DIY: Pet Bed Round-Up

Fall is in the air here in the Pacific NW. It’s getting chilly and our cats & dog are finding snugly places to sleep.  I may need to make a couple more small beds to keep the peace amongst the cats.  Here’s the collection of posts on DIY pet beds.

sweaterbeddoneA favorite spot for Sage is the bed I made from an old sweater.  Here’s a great tutorial on how to upcycle an old sweater into a pet bed and you can check out how I made my version of the sweater bed.


suitcasebed4Vintage suitcases make cute & clever pet beds.  This post has a bunch of tutorials and examples of these fun beds.


knitcatbed1 copyI would consider learning to knit just so I could make some of these beds.  You can knit & felt wonderful pet beds using the two great tutorials here.


crochetbedthumbIf you crochet, check out this pattern for crocheting & felting a nifty bed.


shrimpybedYou don’t have to be an expert in sewing to make this cute & easy nest bed.


hoodedbedSome cats & dogs like to burrow more in their beds and this tutorial on making a hooded pet bed is perfect.


cathamockA hammock for your small pet might be the best thing.  Here’s a post on how to make a hammock that can be free-standing or placed on a furnace to keep our pet good and toasty.


diyelevatedbedAnd if you need to get your pet off a cold floor, or if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and need to keep your pets cool, this post shows how to make an elevated bed out of PVC pipe like Kuranda beds.


Meat Loaf For Dogs

wet ingredients
wet ingredients

This meat loaf isn’t meant to replace your dogs’ food—I’m not a canine nutritionist.  I’m also not militant that you should cook all meals for your dog.  I don’t cook all meals for our cats and dog.  I do fix a version of meatloaf for Saffron, our dog, for a few of reasons.  First, is to supplement her dry food with fresh, unprocessed food.  Second, is to make Saffron’s food more appealing to her so she’ll finish her food–she’s never been good about eating, especially if she’s anxious.  Third, this is cheaper than buying high quality canned food.

It’s easy to make, especially if you do it over two days.  I recommend prepping all the ingredients first and then mix & bake it another day.  I’ve been doing big batches, so I don’t have to do it as often, but I’m not sure it’s worth it since it can be a pain dealing with such large quantities.  I’ve adapted this recipe from Mabel’s Muttloaf. You can divide the recipe if you want to try a smaller batch.

Like with regular meatloaf, ingredients & amounts don’t have to be exact—my ratios are based on the 6 lbs. packages of ground turkey you can get at Costco.  Meat loaf is a forgiving dish and even if you’re not an experienced cook, you can make this.

You probably won’t need to go out and buy a bunch of ingredients.  And if you do need to buy some things, you don’t need to buy fancy ingredients.  This is a great chance to use up leftovers, the tail end of a bag of dry beans or rice, or slightly freezer-burned vegetables—nothing spoiled or nasty.  Take a look in your pantry & freezer and see what your dog would like in some meatloaf.


  • 6 lbs. raw ground turkey
  • 1 large can (29 oz.) plain pumpkin
  • ~8 cups cooked beans or lentils
  • ~8 cups cooked rice
  • 2 1/2 lbs. frozen green beans (or some kind of frozen vegetable like corn, broccoli, peas.  I’ve even used frozen okra I had on hand.)
  • 1 lb. frozen spinach
  • 6 cups masa harina (finely ground corn flour treated so it’s more easily digested, you’ll find it in the hispanic section of your grocery or at a hispanic grocery)
  • 6 cups oats
  • ~1 cup brewer’s yeast
  • 1 cup oil
  • 6-8 eggs
  • ~6 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ~ 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp. salt substitute (potassium chloride)
  • enough liquid (stock, milk, whey, water) to bind it all together

Other possible ingredients:

    • cooked potato
    • ground beef, chicken, venison
    • liver or other organ meat (We have frozen beef liver on hand left over from a split side of beef we bought.  I thaw one, puree it, and add it to the mix.  Grossest thing ever, but Saffron loves it.)
    • cornmeal
    • shredded cheese
    • carrots, squash, sweet potato

dog loaf dry ingredients dog loaf mixed

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Roughly puree wet ingredients like beans, rice, vegetables, etc.  In another large bowl, combine wet ingredients. I put on latex gloves and mix with my hands.  Add the dry ingredients and make sure it’s very thoroughly mixed.  Add liquid as needed to get the mixture to form a thick, gloppy texture.  The mixture should be uniform in texture—no clumps of dry ingredients and no runny bits.

dog loaf in pan

Spread into greased baking pans and cook at 350°F for about 1 hour.  It may take longer if your mixture was very wet.  You want the loaf to be pretty solid so the slices won’t crumble and fall apart.  Remove pan and allow to cool.  I cut mine while it’s still in the pan.

dog loaf sliced finished dog loaf

Place slice in empty pan or on a cookie sheet and freeze.  I store mine in double ziploc bags and thaw a slice in the microwave as needed. I crumble it up, add a little water, and mix it in with Saffron’s kibble.