With entire stores devoted to our pup’s needs it may seem unnecessary to tackle a do-it-yourself dog product, but doing so can save money and result in some super personalized and unique dog products.
DIY Dog Bed
Purchase any dog bed and chances are you could have made the item yourself for less. Especially if you have a puppy that is quickly going to outgrow that little bed and eventually need a giant pillow to rest upon, you should hit the store for some stuffing and dog pattern fabric instead. To make your dog’s bed washable and durable consider multiple slipcovers and use a child’s crib mattress cover for an interior lining but particularly if you are making a bed for the not-quite-housebroken puppy.
Water & Food Bowl Mats
Using the leftover fabric from your dog bed project, sew the edges of a rectangular piece to place under your hound’s food and water bowls. This will help keep messes off the floor and dresses up those bowls in the process. The fact that it coordinates with his dog bed is just that much more impressive!
Homemade Dog Treats
Every dog owner can do this! It can be as simple as some frozen chicken broth in ice cube trays, or go all out and bake your own sweet potato chew treats. Your dog will love you for it! Trying blending plain Greek yogurt with a favorite flavor and maybe some milk bones for crunch and you have dog-friendly ice cream!
Limited Edition Dog Wear
You could purchase that dog Halloween costume or sweater that matches every other pooch on the street or go completely customizable and fit your dog perfectly. Though, you also need to consider your skill level with knitting and the sewing machine as well as the cost of your time before you take on this project.
Handmade Dog Toys
This can range from a labor-of-love stuffed animal, or tie a few knots in some rope and let the tug-a-war begin! There is also the opportunity to recycle some of your household or child’s toys and make them dog friendly. A jingle bell in a empty soda bottle was our puppy’s most beloved toy even above all his store-bought luxuries. A hula-hoop can double as an obstacle course jump. One of our hounds made a game out of breaking into plastic Easter eggs, these should be stuffed with dog-friendly treats and only played with under supervision.
Dog shampoos can range from inexpensive to something higher in price than you spend on your own hair. If your dog has dry or sensitive skin, you may be scouting out more specialty types of shampoo. However, you can make your own oatmeal shampoo at home. Use a coffee grinder or food processor to grind up 1 cup of oatmeal, and then mix this with 1 cup of baking soda and 1 quart of water. The mixture can be used like this, or consider adding it to the shampoo you already use, or including a couple drops of an essential oil such as lavender or rosemary.
Caleb Grant is a breeder, dog trainer and freelance writer. Caleb works closely with wireless dog fence expert Susan Wright, DMV to write articles highlighting the proper care of dogs