Family-Friendly DIY Dog Toys

We get it--every time you’re at the pet store, your kids beg to buy more toys for the pup. As you make a beeline for the pet food, you wonder if you can create better versions of those fancy, expensive, and often flimsy toys. Not only can you improve on the originals, you can have fun while you’re at it!

#1 Good Squeaky Fun

Have a pair of denim jeans you no longer wear? Put them to good use by creating your own squeaky toy! You’ll need the squeaker from an old toy, or a replacement squeaker (sold in multipacks by Kong).

Cut both layers of the back pockets out of the pants, and place them back-to-back with the squeaker in between. Use a loop stitch and a tough needle to sew the pockets together, and let your pet chew to their heart’s delight!

#2 Ball Toss

Wrap a t-shirt around a tennis ball, and seal off one edge with tight rubber bands. Then, cut the section that hangs off to create a fringe. Perfect to toss and play with, on repeat!

#3 Tough-Enough Rope
Perfect for tug-of-war, this toy is durable enough for light-to-medium chewing action, too. You’ll need an old towel, and can optionally use electrician’s tape to seal the ends.

Tear or cut the towel lengthwise into 9 even strips. Braid each set of 3 together, using tape to secure the braids next to each other on a flat work surface. Then, wrap them all into one big braid. You can create big, tight knots to secure each end, or add several tightly coiled layers of electrician’s tape instead.

For a super-colorful toy, use two color-contrasting towels and alternate the strips.

Or find this great assorted package of dog toys from Amazon if you don’t have time to make your own! 

#4 2-in-1 Toy & Treat

Core a sweet potato through the center, then slice it so that each piece has a hole in the center. Use a dehydrator to dry out the sweet potato slices, or bake them in the oven at 250° F for 3 hours. Finally, string the pieces onto a rope, and tie it off at each end. This long-lasting treat and toy is sure to be a hit!

#5 Puzzle Ball

Dogs get bored easily when they aren’t being challenged...and what’s more motivating than food? Create your own doggy puzzle with just a tennis ball!

Use a knife to cut the tennis ball along one side of the white seam. Place a couple of non-perishable treats inside, then tuck the flap into the other side of the seam. The rubber will help keep it in place...but with chewing (and ingenuity) your pup will get the treats out!

The puzzle ball can be refilled, and should last for several uses, depending on how heavy a chewer your dog is.

Need a playtime buddy for your pup, or a pet-sitter while you’re traveling? Turn to for all of your pet care needs!

Written by Nat Smith, community member. Rover is the nation's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

Follow us on Instagram to see our fuzzy babies too! 

You may also like…