Yeah, I know that “frugal” or “thrifty” are trendier words. But I’m cheap.
So you can imagine how much it pains me to buy expensive dog toys just to have them all chewed up in a matter of minutes. And the crazy thing is that the cheaply made toys cost as much as the good ones.
So I compromise.
Honey has some expensive toys, made by Kong or Premier or Nylabone. But she also has lots of toys that aren’t toys at all. Here’s her favorites (in no particular order):
- Cardboard box – She’ll chew them up plain but sometimes I’ll toss a treat inside and seal it up with tape. Honey loves to shred the box to free the treat. I hear that tenacious chewers do better with a box within a box within a box…. You get the idea.
- Wadded up paper – Honey will fetch once or twice before shredding it to smithereens.
- Grapefruit rind – I wouldn’t expect a dog to like the tart grapefruit flavor but Honey takes my leftover rinds out to the yard where she’ll toss them to herself in between zoomies. Is grapefruit intoxicating? It is to Honey.
- Plastic bottles – Dog toy manufacturers are onto this one and they now sell plush toys filled with empty water bottles instead of squeakers. I’m not kidding.
- Cereal bowls – Put one on the ground upside down with a little peanut butter smeared on the inside and see how long it takes your dog to figure out how to turn it right side up. It’s pretty tough without opposable thumbs. Honey’s best technique is to back it into a corner and slip her nails underneath the edge of the bowl.
- Yogurt cups – Honey gets to lick the last bit of my yogurt; I save water by not having to rinse my container before recycling. Honey–the environmental dog.
- Socks – Not my favorite choice of toy but Honey loves them.
- Azalea bush – Honey has taken to pruning my azalea and running off with a little branch. Not my favorite choice of toy either.
- Sanding block – As long as I’ve gotten to the toys I’d rather Honey not enjoy, I’ll mention a foam sanding block. She loves the rough texture and the soft center.
- Cardboard toilet paper rolls – Kristine at Rescued Insanity suggested this. She puts treats in the middle and folds down the ends before hiding one for Shiva to find. Honey likes it too.
- Carrot – Honey will lie down as happily with a carrot as with a bone.
I found some other cool ideas for homemade dog toys over at Wise Bread where other
cheap thrifty people hang out.
One last note–know your dog if you’re thinking of trying any of these things. Cardboard works great with Honey because I know she’ll just shred it and won’t eat it. But plastic items, like bottles and yogurt cups, are strictly supervised. She’ll swallow the whole thing if I don’t take it away before it’s too damaged.
Oh, and if you like having a clean house and don’t want to find little shreds of cardboard under every seat cushion? Forget I said anything. This post is not for you.
What are your dog’s favorite toys that aren’t really toys? And how many of the dog toys in your house come from a factory and how many come from your imagination?