Maybe your dog de-squeaks and de-stuffs toys in the time it takes you to barely get them unwrapped. Or maybe you just want to give your buddy a homemade gift that shows you care. Whatever the reason, these canine-tested playthings are sure to be adored. And the best part? They don't require any serious sewing, cooking or handyman skills. And many of them can be thrown together with things you may already have just hanging around the house.
Water bottle sock
An empty water bottle and a T-shirt make for a crinkly, fun toy. (Photo: Ammo the Dachshund)
You can make this as simple or as intricate as you like, depending on how your dog plays. On the simple side, slip an empty plastic water bottle into a long sock and tie off the end. There you go. For a more elaborate plaything, check out this tutorial from Ammo the Dachshund. You wrap and tie the bottle with layers of fabric (old T-shirts will work) and add braided strips for pulling fun.
Have a dog that likes to shake his toys? He'll have fun with this one. Take all the unmatched socks in the house and knot them all together at one end. The more the merrier and the more colorful it will be when your pet sends his catch flying.
Braided T-shirt tug
Don't toss those old T-shirts. Take one — or better yet, mix the colors by using several — and use this simple project from Felt With Love Designs. Just cut three even strips and knot one end. Braid tightly and knot the other end. Leave an inch or so at the end so it doesn't unravel.
Tennis ball tug
Take a tennis ball and cut two holes in opposite ends using a knife, screwdriver, sharp scissors or box cutters. Use a crochet hook or screwdriver to push a rope through the holes. Better yet, braid strips of T-shirt tightly and use that as your rope. Knot both ends and you have a tug and ball combination, perfect for dogs that like to fetch and yank.
Take a sturdy piece of fabric or an old T-shirt or blanket and put a tennis ball in the center. Gather up the material around the ball, tying extra strips of fabric to secure it, creating an octopus shape. Cut strips in the dangling fabrics and securely braid them.
Were you a Boy or Girl Scout? Brush off those knot-tying skills and give your dog something serious to gnaw on. You'll need some rope and this step-by-step tutorial. Hide a treat in the center of the knot if you want to give your pet incentive to tear the thing apart.
Sweet potato rope chew
Cut holes in the middle of sweet potato slices and bake them until they're hard and dry. Then slide them on a braided hemp rope until you have wheels of nutritious, gnawing pleasure. Here's the easy DIY from Indestructables.