How to Make Dog Toys Out of Socks (SAFE, FUN & EASY!)

Dogs love to play with toys made from stuff you have around the house.

If you need something to entertain your dog and a trip to the pet store is out of the question, learn how to make dog toys out of socks using a few of our ideas!

How Can I Make Dog Toys from Old Socks?

Dogs will play with any toy
Dogs love to play with any toy that’s available, even ones made from old socks.

Making dog toys out of socks is a great way to upcycle something you would otherwise throw away. Old socks can be used for tug-of-war, snuffling games, and fetch, and your dog will love you for it!

Is It Safe to Make Dog Toys from Old Socks?

Yes, with reservations. We use old socks to make fun, interactive toys for our dogs, but we never let them chew the socks or leave them alone with the toys.

A sock will be quickly destroyed by a chewing dog and can quickly pose a significant health hazard.

Loose threads can get caught in your dog’s teeth causing discomfort and cutting the gum. Ingested threads can cause bowel obstructions that can be life-threatening and require surgery to fix.

Finally, many websites recommend filling old socks with various household items and giving them to your dog to play with and chew.

This can be very dangerous because small parts can come off and choke your dog.

Never leave your dog alone with a toy unless you’re sure it has been manufactured as an indestructible dog toy.

Having said that, here are a few things we do with old socks to enjoy a little off-the-wall playtime with our pups.

Make a Fetch Tube

How To Make Dog Toys Out Of Socks
A fetch tube is a simple yet fun toy for supervised backyard fun.

Take an old sock with no holes and fill it with rice, birdseed, or other small, edible filler. We like using birdseed because the sock always rips and a little birdseed in the yard is a favorite treat for our feathered friends.

Once the sock is about half-full, tie off the end tightly and toss it for your dog to fetch and retrieve.

Be careful to not overfill the sock or use a sock that’s too big for your dog. If you have a small dog, use a small sock and fill it only about half-full.

This type of toy can quickly get too heavy for your dog to safely retrieve.

Make a Fetch Ball

Our dogs love to play fetch, but by putting the ball inside of a long sock and tying the sock shut, we can get a little more inertia behind the ball and send it flying!

Begin with a long sock and an indestructible ball. We usually don’t let our dogs play with tennis balls because they can tear them apart and ingest the pieces, but we’ll use one inside a sock in a pinch.

Place the ball inside the sock and knot the end tightly.

Now you can twirl the ball around inside the sock and send it flying a long way without using much energy!

Make a Sock Snuffle Toy

dog playing with a sock toy
Socks can be fun toys for dogs during supervised play.

Have you heard of a snuffle mat? It is a type of dog puzzle toy where treats or kibbles are hidden inside a fluffy mat. The dog has to find the bits by snuffling around and hunting them out of the mat.

You can make a type of snuffle toy with a collection of socks. The socks must be short like ankle socks or no-show socks to work well and keep the dog from ingesting sock material.

Using a collection of at least 6 short socks, hot glue or sew the toes together so that they radiate outward. If your dog loves the snuffle toy you can add more socks to it.

Leave the ankle ends open, and tuck a small treat or piece of kibble inside each sock. Most dogs won’t be able to get them out of the toe area, so don’t put the treats too far inside.

This type of toy is best for small to medium breeds, as large breeds will likely eat more sock than treats.

Read our related article on How to Make a Fun and Functional Dog Puzzle Mat! Puzzle mats are engaging for your dog and surprisingly simple to make (sew and no-sew options).

Make a Sock Tug Of War Toy

For a tug-of-war toy, take two tube socks (the longer the better) and tie them together in the middle.

Make sure to knot it tightly, so the socks don’t come undone while your dog is playing.

Our dogs adore this type of toy and we prefer it to cheap rope toys because the sock is softer on their teeth.

Plus, instead of getting strings stuck in their teeth and cutting their gums, which happens often with rope toys, the sock simply tears away. Because they’re just old socks we throw them away when they’re torn.

Final Thoughts

If you choose to use socks as toys around your home, don’t be surprised if your dog begins to chew on socks that are not toys, because he’ll think that all socks are for playing.

We recommend giving your dog chews, puzzle toys, indestructible dog toys, and treat-filled toys that he can play with safely. However, when you need a quick dog toy it turns out a sock will do!

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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