5 Enrichment toys you can make at home for your dog

Crossbreed dog holding a toy in its mouth

Its day 17 of quarantine.  Your dog has destroyed all her toys.  You’ve organized all your drawers.  You’re both staring at each other wondering….now what?  Or maybe your dog has destroyed all his toys and eaten all his chews, but you still have to work from home.  Well, remember when you organized that drawer last week?  That pile of clothes waiting to be dropped off at the thrift store……let’s grab out some of those t-shirts, because those can be made into enrichment toys for your dog!

We’ve perused the interwebs for cool ways to make toys that will restock your pup’s dwindling toy supply and that don’t cost a single cent.  The added bonus:  some of these are great for your pup to do on her own while you sneak in some work.   

Pro Tip: these can also be made with strips of denim for serious chewers.

Puppy Pro Tip:  take a small toy, wet and then stuff it in the freezer for a couple of hours.  Now you have a chew toy that helps to alleviate sore gums while they are teething. 

Here’s our 5 favs:   

1 & 2:  Straight and looped

The looped one is my personal favourite, because the loop works as a handle for me, and then I can really play tug with them.   The straight one can be made long enough for two dogs to play together.   


3:  The Tennis Ball Octopus

This one incorporates a tennis ball, and becomes a really easy and novel fetch toy.


4.  A sturdier take on the straight version

This one is pretty similar to #1, however, there’s a lot more fabric involved.  And the reason this one gets included as a separate item:  You can make this one nice and thick and then hide little yummy treats in it.  This is a perfect enrichment toy for during those conference calls.  You’ll probably get at least three minutes without your pup giving you the moony eyes.  Pro tip:  make more than one toy, and put different treats in each one.  Five toys = 15 minutes!  At least.


5. An even sturdier take on the straight version

 This one is the square knot, and it’s much thicker.   This would be ideal for stuffing with treats and the hardcore chewers.  Again, if you need to keep your pup occupied for awhile, invest in a couple of them. (A note on the video:  She’s a little ‘Disney kids,’ but I found myself giggling a couple of times.  And holding it with your feet was a pretty clever idea that I had not seen in other videos.)


The extra bonus with when you stuff these enrichment toys:  the pups really have to expend some mental energy to get all the treats.  This really helps to tire them out, which is especially good right now, when many are not getting as much physical exercise.  We also hope these little hacks help give your pup something to while you work.  But also don’t be afraid to take a break from work to play with your dog!   Let us know how it goes.  

Share your photos and videos with the hashtag: #playtimewithcitizencanine




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