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March 22, 2022

DIY Small Pet Enrichment Toys

Written by Patricia Larson, LVT and Kellie Hayden

Want to make a fun and enriching toy for your small pet? Here are four great toys that you can make yourself using objects from around your home as well as hay fines!

Note: Always supervise your pets with enrichment when tubes or string are included materials.

 

Hide and Seek Boxes

For this activity, you will need:  

  • One paper towel tube  
  • A pair of scissors
  • Small treat pieces, or your pet’s daily fortified food
  • Hay fines 
  • Jute or untreated paper string (optional)

Step 1: Cut the paper towel tube into 3 pieces.

Step 2: Cut a square out of the side of each tube section and fold in the ends of the tubes.
Step 3: Place treats and small pieces of hay inside.
Step 4: Offer to your pet for supervised fun!

Want to up the difficulty? Make hanging Hide and Seek Boxes!

Step 1: Add a hole to the top and bottom of each box.

Step 2: Thread the string through these holes. Tie knots and cut the string so that there’s 1 inch of space in-between each box.
Step 3: Hang the Hide and Seek Box from the top or side of your pet’s enclosure. The movement of the box adds a new challenge for your little ones!

 

Rolling Treat Dispenser

For this activity, you will need: 

  • One paper towel tube 
  • 4 toilet paper tubes 
  • Hay fines
  • Small treat pieces, or your pet’s daily fortified food

Step 1: Take the toilet paper tubes and fold them in half or thirds the long way.  
Step 2: Place the folded tubes inside the paper towel tube, two on each side.
Step 3: Place treats, fortified food, and hay fines inside.

Step 4: Offer to your pet for a fun roll and toss toy! 

 

Paper Tube “Kabob”

For this activity, you will need:  

  • One paper towel tube
  • A pair of scissors
  • Jute or untreated paper string
  • Oxbow’s Enriched Life Willow Bundle
  • Fresh cucumber or zucchini (optional)

Step 1: Make two small holes at the top of the tube for string.

Step 2: Make large square holes and smaller circular holes throughout the paper towel tube.

Step 3: Thread the string through the top two holes of the tube.
Step 4: Place, measure, and cut as needed to add individual sticks.

Step 5: Stuff hay fines in the square holes to act as a hay feeder.  
Step 6: Hang the tube from the ceiling or side of your pet’s enclosure. If desired, you can add soft veggies (like cucumber or zucchini) to the sticks for extra fun! 

 

Celebration Hay Poms

For this activity, you will need: 

  • Jute or untreated paper string 
  • A pair of scissors
  • Longer hay fines, or your pet’s favorite hay 

Step 1: Tie bundles of shorter hay strands together in knots to make small “poms”

Step 2: Tie the poms to the side of your pet’s habitat as a form of edible decoration!

 

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