All it takes is a few inexpensive supplies and a bit of creativity and you can have a homemade toy for your dog.
A few words of caution before you begin. Choose materials that have not been pretreated with anything such as flame retardant, etc. that might be toxic to your dog.
While many of these toys suggest using items such as socks, remember that your dog cannot distinguish between those things s/he is allowed to play with and the other stuff.
NEVER leave your dog unattended when playing with one of these toys. Dogs have incredibly strong bites and when playing, may destroy a toy. Watch to see that nothing is ingested or swallowed. Remove the toy if any part is broken.
Make sure that whatever materials you use, there are no small items attached such as buttons, etc..
Now for some suggestions.
Knotted toys can be tossed, chewed or used for tug-o-war. Socks can have a single knot while large towels or pieces of cloth can have several knots in them.
A clothesline or rope can be knotted too and may be just right for heavy chewers.
Cut large pieces of carrot and put them in a sock securing the top. Your dog will enjoy the crunchy sound when s/he bites down.
Strips of material or rope can be braided and knotted at the ends.
Balls, especially tennis balls, are versatile toys. You can wrap a ball in a sock or piece of cloth securing it with a knot. It’s bouncy and fun.
Cut out holes on opposite sides of the ball and pull a rope through knotting the ends. Or put treats in the ball and watch your dog solving the puzzle of how to get them out.
Some dogs like to play with plastic bottles. Use a heavy milk bottle and remove the top and label. Or cover the bottle with a sock and put some dried beans inside securing the cover. Some dogs like their toys to make noise. There are companies that sell squeakers separately too.
Several strips of material can be tied together to make another toy. Your old denim items are good for this as this material is strong.
If your dog isn’t much of a chewer you might want to cut material making different shapes (to please you), stuff the material and sew it together.
A tire can be strung securely from a tree for dogs that like to jump. You can also teach your dog to jump through the tire. Bicycle tires are a good size to use.
Make a puzzle box out of a carton. Cut holes around the box, put treats inside and your dog will enjoy victory when s/he is able to get them out.
Have a cat? No problem. See our article “Choosing Toys for a Cat” for DIY suggestions.