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4 Simple DIY Pet Toys for Dogs and Cats

May 27, 2021 by The Spot Pack
Cat with string on bed

Why Go DIY with Pet Toys?

At one point or another, you’re probably going to need to refresh your pet toy stash. Either they’ve destroyed the expensive ones labeled as unbreakable, they’ve figured out the “puzzles”, or they are just not interested in them anymore.

You know how excited your pet gets with a new toy. Somehow your pet knows when you walk through the door with a bag from the pet store or open an Amazon box. What if you could get that same excitement just from what you already have in your house–without going to the store or spending money? You can! Let’s look at how you can make DIY toys with items around the house.

We’ve hit on some DIY pet toys in the past on our eco-friendly pet parent blog. If you’ve already tried those and are looking for some fresh ideas, check these out. You might also want to bookmark this page so you can come back when you need to on a rainy day. These ideas can easily work for both cats and dogs.

Step-by-Step Pet Toy Guide

1. DIY snuffle cinnamon rolls

  • Make 12 strips of fabric 2” wide by 18” long - 6 in a dark color, 6 in a light color.
  • Lay one dark strip over one light strip and place a couple of treats throughout.
  • Starting at one end, roll up until they are “cinnamon buns” and place in a muffin tray.
  • Set the tray in front of your pet and watch the sniff work proceed.

We’re sure your pet already smelled the treats (or even heard the bag!) and knew something was up. But some pets may need help getting the idea, so you might need to unroll one to show the prize inside. If your pet is prone to swallowing fabric, supervise or skip to the next one.

2. Toilet Paper Roll on a String

There are many ways to make this one, but we think this might be the easiest, and you’ll probably have these items around your house.

  • Cut a piece of string about 3’ long.
  • Take 3 to 4 toilet paper rolls, close one end shut either by taping the bottom or folding it over
  • Make holes on opposite sides of each toilet paper roll about 2” from the top of the open side.
  • Put the string through the holes so that all the rolls hang with the closed end at the bottom.
  • Hang the string from two objects. Since this is only temporary, you can use chairs, the door of your dog’s crate, or anything else you can find. Put treats or kibble in the toilet paper rolls.

Now let your pet, who is probably full of curiosity, come to the rolls. You might have to show them how to hit the rolls so they spin and the treats come out. Some dogs may go straight for chewing on the rolls. If your dog is one of them, you can redirect them to use their paws or remake using recycled plastic bottles (such as water bottles) instead of paper rolls.

3. Treasure Box

A treasure box is a great way for pets to “rediscover” their current toys.

  • Take a cardboard delivery box and remove all excess tape or strings.
  • Take your pet’s favorite toys and put them inside the box, along with some high-value treats.
  • Close the box one side at a time, tucking in the last side.
  • Watch as your pet goes for their favorite treats, toy, or lovey.

Of course, your pet will want the treat, but if your pet sees a bit of their ball, tug-tug, or feather teaser, they might start to get interested. While some may begin to chew on the cardboard, they’ll probably have more fun digging and pulling the box open.

4. Lonely Sock Balls

  • Take a sock that has lost its partner, preferably a long one, as you’ll need to tie it later.
  • Roll up something that will make some noise. Ideas include junk mail, advertisement flyers, or a tiny water bottle.
  • If you are making this for your cat, you might want to add a pinch of catnip for motivation.
  • Now, tie the end closed. For dogs, having a long end can lead to a great game of tug-tug

With lonely sock balls, you’ve made a great toy by recycling items around your house and creatively reusing them. As with all the other toys, be sure to watch that your pet doesn’t rip off any pieces and swallow them. As soon as the new toy is compromised, it’s time to go in the trash.

Safety First Pet Toys

Make sure to supervise your pet with new toys to help prevent any destructive or dangerous behaviors. Giving mental stimulation is great for the well-being of your pet. And, you get to enjoy your pet for one of the reasons you first got them – the distracting joy they bring to your everyday life.

Be sure to follow us for more ideas on keeping your pet healthy, happy, and covered. And remember, the right pet insurance can give you peace of mind during playtime for years of fun to come.

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