Does your dog get bored with regular puzzle toys? Do you need a low-budget solution for fun activities? Homemade puzzle toys are a great way to stop boredom, add enrichment, and create some fun in your dog’s day!

What are Puzzle Toys?

A puzzle toy is exactly what it sounds like – a toy that is a challenge, or puzzle, for your dog to play with. Often times, these are filled with treats or food that are released at random intervals to make the toy more exciting. For dogs that aren’t treat motivated, some puzzle toys include smaller toys inside of them to pull out instead.

Should I Use Treats or Food?

That greatly depends on your personal preferences. For dogs that may be overweight or in danger of becoming overweight, using food is better. You can use a puzzle toy as a replacement for meal time. This is perfect for dogs that have to be left home alone or become anxious. For training a dog to use a toy, or for short, fun breaks, treats can be used instead.

Low-Cost Projects

Here are five easy DIY puzzle toys you can make at home right now.

            Tennis Ball Puzzle: Simply cut a flap into a tennis ball. Stuff with treats or food, and you’re good to go for a simple, easy, and fun puzzle toy. This is best for smaller dogs or those that don’t chew a lot. Be sure to supervise, you don’t want tennis ball pieces accidentally ingested!

            PVC Puzzle Toy: Simply take a piece of round PVC pipe, cap the ends, and cut some small holes into it just big enough to stuff with treats or food. The toy can then be rolled around on the floor to release the treats at various intervals. Great for dogs that may be bigger chewers, or can easily open up regular puzzle toys.

            Butter Tub Toy: Similar to the PVC pipe, this puzzle toy uses an old butter or margarine container. Cut some small holes into the lid or body of the container. Next, fill with toys or treats, and close the lid! This is easy to refill and perfect for smaller dogs that won’t be able to hold the tub in their mouth and crunch it open.

             Pupsicles: Great for summertime, these versatile treats are perfect for any dog of any size. Take an ice cube tray of any size and fill it with a mix of wet food and crunchy treats. Then, freeze for a few hours, and you have a tasty reward! For added difficulty, stuff the frozen treats into a Kong or other rubber puzzle toy for your dog to work on.

            Toilet Paper Treat Tub: Does your dog love to carry around toilet paper or paper towel rolls? Instead of tossing them, stuff a large plastic tub as full of the rolls as possible, and then slip treats or kibble into them. Your dog will have fun pulling out the rolls to get the treats! 

 A happy, occupied dog is less likely to become anxious or destructive. No matter what your dog prefers, these toys are sure to be a hit at home and are great for tiring out both the mind and body. Try one out today!

 All images provided by Creative Commons/Pixabay


[1] “44 Really Cool Homemade DIY Dog Toys Your Dog Will Love” SpartaDog Blog. Web 27 Dec 2017. <>

[2] Grissom, Stacie.“33 Dog Toys You Can Make From Things Around the House” Barkpost Stories. Web 27 Dec 2017. <>