DIY Project to Make a Shelter Dog’s Life Better
Shelter Dogs Need All Different Kinds of Enrichment
What do shelter dogs love more than eating dinner? Getting food, enrichment, mental stimulation and play all at the same time! Many shelters feed dogs out of food dispensing toys to accomplish just that. Sounds expensive? Not if you get creative and make the toys yourself.
We are improving the mental state of our dog’s by using a range of activities designed to challenge and exercise their brains. Enrichment can come from various activities including food puzzles, licking mats, jolly balls, and play groups. Both physical and mental states need to be taken into consideration when enriching a dog.
Food-dispensing PVC dog toy
- Cost: Less than $10.00
- Time: about 10 minutes
- Skill Level: Easy
What do dogs love more than eating dinner? Getting food, enrichment, mental stimulation and play all at the same time! Not to mention, you are stretching out the fun (getting treats!) and delaying gratification.
- PVC pipe (Your choice: 1″, 1.5″, 2″)
- A pair of adapter/screw caps. The adapters and screw caps come in male or female. Either will work; just make sure you have the a pair (i.e., a female adaptor with male screw cap, or a male adaptor with female screw cap).
- Note: We do not recommend ABS pipe (black pipe). It’s more brittle than PVC.
- Slip cap – for the non-opening end
- PPE – safety glasses, hearing protection, gloves
- Saw to cut PVC – hand saw, miter saw, etc.
- Power drill
- Drill bit the size you want the food dispensing holes to be
- Clear PVC glue
- Small piece of sandpaper
Determine the size(s) of toy wanted and purchase the corresponding PVC pipe size.
- 1” for small pipe diameter toys
- 1.5” for medium diameter toys
- 2” for large pipe diameter toys
- Cut. Cut the PVC pipe to desired length:
~ 4” for small pipe diameter toys (using 1” pipe)
~ 6” for medium diameter toys (using 1.5″ pipe)
~ 8” for large pipe diameter toys (using 2″ pipe)
- Glue. Using PVC glue attach the slip cap to one end of the pipe.
- Glue some more. Using PVC glue attach the male adapter to the other end.
- Screw. Screw cap onto male adapter.
- Drill. Drill holes into PVC pipe where desired. You could drill the holes first, but it’s easier to see locations for drilling after the toy is made.
- Sand. Remove the PVC burrs along the cut edges and sand the edges of the holes.
- Rinse it out. Empty out PVC filings from drilling out the holes and wash toy.
- Give. Give it to a pup and watch their tail wag.
Although these toys are very durable, breakage may occur – always monitor before and after use.
Want to learn more about the other ways we enrich our dogs? Click here to learn more about our enrichment program.
Interested in meeting our dogs available for adoption? Click here.