Toys are an indispensable item in any dog’s life especially if he or she is expected to lead a healthy and productive life. By being able to facilitate mental stimulation, toys play a key role in alleviating separation anxiety, discouraging destructive behaviors, boosting social behaviors and encouraging the dog to live a happy and productive life.
But when it comes to toy selection, most dog owners usually feel obliged to purchase costly ones instead of looking for other affordable or non-costly alternatives.
Also, due to the hefty price tags on most play items, most owners can only make one or two purchases at a go. But not known by too many people, there is an inexpensive alternative that can assist pet owners in saving tons of cash while achieving the same result as they would have with a new play item.
Apart from being very easy to design, homemade toys are also very cheap to make and at times no costs are incurred as long as the pet owner has all the necessary assemblage parts at his disposal. Furthermore, homemade play items are ideal because they tend to increase the life cycle of various disposables.
Hence, they are eco-friendly and a green solution to items that would have normally been discarded as waste. See more homemade goodies in our easy to make DIY dog toys that are inexpensive, as well.
Needless to say, the home designed play items are just as effective as purchased play items because they all achieve similar results. But, like shop toys, there are several issues that every dog owner must put into consideration before selecting a suitable play item design.
Without addressing these issues of concern at the initial stages, the results may be dire on your dog with some instances necessitating the need for emergency medical attention. Hence, here are some of the things that every dog owner must consider before selecting an ideal homemade toy design.
Things to Consider Before Selecting the Ideal Homemade Dog Toy
Establishing where your dog lies on the chew meter is essential especially when it comes to the selection of an ideal toy. Various toys such as recycled plastic bottle toys are not suitable for very strong chewers because they can be punctured or torn easily. Hence, dogs that are on the upper scale of the chew meter it is indispensable to provide them with homemade playtime items.
The play items should be designed from materials that are not only durable but also strong enough to tolerate aggressive chewing. Also, the material should not only withstand the belligerent chewing but it must also not wither, shred, crack, rip or puncture in the process.
This aspect is very important because once ingested, the small particles from the toy may induce choking, vomiting, and many other gastrointestinal complications. All in all, if your pet is an aggressive chewer, you should consider toys that have been constructed from ultra-durable constituents such as rubber.
Apart from the chew meter, another thing that you should always put into contemplation when planning to either build or purchase a play item for your pet is the ratio between the toy and the dog.
It is essential for the size of the toy to be directly proportional to the size of the dog. If the size of the play item is smaller when compared to your dog’s size, they can be easily swallowed which will eventually lead to unwarranted medical expenses.
Furthermore, before handing a toy to your dog, always ensure that small sized items that may be attached to the item or could be swallowed easily are eliminated before handing the toy to the pet. See our guidelines on the top dog-friendly chew toys that are suitable for your pooch.
Your pet’s age also plays a key role when it comes to the selection of an ideal play item. Despite the fact that the desire to chew is usually a natural instinct in all canines, it is usually at its highest point during the developmental stages that are usually between eight weeks and six months. Hence, so as to release the discomfort present in his or her gums, your puppy is going clump onto anything that is chewable.
When searching for an ideal play item for your puppy, you should always ensure that the item of your choice will not be injurious in anyway. Also, toys that have been designed from materials such as plastics must be avoided at all costs.
Alternatively, the owner should opt for materials that are going to have a soothing effect on the puppy such as splash balls. Why not see our list of topnotch and cool dog toys that your furry companion might like?
Homemade edible toys are also another option that homeowners can make for their puppies. Needless to say, edible play items are a good occasional treat for puppies because they play a key role in keeping the pearly white teeth clean. Also, edibles can be used to freshen the puppy’s breath and keep him or her interested for a very long time.
While putting all aspects into consideration, there are a wide range of options available for dogs of all ages and all of this preferences can be produced locally without the need for extra costs. Hence, before selecting an ideal toy design for dogs, factors such as the age and the chew meter must also be kept under consideration.
Benefits of Homemade Toys
Unlike manufactured toys, homemade dog toys are very cheap to make and at times there are no costs involved as long as the dog owner has all the necessary parts required for the assembly process. Most of the necessary materials and toy parts may be obtained easily from various recyclables such as old clothes, plastic bottles, tennis balls and many others.
Another benefit of homemade toys is that they are usually easy to make. Hence, you can have as many play items for your pet as you want with very little skills and without any financial restrictions whatsoever.
Needless to say, play items whether purchased or homemade are important because they provide mental stimulation and alleviate separation anxiety. All dog breeds will require some form of mental stimulation if they are to lead a healthy and productive life.
Homemade toys can be a great tool for instigating mental stimulation in dogs. Besides, play items can be used to alleviate separation anxiety that is usually common in dogs that may need attention from time to time. Our piece on how to choose the right dog toys to keep Buster preoccupied is a worthwhile read.
Another benefit of homemade toys is that they can be employed as an effective tool when it comes to combating destructive behaviors in dogs. By providing your dog with a play item, he or she is going to use the item as a positive outlet for the unnecessary physical energy.
The play items can be used to strengthen the bond between you and the dog because you will be going to spend more time with him or her while having fun. Furthermore, toys are essential in promoting dental health because they can be used as a form of exercise for the jaw muscles.
Finally, homemade toys can be used as a clean-up process because most of the materials used in the assemblage process are mainly recyclables.
Because most recyclables often reach a point where they can no longer be useful; assembling a play item for your pet from these materials is indeed a great way of improving the material’s life cycle. Also, items such as clothing, once they have been used as a play item they tend to become easily decompose due to the wear and tear effect inflicted on them.
4 Homemade Toy Designs That Every Dog Owner Must Try Out
1. The Whipwhir
The Whipwhir also commonly referred to as the stick and rope toy is undeniably one of the best toy ideas, especially for dogs with high energy levels. Apart from being exceedingly unique the Whipwhir is also very easy to make and will at times require zero budget as long as you have all the necessary materials.
Unlike most toys that may be used explicitly either on the inside or the outside, the Whipwir is among the few toys that can be used on both platforms.
But for individuals who will use this toy inside the house it is very indispensable that they should ensure they have more than enough space for the dog to move freely.
For the assembly of this toy, you will be required to have an old broomstick that has a hole drilled on one end. Also, you will also need a six-foot rope or cord and a toy preferably a tennis ball or an old sock.
After finding the all the necessary items, you are to begin the assembly process by fastening the rope on one end of the old broomstick preferably the end with a hole. The final huddle of this design, mainly entails tying the toy i.e. sock, braided rugs, and tennis ball on the end of the cord or rope and your toy is good to go.
Like any other toy, the Whipwhir unquestionably has some safety guidelines especially because it is an ideal toy for high energy dogs. While using this toy, there is a possibility of the dog getting injured when it becomes over exuberant.
Hence, you are required to ensure that the dog is properly warmed up before you begin any playing session. Also, it is highly prudent that the distance between the ground and the toy should be reasonable. Most sporting dog breeds can benefit from this kind of toy and high-energy activities, so read all about it in our previous article.
2. Recycled Drinking Bottle
The recycled drinking bottle toy is one of the easiest toys to make because all it requires is an old drinking bottle and a little bit of effort.
This type of toy is a favorite among all dog species because of the cracking and crinkly sound that it produced when chewed on by a dog. Before handing the recycled drinking bottle to the pet, always ensure that the lid, and the ring, which is usually attached to the lid have all been carefully removed.
Furthermore, if your dog is a serious chewer, you can consider giving him or her another homemade toy instead of the recycled drinking bottle. The careful approach is essential because plastics tend to form very sharp corners that can cause some serious damage to any dogs’ delicate gums and in some cases some the sharp pieces may be swallowed by your pet. , there are three recycled drinking bottle ideas that you can use when brainstorming for an ideal homemade toy.
You can either choose to remove the lid from the bottle, and then fill it with dry food like biscuits. The main concept behind this particular design is that the dog would have to roll the bottle so as to get treats out it. Another dry bottle idea that you can opt to use is the pierced recycled bottle. , you will be required to get an old dry plastic bottle then pierce several holes continuously on its side.
Unlike the first recycled bottle idea that has the food coming out of the lid, the pierced recycled bottle concept has the food coming out of the piercings on its side. Alternatively, you can decide to take the plastic bottle and fill it with water up to the half mark.
After you complete the first step, you will then freeze the bottle on its side. This particular toy is ideal during the hot months when your pet will be in urgent need of some cooling effect.
3. Tennis Ball Puzzles
For owners who are looking for an ideal way to slow down fast eating dogs then the Tennis Ball Puzzle can come in handy. Despite the fact that the Tennis Ball Puzzle is a little bit pricey in comparison to other homemade toys, its effectiveness and durability are unrivaled.
Additionally, this particular item is ideal for all dog breeds regardless of the age and level of activity. Before you begin building this toy, it is very important for the dog owner to establish the level of hardness that may be required.
If you are looking to challenge your dog a little more, you can always opt for a difficult version of the tennis ball puzzle. Factors that may also play a key role when it comes to the level of hardness include the size of the particular treat, your pet’s determination and the size of the treats.
For this particular toy, you will be expected to have a very sharp knife, a tennis ball, and a muffin tin. After you have successfully collected all the necessary items for this particular toy, you will cut the tennis ball along its side so that the treat can be placed inside the ball.
Depending on the type of cut on the ball, you can manipulate the difficulty level of each tennis ball. Making a straight cut along the ball is an ideal way to increase the level of difficulty, and it often results in crushed delicacies instead of the usually released treats.
Another way that you can increase the difficulty level is by making cross cuts. The cross cut design usually requires on or two bites and chews before the treat is released. Finally, you can choose to go for flap cuts that can be tucked in for an increase in the difficulty level.
4. Upcycled T-shirt
The upcycled t-shirt is one of the easiest to make toys and is a great tool for playing tug of war or fetch. The good thing about up-cycled T-Shirts is that they can be used to make money during fundraisers and fetes. Up-cycled t-shirts are so easy to make that even you can also include your child or children in the project. For this particular item, you are going to require at least 20 1inch by 20 inch recycled knits from tops and parts in multifarious colors.
The first step mainly involves cutting the fabrics into 20 pieces that are going to measure 2.5 cm by 50 cm for dogs that are larger in size. For smaller sized dogs, you will reduce the length of the pieces but not the width.
After you are through with the initial step, you will then divide the pieces in 2 section, with each section having ten pieces. Once you have separated the pieces into two groups, you will start twisting the two sections together.
Finally, you will conclude by tying large knots on each end. Complete the process by ensuring that the knot is not only tight but also secure. A point to note is that this process does not require any form of sewing or gluing, every step can be concluded without any additional item.
Irrespective of the source of the toy, either homemade or factory built, supervision and regular are very important.
Whenever the pet is playing with the toy, always ensure that he or she is always with someone so that in case there is any development the issue is addressed immediately. Playtime with your dog should always be a safe time, as we’ve written in exciting games to play with your dog.
Furthermore, before handing any play item to your dog always ensure that you have adequately inspected the item for any damage signs. If the homemade toy is damaged in any way, do not hand it to the pet but instead you should consider getting a new one or repairing it first before handing it back.