3-Step DIY Busy Box for Dogs

As dog lovers, we all want to spoil our pups. Toys are great, but can be expensive and easily destroyed. Why not use a few items you’ve got around the house and DIY not just a toy, but an engaging activity for your beloved pooch? Introducing … busy boxes!

Busy boxes are an exciting and easy way to mentally exercise your dog’s mind as well as give him some yummy treats! Not only do dogs love receiving these boxes, but they provide an appropriate opportunity for your dog to think, chew and enjoy. Busy boxes are simple to make, inexpensive and entertaining to watch!

Materials Needed:

  • Any thin cardboard box (cereal, cracker, etc.)
  • Smooth peanut butter
  • Small spatula
  • Dog treats- Cheerios, meaty treats, any appropriate food that your dog loves will work
  • Tape
  • Plastic gloves



Step 1- Prepare The Box

  • Wearing your gloves, use the spatula or your hands to spread a small amount of peanut butter all over on the inside of the box. (If your dog doesn’t like peanut butter, try canned dog food.)
  • Next, throw in a handful of treats – you can even incorporate some of your dog’s dry food or add a longer lasting treat such as a dental chew or rawhide.
  • Seal the box with a few pieces of small tape or simply interlock the box’s top to create a seal.
  • Finally – shake the box! By doing this, the treats will stick to the peanut butter.


Step 2 – Freeze The Box


  • Freezing the box is not necessary, but frozen boxes and treats often last longer. It’s a good way to build an inventory of busy boxes for your dog. Not to mention- during the hot summer months, they provide a nice cool treat!


Step 3- Give The Box

  • If you dog is a heavy chewer or extremely treat motivated, you can give the box directly from your freezer. Consider going outdoors or moving your dog into a crate or tiled area for quicker cleanup.
  • Some dogs need encouraging. Try poking a few holes in the box with scissors.  This helps them figure out that good things are inside!



Remember, mental stimulation for your dog can be just as beneficial as physical exercise. Busy boxes are just one way to exercise your dog’s brain. They are great in summer months, when taking an hour long walk just isn’t possible in the heat. Providing your dog with fun and engaging ways to use his mind is great for your dog, and fun to watch!

For more ideas about D.I.Y. treats and toys, visit our Pinterest page. Have an idea? Share with us in the comments.

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