Homemade DIY Dog Toy: Frugal Fun
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While there are many fun things for dogs to do on a farm—like roll in dead things, eat who knows what they just found, and get lost on actual rabbit trails—we do find that having some toys adds to the fun. But buying toys can be expensive, and some dogs tend to chew right through them. While we love Kong toys for the dogs (because they’re almost indestructible) we like to have other options as well. I thought I’d share with you today how I make a homemade DIY dog toy using something I’ve got a lot of, and maybe you do, too: scrap fabric.
Every farm needs a dog, so of course we have three dogs at ours. And while I am usually quick to tell people that no, you can’t rehome your pets at my farm, I should also fess up—all three of these dogs are technically rescues, two of them from friends/family.
What you need for a homemade DIY dog toy:
To make a homemade diy dog toy, you will need scrap fabric cut into strips. Old t-shirts, denim from old jeans, or fleece works really well. The length of the strip doesn’t need to be anything specific, just know that the longer the strip is, the longer the toy will be—or the more knots you will be able to put in it. The width of the strips doesn’t have to be anything specific either—it’s more about making the best use of whatever fabric you have available—but our strips are generally a couple inches wide.
How to make a homemade DIY dog toy:
Knot three strips together at one end.
Then braid, tie, or knot the strips of fabric.
When you reach the end of the strips, finish it off with another big knot.
You can pin or clamp the beginning knot to something so the toy doesn’t move while you’re braiding, but you don’t have to. I actually walk around the house braiding the strips—which makes the dogs follow me everywhere because they know they’ve got a new toy coming.
Experiment with how tight you make the braid. Some dogs prefer that the braid is tight because it essentially becomes a rope. My dogs love to chew and appreciate the tougher feeling of the rope in their mouth. However, depending on the fabric you’re using, a tighter braid will also make a thinner rope.
Then again, some dogs like a looser braid, especially if the toy is going to become something they carry around and don’t necessarily chew up.
And some dogs just like to have a choice.
You can choose to just knot the toy at both ends or you can put several knots in the middle (after it’s braided) as well. You can also knot it in a way that makes a loop at the end to be used as a tug toy.
Will dogs chew up this homemade DIY dog toy?
This homemade diy dog toy is not indestructible. If you have a dog, you know few toys will last forever—especially anything that is made of fabric. But how long the toy will last obviously depends on your particular dog. Some dogs love to chew until something is destroyed. Other dogs like to carry soft things around like it’s their new best friend.
Be safe. Obviously if there are tiny pieces or it’s becoming so frayed that tiny fibers are coming off, you don’t want your dogs ingesting that. Same thing as you’d do with a “baby” or a stuffy or any other dog toy. If it becomes unsafe, you get rid of the toy.
But I continue to make these homemade DIY dog toys because I have the materials already and it’s essentially free. And if two weeks into the toy’s life it needs to be re-tied or remade all together, I haven’t spent $10 on something I’m throwing away.
Our dogs love a homemade DIY dog toy — even Cash, who is camera shy.
Making a homemade DIY dog toy is easy and your dogs will love it. And it’s another way to use what you already have to make something new!
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