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Part of raising a pup means keeping them active, both physically and mentally.
If you’ve ever come home to a torn up couch or a pair of shoes that have officially met their end, you know the mental aspect is just as important as the physical.
As a pet parent, it can be hard to find ways to keep your dog mentally stimulated during the day, especially when you’re out of the house for multiple hours at a time.
When a dog gets bored, though, they tend to become destructive. They might pee in the house, chew up whatever’s within reach, or simply become depressed.
To keep your dog active, happy, and healthy (and keep your home in-tact), try out these 8 do-it-yourself puzzle toys. We’re sure your pup (and you) will love them!
1. DIY “Kong”
If you’ve never watched your dog play with a Kong before, you don’t know pure pleasure. Of course, Kongs can get a bit expensive, so we’ve found the perfect DIY option you can make as an alternative.
Start with a tennis ball, cut an insert, and fill it with healthy (and natural) treats.
Photo Credit: @ipauper
2. Sweet Potato Rope
This do-it-yourself dog toy is both easy and healthy (our favorite combo).
It’s great for younger pups who aren’t strong chewers yet, or small dogs not prone to instant-toy-destruction.
Tip: If you’re raising one who is, we suggest supplementing toys like these with natural bones for healthy chewing.
For this project, you’ll need a couple sweet potatoes, some chew-friendly rope, and several cooking supplies.
Slice the potatoes up (leaving a hole in the center for the rope), give them some serious bake time to dry them out, string your rope through them, and knot it on either end.
The result? A very entertained dog.
Photo Credit: @shesparticular
These might need a little more monitoring than the others if you don’t want any wet spots in the house, but they’re great on hot days when your dog needs some extended mental stimulation.
To make your pupsicles, you’ll need beef broth (or just water if your dog is food sensitive), water, a small cup or large ice cube trays, and a pizzle stick.
Freeze the broth and water combo and insert the pizzle stick halfway through to keep it upright.
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4. Stand Up Treat Dispenser
Who needs an expensive, electronic treat dispenser when you can make one out of PVC pipe?
This contraption is pretty remarkable, yet incredibly simple.
To create, you’ll need:
2 PVC T joints
2 PVC elbow joints
Several PVC pipes
An empty 2 liter bottle
2 weights (these can be DIY, too) to hold the dispenser in place
Your pup’s favorite treats
Watch the video to see the dispenser in action, and then try it out yourself!
5. Muffin Tin Game
This one might be the easiest on the list, but just as mentally engaging as the others.
Grab a muffin tin from the kitchen, 3-4 liver bites (you can cut these into smaller pieces to moderate how many your dog eats), and enough tennis balls to fill each insert in the muffin tin.
Place the treats into several of the tin inserts, and then cover each insert of the tin with a tennis balls. Your dog will absolutely love searching through the tennis balls to find the treats.
Read the full DIY tutorial at sheknows.com.
Photo Credit: SheKnows
6. Water Bottle Puzzle
Here’s another easy one for when you’re short on time but you want to leave your pup with something entertaining to do.
All this DIY dog toy takes is an empty water bottle, a pair of scissors, and small treats like liver bites.
Cut a hole in the bottle just big enough for treats to come out, fill the bottle with several liver bites, and watch your dog learn how to dispense them. They’ll love it!
When to use treat toys and puzzle games
Boredom can strike easily, so whether you’re gone at work all day or are just out for a short shopping trip, your dog can quickly become listless and destructive (and mostly, unhappy).
Try making a few of these toys and rotating through them so your dog always has something new to play with.
Even better, practice moderated chew time with an all-natural bone while you’re home. With constant mental stimulation, even when you’re not away, you’ll have a much more well behaved and happy dog on your hands (and a lot less cleanup to do when you get home).
All of Safe Bones Company dog bones and dog treats are 100% Natural and Made in the U.S.A. at our facilities in the beautiful state of Nebraska.
You’ll never need to be concerned with low quality imported products, or overly processed dog bones, jerky, or other treats. Shop now and treat your dog to something special.
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