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Playtime is essential for dogs and cats alike! Toys are an easy and fun way to spend time with your pets and give them the exercise they need. If your pets are like ours, they’ll require a variety of toys to be spread around the house at all times. Unfortunately, toys can be pricey and commonly don’t last very long.

Skip the pet store and try one of these simple and inexpensive DIY toys!

Dog Toys

Treat-Filled Tennis Balls

Tennis balls are a dog’s best friends, add some treats and your pup will be entertained for hours! This DIY treat-filled toy will cost you a fraction of what the store brands charge.

  1. Select an old tennis ball that you no longer use.
  2. Cut a small slit or flap into the center using a blade.
  3. Pry the inside open using your fingers.
  4. Stuff tiny dog treats inside until it is a quarter of the way full.
  5. Close the flap.

The first time your dog encounters this toy, they may assume it’s just another tennis ball. However, the second they catch a whiff of those wonderful dog treats buried inside, they’ll be reluctant to let go.

Plastic Bottle Tug Toy

Let’s be honest, that noise from the squeaker toy your dog abuses is not your favorite. This toy is a much quieter option that still gives your dog a satisfying noise with every bite.

  1. Select a plastic bottle and cut three to four 1″ wide strips of fabric.These will be used later as ties, a piece of ribbon would also work for this purpose.
  2. Using your remaining fabric, place the bottom of the bottle about 3″ from the edge and wind the fabric around the bottle. Tuck in the excess just before you reach the end of the fabric.
  3. Using the 1″ wide strips of fabric you previously cut, tie them around the bottle tightly – using them to secure the fabric to the bottle. Make sure to tie one right after the bottle cap as well.
  4. Cut the excess fabric near the cap of the bottle into 2″ wide strips. Then using three strips at a time, braid each section and finish off by knotting them.

Instead of throwing those plastic bottles away, you can take advantage of this opportunity for free entertainment and a squeak free house!

Tennis Ball Rope Toy

This popular toy is always available at the pet store, but is very easy to make at home. It’s great for playing tug of war or fetch out in the yard and is tough for the dogs that love to chew!

  1. Find an old tennis ball.
  2. Cut X shaped slits on opposite sides of the ball.
  3. Push a ⅜ inch jute rope through one opening and pull it out the other end.
  4. Make a knot at the end of the rope on the outer end.
  5. Make a similar knot near where the rope enters the ball.

This toy is easy to make, durable, and washable! Simply toss it in the washer and let air dry.

Cat Toys

Yarn Pom Pom Toy

This may win the trophy for the easiest and cheapest toy ever made, and your cat will absolutely love it!

  1. Grab some yarn and a fork.
  2. Wrap the yarn around the fork 90 times and cut.
  3. Cut a 12 inch piece of yarn.
  4. Wrap the short piece of yarn tightly around the wrapped yarn on your fork, and tightly tie.
  5. Slide the wrapped yarn off of the fork, then snip through the loops on either side.

These can be easy to lose around the house, be sure to make a variety so your cat will always have a toy to toss around!

Wine Cork Feather Toy

These are perfect for playtime with your cat or to leave out as cheap entertainment while you’re away! Get a little more use out of those corks with this easy DIY feather toy.

  1. Use scissors to poke a hoel in the top of the cork.
  2. Put a small amount of hot glue in the hole.
  3. Insert a variety of feathers and/or strings.
  4. Allow about 10 minutes for the glue to harden.

These are the perfect excuse to enjoy a glass of wine tonight. If they start to lose feathers, it’s easy to reopen the cork and insert replacement feathers at any time!

These toys and hundreds of others are great for helping to keep our pets entertained while we’re out of the house. When they need some additional care, Little Friends Pet Sitting has pet sitters and dog walkers located all over the Charlotte, NC area available to help keep your fur babies happy and properly cared for when you’re at work, on vacation, or battling a busy week!

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