Looking for a way to keep your pup busy for a little while? This DIY treat dispenser may be the perfect puzzle for your dog!
This post is sponsored by Tractor Supply Company and the Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Tractor Supply Company, but Daily Dog Tag only shares information relevant to our readers. Tractor Supply Company is not responsible for the content of this article. This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through one of these links, the Daily Dog Tag will earn a small fee.
As part of the celebration Tractor Supply Company Pet Appreciation Week, they asked me to come up with a DIY project that can be used to help rescues. After lots of brainstorming, I went with my first instinct: an interactive toy to help enrich pets’ lives. I thought this would be perfect for a dog in a shelter! Alice G Patterson helped me build and photograph this easy and inexpensive DIY treat dispenser in her lovely home. If you are looking for a simpler project, check out the easiest treat jars ever.
My shopping list for this project is very simple: chicken nesting box, PVC pipe, and end caps. The cost was $14 per treat dispenser.
- Chicken Nesting Box
- 1/2 ” PVC pipe
- 2 PVC 1/2″ end caps
- saw (to cut pipe)
- plastic bottle (we used 2-liter bottles)
- ruler/tape measure
- scissors or utility knife
- optional supplies:
- spray paint, painter’s tape, clamp, scrap wood
Cut the length of pipe to 12 inches (it should extend past the box on both sides).
Mark nest box for drilling. We marked our center for the drill bit at 1.5 inches from the side of the box and 2 inches from the top. (To prevent the box from splitting, clamp a scrap piece of wood underneath the part you are drilling.) IMPORTANT NOTE: IF YOU ARE GOING TO PAINT THE PIPE, USE A 3/4 ” DRILL BIT. If you are going to leave it unpainted, we recommend a 5/8 ” drill bit to keep the pipe snug.
After drilling holes, determine if you need to remove any crosspieces that would prevent the bottles from spinning. Remove any stray nails with vice grips.
Using scissors, I poked a hole in the bottle approximately 4 inches from the top. Next, I then cut a hole slightly larger than 5/8 inch in diameter.
I wanted to make this project something that I would also feel comfortable having in my own home, so I took inspiration from these DIY painted frames and decided to glam it up a bit.
We spray-painted the PVC pipes and end caps.
We used painter’s tape and spray paint to add a decorative touch.
Assembly is easy: Insert pipe partially through one side, thread the bottles on the pipe, position the pipe, and snap the end caps in place. You can glue one or use a small screw to secure the cap onto the pipe. However, ours stay snug without gluing.
Lulu was excited when she first saw the feeder, but at 14 years old, she couldn’t figure it out right away.
She was a sad pug and probably hates “new technology.” Since we didn’t have time to teach an old dog a new trick, I brought in Theo.
He figured it out in a few minutes.
I considered painting the inside of the box but decided that it would get a lot of wear and tear and quickly become more of an eyesore.
A dog that really likes to chew should not be left unsupervised with this toy. If using this with a stronger dog, you should screw it onto a larger piece of plywood or some wood blocks to add weight and stability. We found that adjusting the bar height to 7 inches from the bottom and using a water bottle worked well for smaller dogs. I also discovered that my cat can use the treat dispenser with 2-liter bottles!
In addition to having tractor supplies, Tractor Supply Company has a large assortment of pet products: premium brand food, toys, collars, tick and flea preventative, crates, beds, collars, leashes, etc. The employees are friendly and care about animals and their community. If you don’t live near a Tractor Supply Company, you can also order from them online. Check out Tractor Supply Co. on Pinterest for all kinds of inspiration!
About Alice G Patterson Photography: Located in Syracuse, New York, Alice specializes in dog portraits as well as photography for small businesses.
Brian Frum says
That really is very clever!
I’d love to know if other cats besides mine like it.
M. K. Clinton says
This is a great fun idea! I might make one for Bentley and Pierre to play with too. ☺
It was so easy.
Alice G Patterson says
I love how this turned out… great idea Beth!
Wow! Great idea. Will have to make one for My 9 year Holli Berri
She will love it!
What a great job you and your sister did. I would have never guessed that came from a tractor supply company.
Jan K says
What a clever idea!! I’ve seen this type of toy other places, but never would have wanted to take the time to figure out how to make one myself. This is a cool campaign, and we love our local Tractor Supply store!
Tractor Supply Company carries so many different things!
That puggle sure looks happy. Cool DIY.
I absolutely love this idea of making interactive toys! I’m sure my pup would love this and I can’t wait to try it!
Ann Staub says
This is such an amazing idea! I had several ideas when I went to Tractor Supply and it was tough to decide on what to make.
Dogs N Pawz says
What a great idea!
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
woah! How cool is that!!!!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Golden Woofs: Sugar says
LOVE this idea 🙂 one of our FB friends shared a video link of the same toy idea. Unfortunately, there’s no Tractor Supply by us 🙁 Golden Thanks for sharing this. Golden Woofs
Jodi Chick (+ Kolchak & Felix too) says
I would never have thought to use a nesting box for this. What a fab idea!
Diane Holland says
This is a wonderful idea! I am going to have to attempt one of these for my dogs. When they are stuck inside, they get bored so I just know they would love it!
Amber @ ExSoyCise says
This is so awesome! My dog would die for this!
If you have a crazy chewer pup, conduit will work well instead of pvc Pipe. As a bonus, conduit Is silver so no need to perdy it up.
That is a great suggestion. Thanks!
This would be perfect for my very fast eating chihuahua, I have bought the slow down mat but somehow she has susses that out and is still gulping. TY for the idea. well done on good how to as well. 🙂
This is an awesome idea! Except my Boxer puppy would probably just chew through the plastic bottles to get the treats out lol
You definitely need to supervise it with a strong chewer!
Sue Ryze says
Not only was this a smart idea, but we used this in conjunction with a method for our dog to dispense the treat! It’s been a fun DIY project for sure!