Favorite Household Toys for the Frugal Dog Lover

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What do you have lying around you house that might make a great toy? There may be things you already have that will work well as a new toy instead of spending money at the pet store.

As you read the following list, please use caution. Any toy has the potential to become a risk if the dog is able to swallow, puncture, or chew off pieces of it. It is recommended to monitor your pet when playing with any new toy to make sure that he or she does not try to eat it. Ingestion of any toy can cause serious and life threatening gastrointestinal obstruction.

Play provides fun, entertainment and exercise for your pet. Here are some favorites “frugal” toys for dogs:

  • Empty Plastic Water Bottles. This a favorite of dogs left in kennels who are bored and without any toys. They will pickup the bottles, do their own tossing game and a bit of chewing. Monitor for sharp edges and toss when they get old.
  • Flashlights. One night, light up your dogs night by having some fun with a flashlight. Shine the light on the floor and have him chase and stalk the light.
  • Tennis Balls. The tennis ball is a long time favorite of larger dogs. If you don’t have any at home, ask your tennis friends to save their old balls. Alternatively, go to your local public tennis court and go for a walk around the fence outside of the courts. There are always spare balls lying around!
  • Sticks. The plain old stick can be perfect for a game of “fetch”. Choose the size and shape based on the size of your pet.
  • Frisbee. Turn your dog into a Frisbee player. Stretch out and enjoy this great form of exercise for dogs.
  • Old Stuffed Animals. Many dogs have stuffed animal type toys so why not try recycling an old stuffed animal that is lying around? Make sure you remove plastic parts such as eyes, ears or tails that could be accidentally eaten.
  • Rope Toys. If you have some old rope, tie several pieces together to form a very large and secure knot. Make sure it cannot unravel and is well tied. Monitor the rope as play proceeds to make sure it does not unravel and you pet does not ingest any parts. Long rope type toys can be great for a game of tug-of-war!
  • Buy Pre-owned. Check out the pet section at your local thrift store. Many will have toys, Frisbees, crates, and kennels for dogs. A dilute bleach solution (1 part bleach to 20 parts water) works well on most plastics.
  • An Old Shoe. Some dogs love shoes but IF you try this one, make sure that he can learn this particular shoe from any old shoe. You don’t want him chewing on your good ones.
  • Tire. An old piece of rubber tire is a favorite some dogs. Torn tires can be cut and given to dogs for play.
  • Bubbles. Blow some bubbles and let your dog watch, wonder and try to catch them!
  • Plaited Tights. Take an old pair of tights and plait them into a rope (so they appear like the tuggies that you can buy). It is recommended to monitor your pet when playing with any new toy to make sure that he or she does not try to eat it. Ingestion of toys can cause serious and life threatening gastrointestinal obstruction.

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