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Topic: Dog coats for my allergy ridden pug  (Read 2952 times)
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Muria
« on: January 25, 2010 06:01:03 PM »

My pug has allergies. We're not sure what he's allergic to, but the vet assures us that it's allergies. Whatever it is, he scratches. A lot.  To the point of bleeding.
So we decided to put his store bought (deep discount) hoodie on him. He undid the velcro in less than a minute, and was out of it, looking fairly smug (our pride prevented us from getting a picture, but maybe you've seen a smug pug before and don't need the photo). 

So we brainstormed. And put his harness over the top of the hoodie. But he'd wiggle the velcro open and scratch anyway. So we brainstormed some more, and put buttons on the coat. He couldn't get it open, but he scratched IN BETWEEN THE BUTTONS (and after all that work getting the buttonholes lined up).

Clearly, we needed to rethink the coat itself (in part because the fabric was getting threadbare in spots).  No velcro, no buttons. Clearly what was needed was a zipper.
So I bought two 14-inch separating zippers. I tried two designs. One was a McCall's pattern (I can look up the number if anyone else desperately needs a dog coat pattern when there's a dollar pattern sale going on).  Considering this was for the dog, we wanted something sturdy. And cheap is always good, too.  So I cut up a pair of my daughter's outgrown jeans (with a huge hole, so it wasn't like I was going to donate them to someone in need. They were destined for patches).  The result:
Notice the fabulous collar(already stained, of course), and nice (hard to see in the picture) zipper down the front. The only problem with this is that our beloved pug scratches higher than the collar goes on his neck (and the zipper doesn't lock, so we have to safety pin it up). While we could do the cone of shame, I instead decided to attempt a second coat, this one traced off the original hoodie that had already undergone some improvements. This time the zipper went up the back:
The chic deconstructed look is mostly because I forgot to leave a seam allowance at the bottom, and the zipper goes all the way to the end.  This one has an unfortunate tendency to slide down, so I put a green knit collar on it. With safety pins. And a safety pin to hold this zipper up, too. And a safety pin at the bottom to keep him from fitting his paw under the coat to scratch his belly. I'm planning on increasing the seam allowances next time it's in the wash so it doesn't slide down so much, and possibly adding a few snaps for the knit collar. That way maybe the zipper will stay up.

So the dog is covered (and hasn't managed to squirm out of either coat yet), and the hair that he scratched off is gradually growing back. Mission accomplished!
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Muria

Where did all this fabric come from? I CAN'T have bought THAT much!
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2010 06:08:16 PM »

We had a pug with major allergies.  I don't have any coat advice as my experience is those thick necked little suckers can wiggle out of anything, but I can tell you what worked for us otherwise.  PM me if you want.
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PsNation
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2010 07:42:47 PM »

Cute coat, and extra cute dog Smiley
I heard or read somewhere that an oatmeal based doggy shampoo (or soak) helps with the itch, might soothe the little guy a bit...unless of course he happens to be allergic to that as well. 
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2010 08:07:49 PM »

So sorry to hear that ur doggie has allergies, but it's great that ur sewing to help him.

ps. the demin coat looks great Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010 05:05:32 AM »

I really like the shape of the collar on the first coat. Good use of crafting to solve a problem.
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010 09:56:24 AM »

My pug also had bad allergies. He would scratch until he'd rip out all his fur on his back, and start bleeding from the scratching and biting. This went on for a few years, until someone said that it might be a gluten allergy. Within 2 weeks of switching his dog food and no longer giving him table scraps he completely stopped digging at himself.
Maybe you could ask your vet about that?
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Muria
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010 11:20:32 AM »

I'm not entirely sure it's his food, as he seems to get better at my mother's house (eating the same dog food).  Unfortunately, that would tend to mean it's either something in the house or something in the area (my mom lives an hour away, in a less rural setting). Since he's a pug,  putting him outside long enough to determine if it's an interior allergen isn't a good idea (pugs don't do well outside). I do wonder if improving his diet would help (if he's got a minor allergy to something in his food, for example, removing it from his diet might keep his body from overreacting to the other stimulus).

Thanks for the comments on the coats. The coat with the collar is McCall's  5776, although we used the zipper instead of velcro (for obvious reasons). Though there were a number of other patterns, this one seemed to be the one with the best coverage (and least amount of girly ruffles, which would not have passed inspection).  I just wish it had a better neckline (or that he only scratched under his armpits).  Smiley
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Muria

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tomico
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010 11:26:23 PM »

I feel for your pup. I have had an allergy since before 2005 (read a post I left here about it in December of 2005) that has caused me to have a severe rash in the back of my neck and up my scalp. It makes me scratch just thinking about it. Do they have allergists for dogs? Mine didn't help any but maybe you will have better luck.

Tomico
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Muria
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010 08:15:25 AM »

They actually do have allergists for dogs, but at the initial ($125) consultation, I learned that it would cost around $2000 to clear up his current condition, and do all the tests to figure out exactly what he's allergic to.  I found out from someone else that if my dog turns out to be allergic to everything under the sun that medications can run up to $500/month.  So we're trying the alternative approaches until we win the lottery.  Wink  We switched his food yesterday, and I imagine that he scratched less and was more alert. Of course, it could just be wishful thinking on my part.  If he improves, I'll post "after" pics.  Smiley

Sorry to hear about your allergies. My mother had a rash for several months as a result of a prescription allergy (she's got an adverse reaction to an increasing number of foods and medicines).  It's no fun to be itchy.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010 09:01:39 AM by Muria - Reason: can't believe I wrote "everything under the SON" » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Muria

Where did all this fabric come from? I CAN'T have bought THAT much!
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2010 05:28:50 PM »

This is adorable!  And a creative solution to your pug's scratching problem.  Our pug also has allergies and used to scratch a LOT.  Switching his food to a sensitive skin formula made a world of difference, but he still scratched a little.  Then we added 1 tablespoon per day of fish oil to his diet and he rarely scratched at all.  Until we moved to the desert that is...  but we will be moving back up north soon and i expect his skin will improve once we do (all of us have suffered itchy dry skin here!).

Kudos to you for coming up with such a clever idea!  And a cute one at that, of course, having a cute pug to model doesn't hurt Wink

Thanks for sharing!
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