Large DIY Dog Mat, Old Dogs and Hardwood
Today’s post is about problem solving an issue I have living with our large Great Pyrenees. If you read Faeries often you may chuckle because I do talk about our big lug quite a bit. Its hard not too, he’s plays a huge role in my life especially since I became an empty nester. Our boy is huge to keep me safe and he has to put up with a small city yard. In exchange I have to work around housekeeping issues like his doggie nails on the hardwood floors. If your a pet parent I am sure you can relate, we will do anything for our pets.
Our floors were in really bad shape when we first purchased our home. Fortunately the contractor told us our floors are more than an inch thick of solid hardwood, that can be resanded and finished repeatedly. Good to know, but who wants to do that annually?
Small dog scratches are a fact of life I can live with, and I placed carpets at the entrances so the floors were safe for the most part. But life happens so darn fast and we are starting to notice pup is having a much harder time getting up. I learned some ways to help my pet, but didn’t think of the hardwood.
Great Pyrs are a working guardian dog, so our boy sits every day by the front door, guarding. Unfortunately when he thinks something is wrong he jumps up in a panic to react. He’s on the job and I love him for it. The marks are caused by him scrambling to get up, and the arthritis in his back legs make him struggle extra hard, hence the patch of worn hardwood.
I will sand and finish that little spot myself sometime soon, but I need to protect my dog and the floors first. A larger dog mat was required. The biggest issue is the carpet has to be washable, I couldn’t just go buy a larger one as it would be too large for the washer.
I have two matching carpets for the front door that I swap out to clean. The area rugs came from IKEA a couple of years ago. I came up with a simple way to attach them together while still allowing me to wash them.
The idea for the DIY dog mat is simple to do. I just sewed little loops of elastic along one edge of each carpet, and then tied them together using dollar store macrame cord on the underside. The elastic keeps the carpet together and has enough give it won’t tear when pup leaps to action. To wash it I have to untie the cord, but that’s about a five minute job I am willing to handle. Then I can pop each half of the rug in at a time.
When purchasing the rug, make sure the fabric is washable, not too thick and that the pattern from the two separate rugs will line up. IKEA has a really nice selection of washable fabric rugs for this.
Sewing Machine Considerations
This project takes about half an hour to complete its so easy, BUT the rug is a heavy fabric for a home machine to sew. You need to test that your sewing machine is capable of the task, and you need to be aware of how heavy it is on your sewing machine when your doing it. I got a few tips that I kept an eye on before starting.
Check out the thinnest part of the rug. Mine has large edges and black stripes so I had to work inside those edges.
Test the machine by placing the rug inside and made sure the foot was able to lift and lower and still function. If not I would have sewn each little bit of elastic by hand. Still worth it, but it would become a sit in front of the TV project.
Make sure you have extra sewing machine needles. I know from experience that thicker fabrics (like hemming blue jeans) can break a needle.
Remember to sew where the fabric is the thinnest. My carpet has little lines every two inches or so, I cut my elastic and folded it in half so that the edge lined up with the edge of the carpet. I then placed the elastic just before the thicker black stripes.
An entire rug is heavy and too heavy for the little teeth to feed through the sewing machine. Sew as usual just roll the carpet to reduce the weight on the feeder needles, and guide the fabric through yourself as you work.
How to Make a Large Dog Mat
The heads up about using you sewing machine is much longer than the actual tutorial.
You will need 2 matching dog mats, elastic and dollar store cord.
Cut your elastic long enough that when folded in half the edge matches the edge of the carpet and their is adequate room to sew the elastic in place.
Sew the little strips of folded elastic along the center seam of the underside of the first carpet. Repeat sewing on little bits of elastic every four inches or so. When you reach the end, sew the last elastic as close to the edge as possible.
Orientate the second rug so that it fits against the first rug, then repeat sewing loops of elastic to the second rug.
Depending on the size of your carpets cut two pieces of cording the length of your carpet plus two feet. My cording was cut at 7 feet.
Lay the carpets good side down , tie the cording together into a nice bow and begin lacing the cord through the elastic.
I found it helpful to push on top of the loops to make more room for the cording.
Once you loop through the entire carpet tie a second bow at the end of the cord. Trim to length and place the new pet mat.
Because the rug is held together by elastic right at the edge the central seam stays flat. The elastic prevents the seam from being torn apart by pup; like it could be if I used strips of Velcro. So far I love it, pup is sitting on his mat and doesn’t seem to notice the change.
I was talking with my girlfriend about my rug project. She suggests wrapping a towel under pup and using it to pull him up when he is having a hard time. It works really well so I thought I’d share her tip.
So far pup is able to get up on his own, as long as he has good footing. I am pretty certain this rug will help him lots. I also placed a gate across the stairs to prevent him from charging up to the second floor to bark when excited. Let’s hope it helps him feel less sore.
Here are some other posts of items we made for our pet.
Last year Hubs repaired our upstairs window alcove damaged from pup jumping up there. Pup no longer jumps up there and rarely stand on it, but the tiles certainly prevent scratches.