Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let's Make: A Dog Cooling Collar!

The Hubby thought I was crazy when I told him I was making a cooling collar for Bella, but I felt that Bella needed this. Let me explain. 

A few months ago, my sister told me that her neighbor's bulldog died from overheating after neglect from a PetSmart groomer. After this sad story of a poor dog dying from not being able to cool down quickly enough, I began to worry about Bella every time we came back from a walk or a run. 

Bella pants heavily when we get back home from our walks and because we can't afford to blast the air-conditioning, the house just isn't cold enough to cool her down. I even tried to stick ice packs near her or put a fan in front of her, but she did not approve of these techniques. 


I came across a cooling collar that you can purchase for about $17 online and I also found a tutorial for one that you can make on your own. I wasn't willing to spend that much money or purchase so many supplies so I decided to create one that I could slip over Bella's existing collar. 

This tutorial is for a dog cooling collar that has two separate compartments, one for the collar and one for ice packs. I don't pretend to be the best at sewing as I'm still a newbie so please ignore the fact that I still can't sew in a straight line. I'm also sorry if I don't use the correct sewing terms. I learned how to sew via YouTube, after all. 



Ready to make one? Let's get your supplies ready. You will need your dog's collar, two pieces of fabric cut to the measurements below and ice pack sheets. I found my pack of sheets at Target for about $2.

Please note that the length of the pieces of fabric you need will vary depending on the circumference of your pup's neck size. It is also important to take into account the fact that you will need to loosen the leash to compensate for the width of the ice packs. You may also need a different width if your dog's collar is different than Bella's, which is about 1" wide.


Step 1: Cut in between the rows of one of the ice pack sheets very carefully so that you have two strips of four "cubes". You will be putting these two strips (total of 8 cubes) into the ice pack slot later.


Step 2: Press down the edges of each piece of fabric about half an inch. Using your iron to press down the edges will make sewing easier later. Fold the larger piece of fabric hot dog style and press down the center fold to make a crease. 


Step 3: Sew just ONE end of the larger piece. This piece of fabric will later house the ice packs.


Step 4: Sew both ends of the smaller piece of fabric. This piece of fabric will later house the collar.


Step 5: Next, line up the top edge of the collar fabric to the top edge of the ice pack fabric. Pin in place. Sew across the bottom of the collar fabric, but leave a gap about half an inch at one end.

 Remember when you only stitched together one end of the ice pack fabric in Step 3? Make sure that untouched end matches up with the end where you leave a gap.    


Step 6: Fold up the bottom (ice pack) fabric hot dog style again along the center fold you made in Step 2. Three more stitches and you're done! First, sew down at line one, but make sure you only sew close the bottom (ice pack) fabric. Next, sew across line two so that you close up the gap. Finally, sew across line three. 


That sounded more complicated than it actually is so hopefully the picture below clarifies things a little bit. 


Step 7: You're done with the sewing part of this project. Next, thread the dog collar through the smaller slot. This part is important: Make sure the inner part of the collar faces the pocket for the ice packs. This way, the ice packs will be against your dog's neck when you place it on. Pop in the two strips of ice packs and you're done!


My favorite part of this cooling collar is that it is removable and machine washable so I can just slip it on and off if I need to. Bella's ID tag also hangs out in case anyone ever needs to get to it.


Bella has no objections!


Honestly, I have no clue if it helps her at all like the diagram below, but at least it makes me feel better.

source


2 comments:

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

Wow, you did a great job on the tutorial! It looks terrific! And Bella looks really cute in it, too.

I've also heard of cooling jackets for dogs. You dip them in water, and the chamois-like fabric retains the moisture, helping to cool down the dog. I think they use them a lot for dog shows and events when the dogs have to be outside in heat for long periods of time.

Anonymous said...

Definately going to make a couple for my dog and my daughter's pup. Thank you so much for the hints.