How To Make A Dog Vest

How To Make A Dog Vest

Last Updated on by Segun Ayo

Are you interested in making a dog vest for your dogs, but do not know the steps to take? You are at the right place, if so. In this guide, we’d discuss how to make a dog vest. If you are interested in finding out, then you’d need to read through this guide.

What’s a Weighted Dog Vest?

A manageable and calmer dog equals a fit, guided, and loyal friend. At times, an aggressive dog will be wired at some point. A weighted dog vest helps by making her less active and burn excess energy—not to mention intensifying exercise time by 90%, plus reducing those extra pounds for overweight pals. Some dog vests work best than others. It all drips down to your preferences. Take note: not all dogs are the same.

Benefits of a Weighted Vest

As far as your little four-legged friend is concerned, reading this article to the end is a done deal. Don’t freak out yet, because this is the most significant thing to add to your furry friend’s closet.

  • Calming Her Down Quickly

An overactive dog can bring more harm to her health than good. Extra energy isn’t needed when she’s unable to control her temper. It is the main reason that leads to a hyperactive disorder.

A comfortable and well-suited weighted vest will work wonders for your little friend. It will reduce that extra playtime in no time. That’s where emotional balance and focus play a major role. You won’t even know when an anxiety attack will trigger.

  • Shedding an Unhealthy Pound

Going on a hike to your favorite place can be worrisome with an overweight dog. Stay safe and healthy with your ally by strapping a weight dog vest. It works wonders by burning excess energy in a few weeks.

The weighted vest will bring your dog into a more desirable state. Well, sources suggest that a 20- to 30-minute walk every day will do the trick.

  • Perfect for Cardiovascular Health

The ones with a busy schedule aren’t left behind. A mild walk with him boosts his cardiovascular health. However, walking alone shouldn’t replace other exercises. With a dog weight vest, combating obesity and improving overall health is its work.


  • Gradually introduce

Of course, your dog may not take kindly to a weighted vest on your first try with him. Give him credit to be wondering why you are saddling him with weight when he would like to run around freely. Pretty soon he will adjust and it will become a part of his workout routine.

So, introduce the vest slowly to your dog. In the first training sessions you may not want to engage him in a lot of exercises, but instead, get him used to the feel by walking him gently. It will not be wise also to start your dog with the full amount of weights. Increase gradually instead.

  • Balance the pack

Unbuckle the vest where needed and gently slide it over the dog’s head. Very importantly, ensure that material is centered over the shoulders and there is no imbalance. Remember that the pack is weighted and can be a source of discomfort as your dog goes through its exercises. Additionally, you do not want to cause pain or strain to the animal.

  • Add weight slowly

Whatever weighted materials you have to use, add them slowly to the pockets of the vest. Again, the purpose at this stage is to gently get your dog familiarized with something he is not used to. At this stage, you are in an observing position as you identify his response and plan the next move. Remove weights as needed especially if the dog gets exhausted after just a few minutes. Where there is no problem, increase the weight as you go along.


Generally, a weight vest is not meant to stress the dog and to get him into submission which is why it should be no more than 10 – 20% of the dog’s bodyweight. All precautions should be taken to prevent strain or pain at any time. The general rule when using a weight vest should be safe at all times.

Dogs under two years are not yet fully grown and should not be burdened with weights. Overworking dogs that are still at the puppy stage can damage their joints. You can read one of our popular pieces to know how much exercise is right for your pup, which can enlighten you further.

Consider also that vests are close fitting and can be very hot for the dog. As a measure to prevent heat stroke, it is advisable to use a weight vest when it is coolest in the day.


  • Make your own

Dog weight vests are available for purchase and there are several good brands around that you can choose from. However, these can be expensive, sometimes fetching prices above $100. Dog vests are not difficult to make.

Those persons who possess a flair for creativity and you have the energy to put into it, have the option to make their own. The good thing is that you get to customize it to your dog’s needs. Just chose material that is cool against the dog’s skin and fillers that are appropriate and durable.

Sand filters, for example, get heavy and will not hold up if the dog plays in water. It is suggested that you use plastic pellets that will last for a long time. Additionally, include enough pockets so that you can add weights as needed.

  • Purchase ready-made

There are two main types of dog vests – vests with zippered pockets or pouches, and backpacks. With zippered pockets, you can add or remove weights as needed to get the exercise intensity for the dog. With backpacks, you are able to insert items like weights and this works wonderfully when going on a hike or on long walks. Either way, your dog gets the same workout.

Backpacks however need to be managed carefully to avoid sliding along the dog’s back and chafing as a result.  Several dog vest sources exist in ready-to-wear convenience and you can select from them taking into consideration your dog’s needs. When selecting ready-made items, there are three important things to determine.

Durability – A dog vest is going to be handled and worn many times and therefore a warranty statement would be a good indication of how long it will serve.

Ease of use – There’s no reason for a dog vest to be taking a long time to be fitted. It is a simple device and should be easily slipped over the head and shoulders and buckled quickly.

Dimensions – You should be able to identify your dog’s fit, or calculate it with ease with a statement of the size of the product.

How to Make a Weighted Dog Dog vest

Weighted dog vests are used by dog trainers for a number of sports. Weight pulling, search and rescue, and Schutzhund trainers often use a weighted dog vest to help build and develop muscle tone and strengthen a working dog’s core. Weighted dog vests can be expensive to buy, but they are fairly simple to make at home and customize for your dog’s specific needs. Read these steps to see how to make a weighted dog vest.

  • Step 1

Measure your dog so you can cut your webbing. Place the measuring tape at the top of your dog’s shoulders and measure down under her front legs and back up to her shoulder.

  • Step 2

Cut your webbing to fit your dog vest measurements, adding an extra 6 inches for a buckle and for adjustment as your dog grows. Be sure to trim your ends even and melting them with your flame to prevent them from unraveling.

  • Step 3

Fold one free end of your webbing over and slip your buckle onto it. Use your sewing machine to secure the buckle. You can use a needle and thread if you do not have a sewing machine, but the machine-sewn stitches will be much stronger and will secure your buckle much better than hand sewing.

  • Step 4

Lay your webbing on a flat surface. Use your marker and mark out six places for adjustment holes. Heat up the nail over your flame and push it through each mark, holding long enough to completely melt through the webbing. Using a hot nail will cauterize and seal the plastic to keep it from tearing or fraying during use.

  • Step 5

Prepare your socks to attach to your dog vest. The socks will serve as adjustable weights that you can empty and refill as necessary. The sock is soft and will not chafe your dog’s skin, making for a perfect refillable pouch for your dog vest. Wash them and check for holes so that they do not leak once sewed to the dog vest.

  • Step 6

Sew a strip of Velcro along each side of your sock so that you can close them once they are full. The Velcro gives you the ability to refill your socks when they need to be heavier without having to remove them totally from your dog vest and replace them.

  • Step 7

Fold your dog vest into a figure 8 and buckle it so you can get an accurate visual of where you need to attach your socks. Mark a spot on each side of the dog vest in the chest/foreleg area with your marker so that when you unfold your dog vest you remember where to sew on the socks.

  • Step 8

Unbuckle the dog vest and lay it flat with your marks laying face up. Sew one sock on each side. Be sure to sew only the socks along each end so that you create a tube that you can fill up with sand.

  • Step 9

Fill your sock tubes with sand and Velcro the ends shut. You can now weigh your dog vest so you get an accurate measurement of how much weight your dog will be carrying. Start out with just a couple of pounds, working up as your dog gains more muscle tone and stamina.

  • Step 10

Fit your dog vest to your dog, making sure the weights fit well over the chest area and do not impede his movement. Let your dog wear the dog vest as you work him and build his stamina, and be sure to remove it after his workout to avoid damaging the dog vest or injuring your dog.


Having gone through the above review, making a dog vest for your dog should not be difficult. all you need to do is to follow the steps listed above, and you are good to go.