DIY Dog Games with Household Items

dog playing muffin tin game

Having a pet dog is sometimes like having an eternal toddler who never grows out of their playful stage. This is a blessing most of the time. However, it can also be quite a challenge to keep them entertained, especially when they’ve grown bored of their old toys.

There’s no need to break the bank buying new toys every other week when you’ve got creative and budget-friendly solutions. Here are 5 DIY games you can create from household items to keep your furry friend entertained and mentally stimulated.

1. The Muffin Tin Game

What You’ll Need

For this game, you’ll need a muffin tin, some dog-friendly treats, and a few tennis balls. Just make sure the tennis balls are the right size for your dog’s mouth to prevent choking hazards.

How to Play

Place a treat in each hole of the muffin tin, then cover each hole with a tennis ball. Now, it’s time for your dog to go on a treasure hunt! They’ll have to figure out how to remove the balls and get to the treats underneath. This game is perfect for stimulating your dog’s problem-solving skills and sense of smell.

2. The DIY Tug-of-War Rope

What You’ll Need

For this DIY game, you’ll need some old t-shirts or towels. Cut them into strips, then braid the strips together to make a rope. Tie knots at both ends to secure it.

How to Play

Hold one end of the rope and let your dog grab the other end with their mouth. Then start a gentle tug-of-war. Remember, the goal here is to have fun and bond with your dog, not to overpower them. Letting your dog win motivates them to keep playing!

3. The Bottle Spin Game

What You’ll Need

All you need is an empty plastic bottle, a piece of string, and some kibble. Choose a bottle size that is appropriate for your dog’s size.

How to Play

Cut a hole in each side of the bottle, about ⅓ of the way from the top. Put the string through the bottle, and tie each end of the string somewhere in your home so it hangs at a height your dog can easily reach with their nose or paws. Put some of your dog’s favorite treats or kibble inside the bottle, and see if your dog can figure out how to spin it, tipping it upside down so the treats fall out.

4. The DIY Snuffle Mat

What You’ll Need

To make a snuffle mat, you’ll need a rubber mat with holes and some old fabric. Cut the fabric into strips and then weave them through the holes in the mat.

How to Play

Hide treats among the strips of fabric on the mat. Your dog then has to use their nose to sniff out and find the treats. Snuffle mats can also be used with a dog’s regular kibble to help slow down fast eaters at mealtime.  

5. DIY Agility Course

What You’ll Need

For this game, you’ll need some creativity! You can use chairs, cushions, blankets, and other household items to create an obstacle course.

How to Play

Set up your DIY course with different challenges – tunnels made from blankets and chairs, weaving poles created with broomsticks, and a cushion mountain to climb over. Lure your dog through the course with a treat, gradually increasing the complexity as they get the hang of it.


Playing with your dog isn’t just about keeping them entertained – it’s also about spending quality time with them, fostering a stronger bond, and providing the physical and mental stimulation they need. With these DIY games, you’re well on your way to creating an enriching and fun environment for your furry friend, right at home.

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