At-Home Dog Entertainment

**Written by Casey Dickson, community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.**

If your dog’s obsession with random household objects (looking at you, flashlight, socks, and anything from the garbage..) has taught us all anything, it’s that entertaining dog toys don’t have to require a trip to the big box pet stores. While pet stores are certainly necessary for procuring certain things–like specialty food and beds–when it comes to pure entertainment, you’re totally capable of making it yourself. After all, you’re the one your pup wants to hang out with most anyways — why not be the one who creates their entertainment organically from beginning to end?

Check out these super-simple playtime favorites (courtesy of that you can very likely make from whatever you have lying around the house. You’ll soon see that they’re canine-approved. (Note: this likely already occurred to you, but it’s always a good — and safe — idea to monitor your dog’s interaction with any new toys to make sure nothing’s being swallowed or otherwise endangering your little pup.)

Fish in your recycling bin…

Grab a water bottle, wrap it in a sock, and listen to sweet music of crinkle sounds and a happy pup.

For those not afraid of a mess…

Throw a couple dog treats in a cereal box and tape it shut. Give to your confused yet grateful pup and let the destruction commence.

To inspire some extra exercise…

Take an old t-shirt. Grab some scissors and snip off a ribbon-esque piece, then ball up the shirt and wrap the extra piece around to keep the shape. Toss away for your fetch-happy Fido. (Alternatively, simple tie a knot with the t-shirt for an equally chewable, tossable toy.)

For the rainiest of days…

When you think you’ve exhausted all options for your four-legged friend, grab that nearly-empty peanut butter jar and let Buddy have at it — we guarantee they’ll be occupied for hours.

For the over-achievers in the pack…

Grab a muffin tin, all the tennis balls you can find, and a few treats in high demand. Place a few treats in various muffin cups, then cover with tennis balls. Be sure to place balls in cups without treats, and watch to see how long it takes your furry pal to nab all the tiny treasures you’ve hidden with their favourite toy. It’s the best of both worlds, with just a little extra head-scratching.



  1. October 1, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    Love your ideas, especially the cereal box one! My three legged friends favourite toys are socks!! We have plenty of them hanging around

    • Laura Dove
      October 2, 2017 / 12:43 pm

      Haha yes my dog loves socks too! xx

  2. October 2, 2017 / 10:25 am

    Nice article, I think you might save a lot of people a lot of money. I’ve seen the same with kids, much to my amusement. $1000 of toys in the toy box, and kids prefer to play with an empty coke bottle. I’m sure it’s the same with pets.

    • Laura Dove
      October 2, 2017 / 12:40 pm

      Haha yes!! My kids are never happier than with a cardboard box! xx

  3. October 2, 2017 / 10:26 am

    What great ideas, I can agree about the peanut butter jar my dogs love this. It is amazing what you can find to entertain your dog. Thank you for sharing x

    • Laura Dove
      October 2, 2017 / 12:39 pm

      Our dog is easily bored so we are always looking for ways to entertain him otherwise he just barks!!! xx

  4. Jen S
    October 2, 2017 / 10:19 pm

    My dog tears EVERYTHING. God knows I’m not gonna tell him it’s ok to rip up trash haha. But it’s true that he’ll play with anything! I have to be careful with any new packages because he’ll take the packaging paper and box and rip it to shreds!

    • Laura Dove
      October 3, 2017 / 12:34 pm

      Haha yes our dog is past that stage thankfully! xx

  5. October 3, 2017 / 12:24 am

    Love the ideas, specially the rainy day Peanut butter box and the cereal box. These would certainly be fun for the pup and for the onlookers as well. My friends dog has the habit to put apart everything and the fun we feel when he has coke bottle.

    • Laura Dove
      October 3, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Haha yes our dog too! xx

  6. Blair villanueva
    October 3, 2017 / 3:42 am

    My Mom’s dog loves collecting plastic bottle cups. Mom discovered it one day, then Mom taught him to store those items in a box to avoid the clutter. It was funny and good thing our dog is trainable.

    • Laura Dove
      October 3, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Oh how funny! He sounds so clever! xx

  7. October 3, 2017 / 4:35 am

    I have a dog, we call it Ashley and its favorite pastime is to go through the rubbish bins and spread them all across the lawn. It’s not very hygienic, but we love her anyway! I’m pretty sure you get it:)

    • Laura Dove
      October 3, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Haha I have one just like that called Oscar! xx

  8. October 3, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Loving these ideas- will pass them on to mum, if only Scott would let us have a dog 🙁 . I keep trying lol x

    • Laura Dove
      October 3, 2017 / 12:32 pm

      Hahah don’t give up! Dogs are the best! xx

  9. Elizabeth O
    October 3, 2017 / 10:43 am

    Such a great ideas. I will definitely share this dog entertainment in a home with my friends.

    • Laura Dove
      October 3, 2017 / 12:31 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth! xx

  10. Utminh
    October 3, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    A great idea. I am raising a dog, as a friend and daily living with me. I think the boxes will save me a lot when looking after the dog. Thanks for sharing!

    • Laura Dove
      October 3, 2017 / 12:30 pm

      That’s great, dogs are such fun! xx

  11. October 3, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    The ideas are really good and do well thought out. I love the cereal box idea its great and easy enough tto put together.

    • Laura Dove
      October 4, 2017 / 10:58 am

      Thanks Nayna! xx

  12. October 4, 2017 / 1:21 am

    You know what, you came along at THE PERFECT time!! Lol. My dog absolutely loves actually digging through my daughter’s toys and helping himself to his choice of chew things. I love your suggestions here and will be trying them! Thank you 😉

    • Laura Dove
      October 4, 2017 / 10:56 am

      Ahh that’s great to hear! Thanks Shawna! xx

  13. October 4, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    Lol, I will have to remember all of these various things for my dog Oreo, although he’s on the small size so I am not sure he could do some of them. I know he’d have fun trying though.

    • Laura Dove
      October 5, 2017 / 5:45 pm

      Ahh I love that his name is Oreo!!! xx

  14. October 4, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    I like the idea of creating a treat box for them to rip open – or for the destruction to commence whichever comes next haha! I like that it is inexpensive as well x

    • Laura Dove
      October 5, 2017 / 5:44 pm

      Haha yes, our dog is easily bored!! xx

  15. October 5, 2017 / 1:47 am

    You have no idea how perfect the timing of your post is! It’s a rainy day here and our two golden retrievers are looking rather bored. In fact, I have a muffin tin, tennis balls, and treats .. I know what we’re going to be doing this afternoon! x

    • Laura Dove
      October 5, 2017 / 5:41 pm

      Hehe I hope they enjoyed it! xx

  16. Anne Dela Cruz
    October 5, 2017 / 4:02 am

    Wow!!! What a great idea. Perfect timing of your post. I will definitely try this at home.

    • Laura Dove
      October 5, 2017 / 5:41 pm

      Thanks Anne! xx

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