Is there a better way to show your dog that you love him than doing something for him? There are many things you can do that will be both fun and practical to show your canine that you care, especially if you are like me and love making stuff from scratch.

If you enjoy doing DIY projects and you are a dog owner, then you shouldn’t miss this opportunity to check out some of the best DIY project ideas for dog owners. From dog chews to grooming products, you can make virtually anything that your dog may need.

Not only will it make you feel accomplished because you've made something with your own two hands, but the projects on this list may also save you money. Likewise, you will be creating products that are often much healthier than the commercial options available.

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6 Best DIY Project Ideas for Dog Owners in 2018

Best DIY Project Ideas for Dog Owners

1. DIY Homemade Dog Chews

There’s a saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I would beg to differ. The way to anybody’s hear is through the stomach, dogs included, and if you want to surprise your pooch with a new treat, the best way to do it is to make it yourself.

There are many homemade recipes for dog food and treats, but my favorite homemade treats are sweet potato dog chews. These chews are not that difficult to make and your dog will surely love them. Plus, they smell much better than most of the store-bought chews.

To make these treats, you will need large sweet potatoes. That is the only ingredient that is necessary, in addition to some oil to grease the pan. You will also need a sharp knife for cutting, a cutting board, baking sheets and an oven.

Best DIY Project Ideas for Dog OwnersThe first thing you need to do is to preheat the oven to the lowest setting, which in most cases is 150-175 degrees. Then, cut the potatoes into slices that should be around 1/3 inch thick. Don’t try to make them thinner, they will lose some of that thickness during dehydration.

You can choose whether you want the skin on, but I prefer to leave it on because there is a lot of fiber in the potato skin. The next thing to do is to grease the baking sheets and put potato slices on the pan. Put the pan in the oven and let them bake. To get the optimal result, you should bake them for a long time.

If you have your oven set to 175°, you will need 7-8 hours before they are ready to be served. You can take potatoes out before that if you want tastier and softer treats, but if you are looking for strong chews that will give your canine a lot of chewing fun, you should bake them longer.

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2. DIY Homemade Dog Shampoo

Yes, there is a wide variety of dog shampoos you can choose from, but if you are a fan of DIY projects, then I suggest making your own dog shampoo. It is actually pretty simple and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Basically, everything you need you probably already have in your home.

So, to make your own dog shampoo you should mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with two tablespoons of lemon detergent for dishes. After that, just add two tablespoons of pure aloe vera and shake the bottle for a minute or two. And that’s it. You have a homemade dog shampoo which you can use straight away or store it for future use.

3. DIY T-shirt Dog Toy

Best DIY Project Ideas for Dog OwnersIf you have some old t-shirts lying around at your place, then you can put them to a good use and make a brand-new toy for your canine. For this project, you don’t need anything but a T-shirt and a pair of scissors.

Start by cutting small slits at the base of your shirts. They should be about 2-3 inches long. Then simply rip along the slit in order to make the perfect strips of fabric. Collect all of your t-shirt strips so you can tie them off at one end.

Separate your strips into thirds and then just braid them together. Braid them until you reach the other end and then tie up that end as well. Remember to cut straggling strips, if there are any, and, voila, your pooch can now play with his new favorite toy.

4. DIY Self-Filling Water Bowl

Are you annoyed when you have to constantly go and fill the water bowl for your canine? Are you also tired of him flipping his water bowl from time to time? If you are, then this is the perfect DIY project for you.

It is also the perfect thing to make if you have to leave your dog alone for a longer period of time. With this self-filling water bowl, your dog will always have enough water – well, not always, but for a longer time than with a regular water bowl.

Anyway, to make this self-filling water bowl, you only need a couple of wooden boards, some Velcro and glue, and a 2-liter bottle. The first thing to do is to position the outline of the upward board. The first board, which will serve as a placeholder for the second one, should be 1 inches by 6 inches in size, while the second one (upward board) should be 2 inches by 4 inches in size.

Once you draw the outline for the upward board in the middle of the end of the first board, you should glue the two boards together. Clam the boards and let the glue dry. When the glue dries, you should also nail the two boards together to make sure that your self-filling water bowl will be strong enough.

Now, stick two soft pieces of Velcro on the upward board. Use the 2L to decide where to put the Velcro pieces. Keep in mind that the mouth of the bottle has to stick into the bowl at the height at which you want the water filled. After that, you should simply stick the hard Velcro to the soft Velcro and put the bottle on the sticky side of it.

That’s all and your self-filling bowl is ready to be used. Just remember to keep the cap on the bottle before you stick it on Velcro if you don’t want it spilled. Once you open the cap, the water will start pouring down to the bowl and stop once the bowl in the water reaches the desired height and touches the tip of the bottle.

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5. DIY Vintage Suitcase Dog Bed

If you are looking for your next DIY project idea, and you like vintage things, making a vintage suitcase dog bed should be a real pleasure for you. All dogs need a good bed to snuggle up in, so why not make one for your Fido? All you need is one vintage suitcase with a hard shell, pillow and pillow sham, and some tools.

The first step is to open the suitcase so you can check how it is hinged together. Then, if it is screwed together, you only need to unscrew the top half of the bottom half. However, if it is attached with something other than screws, you will probably have to use a hammer.

Once you separate the halves, you can discard the top half. You only need the bottom half of the suitcase. So, the next step is to cover a pillow with a sham that you like and simply place the pillow inside the suitcase. Tuck the corners in, and if the pillow is not the right size you should buy or make another pillow that will fit in the suitcase.

6. Treat-Dispensing Puzzle Toy

Best DIY Project Ideas for Dog OwnersYou want to make your dog work for a treat, and also make it fun for both him and you? This amazing puzzle toy is a great DIY project for dog owners, and it will keep your puppy satisfied and happy. The best part about making it is that it is really easy and you only need tennis balls and some treats.

If you don’t have tennis balls in your house and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on getting them just for this purpose, you can always take a walk near any public tennis court and you are bound to find plenty of used tennis balls lying around under trees or behind buildings.

Now that you have all those tennis balls, it’s time to make a great puzzle toy for your pooch. Keep in mind that there are a few ways to make it, depending on your dog’s determination, size of your treats or the likelihood that your dog will destroy the ball.

  • Cut Along the Seam –If you cut the tennis ball along the seam, you will get a flap that you can use to tuck the treat in. This is the more difficult version of the puzzle and your dog will have to be determined and try hard to get the treat.
  • Straight Cut – With a straight cut, it is more likely that the treats will get crushed instead of being “released”. Still, it is a nice way to get your dog entertained and treat him at the same time.
  • Cross Cut – Making a cross cut will only require a couple of chews before the treat falls out. However, they can also release the treat when your dog battles around with the ball.
  • Cutting the Felt – Cutting the felt only and making a deep pocket leaves enough space for kibble to fit inside. However, keep in mind that some dogs tend to rip the felt off.

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Dom Naish is a Phoenix-based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught him every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.