Fun with Fido, Created by You.

Author byline: Written by Casey Dickson, community member. Rover is the nation's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

Fun with Fido, Created by You.

It’s mighty tempting to stroll into the local pet store and check out the array of shiny new toys that look like they’d make your pup the happiest furry thing on four paws. But we all know that Buddy is just as happy tearing into those household items you didn’t intend to be toys: a frustrating reality given the money you’ve spent on carefully curated toys for your sweet friend. So with that in mind, we forged ahead with some do-it-yourself dog toy ideas, entirely made from materials easy to obtain, simple to put together, and won’t break the bank.

Have an intended-for-Goodwill pile collecting dust in the corner of your closet? Turn those old, no-longer-worn threads into something that’ll make your dog’s day: a soft yet durable rope-like toy that will satisfy all manner of chewing and tug-of-war urges.

Scrounge for:

  • Cotton or cotton-blend t-shirt, sweatshirt or sweatpants
  • Scissors

How to make it:

  • Wash your chosen article of old clothing.
  • Cut any seams out, and cut the fabric into as many strips as you like, depending on what styling you’re going for.
  • Create a place to start from: tie all strips into a thick knot at the top.
  • Make your rope. You can create a traditional braid, twist, or make several knots down the length of the fabric.
  • Tie a thick knot at the bottom of your rope to shore up the pattern.
  • Hand off to a happy pup and commence playing.

Repurpose an old tennis ball that’s lost its bounce.

With a fetch-happy Fido, there’s bound to be more than a few tennis balls sacrificed to the important cause of chasing, catching, and chewing. But once the tennis ball has lost its initial luster as an effective and active toy (aka, deflated, torn, or any number of scenarios), don’t toss it just yet! There’s a way to give it second life.

And that way is a treat depository (with a little extra challenge.)

Scrounge for:

  • That one tennis ball (whether it’s under the couch, out in the yard, or being held captive by a reluctant pup)
  • A handful of treats or peanut butter
  • Scissors

How to make it:

  • Grab your scissors and the tennis ball. The specificity of this initial step will depend entirely on the level of damage to the ball at this point, but regardless, you’ll want to cut a slit that’s big enough to allow you to deposit treats through, but small enough so that your dog still has to work a little bit for the reward.


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