If you’ve visited any pet stores lately, you’re probably aware that pet toys are expensive—not just expensive, but ridiculously simple to replicate at way less than $10 a pop. If your dog is anything like mine, she has little regard for how pricey a new toy was for you—she just knows she wants to destroy it in the shortest amount of time possible. (I have one particularly sour memory of a really cute, really expensive stuffed hedgehog toy that was annihilated in a matter of hours.) So why not make the toys yourself? You’ll be less grumpy when your furry friend has gone through them, and you’ll save a ton of money. You probably already have most of these things around the house—more money saved.
The Classic Sock Ball
Put a tennis ball inside the toe area of a sturdy sock. Tie a knot in the sock on top of the ball. Voila: many games of fetch and tug-of-war are in store. (Note: it’s probably best to get socks you haven’t worn from a thrift store or a super store—otherwise your pet might come to identify your scent as chew-approved.)
Kongs are one of my dog’s favorite toys—they’re great to chew on, and it’s a challenge for her to get her snacks out of them. I like them because they’re reusable—but I also like a version I can make myself. Put a couple of small snacks in a sturdy sock and ball the sock up. Put the first sock inside of another sock and tie a knot in the outer sock. This toy will keep your dog occupied for a good amount of time—you can relax for an hour or two.
If your kids (or, hey, you) have any stuffed animals that don’t get much use or love anymore, those toys are sure to get tons of love and attention from your dog. Just cut a slit in the stuffed animal, remove the stuffing (because it can be dangerous if your dog ingests it), and sew it back up. My dog has a hollow moose toy that she alternately nurtures like a puppy and violently flings around by its neck—and it’s been around for a couple of years.
Sturdy Rope Toy
I can’t even count how many synthetic rope toys my dog has gone through at this point—but I do know they were all overpriced! You can emulate the ever-appealing rope toy in two ways. You can take a used kitchen or hand towel and cut two slits along its length, then braid. When you knot the loose ends, you’ll have made a braid that your dog will cherish for weeks…but hopefully longer. Another way to do this: take a long strip of fabric and knot it in the center. Make another knot around the first, and then continue knotting until you have a colossal knot. Trim of excess fabric from the ends and watch your dog go to town on what was formerly scrap material. (This toy is really good for puppies who are teething.)
Brandy Martin writes about pet health and care, and works with two animal clinics in Oklahoma City. For dog grooming Oklahoma City offers specialist at Pet-Vet Supply and visit PMC of Edmond for dog boarding in Edmond OK.