Skip to Content

DIY Treat Toys to Keep Your Dog Busy

DIY Treat Toys to Keep Your Dog Busy

As a member of the Etsy affiliate program and an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

When you have an uber-smart, extra motivated, full of energy dog, you do anything you can to keep them busy.

Exercise is key and we get as much as we can, but we also live in one of the rainiest places around, in a rainforest. I work full time. Felix has a bum knee. Some days Kol has the energy of a toddler who has been mainlining pixie sticks and sucking back red bulls like they’re apple juice.

So how do you keep a dog busy when you can’t go out and play?

Treat toys are the secret to our success.

Koly and Fe have any number of toys designed to make them work for a snack or two. We use stuffed Kongs, a Dogzilla Steggin’ Egg, A Nina Ottosan Dog Casino, a Spinny, Canine Genius toys, a Tug a Jug, a Planet Dog Mazee…the list is endless. We have a small fortune in puzzle toys at our house, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Particularly when you have a clever dog that solves puzzles quickly, DIY can be your best friend.

DIY Treat Toys to Keep Your Dog Busy

There are so many puzzle dog toys you can make at home with just a little creativity. Keep in mind that you know your dog best. Always supervise carefully when using puzzle toys and be sure that the materials you use to make your toys are sturdy enough to stand up to your dog. What works for my dogs, may not be a great choice for all dogs.


1. Muffin Tin Puzzle by Liz Palika | Connect By Pets (Click here to see the tutorial)

This one is deceivingly simple. While it’s quick to assemble and easy to hide treats, it’s actually fairly difficult to solve as the dog has to lift each ball out of the tin to win. Pawing at the balls just spins them. Pro Tip: If your dog is clever like Felix, he may cotton onto the fact that the easiest way to solve the puzzle is by flipping the whole tin over, so hold onto it for them.

You can even make this puzzle tougher by combining it with the next DIY Toy.

2. Modified Tennis Ball Treat Ball by Romp Rescue Click here to see the tutorial)

Photo Credit: Romp Rescue

This one is so versatile because you can make it easier or harder by changing how you cut the ball. For example, a series of 1/2″ holes in the ball might make a very easy toy, where and “X” shaped opening might be tougher.

3. Plastic Jar Treat Toy by Welsh Stump (click here to see the tutorial)

Photo Credit: Welsh Stump

How simple! Just take a plastic jar and cut a few holes in the sides. Make the holes larger or smaller, depending on how hard you want it to be. As your dog get great at solving it, you can add challenge by filling it with tubes or balls to make it more difficult.


4. Spinner Bottle Dog Toy by Raising Cinder (Click here to see the tutorial)

Photo Credit: Raising Cinder

I’m kind of in love with this one and it’s totally on my list of things to DIY up. Not only does it look like so much fun, I can see a lot of opportunities to make it easier/harder by using different bottles/jars and obstacles in them.

Does you dog have treat toys? What do you love about them? Have you ever made one yourself?


Every week, we invite you to link up your Tastiest Post and Hop On to discover all sorts of new treats recipes, great giveaways and
To take part, follow your hosts, Kol’s Notes &  Sugar the Golden Retriever, grab the badge from our sidebar, get the InLinkz code for your post, and add your link to this week’s hop!What are you waiting for? HOP ON!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Monday 27th of April 2015

Late to the comments but wanted to add, if your buddies flip the muffin tin, you can put a jump-rope around it to hold it down. Put something heavy on the ends of the rope and it won't flip. The same is true with a bungie cord, you can punch 2 holes in the muffin pan side flaps and connect a bungy cord to something. As for the tennis balls, if they rip them up- try the hanes plastic baseball's. They love to rolls these balls around on a hard floor as well. Just watch them like with any toy, and remove it if they puncture the plastic. Another neat one for previously broke tennis balls or for beginners is to cut balls in half and turn them into a dome. Use the dome as a cover for the treat.


Monday 27th of April 2015

Ohhhh... what a great it! I never thought to anchor it down somehow. I also like the idea of the domes. I'll definitely have to try that. Thank you!!


Monday 27th of April 2015

I meant hard plastic baseballs like the practice ones.

» DIY Pet Projects

Monday 23rd of February 2015

[…] Click Here to Learn More About DIY Dog Entertainment […]

Thinking Outside the Bowl: Games, Training & #TheArtofNutrition - Kol's Notes

Thursday 12th of February 2015

[…] Toys - There are a tonhow to make your own treat dispensing toys. We use these all the time – especially the muffin tin game. It’s a Felix […]

13 Most Popular New Year's Resolutions & Dogs

Saturday 3rd of January 2015

[…] Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: With the rise of Pinterest, has come the rise of DIY. These days DIY projects are all over social media, and for good reason! Making something yourself instead of buying it from a store is so rewarding! Don’t forget to involve your dog in some of these DIY crafts. You can do anything from creating your own Prints, Dog Pillows, Dog Beds, or Dog Toys. […]


Tuesday 16th of September 2014

Puzzle toys are the best! Considering Elka can destroy most, if not all, tennis balls in under 5 minutes (and 5 minutes is generous), using 'em as treat delivery systems won't work best for us. I'm intrigued by the spinny bottles, though, and have seen video of dogs using them.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.