Dogs need toys, but they can go through them extremely fast. And many dog toys are made from materials that aren’t necessarily eco-friendly. So, instead of spending money on new dog toys that are bad for the environment, why not make your own eco-friendly ones?
If you aren’t sure where to start with DIYing eco-friendly dog toys, have a look at the plans below. Whether you want to upcycle materials around your home, so they aren’t tossed in the garbage and into a landfill, or you just prefer using eco-friendly materials to make a toy, you’ll find what you need here!
The 10 Eco-Friendly DIY Dog Toys
1. Woven Rope Bone
|Materials:||60 ft of 3/8” rope, lacrosse or tennis balls, cardboard from used cereal box, duct tape, knot grid|
Though the plan for this woven rope bone dog toy used cotton rope, you could also switch that out for rope made of hemp. Between that and recycling cardboard from an old cereal box, this toy is certainly eco-friendlier. And though it may take a bit of time to figure out how to weave the rope, a knot grid is provided that will help you get it down. This particular plan is most suited to large or extra-large pups, but you can use 1/8” rope to create a bone if your dog is a smaller one.
Overall, this should make a fun, durable eco-friendly toy for your favorite canine!
2. Washable Eco-Friendly Chew Toy
|Materials:||T-shirt fabric (natural fiber)|
Canines love chew toys, no matter what size dog they are, and this simple-to-make chew toy will surely be a favorite. Upcycling old stuff from around your home is a fabulous way to make eco-friendly toys, and we all have old t-shirts lying around that we no longer wear, so you shouldn’t have an issue with getting the material needed. And making this chew toy rope is incredibly easy! You’ll just cut out several strips from the t-shirt fabric and knot them together. The plan gives you a step-by-step guide on how precisely to tie the knots, so this one shouldn’t take long to make. Plus, once you have the basic pattern down, you can get creative in your design.
3. Denim Tug Toy
|Materials:||Seams from an old pair of jeans|
|Tools:||Clips, heavy object (such as a book)|
Old pairs of jeans we no longer quite fit into are another item many of us have plenty of, so why not use the denim from a pair to make a tug toy for your pup? By cutting out three long seams from a pair of jeans and braiding them with a loop on one end for you to hang onto, you’ve got a tug toy in no time! This is one of the easier upcycled, eco-friendly toys to make on this list because it doesn’t require knitting or weaving. And because denim is durable (and washable!), this tug toy should last your pup for a long time.
4. Easy & Cheap Treat Toy
|Materials:||Old tennis ball, dog treats|
Instead of buying a dog toy that dispenses treats made from unrecyclable materials, why not use an old tennis ball to make one? Most dogs enjoy tennis balls, so chances are you have one around that’s nearing the end of its life. You can take that and cut it into it to create an opening or two to stuff treats in. Then hand it over to your pup and watch as it works to get those treats out! By going this route, you’re not only upcycling but also not purchasing anything new that can cause harm to the environment.
5. Squeaky Sock Toy
|Materials:||Old knee-high sock, lots of old socks, squeaker|
What have you been doing with all your unmatched socks left behind when the dryer ate the other half of the pair? Here’s a fun idea that repurposes plenty of your old unmatched socks to make a squeaky toy for your dog. You’ll need a knee-high sock first. Then, you’ll need a handful of other socks (whatever size you have on hand) and a squeaker from one of your pet’s old destroyed toys (although this toy is equally as fun without the squeaker!). Stuff all those socks and the squeaker into the knee-high and tie it off, and your new toy is complete!
6. Kids’ Craft Upcycled Toy
|Materials:||Felt, empty plastic water bottle, bell (or another noisemaker)|
|Tools:||Scissors, crochet thread|
You shouldn’t have all the fun of making your canine pal toys; let the kids join in as well! This kids’ craft is super easy and keeps one more plastic water bottle out of the landfill. You’ll simply put the bell (or some sort of noisemaker) inside the plastic bottle, wrap it in felt, and tie it up to look nice with the thread. Altogether, it shouldn’t take long to make, and the kiddos will have fun. Plus, your favorite pup will have a brand-new noisy toy to chew on.
7. Sweet Potato Rope
|Materials:||Sweet potatoes, rope|
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include at least one edible dog toy on this list! This yummy toy uses sweet potatoes to make a tasty (and nutritious) treat for your doggo. You’ll have to slice up and bake the sweet potatoes for quite a while (5 hours) to give them a texture similar to jerky, so it’s a bit time-consuming. But once the sweet potatoes have been baked, you’ll just need to cut out a hole in the middle of the sliced-up parts and thread them on a rope of some sort, such as hemp. With this, your dog can play tug and chew away on a perfectly natural and safe toy.
8. Natural Wool Bone
|Materials:||Undyed wool broadcloth fabric (or other wool fabric)|
This dog toy is similar to the first on this list, but it’s made from eco-friendly, non-toxic, all-natural wool. If you can’t find undyed wool broadcloth (the originator of this plan used scraps from a Victorian wool coat), then the plan says that other wool fabrics are fine. Unlike the first dog bone on this list, though, you’ll be making knots (crown knots, to be exact) instead of weaving; if you’re unsure how to make crown knots, there’s a YouTube tutorial provided! Because this dog bone is made from wool, it should be extremely durable and able to hold up to most dogs’ chewing, making it long-lasting.
9. Ball Tug Toy
|Materials:||Old t-shirt, old tennis ball|
If a simple tug toy made from old tees won’t satisfy your favorite pup, go with this version that also includes a tennis ball. It’s quite similar to regular upcycled tug toys that have strips of old shirts, but with this one, you’ll be tying those strips off around an old tennis ball before braiding the fabric. It’s still a breeze to make, but it gives your pet more to chew on and the tug toy a bit of bounce if you want to double up and use it as a fetch toy, too.
10. Egg Carton Puzzle
|Materials:||Egg carton, dog treats|
Some egg cartons are recyclable, but if you’re stuck with one made of Styrofoam, you can make this fun puzzle toy rather than toss it in the trash. This might just be the simplest dog toy on the list, as all you have to do for this is put dog treats into the egg carton and close it back up. The trick is to get your pup to open it up without ripping it apart, so it can have the treats. It might take your dog a while to figure out how this one works, but it’ll certainly enjoy getting rewarded with treats for its intelligent behavior!
Though there are plenty of dog toys to be bought, not all of them are eco-friendly. If you’re trying to be more environmentally friendly, you can make several types of toys for your pet that will be eco-friendlier by upcycling used items from your home or incorporating eco-friendly materials.
Most of these DIY dog toys are quick and easy to make, so you won’t have to spend hours on them, and your pup will have a wide variety of toys to choose from!
Featured Image Credit: KobiKadosh, Unsplash