Live Green and Earn Points


How to Reuse Household Products to Make Dog Toys

By Trish Smith |

Did you know that the average dog owner will spend between $700-$3000 a year just on his or her dog?

Did you know that the average dog owner will spend between $700-$3000 a year just on his or her dog? This crazy amount includes expenses like veterinarian bills, dog food, treats, leashes, grooming and toys. And we do mean lots and lots of toys. Even though toys are relatively cheap, if you add up how many toys your dog goes through every month and how much you spent on each toy, you might just be a little more than surprised.

One way to cut out dog toy expenses completely from your budget is to make them your own. You can literally reuse items that you have at home to make creative and fun dog toys that your pets can play with for hours. Here are a few great ways to make eco friendly dog toys:

Ball on a Rope– If you are both an avid tennis player and a dog lover, then you can combine these passions into one by making a ball on a rope. All you need to do is drill a hole in two ends of a tennis ball, stick a rope through the holes, and then tie a knot on both ends of the holes. This is a great toy for playing catch.

Sock Ball – Take an old pair of tube socks (washed in natural laundry detergent), drop a tennis ball or two into it and tie the end in a knot. This is another good toy for easy throwing.

Bobbing for Apples – If you happen to have a bucket, some water an extra apple that you picked up from the farmer’s market, how about making your dog a homemade apple bobbing tank! Fill a bucket about halfway with water, drop in the apple and watch your dog do its own version of bobbing for apples.

Washcloth Toy – This is a great toy for teething puppies. Take an old washcloth that has been washed, tie a knot in the middle of it and soak it in water. Ring the water out and then put the toy in the freezer for about an hour. When you give it to your dog you will see how soothing the cold cloth is on his gums, as well as how fun it is to play with.

Braided Toy – An old rope makes an excellent chew toy. All you have to do is to take 3 equal length pieces and braid them together, tying a knot on both ends. The dog will have a blast chewing it.

Rubber Toy – Do you have an old garden hose that you’re not using anymore? If so, then cut the hose into small rings and reuse them as toys for your dog to play fetch. These make an excellent chew toy for teething pups, and they even float in water!

Duct Tape Ball – Take a wad of newspaper and wrap duct tape around it very tightly. This will last long, depending on the sharpness of your dog’s teeth.

These are all very easy and eco friendly ways to make toys for your dogs…and they’re cheap! Of course, there’s always the most popular dog toy around that you don’t have to spend a dime on: a stick. But despite the old “go fetch” the stick theory, veterinarians say that stick throwing is not safe for your pets. The sticks are not only very dirty and full of bacteria, but they can break easily and puncture the skin of the dog if swallowed. So stay away from sticks and reuse your old items to make some of the best dog toys for your best friend.

What is your dog's favorite homemade toy?

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  • lisa p. 1 year ago
    2 of those suggestions are very dangerous, well 3 of them. Old "used" ropes are not appropriate for chew toys since who knows what bacteria and fungal spores are embedded in that rope. Dogs are especially susceptible to the fungus that lives out here in the ground in Los Angeles and which causes Valley Fever in humans and also in dogs. If they are chewing on a spore infested rope they can get either the traditional Valley Fever OR worse, a Fungal Pneumonia. So use NEW, clean rope and wash it in hot water (no detergent) once a week. Next up is the idea that duct tape around Newspaper is EVER safe for dogs. The adhesive is far to strong. Dogs can even swallow pieces of such a ball and wind up needing emergency surgery. NEVER give your dog anything with Duct tape or Duck Tape or whatever you call it where you live. Finally, the idea that all hoses are made of Rubber is woefully out of date. Most are made of composite materials. Do NOT cut up a hose and give it to your dog as a chew toy. SOme of the ideas are OK such as the frozen knotted washcloth but be sure that washcloth is NEW and made of natural fiber. Once it has gotten shredded through play and chewing, dispose of it properly. Also, make surer you wash that thing after every freeze & thaw cycle. As for the fungus that causes Valley fever, it is called , Coccidioides immitis. When someone of your pet becomes ill from it, it is called "Coccidioidomycosis" and your dog most usually gets it from natural digging behavior. if your dog is a digger of holes, you need to break that behavior with re-direction. Clicker training with treats helps as does maintaining a proper lawn or natural drought-tolerant lawn. I've known dogs who've died from valley fever infections in their lungs specifically due to digging behavior their "parents" thought was oh so funny until it killed them. It's an agonizing death too. More info on Valley Fever here:
  • julie w. 1 year ago
    After a prolonged stay in hospital, I ended up with a few pairs of those non-slip socks...I washed, then tied one pair together in the middle very tight, my heeler loves these! Safe around tv sets as they are soft.
  • Susan Z. 1 year ago
    My mother use to use my brother's and father socks. she would put one rolled up sock inside the other sock, tie a knot and place a another sock (3rd) into the first sock then tie a sock again, Our Beagle would go crazy for this toy.
  • Glyn L. 1 year ago
    Also, things like old towels and sheets can be reused as pet bedding, especially in the winter when they need more layers between them and a cold floor. If you don't have pets yourself, look into donating old items to a pet shelter! They always need rags and bedding and toys.
  • T Ann M. 1 year ago
    I agree with previous post, when the cat is tired of this type of toy, recycle it. Later, when you have more, do it again! The cat will be interested anew!
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