Odds and Ends

DIY: Make A Reversible Dog Bandana for Any Holiday!

For the last few years, I’ve been happily subverting Bryan’s “no dog costumes” rule for Halloween, something I’d planned to continue this year. But as the holiday has gotten closer, I’ve been a little stumped for costumes and a bit shorter on time than usual, with Bryan now in school for his master’s degree, and lots more family outings in the mix than in other years.

Also, we can’t dress Topher up and take him anywhere—he would be too uncomfortable, which would only increase his potential to react poorly. This is why we just share the costume photos with the internet, so Topher can stay happy and relaxed at home.

So instead of a costume this year, I’m going to show you how to create a reversible dog bandana, something you can make for any holiday to let your pup in on the festivities.

DIY: Make A Dog Bath Towel With Pockets!

Whenever I start thinking about making something new for Topher, it’s usually because there’s some need I’m looking to fill. Spring and summer always bring a lot of thunderstorms for us, which means more puddles and mud for Topher to get in during our walks, which means more quick rinses with the hose, or full baths on the weekends.

Towel drying Topher isn’t especially difficult, since he’s a short haired dog, but our bath towels always end up half on the floor by the end of the drying process, where they sop up extra water and the dirt that just got rinsed off Topher. It’s annoying! There are some good dog bath towels on the market, but I was pretty sure I could make my own out of one of our current “dog towels” for free. And I don’t know about you, but I love just about anything I can create for free!

If you can sew a straight line, you can DIY this towel. Plus, this dog bath towel has pockets, which makes drying off your dog basically a million times easier.

Getting Rid Of “Dog Smell” Between Baths

We don’t bathe Topher very often. However, even when we do bathe him, he finds some way to get smelly as soon as possible. I think that’s just the nature of dogs—they constantly trend towards smelliness.

I decided that I would try out some measures towards getting rid of that dog smell in between baths. Just wiping Topher down with a damp cloth didn’t really do much, so I looked into dog-safe ingredients that I could make into some kind of spray, and found a few options. Now, Topher smells as fresh as a daisy! Well, a lavender-scented daisy.

Here’s what I used to get rid of Topher’s dog smell between baths.

DIY Paw Wax & Snout Care For Dogs

Winter can be a tough time for doggy feet, especially if you live in an area where it snows regularly. The pads on a dog’s paws are vulnerable to the effects of ice and snow, so it’s crucial that we take precautions to keep them well-protected on any longer winter walks. One helpful thing you can do is rub some paw wax onto your dog’s pads before letting your them step outside.

Paw wax is also great protection against gravel and other abrasive surfaces, and can help give your dog some grip to stop him from sliding all over the wood floors in your home! This DIY paw wax recipe is a quick and easy solution to paw pad protection, and should be applied liberally, as needed for prevention or treatment of dry and cracked paw pads.

DIY: Paracord Dog Collar

When I first starting doing DIY projects for this blog a few months ago, I knew I wanted to work up to making a collar. In my head, I’d get a little better at sewing and then work up a cute collar with webbing and fabric. My hesitation was not because collars are exceedingly difficult to make, but because our collars need to hold back seventy pounds of pure muscle—and with Topher, we test the tensile strength of our collars almost daily.

Then one night I went down a Pinterest rabbit hole filled with Paracord survival bracelets. Parachute cord (also known as paracord or 550 cord when referring to type-III paracord) is a lightweight nylon rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. It’s now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians alike. Recently, survivalists, hikers, and people who just like weaving (that’s me!) have taken to making bracelets, keychains, and tons of other items. Since a dog collar is, essentially, a large bracelet, I figured I could definitely manage a DIY paracord dog collar.