DIY Dog & Cat Treats

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Is your pet starting to get bored around the house with the same old toys? While we want to give our pet the world as a pet owner, we know that a new toy will not last long at all. So, instead of rushing to the pet store for a new toy, how about trying to make one out of the items around your house? In this article, learn how to make:

  • Tug of war toys
  • Cat forts
  • Chew toys

And that is just the beginning! Our new article gives a step-by-step process to make some durable and exciting new toys for your dog or cat that they are sure to love.

dog playing with a toy


Pet-ential DIY Toys for Your Pets

Has your dog torn their chew toy to shreds again? Has your cat even touched that expensive feather wand you got them? If your life is becoming a perpetual cycle of throwing away damaged and expensive toys, you may realize that something needs to change. With the increased amount of time spent at home, now is the perfect time to get crafty! Here we will list a few DIY tutorials for some easy and fun toys that can be made from a few items around your house.


Toys to go Mutts Over

If your dog is a bit destructive with store-bought toys, DIY toys may be the perfect thing for them to try. Since the materials are from around the house, you can make a toy to be more durable for playtime, and if it does get worn you’ll always have enough materials to make another one.

For instance, you can repurpose a few old t-shirts and an old tennis ball to make a strong tug-of-war toy that is bound to get your dog’s tail wagging. To begin, take an old t-shirt and cut two wide strips and one thin strip out of it. Take the wide strips, place them in an X shape, and place the old tennis ball in the center. Wrap the cloth around the ball and secure with the thin strip. Finally, cut the excess strips vertically and braid the ends to complete the toy and prepare for all the fun!

If one of your socks mysteriously disappeared during laundry day, you can repurpose its partner as a fun toy for your dog! First, all you need is a water bottle of any size (for smaller dogs, a smaller bottle may be better), a full-length sock (fuzzy ones will make the toy look super cute as well), and some decorative string. All you have to do is cut a hole on the closed side of a full-length sock, stuff a water bottle inside, and twist shut on both sides with some string. This toy is a great alternative to a stuffed toy if your dog roughouses with their toys.

If you want something cuter as a toy, you can make a small pillow with a few t-shirts or a pretty fabric. Simply take two pieces of fleece or an old t-shirt and cut an identical shape of your choice into both of the fabrics, leaving a circular 2 inch space around the outside of the shape. To tie the two fabrics together, cut two 2 inch slits into the fabric and double knot the pieces together. Repeat this process around the shape and stuff the pillow with stuffing towards the end. While cute, this toy is not recommended for dogs who are rough with their toys, since stuffing will end up all over the house.



Cathletic” Toys

No matter how many toys we buy our little friend, a cat will almost always end up playing with the box and never touch the actual toy. Instead of wasting another dime on fancy toys, you can make a special custom toy for your cat with items you already have. This way, you can tailor the toy to your cat’s interests and they’ll be sure to take interest in it.


First off, every cat loves to have their own little hideout. A simple cat tent can be made with just an old clothes hanger and a t-shirt. Simply clip two wire hangers at the twist and curve them to make a tent-like archway. Then, poke the hangers into the base of a piece of cardboard, fasten the bottom with tape, and cover the tent with the shirt. Now you can decorate the fort with your cat’s favorite pillows, towels, or treats inside.


If your cat is obsessed with feathers or ribbons, a DIY wand is the perfect way to make sure all of their favorite items are involved in the fun! Simply find a stick-like object, fasten some twine to the stick, and begin adding all of your cat’s favorite objects: feathers, bells, ribbons, you name it! The best way to fasten the string to the stick is to tape the string on one side of the stick and continue covering the stick in the string, which also doubles as a cute and fuzzy accent color.


If your cat is a curious critter, they may have fun with an easy-made cat puzzle. Simply take an old tupperware bin, put a few of your cat’s favorite toys or treats inside, and cut a few holes into the top for an inquisitive paw to reach in. The best hole placement may be near the edges, which allows them to pull up treats with their paws once in a while as a reward for their cleverness.


These crafty projects just prove that money does not always buy your pet’s happiness, but the hard work you put into making them happy just might. Even the process of making the toy can be a bonding moment in itself, and the playtime afterwards will be well worth it.

Posted in

Dr. Chris Vanderhoof, DVM, MPH

Chris is a seasoned veterinarian with over 15 years of animal health experience in small animal, large/farm animal, equine, and public health fields.

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