Does your beloved woofer spend their days alone, bored and looking for fun?
To help alleviate your working parent’s guilt, we’ve come up with some easy, DIY dog toys that’ll keep your canine stimulated, engaged and, most importantly – happy.
1. Toilet Roll-y Polly – the toilet roll puzzle
We’ve found a second use for your discarded toilet rolls, which will help keep your pup’s senses stimulated and also handily distract them from causing havoc in your flower patch.
To assemble, simply grab a dog treat of your choice, fold the edges of an empty toilet roll in to encase the treat and leave your dog to sniff out their reward. The mental puzzle this treat presents will help keep your dog stimulated and engaged – the key to a happy hound.
It is important to present your dog with enough mental stimulation during their day to keep them occupied, which in turn, often prevents them ripping up your garden, clothes or furniture – you’re so welcome.
2. Loco for Coco – the cream cheese coconut
The humble coconut leads a double life, moonlighting as a dog toy for the high-energy hounds of this world. So, should you stumble across one yourself and decide you’d love to treat your animal to an entertaining toy, read on.
To make a cracking toy for your pup, drill a hole or two in the top of the shell, draining the liquid from the coconut. Slather your dog’s favourite treat on the outside of the coconut – cream cheese is always a popular suggestion – and voila!
This toy will keep your dog playing one-on-none soccer all over the backyard, chasing the tasty treat ‘till the sun comes down.
3. Morning Treats – the cake tin challenge
Have a load of old muffin tins and a bored dog lying around at home? We’ve come up with the perfect recipe to keep your dog’s brain ticking over and stimulated. With just three ingredients to gather – a muffin tin, tennis balls and a few dog treats – this creation for your canine is easy as pie!
Simply place the treats in the tin, hiding them under tennis balls and let your dog work their magic.
By presenting a challenge and rewarding them for solving it, our fur-babies get the satisfaction of completing the task at hand plus the deliciousness of a yummy treat. A win-win situation for all.
(Don’t have any muffin tins to spare? Pick up a set super cheap at our RSPCA op shops!)
4. Peanut Butter Pipe Dream – the plastic pipe puzzle
The plastic pipe is a simple and very easily constructed enrichment toy for the handyman-impaired DIY-er.
Get your paws on a large PVC pipe and your dog’s favourite peanut butter treat, ensuring the pipe has an opening wide enough for your woofers snout not to get stuck. Slather a generous amount of the tasty treat inside the pipe, set down for your hound and let their noses do the work.
This trick will keep them occupied for hours, sniffing out and rewarding their hard work with their favourite peanut butter delight.
5. Bottle-a-fun – the empty bottle riddle
This one’s for our more advanced woodworkers – a puzzle toy that’s a favourite among the hounds at RSPCA Lonsdale
To assemble, grab three or four bottles, three short planks of wood, a plywood base or something similar, and a round metal rod. Drill two holes at the end of two planks of equal size, ensuring they are large enough to fit the metal rod and allow it to rotate. Drill two holes through each bottle and thread the bottles through the metal rod.
Using the base as a stabiliser, nail the two planks upright at each end of the base, making sure the holes are at the top end of the plank. Using the third plank to help stabilise the structure, secure the third plank to the base and the upright boards. Thread the metal rod and bottles through the holes in the two planks and you are officially the best pupper owner in the world.
Place treats in each of the bottles and let your dog figure out how to get them out. Watch in awe as your canine spends hours trying to dislodge their delicious reward.
6. Plait-o-war – the tug-o-war for lone woofers
Are you too busy to indulge your canine in their favourite pastime of tug-o-war? We have the perfect, pup-friendly solution.
Grab a few old towels or blankets (or buy secondhand ones from our RSPCA op shops) and cut them into three long strips of equal length. Plait them into a weave long enough to wrap around a solid tree or post in your yard, with enough rope left for your dog to grab onto.
This creation simulates a game of tug-o-war for your fur babe and is a great way of keeping any high-energy hounds motivated and entertained – plait-o-war is the perfect pup distraction.
There you have it, our DIY dog toy round-up and the best ways to keep your beloved fur beast occupied. One of the most important elements of being a pet owner is making sure your pup is healthy on the inside and out, ensuring they are occupied, stimulated and entertained while you’re away.
Don’t forget to post a photo of your crafty dog toy creations and tag us at @rspcasa and #rspcasa – we’d love to see your handiwork!