Disclaimer: We are not dog experts. These toys have not been tested by any authority, etc. We’re simply dog owners who have found interesting things for our dogs to play with. Use common sense and wisdom when giving your pet a toy. If it starts to tear and fall apart, throw it away. If it has small pieces that could be choking hazards, don’t give it to your pooch! We can’t be held legally responsible for any of our suggestions here. Be smart!
Jay and I have had a lot of dogs. We’re on our 7th dog and getting ready to get our 8th.
So we know, as you know, that dogs like strange and random toys.
You spend all this money on cute dog toys made specifically for them, only to discover their favorite chew toy is actually your old tennis shoe!
Some of our dogs’ favorite toys have ended up being found right in our home.
Some were free, some were “hand me downs”, some were homemade, and others were initially toys for our human children! Some of these dog toys will be super obvious…
(duh, did you really put that on the list, guys?)
…and some that are not so obvious!
Here are 9 random and strange dog toys you can make with household items. Your dog might just like them too!
Let’s start with a fairly obvious one.
Dogs love rope.
It’s fun to play tug of war with and chew on.
There are actually many dog toys that are made with rope-like parts. Our 6th dog, Rocky, loved his “official” rope toy! It was one of his favorites.
But Daisy, our current pup, loves plain old rope! Jay found an old piece in our garage, and she loves to tug on it with us on the other side. We bought her an “official” rope dog toy, but for some reason she prefers the homemade version.
Rope toys are great because you can find rope in just about any size, length, and color! Perfect for all sizes of dogs.
2. Slippers, Flip Flops, or Old Shoes
We all know dogs love to chew on shoes. Those rubber parts are perfectly chewy and are great for a heavy chewer.
Typically you try to teach your dog not to chew on things in the house. But I figure if you give them something specific, then they’ll leave the other things alone.
That’s my super, non-expert opinion. You’re welcome!
Most of our dogs have not been shoe lovers, which has always been a lucky blessing.
And then Daisy came along.
She LOVES shoes! Passionately. A girl after my own heart.
So we have to make sure all the shoes… the tennis shoes, flip flops, boots, and slippers are all out of reach! She’s a big girl (a bernedoodle), so it doesn’t take long for her to make her mark…
…and I don’t mean peeing on a post!
When she was smaller, we gave her old flip flops and she was in heaven. All that chewy rubber… the perfect dog toy for a heavy chewer!
When she started gnawing off the round piece from underneath that holds the thong in place, I decided it was time to retire the flip flops. I was afraid she would choke.
Then I discovered one of my daughter’s old slippers when we were unboxing after our recent move!
The slipper has a harder, but still chewy sole with a soft, fuzzy top part. It’s the perfect combination of textures for those puppy teeth. This is one of Daisy’s favorite household dog toys!
It’s also great to play tug of war and fetch with.
I’ve also decided she will be rewarded with any old tennis shoes my kids grow out of. So many textures to play with!
Sticks are the ultimate homemade dog toy.
I mean dogs have been chasing sticks and playing fetch with this natural toy for centuries. (I think… I kinda just made that up. But seems accurate, right?)
Our last dog, Rocky, was kind of psycho. He had major anxiety issues and he was a serious chewer. He also seemed a little sadistic. He slung his toys around so much he practically beat himself silly. That dog had issues!
So one of his favorite things to chew on was wood.
Straight up wood!
The kids had this old piece of wood that was flat. It was kind of like a small board, and one of us would hold it while Rocky chewed on it. Splinters and all. He loved it!
Then he discovered a small stool completely made of wood. You have to sacrifice some items so other household items don’t get chewed up, and this was one of them.
Rocky chewed the crap out of that wood stool!
So this is an easy find. You can literally find a piece of wood anywhere! Probably even free!
And let that dog go to town!
You can’t argue with centuries of experienced dog owners!
Or you can find something prettier like a stool. It’s kind of like a scratch pad for dogs! Or chew pad???
4. Sock with a Knot
Here’s another pretty obvious one. Dogs love to chew on soft fabric. Shirts, blankets, dog beds, pieces of felt… the list is endless.
So an easy, homemade dog toy can be a simple old sock.
Everyone has a sock that is missing its mate.
Free, homemade dog toy!
And how do you make dog toys out of socks?
Tie a knot in the middle to give your puppy something to hold on to. They’ll be as happy as a peach!
A sock with a knot is safe and easy for them to chew. And it’s great for tugging games too.
5. Very Strange Dog Toy! Boxing Gloves
You read that right. We discovered the strangest dog toy with our last puppy, Rocky. The weird one.
Diesel, our son, got a pair of pretty official boxing gloves for Christmas one year. As most kids do, he played with them for a microsecond.
But Rocky… Rocky LOVED those boxing gloves! That was probably one of his favorite toys.
He would grab the thinner part in his mouth and shake the heck out of that glove. He played with them frequently.
Since he loved them so much, we gave another pair to Daisy that we found during our recent move. She loves them too. Maybe not quite as much, but she definitely plays with them a lot.
Daisy is starting to tear her pair of boxing gloves apart, and the stuffing is starting to come out. I thought it was an indestructible dog toy, but not for her.
For Rocky, who was much smaller, it was never an issue. The boxing gloves seemed to be an indestructible dog toy for him. These were the exact ones we had for him. I think they were a little nicer and sturdier than the pair Daisy has.
So if you decide to try this random dog toy out for your pup, pay attention and check now and then to make sure they aren’t falling apart.
Another bonus of the boxing gloves is if you have a really bitey puppy, your kids can wear the gloves and save their little hands from getting eaten up! Obviously you need to teach your pup not to bite, but this can help some in the beginning until they learn!
6. Toilet Brush
You thought boxing gloves were a strange dog toy? Perhaps the strangest dog toy?
Oh no. There’s a stranger household dog toy on the list!
The toilet brush!
We discovered this while living in Singapore. I found these really cheap, but really great toilet brushes there. So I bought 3 or 4 of them so we could have one in each bathroom.
Well, Rocky discovered one sitting next to a toilet, and he was never the same again! Ha! He would drag it out of the bathroom every chance he got!
Luckily I had a brand new one that had not been used yet. We gave our pup this clean toilet brush and it became another favorite chew toy.
The toilet brush definitely seems to be an indestructible dog toy. It satisfied his need to chew on really hard objects and the brush part added a little extra texture.
Daisy loves this random toy too. She often pulls it into her bed to gnaw on. And because she’s bigger and has much stronger teeth than Rocky, I can say that this is definitely a great toy—and perhaps indestructible—for bigger dogs.
Some toilet brushes might have softer handles than the one we use. So again… use caution and judgement here to keep your puppy safe!
I didn’t think I’d be able to find the exact one we have because I bought it in Asia. But I’m pretty sure this is the exact toilet brush we have!
(While you’re at it, buy a couple for your bathrooms! Here’s the same toilet brush with a holder. I actually love this brush because it has that extra under-rim piece to get to those really icky spots. Blech!)
Our next strange and random and free dog toy is a good ole branch!
One day a huge palm branch died and fell from a tree in our condo. Lula, our human girl, decided it would be a good decoration and brought it home.
It was really cool. But instead of using it for decor, Rocky used it for a chew toy! He LOVED this palm branch so much. The leaves were long and tough enough even dead that he could tug and pull on them without making too much of a mess.
He also loved rolling around in the branch. Who knows why! Maybe he loved the rustling sound the leaves made?
Whatever the case…
He played with this random dog toy for about a month before we decided it was time to clean up the mess and throw it out.
Strange toys like this that only last for a while are a great way to keep your dog occupied and from getting bored.
8. Plastic Kid Sword
Another strange discovery we made was that Rocky loved our son Diesel’s plastic play sword… especially the case.
He would swing that thing around so violently that we had to stay out of the way or get whipped with it! It was dangerous!
But Rocky absolutely loved it!
In fact, he loved it so much that after he destroyed Diesel’s, I actually bought Rocky a new one for Christmas!
This is a great, budget-friendly dog toy because you can find them very cheaply at any dollar store or somewhere like that.
The best ones are the longer, thinner ones. They whip the best! Ha! Like this one. If it has a handle on the sheath, even better!
9. Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls
Rocky really needed challenging dog toys to keep him busy and engaged. Otherwise he was a holy terror!
So one of the games I came up with for him was to put a treat in a toilet paper roll or paper towel roll. Then I’d fold and twist the ends up as much as possible.
It was kind of like a dog toy puzzle for him. Rocky got to the point that he knew what I was making for him when he saw me do it, and would get so excited!
This worked really well when he was a puppy. It took him a while to get to the treat. He loved ripping the roll apart in the process too.
As he got older, it didn’t take him quite as long, which was a bummer for me!
So I’d recommend this free, homemade dog toy for puppies and smaller dogs. Adult and bigger dogs will chew through the paper too fast to make it worth it.
A Kong type toy would be better for older, bigger dogs.
Wrapping It Up
Just like human kids, your pup likes to have new and interesting things to chew on and to do.
So homemade, free, natural dog toys are some of the best… even if they are a little strange… because you don’t feel bad when they get destroyed and you have to throw them out!
And it’s nice when you can recycle something like an old beat up shoe or piece of rope that will just go in the garbage anyway!
That’s the end of our 9 random and strange dog toy list.
Let me know if you try any of these household items for your pooch and how he or she likes them!
Every pup is different! So maybe your pup likes something else random that wasn’t listed here? I’d love to know about it so my pups can try it out too!
Thanks for reading… Until next time!
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