will love their new space and feel like kings and queens in it – that’s if they don’t already.
To sum up
Your pets need toys to keep them occupied and healthy. Different pets have different needs so you need to consider the type of pet you have and their personality. Although these toys can be expensive in the pet shops, you can make your own in the house a lot cheaper, often reusing materials that would otherwise go to the landfill. If you want to do the ethical thing this summer and save money, pick some DIY toys from the list and get cracking.
Image Credits: Edge2Edge Media