DIY: Tennis Ball Dog Treat Toy – Video + Step by Step Written Instructions

Single yellow tennis ball on back asphalt

I have a dog that LOVES treats, but I like to make her work for them a little bit. It keeps her happy and engaged and she’s FUN to watch.

And while there are many interactive treat toys available on the market, this super easy to make DIY tennis ball dog treat toy is still one of her favorites.

Should Dogs Chew Tennis Balls?

For most dogs chewing on a tennis ball is perfectly OK as long as it isn’t all the time. Tennis balls can be bad for dogs’ teeth.

Some dogs, like most Bully breeds, have super strong jaws and will tear a tennis ball to shreds in just a few minutes.

For strong chewers, I recommend that you go with an interactive toy that’s specifically geared toward dogs with strong jaws.

It will last longer.

For heavy chewers I really like this West Paw treat dispenser that I found on Amazon. It holds up well and it can dispense treats of multiple sizes.

For dogs that aren’t heavy chewers this is the perfect DIY project.

Making Interactive Dog Toys Made from Tennis Balls

This particular DIY tennis ball dispenser is super simple.

One note – some dogs are able to swallow tennis balls.

Be sure to use a ball that your dog can’t manage to fit entirely into their mouth.

You don’t want your treat to turn into a trauma by introducing a choking hazard.

Video: DIY Treat Dispensing Ball Instructions

YouTube video

The video is pretty self explanatory, but I also always like written instructions. 🙂

How to Make Dog Toys Made from Tennis Balls – Written Instructions


  • Tennis balls
  • Treats
  • Cutting tool / Knife


  1. There are numerous ways to make this toy harder or easier depending on your dog’s determination, it’s likelihood of destroying the ball and the size of your treats.
  2. Making a cut along the seam leaves a flap that can be tucked in for added difficulty.
  3. Making a straight cut can lead to more crushed treats instead of “released” treats.
  4. Cross cuts required only one or two chews before the treats fell out, but have an advantage in that they can release the treat when battled around.
  5. Cutting only the felt and creating a deep pocket creates a good space for kibble to fit. Our dog tends to just rip the felt off.
  6. Load ’em up and watch ’em go!

I’m planning on getting one of the really BIG tennis style balls.

I think that will be a bigger challenge for Lorelei in particular.

I barely blink and she solves most treat puzzles.

But with a ball larger than her head… I may get a few minutes to finish something before she does!

tennis ball cut open laying next to 2 dog treats and a knife

For more DIY Puppy Love, check out Scout’s Honor! Dog-Themed Badges and DIY Craft: Rescue Proud Bandana!

Please note that all links in this post are affiliate links. If you click a link and buy something, I earn a commission.

boss accountant rich french bulldog saving dollars and money with piggy bank or moneybox , with glasses and tie , isolated on white background

How to Find the Best Deal on Dog Food, Dog Beds and Other Dog Supplies

5 Yummy Chicken Casserole for Dogs Recipes