DIY Pet Toys

Commercial pet toys can cost some serious coin. So, why shell out a small fortune when there's often a handy hack to help you make your own for a fraction of the cost – or even better, using materials you may otherwise throw away. Your pet is going to love you for it.

DIY doggy tug toy

Perfect for playing outdoors or taking along to the park, this toy makes the most of items you're probably eyeing up for the bin or rag bag.

What you'll need:
  • One tennis ball
  • An old T-shirt.
What to do:
  • Cut the shirt in three long strips, then knot them together and braid them
  • Create a hole through the middle of the tennis ball. Use a drill to get it started, then make it wider with a knife. Otherwise, a Stanley trimmer will do the job
  • Push the braided band through the holes of the tennis ball and make a second knot on the other end.

Cost comparison: Even if you buy new tennis balls, you can buy a bag of three for a few dollars from most discount stores. To buy an equivalent toy, you'll be shelling out between $10 to $25.

DIY dog boredom buster

Is your dog a fast eater? Or is your pooch reacting to home-alone time by digging, barking or scratching? The folk at Dogue.com.au have a solution - it's one of its go-to toys for bored pooches, and mimics the popular – but often pricey – treat toy.

What you'll need:
  • A collection of six or so toilet rolls and a container (it can be a box/Tupperware or anything that will hold the toilet rolls)
  • Dog biscuits or favoured treats.
What to do:

Place the toilet rolls inside the container and add Fido’s favourite treat. Let your canine discover how to get the treats out of the toilet rolls.  Cost comparison: Made from loo rolls you'll already have around the house, then grab a box for free at your grocery or hardware store. After that, this will cost you as much as the treats you choose. If you go for regular dog biscuits, you're looking at around $1. Price of a shop-bought treat toy? From $20 to $50. 

Kitty scratch frame

All cats like a good stretch and scratch, and most cat owners have the beat-up furniture to prove it. Here's a popular kitty scratch frame – or furniture saver – that has been doing the rounds.

What you'll need:
  • A door mat (a thin, light, one is ideal as it won't weigh too much)
  • One picture frame
  • Glue
  • Stanley trimmer.
What to do:

Take the frame apart discarding the glass. Using the backing on the frame, cut the doormat to size and use glue to fix it to the backing. Reattach the frame, minus the glass and hang at cat height.  Cost comparison: If you don't have an old frame, pick up a cheap one at a second-hand store, plus a cheap doormat for around $10 at a hardware store. Compare this to the cost of your scratched-up furniture!

Cat puzzle

Keep your cat entertained for hours with this popular Instagram DIY cat puzzle – one of the popular DIY options if Instagram is anything to go by, sporting numerous variations on the theme.

You will need:
  • One flat box with a lid (a pizza box is ideal)
  • A small collection of random cat toy faves. Think small ping-pong balls, bells, balls made from scrunched-up paper to fit within the box
  • Scissors or a Stanley trimmer.
What to do:

Cut several circles out of the lid, pop in the toy collection and close the lid. Your cat will have hours of fun trying to get them back out through the holes.

DIY bunny toy

Instagram is a brilliant place for finding DIY pet toys. This Bunny Toy costs zero dollars and requires two items you'll already have in your home. 

What you'll need:
  • Toilet rolls
  • Hay
  • Scissors.
What to do:

Simply cut the roll up into rings, filling the first one with hay. Continue to place the rings around each other in an uneven fashion to form a 'ball'. Your bunny will enjoy eating their way through this toy! 

Cost comparison

Zero dollars. Social media is a great place to find DIY pet toys, so if you've mastered these and are looking for more, try searching hashtags including #DIYpettoys #DIYdogtoys #DIYcattoys... you get the drill!

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