UPDATED: APRIL 26, 2020
One way to help prevent nasty critters from bothering your pet while camping, hiking, or hanging out in your back yard, is to have your dog wear an insect repellent dog bandana.
You’ve probably seen these available online or in pet stores. But did you know it’s super simple to make your own?
There are several reasons that you may want to make your own instead of buy one:
- You don’t have to choose from only one or two available bandana prints
- You can choose the bandana style you feel is more comfortable and safer for your dog: tie-on, snap, or over the collar
- You can use a bandana from your favorite handmade shop to support small business
- It has the potential to last forever because all you need to do is “refresh” it after a few washes
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which means that we receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase.
3-Step DIY Insect Repellent Dog Bandana
Step 1 – Get or Make Your Dog a Bandana
First, you’ll need a bandana. You have several options that vary in effort and cost.
You can make your own dog bandana from a sheet of fabric or an old shirt.
You can cut it out free-hand or by placing another dog bandana on the fabric and cutting around it.
The down-side to doing this this way is, unless you bind the edges, this bandana will fray easily and start to not look so nice quickly.
If you want to make a little more effort, you cay sew, or use iron-on hemming tape, to finish the edges.
This tutorial gives a brief explanation of how do make a no-sew dog bandana.
The third, and easiest way, although not always the cheapest, is to start with a dog bandana that you purchased from your favorite small shop.
Some good places to get handmade bandanas are:
- Bark Rangers (their Mom and Pup Matching Sets are amazing!)
- Banded Pines
- The Foxi Hound
- Pawsitively Golden
Step 2 – Buy Permethrin Clothing Treatment
Permethrin is an insecticide. It’s a synthetic chemical designed to act like natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower.
Permethrin can kill insects if they eat it or touch it but it’s more toxic to insects than it is to people and dogs. Less than 1% of permethrin that touches the skin is absorbed into the body anyway (source).
Permethrin is the main ingredient in my favorite topical flea and tick control for dogs and is the insecticide used to create most commercially-available insect repellent bandanas and clothing.
It kills ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, chiggers, mites, and more.
You can buy it in a spray bottle to treat clothing and gear.
My go-to choice is the Sawyer Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent.
Step 3 – Treat the Bandana with Permethrin
Treating your dog’s bandana with permethrin to help protect them from fleas, ticks and other insects is pretty easy.
Simply lay the item flat, spray the repellent on, flip the item over to treat the other side, and hang to dry.
The exact instructions for application from the product I use are: “To apply, spray Permethrin directly onto clothing and gear with a slow sweeping motion, keeping the bottle about 6 to 8 inches away and treating each side of the garment for about 30 seconds.”
Permethrin (at least the one from Sawyer I linked to above) will not stain or damage clothing, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or outdoor gear.
I still prefer to take precautions though and lay the item to be treated outside on the grass or concrete.
One treatment will last up to 6 weeks, or 6 washings. Simply re-treat the bandana after that time and it will keep working.
That’s it! That’s all there is to creating an insect repellent dog bandana yourself.