Many things can get in the way of your pet enjoying a leisurely stroll with his best friend at his side. Senior pets often have difficulty keeping up as they age. If your pet is struck by illness or injury, fresh air may help with his recovery. A pet stroller allows you to take your pet along for a walk and can be converted from a flea market find.
Determine what type of stroller will work best for your dog. Tiny dogs can fit in a variety of strollers, but if your dog is larger, you'll need to make sure he doesn't exceed the weight restrictions on the stroller you choose. If your dog doesn't fit comfortably in the seat part of the stroller, you'll need to make sure the stroller's seat reclines to a flat position. A stroller with a top that raises up will be easier to convert to a dog stroller.
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Remove any parts of the stroller you won't be using. Remove the strap that would come up between the child's legs. You won't need this one. Leave the other two straps that would run across the stroller and hook like a seat belt, but remove the buckle. You won't need that. Cut these straps back, leaving only 3 or 4 inches of strap.
Measure the front of the stroller, along where the child's leg holes would be. You'll want to cover these to prevent any opportunity for your dog to get a leg or paw stuck.
Measure and cut a piece of foam to press into the area where the leg holes are.
Measure and cut a piece of the vinyl table cloth to cover the foam.
Wrap the vinyl fabric around the foam and hand stitch the fabric piece closed at the edges.
Sew one side of the Velcro strips onto the vinyl-covered foam piece you just constructed.
Sew the other side of the Velcro strips onto the fabric surrounding the leg holes. Sew this onto the inside of the stroller, not the outside. Make sure the strips line up with the Velcro on the foam piece you made. You can place the foam piece into the stroller to cover the leg holes, and remove it for cleaning when necessary.
Measure a length from your dog leashes, beginning at the ends with the clasps. You'll be sewing these onto the straps inside the stroller. The length will be determined by the size of your dog. Your dog should be able to sit, stand and lie down while hooked to the straps. He should not be able to exit the stroller while hooked to the straps.
Cut your dog leashes based on the measurements you took in Step 9. Cauterize the ends with the lighter.
Using the heavy duty needle and thread, attach the leashes to the straps inside the stroller. Make sure you're using the ends with the clasps attached. Use a stretch stitch, which is accomplished by making one stitch forward and two stitches back. Protect your fingers with the thimbles. You'll need to push hard to pierce the stroller straps and the nylon dog leashes.
Measure the opening in the stroller with the top in the upright position. You'll cover this opening with the fabric mesh to protect your pet and give him a sense of security. It may be best to create a pattern from paper as most stroller openings are oddly shaped.
Cut the fabric mesh based on the measurements you took in Step 12 or the pattern you created.
Measure the edge of your mesh.
Cut a strip of canvas edging equal to the measurements you took in Step 14. Create a width sufficient to accommodate your Velcro strips. Be careful not to short yourself on the edging.
Pin your edging onto your mesh and run a seam to attach it using your sewing machine. If you don't have a sewing machine, you can hand stitch the edging, but be prepared a time consuming task.
Hand stitch Velcro strips along the edging on what will be the inside edge of the mesh cover. You'll be attaching the mesh cover to the stroller. Add a Velcro strip every few inches to keep your mesh cover secure once it's attached to the stroller.
Hand stitch the other side of the Velcro strips to the stroller, where your mesh cover will meet the outside of the stroller. Measure these to make sure they'll line up with the Velcro strips on the inside of the mesh cover.
Measure the inside of the stroller where your dog will be sitting.
Cut a piece of batting based on the measurements you took in Step 19.
Cut a piece of the vinyl tablecloth to cover the batting.
Turn the tablecloth fabric piece inside out, insert the batting and pin three edges. Run a seam along these edges using your sewing machine and trim the edges back to 1/2 inch. Remove the pins and batting, turn the fabric piece right-side out, reinsert the batting, and pin the remaining edge closed. Run a seam down this final side with the sewing machine to close the opening. Remove pins. You've created a comfortable seat for your dog that can be removed for cleanup.