How To Make a Dog Drying Coat or Towelling Jacket at Home [DIY Guide]

We’ve all been there; when your dogs been for an impromptu dip or the heavens have opened whilst on a walk, they’re soaking wet, covered in mud and your car has just been cleaned.

Regular towels are OK, but they just don’t absorb much water and you will still have to endure that damp dog smell all the way home.

What you need is a doggy bathrobe. Made from microfibre, usually with velcro straps, they are super absorbent compared to a regular towel and can be wrapped around your pooch keeping them warm and cosy on the journey home or after bathing.

There are some good pet drying coats online and in stores, but if you want to get creative or have multiple dogs and want to save money, why not get out the sewing machine and make your dog their own.

Once you’ve learned how to make a dog drying coat, you could even stitch a few and donate them to your favourite doggy charity.

Making a Drying Coat for your Dog- Step by Step Guide

Things You Will Need For This Simple Sewing Tutorial

  • Sewing Machine (Optional)
  • Tape Measure
  • Microfibre towel fabric
  • Thread
  • Paper for the pattern if you haven’t bought one
  • Velcro

Measuring Your Dog For His Drying Towel/Coat

To learn how to make a dog coat, the first thing you will need to do is measure your pooch, grab the tape and note the length between the base of the neck to the base of the tail and record this measurement.

Wrap the tape around your dog’s neck where a collar would be and add 2.5 cms; make a note of this measurement too.

Measure his circumference by placing the tape around his belly a couple of centimetres behind the front legs and jot this down too

Place the tape on Fido’s chest just beneath his collar and stretch it down to determine the length of the front section.

You could even make a template from an old towel.

Step 1

Choose you Fabric

Drying towels and coats are usually made from microfibre fabric which can be bought online or in fabric stores cheaply; if you are just going for a basic dog drying towel, that’s fine, but you may want to add another layer of breathable quilted fabric, so your pup looks stylish on walks.

This can be purchased relatively cheaply at around £10 a metre, which is plenty to do an extra-large jacket or 2 for smaller dogs.

Make sure you can wash the material and that it is waterproof. You may also need some velcro which you can stitch to the belt or front section.

Step 2

Cut out your pattern.

You can buy a dog coat pattern or download one of the free patterns online, some of which are handily tailored to specific breeds; this is especially useful if you have a dog that doesn’t conform to mass-produced coats such as a Greyhound or a Dachshund.

If you are feeling adventurous and why shouldn’t you be? You’ve come this far; you can make your own pattern.

All you need is a large sheet of tissue paper- fold in half and draw an oval shape half the measurement of your pup’s neck at the top of the folded edge. Now measure along this edge until it corresponds with the back length.

Place a ruler at the top end of the oval and draw a horizontal line for the front segment, then vertically until it matches the length measurement.

This is all you need for a basic dog drying coat, but if you want a coat to go outside, you may want it curved to your dog’s shape. In which case, place a plate after the widest chest point and draw around the top to create a more fitted shape.

Also, cut a rectangular strip for the belt if required and mark where you want to attach the velcro.

Step 3

Make sure it fits

Now you have the pattern, fold the fabric in half, pin the pattern to it and cut around 3 edges leaving the folded edge intact and a small hem allowance around the edge.

You can fit the towel around your dog at this point to place the belt in the correct position and make sure it fits.

Step 4

Put Together

Now all you need to do is stitch the hem; you don’t even have to do this as microfibre doesn’t fray, but it gives a neater finish; you could also add elastic at the bottom corners for a more secure fit, but your dog may not be keen on paw pulling to get the garment on so they are not essential.

If you are making a double layer towel coat, you need to stitch the right sides together and leave an opening so it can be turned the right way.

Attach the belt and velcro to the front opening so you are not dragging the coat over your dog’s head every time you use it.

Step 5


You’re done, now is the time to add any embellishments; you may want to personalise your robe and stitch your dog’s initials; add a fancy trim to the towel jacket collar or even a pocket. Let your imagination run wild and get creative.

What are Dog Drying Coats Made From

Whatever fabric you choose for the outer layer of your coat, the inner layer needs to be absorbent so that it wicks moisture away from your dog’s fur.

This will not only keep your dog dry but reduce that awful wet dog smell that lingers when dried with a regular towel.

Microfibre is great for this as it holds much more moisture than a regular towel, it’s durable too, so it can withstand lots of wear and tear if your dog, like mine, thinks dog drying towels are a tug toy. Plus, you can pop it in the machine on a gentle wash cycle.

How Does Microfibre Work- The Science?

Microfibre consists of millions of teeny tiny fibres that act like hooks to absorb dirt and moisture and lock it away. Made from a blend of Polyamide and Polyester, the fibres are split, giving a huge surface area that can absorb up to 7 times the moisture a cotton towel can.

Gentle on the skin microfibre is the perfect fabric for absorbent jacket linings and bathrobes for dogs, and it comes in a wide range of colours.

5 Reasons You Need a Dog Drying Coat that Keeps your Dog Warm

After a Bath

No matter your dog’s size, bathing them can be tricky with them shaking water all over the walls of the house and your precious soft furnishings, sometimes they can be damp for hours and the odour of dog seems to seep into every corner.

Having a dog drying towel nearby that dries their fur quickly is a necessity and will make bathtimes a pleasure instead of a chore.

This article gives tips on how to blow dry a dog after a bath

During a Wet Walk

The UK weather can be unpredictable and walking in the rain is something most pet-owners have to get used to.

However, that doesn’t mean the back seats of your car need to be ruined every time you take Fido for a walk, or your house has to pong of wet dog.

A towel just doesn’t cut it; you need to have something ultra-absorbent drying coat to keep your pup dry and cosy.

Been swimming?

If you have a breed that loves swimming like a Labrador, or Spaniel you’ll know that they don’t need an excuse to dive into rivers, streams or the sea.

Whilst this may be great fun, it can be difficult to get them dry enough for the car journey home, especially if they have a thick coat like a Newfoundland with their water-resistant double coats.

The solution -a doggy drying jacket or two in the boot of the car and they’ll be snug as a bug in a rug

Day at the Beach

What dog doesn’t love a day at the beach and with more of us than ever taking our hounds on holiday, beach days are common.

It may be a fantastic way to spend quality time with your four-legged friend, but nobody wants a soggy dog shaking themselves and covering everywhere with sand.

Wrapping him up in a cosy, absorbent jacket instead of a towel will mean you don’t have to worry about getting soaked.


Hydrotherapy is becoming very popular for dogs with joint problems or after surgery. Having a drying solution when Fido comes out of the pool will make the experience much nicer for him. Two minutes and he will be dry and ready for a snuggle.


Do you need a drying coat for dogs? We’d say yes, you do; it’s a great accessory for any dog’s wardrobe.

It will save your car seats, protect your home and make your pooch more comfortable after a swim or bath. As mentioned, there are plenty to choose from online.

Check out the full selection of drying coats available on the market.

But with some costing around £50, you may feel you want to make your own dog robe and the good news is it’s really simple to do so.

All you need is some microfibre fabric, some thread and scissors and you are good to go. You can either hand-sew or use a machine to make this doggy bathrobe.

The guide above gives tips on how to sew a microfibre towel coat. Still, if you don’t sew, you can just get some microfibre fabric, measure the length between your dog’s neck and tail and cut to your dog’s size; with the addition of a belt, it does the job just as well, even if it’s not fit for the catwalk. For more great options on the best dog drying coat in the UK, see our main page.

If you decide to stitch your canine companion, a towel alternative, let us know on one of our social media channels.

John Devlin

Blogger and owner of George and Henry. Two gorgeous goldens that couldn’t be more different. One is a dream loving and caring, and his sibling is as naughty as can be. When I am not blogging about dogs, I love watching sport and travelling with the family.
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