We all know our own dogs. Some have thick fur, some thin, some love wild weather, some hate the rain, and some even love wild camping with us.
Camping with both Dixie and Tilly, we tried all sorts to keep them comfy. The summer’s not so hard, but in the cold it can be very challenging.
Blankets, fleece coats, insulated coats, even dog sized sleeping bags that I could zip her into (that could actually be quite challenging to be honest!) – they’ve all been tried, in every combination possible. One icy cold night, several years back, I even ended up unzipping my toasty sleeping bag and pulling my shivering Dixie (previous Boxer) inside with me, as nothing I covered her with that night seemed to keep her warm.
Nothing ever seemed either just right or straightforward.
But since Pebbles and Islay have been on the scene, we’ve discovered some doggy sleeping bags. On sale in the States (although they have recently stopped shipping to the UK) and rather expensive, we nevertheless invested in some.
They’ve been quite a success.
If it’s hot, the dogs don’t have to be fully covered, but if it’s cold, they can be. We’ve never found the need to carry a foam mat for them anymore either, although there’s no harm in doing that if you wish to. So far for us though, the insulation in the beds has seemed adequate on its own. Pebbles was even toasty warm one night when it was -5°C outside.
To complement the bags, they also have summer weight fleecey PJs and winter weight fleecey PJs.
If Pebbles is fidgety overnight it is possible for her to get uncovered and I sometimes wake up when she moves and have to re-cover her, but this is not really a problem. She sleeps next to me, at the head end of my sleeping bag, which does actually make it very easy to re-wrap her if necessary, but to be fair she’s so used to it now she hardly moves overnight. I have also noticed that on the whole, the colder it is, the less she fidgets. She likes to stay cozy!
Not long ago, my mate James wondered if I might be able to make one of these bags myself, for Reuben to use. It was a challenge I rather enjoyed. It would appear that Reuben has also been pleased with the results.
There has been a fair amount of interest in my version of the Doggy Sleeping Bag, culminating in me making some to order.
They are bucket shaped and function rather like a cross between a soft bed and a sleeping bag. Whatever the diameter of the bed, the sides are the same height ie: a 27″ diameter bed has 27″ high sides, a 20″ diameter one has 20″ high sides etc. In soft bed form, with the sides folded down, they can simply be sat or laid in.
But if you want the dog covered, you simply have to unroll the tall sides and lay them/wrap them over your snoozing canine. Of course, if your dog sometimes prefers to sleep on its side, the bag can also be turned on its side – more like a human sleeping bag – and be used that way. In fact to be honest, it doesn’t really matter how you wrap them up, as long as they’re happy!
The medium sized bag that I’ve made most of (shown in these photos), has a base with a diameter of 27″ and seems to suit most average sized dogs. The 27″ ones weigh approximately 750g – being all handmade they can differ slightly – and easily pack into the supplied compression sack.
I have also made smaller ones at 25″ diameter (approx. 670g), 23″ diameter (approx. 620g) and 21″ diameter (approx. 560g), as well as a few larger ones – a 28″ one at 800g, a 30″ one which weighed around 950g, and a 32″ one which was about 1100g. Believe me, the 32″ was very large once finished, and I’m not sure my domestic sewing machine and I could handle making anything larger than that.
If your dog has panniers, you may be able to compress a Woof Bag enough to fit it inside one pannier – it rather depends on both the size of the Woof Bag and the size of the panniers. If you can’t, or don’t want to compress it that much, then another suggestion is to do what I do. I carry her Woof Bag, and Pebbles then carries some of my clothes and bits and pieces…Just be aware though that dogs shouldn’t be asked to carry more than 25% of their body weight in their panniers. To be fair, we never get anywhere near that percentage with our dogs, but some dogs would be ok with that.
If you are interested in a lighter version of a Woof Bag this is possible, but please read my thoughts on these, here.
The donor bags that I use to make Woof Bags have a HUMAN lower temperature limit of -2°C.
Of course, you don’t have to be a wild camper to have a use for a Woof Bag, car camping dogs using campsites might also appreciate one, as might caravanning and motorhoming dogs. I have also sold a couple of bags to people with elderly or infirm dogs, where the dogs really appreciate being wrapped up snuggly even in the house.
The bags I make have synthetic insulation – I don’t really see down as being a viable option for potentially muddy, wet canines.
Turnaround time from placing an order with me, to receiving your Woof Bag, is generally about a week. I keep you updated with progress and send you a photo of it, as soon as it is finished.
Please do contact me if you are considering placing an order, to help with deciding what size bag your dog will need.
I don’t ask for any payment from you until it is finished and ready to post. I post them by Royal Mail (unless you are outside the UK), using the ‘First Class Signed For’ service.
Pebbles and Islay have both made a video each on how to use a Woof Bag. If you would like to watch them, click here. Most folk seem to practice using them in the house a few times before taking them camping. As well as getting them used to it, it gets their scent on it.
Incidentally, Pebbles now prefers the Woof Bag I made her, to the one we initially got from the States. Apparently it’s warmer and cosier…
Click here to see what I am currently charging for a hand-made Woof Bag.
Click here to see washing/care instructions for the bags.
If you want to read some reviews, click here.
If you are interested in a Woof Bag, I will ask you to measure your dog. Please click here to see how to do that.
And if there’s anything else you think I might be able to help you with, please ask! For example, a friend wanted a ‘café mat’ for her doggy, so she always had somewhere that was ‘hers’ to lie on, especially when wet and muddy…
Of course Lu’s mat doesn’t have to be used in a café, it can be used anywhere as a ‘Sit Mat’ …
Finally, any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Click here for my contact details.
I always keep a sample of a Woof Bag in (average sized – 27″), so if anyone wants to see one/let your dog have a sit in one, before you commit to an order, let me know. Obviously this offer is only any use if you don’t live too far away … 🤣
This is Reuben, the owner of the original prototype. He is now an elderly boy who no longer goes on the hills, but he still likes to be wrapped up in his Woof Bag, both at home and on holiday in a rental cottage ❤️