DIY Dog Sling: Three Ways to Fabricate a Dog Sling at Home

DIY Dog Sling
John Walton
Written by John Walton

If you’re a puppy owner, you might know by now that taking long trips with them could turn into you carrying your dog for a long time. They are babies, and even though they want to play and discover the world, they also need to rest more often than an adult dog. You might also need to carry your dog on a sling if they are hurt or have some sort of disability. In that case, a DIY dog sling will come in handy.

After surgery, your pet might need support to walk or move. You can always try to find a dog sling in a pet store, but the reality is that they are sometimes hard to find, or expensive to buy. You can always try to order it online, but the chances are that it arrives late or it doesn’t meet your dog’s needs. That is why you’ll find this article helpful.

Do you want to carry your dog in a stylish, fashionable, and comfortable way? This article will teach you three ways to fabricate a dog sling with materials you already have at home. You’ll save money and create a one-of-a-kind sling that no one else will have, as it’ll come from your own two hands. And, of course, it will specifically meet your and your pet’s needs.

An Overview of Slings and What They are Used For

Slings have been used for centuries. At the beginning of civilization, it became important to carry things around. Of course, by then the materials humans used were more natural—such as plants. As technology advanced, we have been able to use other materials and carry heavier things.

But the slings we want to talk about are slightly different, and more similar to those that are particularly used by parents. The heat that a mom or a dad brings to their baby will enable the child to grow faster and to bond better with their family.

Slings have been used to carry babies for centuries because they are not only good for bonding but also it enables parents to have their hands free to do other things. In this sense, the mother or the father can keep on working, walking, eating—all while having their baby close to them.

Three Ways of Fabricating a Dog Sling

Today, many use slings to carry their canine companion around—especially medium to smaller-sized dogs—though it is also used to help bigger dogs that have suffered injuries or are recovering from medical operations.

Here we have prepared three instructions to prepare three different types of DIY slings for your dog.

#1: With a Plastic Bag

DIY Dog Sling Plastic Bag

This is the easiest way of fabricating a dog sling. If you’re a DIY beginner, then this is the method to go with.

Do you remember the bag you used to buy groceries? That one that has a cool design but you no longer use? We will be using it.

This type of sling is ideal if what your dog needs is to regain strength and mobility and it’s especially helpful for a post-operation situation. Additionally, this type of sling is suitable for big, heavy dogs!

What you will need:

  • A reusable grocery bag or a heavy plastic bag
  • A pair of scissors

Steps to follow:

  • Make sure that you measure your dog first to make sure that the sling you’re about to fabricate will fit accordingly.
  • Place the bag upright. Check if it’s broken or badly sewed. What you want is a strong, reusable bag that can carry heavy weight without breaking.
  • Cut the bag with your scissors right in the middle, so when you’re done, it lays flat on the floor.

That is everything. Don’t you feel this is the easiest way to make a dog sling by yourself? Practical, strong, and environmentally friendly, it won’t take you more than a few minutes to fabricate.

#2: The Purse-Like Sling

The Purse-Like Sling

This way of fabricating a dog sling will bring you a stable sling you’ll wear around your neck. Have you seen slings some parents use to carry their babies? Well, this will look similar and work equally.

You can do it in your house reusing by old materials you surely own. Be aware, however, that if your dog is too heavy, this type might not be the best for you, as you yourself will be carrying all the weight. And we don’t want you to get injured.

But if you have a heavy dog, don’t worry! We have plenty of ideas that will either way work for you, so keep reading!

First and foremost, please weigh and measure your dog. This will be important not only to fabricate the sling but also to know whether this specific type will work for you and meet your needs.

What you will need:

  • Flannel, blanket, or strong fabric
  • Needles and threads
  • Sewing machine (not mandatory, but it’s better if you have or find one. Ask your friends! Maybe they can lend you one)
  • Rulers
  • Markers, pen, pencil

Step to follow:

  • Find a fabric that is not only strong but also suits your style. If you don’t have a blanket or a fabric you actually like at home, you can always buy fabrics.
  • As you have already measured and weighed your dog you know how big and wide your sling has to be. Place the fabric on the floor or on a big table. With the marker and the ruler, mark where the cuts have to be done.
  • Let’s say that your dog fits into 60” long by 8” wide. You can cut a long piece to 61” x 9”. Keep this measurement in mind and do your own calculations based on your dog’s characteristics. If you’re not super good at maths, you can always just place your dog on the fabric and mark the cuts by “eye-calculations.”
  • By the way, if the fabric you’re using isn’t long or wide enough, you can always sew pieces together. Stay creative! The result could be a mixture of colors and materials that will work and look cool.
  • Next, you want to create two semi-circles, basically. As you marked where the cuts should be, cut the fabric. Reach the semi-circle structure and then cut another piece of fabric in the same size. Then you’ll have two semi-circles, where your dog will hang from.
  • Now you need to create four long rectangular pieces. They will be sewed together and will be the straps you will carry around your neck. But we have some other variations. Let’s see them!
  • Instead of using fabric to create four rectangular pieces as we talked about above, use an old belt. Just that. This might not be the best option if your dog is too heavy as it could give you blisters, but if you have a small fellow, like a Chihuahua or another small breed, an actual belt is a great idea. Belts are strong made, fashionable and durable.
  • Sew the belt to the two semi-circles, and you’re ready to go! For this option, it’s better if you actually have a sewing machine as leather is hard to pierce.

So at the end of the day, what you’re looking for is to have a semi-circle that also has two straps. Basically, a chubby U. Instead of cutting the semi-circles and then the straps, you can also cut that chubby U shape you need from the beginning.

This way is great because the sling will be more durable and stable, but you might require more measurements and hand-abilities.

Sew all the parts together. Always keep in mind that you need a space for your dog to be. So please don’t sew the opening. If you’re using a sewing machine, that’s great! It’ll require less work. But if you don’t, you can still just sew.

Remember to sew strongly, several times. You don’t want your dog to fall down! Sew it several times until you feel and see that it is safe to carry your canine companion.

Finally, you can always make it softer. You have already the shape, the right size, and the beautiful fabric. Now? Get some flannel or soft material and sew it to the outer fabric. It will make your sling more beautiful, more professional-looking, and more importantly, more comfortable.

#3: Stylish Reusable Sling

dog sling

So, what are you actually looking for here?

The answer is simple. You want to create a purse-like sling, strong enough to carry a dog.

Go around your house. Look for purses or bags you own and no longer use. Does your dog fit in any of them? That is the one we will be using. It’s going to be great. Why? Because we will be transforming something that otherwise will be thrown away.

It’s environmentally friendly and surely the most fashionable way to create a sling, though it depends on what you own too.

After you know which bag to use, let’s start the real work.

Think about it. What does this bag need to turn into a sling? For example, if it is an old purse, maybe the straps aren’t long enough. If it’s a bag, maybe it isn’t strong enough.

Place your dog inside and try to figure out what it is that needs to be fixed, and let’s start.

What you’ll need:

Of course, this will depend on which “basic” material you need. But basic materials, in general, will be:

  • Fabric
  • Belts
  • Sewing machine
  • Needles and threads

What is it exactly that you’re looking for? Well. You want a semi-circle with straps or a chubby U. The semi-circle should be wide and deep enough to carry your dog. The straps must be strong enough to carry the weight, and comfortable, because otherwise, you can get blisters. Sew everything strongly and carefully.

If you are the fashion type of person, you can find inspiration online. Remember that beautiful purse you saw? Have you been in a store lately that sells exactly the bag you dream of? Take these ideas and write them down. You can always draw on the sling, or sew some jewelry, or write the name of your pet on it. Keep it creative, keep it unique.

Another thing you can consider: if you had a baby that now is a grown-up boy or girl, you can use that old sling to carry your small fellow.

If you’re the kind of person who just loves to have their hands free, loves travel, hiking, and backpacking, and you’re also a dog lover, a backpack will do the trick. Find a backpack you no longer use but is strong and stable.

Make a hole in the middle of it so your dog can take their face out to breathe. If you are scared that your dog can jump out, you can sew a net to the hole, enabling your canine companion to breath. And there you have it: easy, reusable, and practical hands-free sling.

Wrap Up

white dog in a sling

DIY dog slings can really come in handy. It’s perfect for carrying small dogs or puppies around. Even if you have an adult, larger dog, you may also need a sling to keep your dog still and safe while recovering from a medical procedure.

It’s not always necessary to go to a store to have what you want. It’s not always necessary to buy it online if you didn’t find it anywhere else. You, your hands, and your creativity can create practical, beautiful things.

Remember that handmade doesn’t mean bad quality. In this world that requires our help, handmade things are usually environmentally friendly. Authenticity and uniqueness are traits you’ll enjoy if you do it yourself. But keep in mind: sew it correctly to make it safe to use! And enjoy the ride.

How did you find our article? Do you think you will be attempting any of the methods mentioned above to create a DIY dog sling? Leave a comment below and let us know! If DIY isn’t working for you, you might also want to check out our article on best dog carrier for hiking.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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