Step 4: Add fasteners

Next we add the straps and fasteners, I chose buttons since this particular pair of pants had lots of spare buttons that I could salvage. But you are free to use any sort of fastener (clasps, clips or buckles) as you wish, just try to avoid velcro (as suggested by criggie since they get filled with fur after a month or so)

These 3 locations should be enough to help keep the vest in place.

At this point you may want to try it on your dog to see how long you need to make the straps. Sew the straps to the main section and add the buttons and buttonholes as needed.
<p>My Niki loves her vests/backpacks. She knows it's time to go walking when I get it out. People ask me where I bought them and I refer them to your instructable. Thanks for such a great idea!</p>
Wow, looks great! I'm glad this instructable is still helping people out! Nice addition with the chest flap!
<p>It says: &quot;...they &gt;only&lt; sweat through their paws.&quot; Dogs sweat through their mouths/tongues, that's why dogs pant - to cool off by exhaling hot air and bringing cooler outside air inside to their lungs.</p>
<p>LOVE IT! :)</p>
How would you size it to your dog? I am new to sewing and have 3 big dogs. They are all over 100lbs.
<p>You're somewhat limited by the size of cargo pants so I wouldn't worry too much. Try to get extra large pants. And if you make the straps long enough you could always make them adjustable (put multiple button holes, etc). In step 5 you should probably insert an extra strip of fabric between the two halves so that on your dog the pockets will sit lower/closer to the chest instead of high on the back.</p>
this is great..wish I woulda thought of it
Thank you so much! I used your instructions to make a dog backpack out of some cargo pants I picked up at Salvation army for $2. I was less interested in the cooling aspect and more in the backpack functionality. I like to put some sandwich bags of sand in the pockets to give my dog a better workout on his walks.
Awesome! Love the StarFox logo too!
I've been working on it for a few days now :| its not coming out good.
Did you ever finish your project? What parts do you need help with?
:O just found some cargo pants in the garage That never happns! <br>Me: Hey garage! I wanna find something! <br>Garage: NO!!! <br> <br>anyway, slight problem. hopefully very slight. these cargo pants dont have &quot;fastens&quot;
Cool idea but does it really cool the dog? All that water in the vest is also heated up by the sun? Or this just works in the shade with winds to help the evaporation?
I think it works by the same premise as a swamp cooler which works well in dryer climates but where I'm from a swamp cooler would just cause mildew as it would never fully dry out...
This is true, you wouldn't want mold growing on it! This is why I designed it with an easily replaceable plastic layer. You could still try putting sealed ice packs in the pockets to cool your dog while keeping the fabric dry.
If you mix 1 part rubbing alcohol and 3 parts water together, you get ice packs which don't harden. Simply makes a slush because alcohol lowers the freezing point of water. I double bag them in zip-lock bags and keep a couple in the freezer for sprains, stings, etc. They would work very well in the pockets as they would be soft and comfortable. Great vest! Thanks for posting.
Great tip! I'll have to try this for sure. Do you use freezer bags or just sandwich bags? Even double bagged, I'd have a hard time trusting sandwich bags not to burst or leak. Any other easy, durable, cheap water pouch suggestions?
I typically used freezer bags and double bag them. Much tougher. So far, so good!
Good to know! :)
One think to consider is the color of your dog vs the color of the bag. My dog is black and i found light colored cargo pants. Since lighter colors reflect the sun's heat when black absorbs it. Soooooo. I think this will help my dog, A Husky :)
When water evaporates, there is a cooling sensation. I sell neck coolers which operate on the same principal. These have water beads that soak up water. Soak the neck coolers in water until expanded. Wrap around your neck and let evaporation cool you. This dog cooling vest would work on the same principal; however, since dogs cool through there tongue, I'm not sure if the principal applies. Worth a try and a good instructable too.
awesome! you should sell these on Etsy.
That's not a bad idea, but I think for the amount of time it took me to make just one, it wouldn't be worth my while. I'm no expert at the sewing machine so the quality isn't quite good enough I think, plus it would be hard to get the right sizing to make it fit just right. I only made it because commercial dog swamp coolers cost so much more than old pants. But glad you like them, thanks!
i thougt the same thing about selling them on etsy, but then thought of the odd hunt for cargo pants i would have.
Great idea. I've been told though that dogs need to be cooled more from the belly/chest side of the body so that their core temp will drop. So perhaps also could add some belly/chest pockets for ice too.
It's finally been hot enough outside for me to try this and after our walk I did notice that the chest area is very warm and the back was cooler. But instead of adding another pocket, I think it would be easier to just insert an extra strip of fabric several inches wide down the middle between both halves, which would make the pockets sit lower and closer to the chest and the straps should pull the pockets snug around the chest. Of course then the bottom layer would need to be expanded (widened) as well and it would need a larger plastic insert. Unless you're not doing the multi-layer thing and just making a plain backpack.
The cargo pockets would easily carry a collapsible water bowl and some water bottles, depending on the size of your dog, of course. Which would probably be more efficient, and better for the dog.
My fiance and myself were talking about getting a backpack for our dog... I think I might be making a search for old cargo pants now, I like the idea and it looks really good.
You can find the pants at garage sales, Goodwill or Salvation Army stores. <br>
Looks like a bomb dog...
What a horrible way to treat an animal.
Love this. Need my mom to give me my sewing machine back!
Even if it wasn't used for cooling purposes, this dog vest is super <em>cool</em>! ;) The design is great and it makes me want to whip out tons of clothes for my dog too!!
Pardon the pun but very, very cool, thanks for sharing !
This is just fantastic!
That's such a great idea! Looks very stylish too. :D

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