DIY Custom Dog Harness

service dog with y front harness

Make your own dog harness:

Ever wanted to make your own DIY dog harness? Turns out, you can make a dog harness at home with the right materials. We love making Y-front fleece dog harnesses at home to use for our dogs or to gift to friends. These fleece harnesses are comfortable, great for sensitive skin, fully customizable, versatile for working dogs, and fun to make! There are so many different types of dog harnesses out there – the Easy Walk, Puppia, Petsafe, Freedom Harness….the list goes on and on.

Disclaimer: If pulling is the reason the dog is walking on a harness, you should NOT attach the leash to the harness you make as it is not an industrial strength harness that can withstand pulling from a big dog.  We have included this disclaimer for the safety of your pup – of course your dog can still wear this trendy DIY harness but the leash should be attached to a collar if your dog pulls. Additionally, you should always reinforce the attachment stitches with box and zigzag stitches especially if you are attaching a handle. Please, please, please remember that one row of stitches is not enough to handle pulling.

It is super easy to get started on making your own doggie harnesses at home: all you need is a sewing machine, fleece, webbing (polypropylene) and some metal or plastic hardware. Read through this page to get all information about sizing and materials. On this page you will find the following:

  • Step-by-step video to make your own harness
  • Full list of materials
  • Sizing chart
  • How to measure your dog
  • A design for each section of the harness and how it comes together

DESIGN: How is the custom harness designed?

measurements for homemade dog harness

MEASUREMENTS: How to measure your dog for a harness:

how to measure a dog harness

SIZING CHART: How to cut the fleece and webbing to fit your dog:

Sizing Chart for fabric cuts: Harness Measurements

MATERIALS: What do you need to make your own fleece dog harness?

  • Fleece fabric (.5 yard per harness)
  • 1 inch lightweight polypropylene webbing (~5 feet per harness)
  • 1.5 inch lightweight polypropylene webbing (~10 feet per harness)
  • 1.5 inch side release plastic buckle (x1)
  • 1 inch lightwire metal D-rings (x6)
  • 2 inch triangle loop (x1)
  • 1.5 inch rounder tri glide/metal slides (x1)
  • 2 inch rounded tri glide/metal slides (x3)
  • Optional: 1 inch lobster snaps for additional handles (x4)
  • Optional: plastic tubing (1/4 inch) or corset boning (1/4 inch) (for semi rigid handle. Either the tubing or the corset boning works for a semi rigid handle. The corset boning will be more rigid)
  • Required if using steel corset boning: metal cutter(required for cutting the steel)
  • Rotary cutter
  • Self healing cutting mat (personally prefer the 24×36 size)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Yardstick Ruler (for cutting fabric on self healing mat)
  • Lighter (to prevent frayed edges)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread (match webbing color, the quality of the thread will impact how well it goes through the machine)
  • Optional but VERY useful: adhesive spray (to secure the webbing to the fleece while sewing so it does not slip)
  • Option: Embroidery Machine


Jo-Ann’s Fabrics – “Blizzard Fleece Fabrics” or “Anti-pill Fleece Fabric.” You will use about 1/2 yard per harness. Unfortunately, the webbing and the hardware needs to be bought online and are not available at Jo-Ann’s. 
Favorite non-fleece Fabric: Faux Leather Vinyl from Etsy. An 8×52 roll can complete 1 harness


Strapworks (cheap & fast shipping)
I buy everything except the trigger snaps from Strapworks. I buy the lobster snaps from Amazon instead.
Webbing (lightweight polypropylene)
D-rings (lightwire)
Trigger Snaps (lightduty)
Countrybrook Design

Tips for making the perfect harness:

  • Stay organized! Label your pieces A, B, C, D and put each in a different plastic baggies or use another method to keep all the pieces separate
  • The first time you make a harness, the process will seem confusing. Don’t worry, it will get easier each time
  • You may not get sizing right the first time, but luckily each piece of the harness will have a room for a few inches of error with adjustments. It might take a few tries to get a perfectly sized harness.
  • Keep your cuts perfectly straight. Make sure that you are lining up your folds with a straight edges so the pieces are not lopsided
  • Use temporary adhesive spray to keep your folds in place. This makes the process much easier.

Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats

steps to make dehydrated dog treats at home in the dehydrator

Why homemade dog treats?

Homemade dog treats are healthier! With just a dehydrator (or oven) you can customize exactly what kinds of yummies your dog is eating. Dehydrating treats gives you full control over portions & ingredients without additives that could upset your pup’s stomach. Additionally, homemade treats are generally cheaper and healthier than store bought ones. Keep in mind, these are treats and should not replace the dog’s usual meals as the dehydrating process does remove some of the nutrients from the food.

How to make homemade dog treats:

  1. Pick out your ingredients (see full list below).
  2. Cut your ingredients into thin pieces a little bigger than the final desired size (they will shrink during the process). The thinner you cut your ingredients, the quicker they dehydrate.
  3. Prepare your dehydrator or preheat your oven to 150F. 150F is the minimum temperature that is generally accepted as a safe temperature for killing bacteria.
  4. Transfer ingredients to the dehydrator sheets or baking sheet lined with aluminum if you are using an oven. Don’t worry about placing the ingredients very close together (just not on top of each other) since they will shrink while they dehydrate.
  5. Start dehydrator/place in oven. We always use the highest setting on the dehydrator.
  6. Check on your treats every 12 hours
  7. After 24 hours, the small treats will be ready. Larger treats and pig ears may take a few days and the largest chews may take up to two weeks. Your treats are done when they are completely stiff, dry, and not bendable.
  8. Keep refrigerated and enjoy within a few weeks (or freeze up to 6 months) since these treats do not have any preservatives to extend shelf life!

What do you need to make dehydrated dog treats? Tips & tricks to make perfect dog treats: 

  • Get a dehydrator.  If you do not own a dehydrator, you can use your oven at a low temperature (150 degrees F). We recently upgraded to an Excalibur 3948CDB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator and find that it is much more effective than the dehydrator shown in this post. The dehydrator shown in this post is the more cost effective NESCO FD-75A. The NESCO works well for small pieces of food but if you will be dehydrating meaty bones or larger pieces, you will need a dehydrator like the Excalibur that has removable trays
  • The thinner you cut your ingredients, the faster they’ll be ready.
  • Dehydrating can get smelly so set up your dehydrator in an outdoor space if possible.
  • Freeze meat treats to avoid any build up of bacteria
  • Most dehydrated treats are meat products.  If meat makes you uncomfortable, we recommend not reading further. Of course, what you feed your dogs is entirely up to you so we entirely understand and respect your decision.

How do you know when your dehydrated dog treats are ready?

The dog treats are finished dehydrating when they are no longer able to be bent. The treats should be stiff, and hard to the touch. Larger chews or fattier chews will take longer to dehydrate. Marrow bones can take up to two weeks to dehydrate but small chicken jerky may just take two days.

Ingredients for homemade dog treats. Without further ado, here are dehydrated dog treat ideas….

Fruits & Veggies

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables for your dog are simple, low risk, and not smelly! Just slice and dehydrate. You can add some coconut oil for an extra kick of nutrition and tastiness.

Sliced Apple
Sliced Banana
Sliced Sweet Potato
Sliced Carrots
Whole Green Beans

Dehydrated Meats for Your Dog

Dehydrated meats like tracheas, bully sticks, and pig ears are some of the more expensive treats you can buy online. Luckily, you can find these ingredients at local markets (generally Asian markets) for a fraction of the price. We dehydrate these meats at home to crispy perfection.  Meats with more fat will take more time but will eventually dry out entirely. Here’s how you can prepare your favorite treats at home…..

Chicken Hearts or Lamb Hearts – These are the best value you will find.  For about $1.50 you can get 30 chicken hearts. They are high in protein and make dogs go crazy.  Just pop them into the dehydrator whole. They are generally ready within 24 hours.
Chicken Feet –  Before dehydrating chicken feet, make sure to clip off the nails and thoroughly wash to remove any dirt. They are ready to eat when they no longer bend under pressure.
Pig Snout – Pig snout takes the longest to dehydrate because of its high fat content.  Generally, we will wipe off any oils about a day after we begin dehydrating to help the process along. Use a sharp knife to cut the pig snot into 4 equal pieces (or however large you want the treats to be).  Cut to desired size before dehydrating because they will be hard to split later. You will need a very strong knife, so be careful!
Pig Ears –  These can generally go into the dehydrator as is.  If the ear is too big to comfortably fit – you can use a knife to remove the parts that curl over so they fit on the dehydrator trays. Pig ears from markets are bigger *and cheaper* than the ones online.
Ground Beef – Make quarter sized balls out of the ground beef and then flatten into discs.
Ground Turkey – Make quarter sized balls out of the ground turkey and then flatten into discs.
Steak – Slice the raw steak into thin jerky sized strips. Once dehydrated, the steak will shrink to about half of its cut size.
Chicken Breast Slice the raw chicken breast into thin jerky sized strips. Once dehydrated, the chicken will shrink to about half of its cut size.
Bull Pizzle – Bull pizzle is what we know as bully sticks. This is hard to find so snatch it up if you ever see it!
Liver Protein – you can buy liver protein for any type of meat.  If you don’t like the thought of slicing it, some markets will sell the liver pre sliced.
Dried Sausage – Limited ingredient turkey sausage (no added onion or garlic) or 100% beef hot dogs without nitrites make a great snack. Slice them however you’d like.

Bones & Chews

You can even dehydrate your own bones and chews at home for your dog! If you are using a dehydrator with removable trays, you will be to make heavy dog chews at home. We use the Excalibur 3948CDB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator for bones and can generally fit three tiers of bones in the 9 tray model. We have been experimenting with multiple types of dehydrated bones. We are of the belief that dehydrating is a healthy way for dogs to enjoy bones as the heat is not high enough to cause the bones to become brittle. It is generally believed that the risk surrounding bones is when high temperatures are used for a rotisserie chicken at the family dinner and then the bones are fed to the dog – dehydrating does not impact the bone in the same way and the bones do not splinter like a cooked chicken bone will. Even bones such as chicken can be enjoyed by dogs as long as they are not cooked at higher temperatures (we dehydrate everything at the lowest “safe” temperature which is 150 F). We believe the literature we have read about dehydrating bones but we urge you to do your own research as well. Always supervise your dog when eating bones and heavy chews. Here are the bones and chews we have been enjoying recently:

Chicken Backs- We find chicken backs at our local butcher shop and dehydrate them for about a week.
Turkey Wings – Turkey wings are larger than chicken wings so they provide longer lasting fun for pups. We dehydrate turkey wings for about a week.
Marrow Bones – Marrow bones are our favorites because the dogs love being able to chew the outside of the bones and then lick the marrow out from the insides. Plus, they can be reused and filled with peanut butter or wet food once the dog has finished chewing off the marrow. Dehydrate for a week.
Pork Trotters (Pork Feet) We pick up an entire pork leg from our local asian market and have the butcher at the counter slice the trotter symmetrically in half. The dogs can eat the entire leg! Pork trotters take about two weeks to fully dehydrate.
Cow Hooves/Legs – Our local market has entire cow legs available for purchase which we have cut into pieces. The dogs love slurping out the marrow and also chewing on the bone.
homemade dehydrated pork bones for dogs
dehydrated chicken backs for dogs
homemade dehydrated chicken feet for dogs


Although smelly, dehydrated fish is great for dogs – high in Omega 3s, low fat & high protein. Fish helps for a shinier coat as well. The general rule of thumb is to stick to fish with lower lifespans which have not had the time to build up mercury in their blood. Avoid fish like Tuna.  Keep raw salmon, fish bones, and shrimp tails away from your pups. There is a great variety of fish that you can dehydrate for your dogs. The following types of fish are a great *smelly* value and healthy for your pups….

Whole Lake Swelt
Whole Minnows
Whole Sardines
Whole Herring
Whole Anchovies
Sliced Salmon Filet
Enjoy your treats!
-Your Pal Cal

Frozen Homemade Dog Treats

dog biscuits made at home
Homemade dog treats are quick and easy! You can easily put together a limited ingredient dog treat in your kitchen! There’s a lot of talk about grain free dog treats and limited ingredient dog treats being potentially healthier. We make many of our dog treats at home by mixing up random ingredients for a quick snack. Enjoy these 10 quick and easy recipes. Hopefully you’ll find that homemade dog biscuits are just as enjoyable for Fido. Be sure to check out our page on homemade dehydrated dog treats for more!

Homemade frozen dog treats: Tips and tricks for Doggie Cookies

  • You can turn any dog friendly ingredient into frozen dog treats with a blender or food processor. Always make sure that the ingredients are safe for dogs.
  • Silicone trays work best to remove the treats from the trays
  • Add water in small increments for a less thick consistency. This helps when filling the trays.
  • Be sure to remove seeds and rinds before blending as some can be bad for dogs. Also remember that added ingredients like onion, garlic, and xylitol should be avoided.
  • Despite their healing properties, Fruits contain a lot of natural sugar, so keep fruits for a fun treat. As always, treats a best enjoyed in moderation.
  • If your pup appears to have a sensitivity, discontinue treats and call your vet if needed.


Without further ado here are 10 homemade dog treats….

1. Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana

Who doesn’t want a homemade peanut butter dog treat? Blend a few bananas with 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1/2 cup plain yogurt.  Make sure the peanut butter does not have any additional ingredients like xylitol which is dangerous for dogs. To make the peanut butter easier to blend, place it in a bowl and microwave for about 25 seconds. Do not put the entire PB container in the microwave as it often has metallic foil (been there, done that…explosion). Blend, fill trays, then freeze.

2. Cantaloupe Froyo

Nonfat, plain, no sugar added yogurt makes a great dog treat….frozen or non frozen. Cantaloupe offers extra antioxidants & vitamins.  It is also known to help with inflammation. Make sure to remove the seeds and rinds before blending. Blend the inside of the cantaloupe with 1/2-1 cup of yogurt. Fill trays, and freeze.
homemade frozen dog treats

3. Pumpkin Froyo

Blend nonfat plain yogurt with pumpkin puree and freeze. Plain yogurt contains probiotics, and pumpkin is great for digestion. We use a pumpkin to yogurt ratio of 2:1. We feed a scoop of pumpkin with every meal and buy it in bulk here.
homemade peanut butter pumpkin dog treats
limited ingredient pumpkin dog treats

4. Watermelon Refresher

Watermelon is a great low calorie and delicious snack. Scoop out the inside of a small watermelon and add to food processor or blender. Add 1 can coconut milk, then blend.  If you do not have coconut milk, you can use plain nonfat yogurt, water or a small amount of coconut oil if desired. Fill tray, then freeze.
watermelon is safe for dogs

5. Berry Good Treats

Blend 1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, 1/2 cup of nonfat plain yogurt in a blender or food processor.  We use blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries depending on what we have available. If the consistency is too thick, add water in small increments to adjust consistency. Fill trays and freeze.

6. Broccoli Greens Dog Breath Mints

Turns out that some greens are great for our pups AND can help their breath. Throw a few broccoli florets, a handful of fresh parsley, and a stalk of fresh mint leaves into the food processor with 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil (or 1 full can of coconut milk). The coconut oil helps the coat and the greens will help their breath. Add an extra 1/2 cup plain yogurt for a creamier consistency.  Fill trays, freeze and enjoy.  Your dog may not like eating their veggies, but once you add some yogurt or coconut oil, they’ll be begging for more.
dog breath mints - eliminate bad dog breath

7. Spinach Carrot Veggie Boost

Your dog can finally enjoy green smoothies with you (yum!). Spinach is a super food for humans AND dogs…the trick is getting fido to accept the greens. Pour a handful of spinach spinach, carrots, and bone broth into a food processor blender. Fill trays and freeze.

8. Frozen Baby Food Dog Treats

Baby food treats are the easiest to make…all you have to do is scoop and freeze! Limited ingredient baby food is great for dogs – babies have sensitive stomachs and eat simple foods which makes for great dog treats. Pick up some Gerber’s baby food from your local supermarket or order it online here. Any baby food will do, just make sure that it does not have added onions or garlic. Fill your silicone trays and freeze, that’s it! We love all dog friendly flavors; chicken, beef, apple, banana, sweet potato, ect

9. Homemade Pumpkin Banana Bread Dog Treat Blend

Scoop some pumpkin puree and a few bananas into a blender. For an added crunch, you can add 1/4 cup of rolled oats. Blend until smooth and add increments of 1/4 cup water if consistency is too thick.  Fill trays and freeze.

10. Frozen Broth with a Crunch

We mix Calvin’s kibble with dog friendly broth and then freeze it in a silicon tray for bite sized treats.  We fill half of the tray with kibble and then top it off with broth to help the kibble stick together. Dog friendly broth can be found online by brands such as Honest Kitchen. We’ve been loving the Honest Kitchen pour overs lately. If your pup has any food allergies, Honest Kitchen has broth available in all different types and flavors. If you are buying broth in the supermarket, make sure that there are no added ingredients like onion or garlic – This can be hard to find.
Happy Pupsicles!
-Your Pal Cal

Make Your Own – DIY Dog Bandana

homemade dog bandana. diy dog bandana. how to make your own dog bandana

Make your own Dog Bandana (Video)

Ever wonder how to make a bandana for your dog? Turns out making a dog bandana at home is easy! Here’s a simple video tutorial for homemade Dog Bandanas.  Note that you will need a sewing machine for these slip through collar bandanas. You can find the full list of materials used below or in the description box. Your dog is sure to always win best dressed!


Sewing Machine
Fabric Scissors
Rotary Cutting Set
Starch Spray
Disappearing Ink Marker
Sewing Needles

Measurement Guidelines

17 inch neck – 12 x 12 inches
15 inch neck – 8 x 8 inches
11 inch neck – 7 x 7 inches

Best Places for Fabric

Our favorite is Spoonflower when shopping online because it is the only online option that allows you to order less than 1 yard. Joann’s is great in person for the same reason, but has a 1 yard minimum when ordering online.
Joann’s Fabric

Make Your Own – DIY Dog Bow Tie

how to make homemade dog bowties

How to make a DIY Dog Bow Tie (Video)

Homemade dog bowties are fast and easy! Here is an simple tutorial for how to make No Sew Dog Bow Ties.  For those of you with sewing machines, we have included a clip at the end showing how you can use your sewing machine to make these bowties. You can find the full list of materials used below or in the description box. Your dog is sure to always win best dressed!

Materials for your Homemade Dog Bow Tie

Fabric Scissors
Rotary Cutting Set
Starch Spray
Disappearing Ink Marker
Velcro Strips
Fusible Bonding Tape
Fusible Bonding Web
Glue Gun
Baker’s Twine

Additional Materials For Sewing Option:
Sewing Machine
Sewing Needles

Measurement Guidelines

6 inch bowtie: 9 x 13 inches
4/5 inch bowtie 8 x 10 inches

Best Places for Fabric

Our favorite is Spoonflower when shopping online because it is the only online option that allows you to order less than 1 yard. Joann’s is great in person for the same reason, but has a 1 yard minimum when ordering online.
Joann’s Fabric