Basic safety for homemade dog toys
Dog toys should be safe, so we have to take certain considerations into account. The most important is the materials that we will use. They should not have toxic paints or small plastic pieces that the dog could swallow.
Additionally, we will always use cardboard or paper because if he swallows a piece, it will not threaten his health. If we have to stick two pieces of something together, it is better to use masking tape because it is made of cellulose.
When a toy starts to break, we should throw it out. Don’t wait until it breaks and the dog hurts himself. Likewise, when we use bits of rigid materials, we need to be careful with the sharp edges. Since they could cut, we must secure them.
When you start to give toys to your dog, he should first know how to use them. Let him examine them and try them at his own pace, without teaching him how to do it or giving him orders. Start by giving very simple toys for him to use, and raise the level of difficulty little by little.
The toys should be used with supervision. If you see that something is too difficult for your dog, help him solve the game but don’t do everything yourself. Give the toys to him a maximum of 10 minutes a day. More time will tire him out excessively and could overwhelm or stress him out.
These toys are based on searching for and winning a prize. There are many types of food that you could use as an award in homemade dog toys, so choose which one you and your dog like the most.
These toys will be successful only if the dog is interested in getting out the prizes that are inside the toy. He will be proud to have solved the problem. These are only fun if the dog has interest in winning the food that is hidden inside. It is not fun to play in exchange for food that he doesn’t like or can’t access.
Start now to save cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towel rolls to make toys for your dog. Put prizes inside the cardboard tube, put it on the ground, and let your pet guess how to get them out.
The dog will try to stick his tongue inside, turn the toy around, knock it over, and maybe even break it to get the prizes out. A homemade dog toy that is so simple can entertain them for a long time.
Raise the level: when he gets the prizes out of the cardboard tube easily, seal the ends with masking tape. The game will be a little more difficult because he will have to destroy the entire tube to get them.
Another very easy homemade dog toy that you can make is putting prizes inside a paper ball. Use, preferably, paper from a newspaper or paper towels, since a magazine typically has many inks that could be toxic. Start making a slightly tight ball with many prizes inside and later add paper layers around them.
You will be teaching your dog to distinguish between paper and food. He will stop eating everything that he finds on the street, such as tissues. Then, raise the level: add more paper layers to the ball or seal it to make it more difficult to open.
This toy is very interesting for hot times of the year, such as summer, or for puppies that are teething. The idea is freezing soup or some tasty liquid and giving it to the dog to chew and lick until it melts. Dogs will love it, since it is cool and delicious, even if the owners have to mop it up afterwards.
Raise the level and make different cubes, of various sizes and textures: meat broth, vegetables with water, yogurt with fruit… Adapt the size of the frozen cubes to the mouth of your dog!
Choose a plastic bottle that is empty and clean, and cut windows into it; remember to secure the plastic edges with masking tape so that your dog doesn’t hurt himself. Put prizes inside and let your dog investigate how to get them out. Just like what happens with the cardboard tube, he will take some time to test it out and will end up figuring it out.
Raise the level: put the cap on the bottle, make another bottle with smaller windows or put less prizes inside. Only do this when he solves it very easily, since it is usually difficult to dominate this toy.
You can make these and many other homemade dog toys with recycled materials: they are cheap, interesting, and fun. It fits to say that these toys should be pleasant and varied so that he doesn’t get bored. They should also be adapted to the size and age of your dog, and before anything else, safe.