/ Creating sleeping bags for camping dogs

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Tall Clare - on 18 Nov 2013
Hello all,

We've only camped with our dog in summer so far, but we'd like to take her camping during the colder months. We're not talking anything extreme, just UK winter camping.

She's a smoothhaired pointer and she's a bit of a princess - at the moment she's sleeping inside her bed (inside the cover of a big 'cushion' bed), and given half a chance she'll sleep under a duvet rather than on top of it. With this in mind, I want to hack up an old synthetic cotton-lined sleeping bag for her. Normal sleeping bags are long and thin, despite her propensity for sleeping nose-first under covers, she does still need to breathe.

Has anyone successfully hacked a sleeping bag for their dog? If so, what shape did you go for and did your dog stay warm and happy in it?


(Mods: I hope this is the right section - it *is* gear, just not for people!)
Siward on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: we have a lovely brown pointer/ weimerarner cross. A cheap XXL size fleece, sewn up at the hem and with the arms either left on for the front legs or cut off and stitched up is a workable alternative. Keeps the mud off things

Oliiver - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: Use a childs synthetic bag and drape the rest over you
top cat - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

We did this:

base section waterproof outer, pile liner and karrimat inbetween.
upper section gortex ['cos we happend to have some], lined with pile. For your dog, use a synthetic filling.

Critical design feature: top and bottom fixed at the back, x2 side zips, open front.

Unzip, dog instructed to lie down. Throw top over dog, zip up. Dog is not too confined and can, with a bit of practise, turn round during the night without coming out of the bag. Too hot? Lie on top.

In snow holes etc we also threw out duvet jackets on top :)
Carolyn - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

Would a section from middle of bag work - ie open at both ends, minimising possibility of burying nose too deeply, but also not possible to wriggle it off?

No practical experience, I hasten to add. Only dogs I've taken camping were dachshunds, which were adept at getting into the foot end of a sleeping bag with a human in it.
Ridge - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

We just use a cheap childs sleeping bag. All we need to sort out now is keeping the dog at the bottom of the tent...

http://instagram.com/p/g4sR7dwfqt/
jkarran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Ridge:

What is he/she?

Tall Clare: Would the bottom corner of a cheap double bag work, two closed edges, two open edges (or a curve) forming a clamshell so the dog can get into it but can't get too buried.

I'm pretty sure mine would wriggle free of a bag and be too daft to get back into it without help. Plus, if he's too warm and comfortable he sprawls and there's not enough room for that!

jk
jimtitt - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
Weve acquired a pointer and it certainly appears to be a bit wimpy regarding the weather (and the rest of life come to that), hes got a border collie to keep him warm though!
Neil Pratt - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

Don't forget the same principles apply to dogs as humans - they'll lose far more heat by direct contact with the cold ground, so an insulating mat is going to do them more good than a cover over the top. We have collies, so perhaps more hardy, but generally, I find that a generous chunk of closed cell mat seems to make all the difference for them in terms of comfort, and it's a lot lighter to carry than a second sleeping bag.

I guess a Pointer's coat might not give the same level of insulation as the collie's but in really cold weather I just chuck my belay jacket over them to let them warm up - they usually shuck it off after an hour or so as they're too warm.

Carolyn - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to jkarran:

> I'm pretty sure mine would wriggle free of a bag and be too daft to get back into it without help. Plus, if he's too warm and comfortable he sprawls and there's not enough room for that!

Sounds just like a small child...... ;-)
Ridge - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to jkarran:
> (In reply to Ridge)
>
> What is he/she?

If you're a fan of cockerpoos, labradoodles and chalkys then he's a rare German Bullhound, yours for 500..

Alternatively he's a Lurcher, available from all good rescue centres. Greyhound crossed with what we think is staffy and german shepherd. The aim being to produce a furry cruise missile for dubious nocturnal activities by travelling folk. In his case they also managed to factor in the intelligence of a turnip and the aggression of a dormouse. Looks the part though.

http://instagram.com/p/g6cyXcQfgM/

ben b - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: I'd think a pile/pertex combo sewn square would be the way forward. Doggy Buffalo. Can be chucked in wash, warm when wet etc, cheap enough for the handy seamstress to make up....

b
ben b - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: forgot to say pennineoutdoor.co.uk could probably assist.

b
Ridge - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to ben b:
Good idea that.
Paul F - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to ben b:

I use a US Army poncho liner 'Woobie" for my dogs.
(Buy a genuine one and not a Chinese copy, although they work too, just not as warm)

It packs up really small, its easily washable and hairs just shake off it.
rousse - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
Check out the snuggle sack - http://www.slouchinghound.co.uk/

Expensive but if you google 'dog snuggle sack' there are guides to DIY, if you are a reasonable seamstress...

I know a couple of Weimaraner/Vizsla owners who have them and their dogs love them. Seriously tempted to get one for our Weim when we go camping...
Tall Clare - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to rousse/everyone:


I'm reasonably competent with a sewing machine so I can definitely rustle something up.

These look great, though I think adding a cotton lining would make sense as Mrs Dog has a penchant for chewing holes in fleece (and then wearing it...)

She seems to like being enclosed in something, which is where just using a blanket fails.

Regarding the comment about matting - good call, but we tend to make sure the base of the tent is covered in matting anyway.

I'll do some experimenting.

Ridge - that dog head on the pillow is a woefully familiar scenario...

Mountain Jedi - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: my two are working cocker spaniels that live outside in kennel year round, it's us humans that worry about temps and dogs, as long as they are insulated from the ground, dry and draft free nearly all dogs are fine......
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jkarran - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Ridge:

> Alternatively he's a Lurcher, available from all good rescue centres. Greyhound crossed with what we think is staffy and german shepherd. The aim being to produce a furry cruise missile for dubious nocturnal activities by travelling folk. In his case they also managed to factor in the intelligence of a turnip and the aggression of a dormouse. Looks the part though.

I have one of those too, greyhound/ridgeback cross stray from the RSPCA. Mines the same, looks impressive but gentle with people (cats and other small furry creatures like horses are on the menu). He's not right smart.

jk

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