Struggling to keep your pets entertained at home during the lock-down? We’ve come up some simple homemade pet toys that you can make with things you probably already have around the house. These simple DIY projects are a cheap and easy way to provide your pet with toys to keep them stimulated and their brain working.
Tennis Ball Muffin Tin Puzzle
This must be one of the simplest enrichment toys you can put together at home! All you need is a muffin tin, tennis balls and a few dog treats (or your dog's kibble) Simply place the treats in the bottom of the muffin tin and then place the tennis balls over the top, then let your pet do the work to nose the tennis balls out of the way so they can get to their favourite food or treats!
Bottle Crunch Toy
Dogs love noisy toys! Whether they squeak, crackle or crunch, noisy toys excite dogs and encourage them to play for longer. There's a simple way to replicate store-bought bottle crunch toys at home. Simply take a used plastic water bottle and remove the cap and plastic ring that sits just below the cap. Then place the bottle inside a sock and tie the end up with string or into a knot and then the toy is ready. Always remember to be proactive about switching out the bottle if it gets too destroyed, as you’d replace any store-bought dog toy that gets too broken.
Braided Fabric Tug Toy
There's no doubt about it dogs love playing tug of war! For most dog owners, a good rope toy is a must-have during lock-down. Good news is these are extremely simple to make at home! Grab a few old towels, t-shirts or blankets and cut them into three strips of equal length. Choose the length to match the needs of your dogs, for larger dogs a longer rope is better to protect your hands from over-enthusiastic playing, or smaller softer ropes better suit young dogs or puppies. Then simply braid the strips of recycled fabric together to create a simple and durable tug toy for your pooch.
Frozen Fabric Puppy Teething Toy
We all know that dogs especially teething puppies love to chew! You can easily make a soothing puppy teething toy from materials you have at home. You can use any type of old rags or socks, cut them up and tie or knot them together. Once this is done wet the fabric and put it in the freezer until frozen. Once frozen remove from the freezer and you have a fun frozen toy your puppy can chew and chew on till it melts. Make sure to always supervise your puppy when playing with the toy and remove if any small pieces get chewed off.
Roll & Feed Pipe Toy
Interactive feeders are popular toys that encourage your pet to work for their food! These are popular with intelligent cats and dogs that need more mental stimulation otherwise they get restless and destructive. Here is an enrichment feeder you can easily make at home. All you need is PVC pipe, PVC pipe end caps and some glue. To put this toy together you simply cut the pipe to the size appropriate for your cat or dog and glue on the PVC end caps to cover any sharp edges. Then drill appropriately sized holes into the pipe, when drilling these holes it's good to consider the size of treat you will be using with the toy so as it not make it too easy for your pet! Then voila! Add your pet's favourite treats and let them roll and paw at this toy to scatter their treats across the floor.
Homemade Catnip Yarn Balls
The classic yarn ball is an all-time favourite cat toy that can be easily created at home. All you need is glue, yarn and Styrofoam balls to create these irresistible homemade cat toys (tip: look for styrofoam in old packaging). Unwind a bunch of yarn and hold one end of the yarn down on the ball and start wrapping it around the ball, crisscrossing it randomly in all directions. Keep wrapping the yarn until the ball is completely covered, then cut the yarn and secure it will glue.
Cardboard Pet Palace
Cats and small pets like rabbits, love a cosy hiding spot! You can take your pet's love of a good cardboard box to the next level by using one to create the ultimate cardboard clubhouse with doors and windows, so your pet will have their special place within your home. Add their favourite blanket, bed or bedding so they can hide, nap and play in their cardboard house. You can even take it further by joining together additional boxes to make tunnels or a multi-story pet condo! Tip: use you Pet.co.nz delivery boxes!
Wine Cork Cat Toy
Cats love little lightweight toys that they can throw around and chase through the house. You can easily make a DIY cat toy from an old wine bottle cork, just insert and glue into place some feathers, ribbon, jute or anything else that will attract your cat.
Homemade Cat Teaser Wand Toy
One of the most popular types of cat toys is the wand or teaser toy! With a wand toy, you can make the “prey” crawl, climb, or fly through the air, to your cat's delight. This type of toy is a great way to make sure your cat is entertained and well-exercised! These toys can easily be made at home, all you need is some sort of stick, some string and a fun toy such as a feather, ribbon, a ball or crumpled piece of paper. Tie the string at one end of the stick and tie the toy on the other end of the string. Wave this around making the toy seem to move like a mouse or bird and you will have your cat's attention in no time!
Toilet Paper Roll Rabbit Toys
Many bunny owners know that rabbits love toilet paper tubes and will invent all sorts of games with the empties. You can easily build all sort of toys out of empty toilet paper rolls. You can stuff the tube with hay or grass so your rabbit has to pull the pieces out or you can cut the roll into rings and your rabbit might have fun tossing around the light pieces of cardboard. You can tie a string to the empty roll and hang it from the roof of their hutch or a doorway. Your bunny will love to push and swat the roll around.