Not only will this be rewarding for them but it’s especially rewarding for you, the person who made it!
So, how can you make mentally stimulating and exciting dog toys for your pooch at home?
I’ll show you!
By Allison Salonko.
Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.
5 Mentally Stimulating Dog Toys You Can Make Right Now
- Paper Towel Roll Game
- Homemade Snuffle Mat
- Water Bottle Toy
- Mysterious Muffin Tin
- Spinning Bottle Toy
Most of these DIY dog toys can be made with items that people already have on hand.
If you don’t have something, you can always improvise!
As long as what you are using is not too small and doesn’t pose a choking hazard then it should be fine!
Paper Towel Roll Game
This one is pretty simple.
All it requires is some treats and an old toilet paper or paper towel tube.
You can smear peanut butter or cream cheese on the inside so they have to try and lick all of it out.
Sometimes I’ll mix it up and roll the ends shut with some treats inside with a small hole made in the middle so my dog has to spend time trying to pry it apart.
It is important to remove any pieces of cardboard you wouldn’t want your dog to ingest after they have torn it apart.
Homemade Snuffle Mat
This is a fun and creative craft that I have made with my daughter in only a few hours.
All it required was an old sink mat and an old blanket making kit.
My daughter made her blanket but still had a lot of leftover fleecy fabric that I wanted to put to use.
- All you have to do is cut some holes evenly spaced apart or in whatever pattern you can envision in your head.
- Next, feed the fabric through by a few inches and tie them down.
In the end you will have layers of fabric sticking up, that’s when you throw down a handful of small treats or kibbles and let them have fun snuffling around and searching through the layers of fabric for their reward!
Water Bottle Toy
I’m all about trying to put single use plastic to multiple uses.
That’s when I take simple water or soda bottles and turn them into something fun for the dog to play with.
I like to cut small holes, usually 3 or 4, throughout the bottle. I make sure that it’s big enough for the treats to fall out of but not too big that it’s no challenge for my eager hound.
Plus, my dog LOVES the sound of the crinkly water bottle.
The noisier, the better in her opinion!
The Mysterious Muffin Tin
This is one that is almost too simple for some dogs, but they still enjoy it, no matter how difficult or easy it is.
Take a standard muffin tin (a mini muffin tin for tiny dogs) and tennis balls (they make mini tennis balls, too) and some treats.
You drop a few treats into some of the muffin tins and place a tennis ball in each spot. Now your doggo has to figure out which one has the treats!
Some of our ‘work smarter not harder’ dogs may opt for the easy way out and just try to tip the pan over and in that case…
…this may not be the game for them.
Spinning Bottle Toy
This spinning bottle toy is pretty cool, but may require a little more craftsmanship and a trip to the hardware store.
You’ll need a few plastic bottles, a dowel rod and some wood to use for the base and side support.
The bottles will have two holes made and the dowel rod slid through them. The dowel rod is placed onto the wooden support arms, treats are placed inside the bottles through the mouth and the lid is left off.
This way, they will use their nose or paw to make the bottle spin and drop treats out of the top!
Making DIY Toys Look Easy!
Busting out some tools and putting together a DIY toy for your dog is rewarding for both of you.
Not to mention, it’s nice being able to tailor the toys size exactly to your dog’s breed!
These are my favorite toys to put together for my dog when she’s feeling bored.
So, go ahead and try them out and see what your doggo thinks of these homemade enrichment activities.