Get Dapper with this DIY Bow Tie

Friday, August 09, 2013 by

wedding pug

Photo via Dottie Photography

If you’ve walked into a pet store recently and seen the wall of tiny clothes available, you probably realize that some people enjoy dressing up their pets. Popular options are shirts and sweaters for the winter time, but who says pets can’t look spiffy during the summer? In fact, some pets might have extra reason to dress up during warmer months, as peak wedding season is May through October and owners are increasingly opting to include their furry friends in their ceremonies.

Regardless of your reasons for wanting your pet to look dandy, bow ties are the perfect item for dressing your pet without restricting his movement or making him overheat. And they are universally adorable! The following directions, inspired by this post at Maison Kuotidien, are for a no-sew bow tie that would look darling on a cat, a dog, or even a human! The directions may seem long, but the whole process should only take about half an hour at most, as hot glue dries quickly.


dog bowtie

Dog wearing bow tie via Etsy

Fabric of your choice


Velcro strips

Hot glue gun




Step 1: Measure and Cut

Cut 2 pieces of fabric measuring 9” by 4.5”.

Step 2: Fold and Glue

Take one piece and fold the long ends into the center so that the long edges meet in the middle of the fabric. Dab hot glue along the middle to secure the edges. You should end up with a long skinny rectangle with a glued seam running down the center, as illustrated in the diagram below.

bow tie diagram 1

The black line across the center represents where the two edges have been glued down.

Step 3: And Once More

Fold the short ends into the center so that the edges meet in the middle. Secure the ends with dabs of hot glue. You should have a rectangle with a glued seam on the back, as shown in the diagram below.

bow tie diagram 3

After folding and gluing a second time, you should have a rectangle with a glued seam down the center, as represented in the black line of this diagram.

Step 4: Repeat with Second Piece of Fabric

Repeat the folding and gluing process with the second piece of fabric. When folding each direction, allow the edges to overlap a bit before gluing. You should end up with a rectangle that is slightly smaller than the first.

bow tie diagram 4

Your second folded rectangle should be slightly smaller than your first. Rectangles shown seam-side-up.

Step 5: Create a Pleat

Take the smaller rectangle and create a pleat along the long ends by pinching the long edges toward the center of the rectangle to make a bow shape. Dab each side with hot glue to secure the shape.

Step 6: Attach the Larger Piece

Take the larger rectangle and place it behind your bow. Hot glue the long ends to the smaller piece. Steps 5 and 6 are illustrated in the image below.

bow tie pleating steps

Images via Maison Kuotidien

Step 7: Create a Fabric Strip

Cut a 1.5” by 3” piece of fabric and fold lengthwise into thirds. Use hot glue to secure the fold.

Step 8: Secure Strip to Bow

Hot glue the center of the strip onto the center of the bow. Wrap the strip around and secure the ends in the back of the bow. This process should look like this:

bow tie attaching strip

Image via Maison Kuotidien

You now have your basic bow tie shape!

Step 9: Create the Band

Cut a 1.5” by 17.5” piece of fabric and a 16” strand of elastic.  Hot glue one of the long edges down to the fabric so that you don’t have a raw edge (If you want the band to look extra polished).

Place the elastic band on top of the fabric and glue the other edge to the elastic. Glue the finished edge onto the elastic. Secure the tips of the band with hot glue.

Step 10: Attach Velcro

Depending on the size of your pet, determine how long your Velcro strips will need to be and cut the Velcro.  Glue each side of the Velcro onto each end so that the Velcro will form a loop when attached.

Step 11: Attach the bow

Use hot glue to secure the bow to the middle of the band.

Step 12: Enjoy!

Use the Velcro to secure this cute homemade bow tie around the neck of any pet or friend who will tolerate it. Remember, the bow tie is held together by hot glue, so it’s not ideal for pets to wear during play, but should be just fine for short-term wear at laid-back occasions.

bow tie final

Even bow ties made in MS Paint are dashing when worn by the right model.

Note: These bow ties are for decorative purposes and should not replace a securely fastened collar or be used with a leash. Be sure to supervise pets or children when wearing a bow tie, as the bow could detach and become a choking hazard.

What do you think of this project? Have you ever made accessories for your pet? Tell us about it in the comments below!


4 Breed-Specific Pet Travel Regulations

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 by

Last week, Qantas airline announced some changes to their breed-specific regulations, lifting their controversial ban on American Staffordshire Terriers and allowing snub-nosed breeds to travel internationally. These changes are largely regarded as good news, but they raise a few questions about breed-specific regulations: How widespread are they? What are their purposes? What animals are affected?

As with most aspects of pet air travel, nothing is written in stone and regulations vary widely. Additionally, some airlines have breed-specific policies which change depending on the time of year (as we discussed in an earlier post about traveling with pets during the summer). Here’s a brief summary of 4 different types of breed-specific regulations of which owners should be aware if they are planning on traveling with their pet.

Brachycephalic Breeds

bulldog with baseball

Brachycephalic breeds such as Bulldogs are often subject to extra airline regulations.

What breeds are affected and why are these regulations in place?

Many airlines have embargoes or restrictions on brachycephalic (snub-nosed) breeds. You can find a list of dog and cat breeds that fall under this category on the PetRelocation blog. These regulations are out of concern for the animals’ safety, as these breeds are prone to breathing difficulties which could turn dangerous during the stress of travel. Regulations are largely in place during the summer months, as brachycephalic breeds have trouble regulating their body temperatures and are more prone to heat stroke than their non-snubby brethren.

Sample Regulation

United Airlines doesn’t allow brachycephalic breeds to fly between May and September, and temperatures must be below 85 degrees Fahrenheit in order to fly these breeds any other time of year. Additionally, United has a year-round embargo on adult Bulldogs who are older than six months and weigh more than 20 pounds. Brachycephalic breeds are typically required to ride in a crate which is a size larger than what they would normally need in order to ensure sufficient ventilation.

Dogs Requiring Reinforced Crates

presa canario

Presa Canario via Wikimedia

What breeds are affected and why are these regulations in place?

Some breeds of dog are considered especially strong (and, controversially, prone to aggression) and are subject to special regulations concerning the way they are transported. In the case of United Airlines, these breeds include the following:

  • American Bully
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Ca de Bou
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Presa Canario
  • Tosa (or Tosa Ken)

The regulations concerning these breeds are designed to make sure that these animals are not able to break free of their crates during travel. This, of course, would pose a risk to the escaped animal and potentially a risk to the other animals being stored in the cargo hold.

Sample Regulation

Adults of these breeds (those who are older than 6 months or weigh more than 20 pounds) are frequently required to be shipped in containers which meet IATA Container Requirement #82. These reinforced crates are usually custom-made and must be constructed out of materials other than plastic (wood, metal, and wire mesh are common).

cr82 reinforced crate

Example of CR82-compliant reinforced crate via acepetmoving.com

National Import Regulations (Breed-Specific Legislation)

American Pit Bull Terrier Seated

American Pit Bull Terrier via Wikimedia

What breeds are affected and why are these regulations in place?

Some countries have established Breed-Specific Legislation (or BSL) in order to limit or prohibit the entry of dog breeds which are sometimes deemed “dangerous”. The list of breeds affected by these regulations overlaps significantly with the list of breeds which require reinforced crates (see above).

Such legislation is highly controversial, as it assumes that all dogs of a given breed are dangerous by nature. Many owners of these breeds argue that a dog’s temperament is determined by its treatment and upbringing, and claim that their pets are as sweet and loving as any other dog.

Because the authorities behind the creation of BSL assume that affected breeds are innately dangerous, the intention of such legislation is to prevent attacks by these dogs on humans or other animals.

What countries have these laws and what do they entail?

Understand-a-Bull has compiled a useful list of countries with BSL and the breeds affected in those countries. To find out if a country you are planning on visiting has BSL, try finding the website for that country’s Department of Agriculture and looking up their pet import requirements on that page.

CITES Species

green parrot

All parrot species are CITES-protected.

What animals are affected and why are these regulations in place?

Many exotic pets (such as birds, amphibians, and reptiles) are species which are regulated by CITES. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) monitors and protects endangered species and species which may be subject to endangerment if not controlled. Regulations are in place to ensure that international trade (and transportation) of these species does not endanger their survival or the survival of native species.

To determine if your pet is subject to CITES regulations, check the CITES species database. There, you will be able to locate your pet’s species and determine if it is protected by CITES.

Sample Regulation

In many cases, CITES-protected species require both import and export CITES permits from their respective countries in order to be transported internationally. Permits can take up to 6 months to obtain, so owners planning on traveling with these species will need to start planning their trip well in advance.

two parrots

CITES species largely include birds, reptiles, and some small mammals

If you plan on traveling with pets, be sure to check the policies of your chosen airline/country of destination by contacting them directly. That being said, this list is a good place to start if you are not sure whether or not your pet will be subject to breed-specific regulation.

Do you own a pet affected by breed-specific regulations? What do you think of such regulation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.