Confessions of a Non-DIY Dog Mom

Non-DIY Dog Mom Confession One: I have never baked a homemade dog treat in my life.

Ruby eats well. She enjoys her rotational diet of human grade, limited ingredient, antibiotic free, responsibly sourced, STORE BOUGHT food. But sometimes (when stuck in the Pinterest rabbit hole) I wonder if that is good enough. Should I be spending my free time in my poorly designed kitchen baking her organic pumpkin cookies or blending banana blueberry pup-sicles? Keep in mind,  I have a long history of burning stuff, forgetting key ingredients and near-miss kitchen disasters.

No, it’s OK to buy, not bake.

Confessions of a non-DIY dog mom: Ruby in her blue handmade sweater made by someone else

Ruby in a mass-produced sweater from Target

Non-DIY Dog Mom Confession Two: I don’t know how to sew, knit, or make pretty bows.

Ruby has a nice collection of sweaters, fleece jackets, and even a fancy costume or two. Sometimes I get asked if her sweaters are handmade. My answer is either yes, but not by me, or no it’s from Target. There’s also a little thing called Etsy that gives you the homemade experience without the headache and hassle of making it yourself.

To quote the ever wise Grumpy Cat, “I tried sewing once and it was awful.”

Non-DIY Dog Mom Confession Three: I don’t have time for time-savers, space-savers, or tricks that make life easier.

A cleverly designed shelf or adorable basket near the door for Ruby’s mass-produced coat and leash would be nice, but tossing them in a big pile on the chair is fun, too. If I am feeling really ambitious, I hang them in the closet with our coats – truthfully all coats usually end up in a pile on the chair near the door. And besides, the heap of coats makes a pretty great DIY bed for Rosie. Winning!

Confessions of a non-DIY Dog Mom: Black cat makes a DIY cat bed on a pile of coats

Rosie on her very own DIY cat bed (AKA pile of coats)

Non-DIY Dog Mom Confession Four: I don’t know how to artfully photograph a dog cookie or a storage bin.

I’m a pretty good photographer when it comes to kids and animals. But cookies don’t have soulful eyes nor do storage bins have sweet smiles. But seriously, how do you make a banana-blueberry popsicle look like a work of art – and why do you need so many pictures in a simple popsicle recipe?

Ruby models her non-DIY dog mom sweater for confessions of a non-DIY dog mom

Dog photos, yes I can. Cookie photos, no I can’t

Non-DIY Dog Mom Confession Five: I sometimes feel non-DIY dog mom guilt.

The truth is I don’t bake or sew or make clever crafty things because I hate following directions. I am a “just wing-it” kind of person and that doesn’t really fly with DIY culture. For me, the fun part is going to a craft store and buying a bunch of supplies I will never use. I start projects and never finish them. There’s a whole sad closet of unfinished craft projects in our basement – kind of like the Island of Misfit Toys only with glue sticks and rubber stamps.

But luckily, Ruby seems happy munching on her store bought (organic blah blah) treat while all cozy in her mass-produced sweater from Target. And she doesn’t mind when her leash and coat end up in a pile with our coats – in fact, I think it makes her feel more at home.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Fur-Busting: How to Keep Your Clothes Fur Free (almost).

Confessions of a Non-DIY Dog Mom




  1. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
    December 13, 2016 / 7:09 am

    I'm with you. The only exception is cat toys … Bear is very rough on them and gets bored easily … so I've made it a practice to make {simple, simple, stuff you'd usually throw away} toys to keep him entertained. I tried to make his a whack-a-mouse game and it led to major kitty trauma drama. The commercial ones have these flap things over the holes, which was a little too much for my skill level. I made the holes extra big and the first time out, Bear shoved his ENTIRE FRONT LEG … up until where it meets his body … in the hole and got stuck with the box on his arm. Yeah. That one's in the trash 😉 I did an entire post about homemade toys ( … though I'm embarrassed to share because the pictures are so horrid and I haven't re-shot or re-edited all of them yet. Cutting a hole in a box is pretty much the extent of my DIY capabilities.

  2. Mark Muller
    December 13, 2016 / 8:31 am

    I'm 100% with you… and sometimes I often dream I could knit or sew, what wonderful stuff I could make … but then I remember the still unfinished sweater for my fathers 40th birthday (he turned 72 this year) and I'm back to reality :o)

  3. Marg
    December 13, 2016 / 11:34 am

    I too am 100% with you. Little wads of paper make all these kitties just fine toys. I am just not handy at making anything. So don't feel like the Lone Ranger. Ruby couldn't have a better Mom.

  4. Casey
    December 13, 2016 / 2:36 pm

    Casey's momma here! I'm the same way — I don't bake dog cookies or make outfits. My dogs are well-dressed, but my DIY skill is limited to writing beautiful checks.

  5. Three Chatty Cats
    December 13, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    This is fantastic! I'm with you on a lot of this stuff, but I have made homemade cat treats before. Nothing for poor Eddie, though. Although, he probably prefers store bought treats over what I would make for him. But my confession…I have taken pictures of home baked goods before. For blogging of course. 🙂

  6. Caren Gittleman
    December 13, 2016 / 4:01 pm

    I'm with you all the way!!!! I often feel guilty about all that I can't do…….!!!

  7. Sketching with Dogs
    December 13, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    Mum thrives on making stuff but unfortunately dog biscuits aren't one of them – damn!Elliot and Cricket x

  8. Joely Smith
    December 13, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    I am with you 100% and I too do not bake, or sew, etc Trust me, I have tried! I do not like to measure, do not like directions! Cooking however I love, I can totally wing it with cooking! 🙂 I made puppy pops for Lyla because you can't mess them up! That was my answer to baking biscuits lol

  9. Brian
    December 13, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    If my Dad tries any DIY projects even the neighbors run!

  10. Molly and Mackie
    December 13, 2016 / 6:16 pm

    Our mom likes to be creative when she has the time and if not, store bought is wonderful!

  11. Murphy
    December 13, 2016 / 6:18 pm

    Our mom is not a DIYer either and there's nothing wrong with that!Your Pals,Murphy & Stanley

  12. Bouncing Bertie
    December 13, 2016 / 6:49 pm

    I don't get it. Why would you ever try to take photos of anything else when you have Ruby as your subject matter?Once in a blue moon, Gail takes a photo and leaves me out. She always regrets it.Toodle pip!Bertie.

  13. Sheltie Times
    December 13, 2016 / 6:53 pm

    I've always believed guilt holds us back from doing the things we are good at doing.If you love crafts than by all means enjoy making and doing them. If it isn't your thing, you shouldn't feel guilty, especially when you do take the time to make sure your dog is fed, housed, and clothed to the best of your ability. Your dog which much rather you be happy.

  14. Bella Roxy & Macdui
    December 13, 2016 / 7:20 pm

    We go for easy every time! Then we have lots of time to walk, and play or just hang out together.

  15. Emma
    December 13, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    Everyone has things they are good at, and a Susie Homemaker type isn't required for happiness.

  16. ♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥
    December 13, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    Very nice post – you don't have to be a DIYer to have love in your heart for your furries. Mom will make us some homemade treats once in a while, but there are so many good options out there to purchase, why waste time baking when we could be outside playing or walking or just inside enjoying each other's company?Woos – Misty and Lightning

  17. Hindy Pearson
    December 13, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Such a funny article and a great read!! I love Rosie's bed, and if she's anything like mine were, she's loving it more than any store bought bed. I recently baked treats for the first time, and after reading your article I realise it was done because I was seeing too many pictures of these beautifully baked treats I was feeling like I should make an effort. I must say the 2 things I made did work, but I'm not a DIYer anyway, and I think I'll keep it that way.

  18. da tabbies o trout towne
    December 13, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    waves two ewe rosie….ewe bee lookin gorgeouz az all wayz…N ruby…if sum one said heerz a yeerz supply oh trout if ewe will eat sum thin de food servizz gurl pree pared….we wood say…PAZZ ~~~~~ ☺☺☺♥♥♥ !!!!!

    December 13, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    HAHAHA Rosie's face on her own "diy" bed is so precious! <3 And Ruby's just a happy girl in that mass produced sweater! Ruby's so cute she makes it look like one of kind boutique sweater though! 😀 I'm also a non diy dog mom so I love this blog post. Right now Happy's wearing 5 dollar shirt and he's just a happy kid. LOL!

  20. Jan K
    December 13, 2016 / 11:04 pm

    I LOVE this!!! I do sometimes make homemade treats and even some homemade meal toppers (I do like to cook – when I'm in the mood). But sew or make anything – forget it. I took sewing in high school and more or less flunked it and I've hated it ever since. My destructive dogs do not get their torn toys sewed up….they play with what's left or get new ones! We may not know how to do a lot of things, but non-DIY Moms like us do know how to shop! I dream of organizing everything, and I might have a toy box or some hooks to hang their stuff on, but their stuff is still scattered from one end of the house to the other! And nope, my photos of anything I did happen to bake are certainly not artful or "pin-worthy"!

  21. Denise Gruzensky
    December 14, 2016 / 12:40 am

    Oh my goodness my friend, this is so me too! Except for time and space savers. When I have time, uh um this is usually the problem, I'm an organizer. I have also attempted to make home made dog treats but Shasta didn't like them and they all ended up in the garbage. I've also been there with the guilt. I absolutely LOVE your confessions/transparency!

  22. rottrover
    December 14, 2016 / 2:09 am

    Oh Ruby!! Your mom and my mom are sisters from different mothers and decades!! WE eat well, but all she's ever made for us is yogurt and peanut butter mixed together and frozen in little paper cups. Loser. We love her despite herself.-Otto and Osa

  23. Two French Bulldogs
    December 14, 2016 / 2:39 am

    You have more clothes than Pawris HiltonLily & Edward

  24. The Island Cats
    December 14, 2016 / 3:20 am

    Y'know, the mom tried to make us cat treats one time. We didn't like them at all and much prefer store bought ones.

  25. 24 Paws of Love
    December 14, 2016 / 4:09 am

    We are a "wing-it" kind of family. I'm horrible at baking and have one easy recipe that I make twice in the winter for the dogs. They don't care how they come out so no worries there. And that's it as far as making things. I am more of a creator than a doer. That's what hubby is for! 🙂 Love your confessions!

  26. The Broke Dog
    December 14, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    Hahahaha! While I am a DIY-er by nature, I can TOTALLY relate to this post because WHO HAS TIME FOR ANY OF THAT! I have dozens of dog biscuit recipes pinned, and I bought a cookie cutter that looks like Henry, but the last time I made dog treats was before I adopted Henry. His coats are in a pile with my hats and scarves (in an oh-so-chic plastic laundry basket) and he's lucky if I get his store bought food in a bowl lately. I love how open and honest this post is. And I love Ruby!

  27. Lindsay Pevny
    December 14, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    Hey, I can't do good photos, we're all good at something! <3

  28. Golden Daily Scoop
    December 14, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    I hear ya! While I love doing diy projects and crafts there is one thing I just can't do, sew. Oh the things I could make if I could just sew! lol

  29. AmyShojai
    December 14, 2016 / 3:46 pm

    Hahaha! I am a DIY person but that's because, well, I'm cheap. I don't want to pay someone else for something I think that I can do as well (or better). Of course, I'm often wrong about that last bit…

  30. raisingyourpetsnaturally
    December 14, 2016 / 6:15 pm

    Cute. Yes, I can DIY, but with time, I find myself having others DIY for me. 😉 Dexter also has a collection of custom dog sweaters. Yours is very sweet.

  31. Kevin
    December 14, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    Don't feel bad – we aren't particularly DIY around our house either. Though we are trying our hand at things more and more! I am sure Ruby appreciates all of her store bought goodies just the same! 🙂

  32. Madi and Mom
    December 14, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    Just wing it UMMMM you and my dad need to get together to put something together. MOLMOLHugs madi your bfff

  33. Lola The Rescued Cat
    December 14, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    I can relate to all of these! Except I don't feel guilt for not being a DIY mom. I feel guilty that I can't take photographs that really show how beautiful my girls are, or that I'm unable to make stunning graphics for them. But since I let Lola sleep comfortably on a queen sized bed while I make do with a corner of the bed makes up for it I guess. Dawn

  34. FiveSibesMom
    December 14, 2016 / 11:08 pm

    I'm chuckling over here for two reasons: 1) although I LOVE DIY projects, I, too, have a closet full of supplies for "things I'm going to make" that dates back a few years! And 2) I'm a "wing-it" girl, too!!! I always go off-track with directions and recipes, and do find that part of the fun…but hey, isn't that sort of DIY anyhow?!! Fun post! And great pics of cutie-pie Ruby!

  35. M Dawson
    December 14, 2016 / 11:40 pm

    You can't make sutff? OH man thats tragic 😉 Without making I would be a sadder and poorer person and I love seeing stuff finished although it can take me a long time to knit or sew something!!!

  36. Talent Hounds
    December 15, 2016 / 12:03 am

    LOLOLOLOLOL my stuff is always in piles and I don't sew. I love cooking but not routinely and I never follow instructions, I invent them and wing-it, and I HATE cleaning up so my husband does not encourage cooking for Kilo. I love your photos of dogs and kids and we should all stick to what we are good at and enjoy.

  37. LP
    December 15, 2016 / 12:44 am

    You made us laugh throughout this post! "The heap of coats makes a pretty good DIY bed for Rosie!"Ruby always looks very stylish, well fed and well loved.You do that yourself, every day, so that is one project that will stay out of the basement closet ;pthe critters in the cottage xo

  38. Montecristo Travels
    December 15, 2016 / 1:15 am

    LMAO!! I so loved this. I am DIY "gifted" but oh this … I loved it. Because no one should be putting this kind of pressure on themselves. 🙂

  39. KB Bear
    December 15, 2016 / 1:55 am

    I love this post. You and I have all the same confessions 🙂 I think that Ruby looks very happy and healthy despite your "confessions"!

  40. Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song
    December 15, 2016 / 2:04 am

    I am the same way. I do pick up their poop and clean their pee. That is enough DIY for me.

  41. M. K. Clinton
    December 15, 2016 / 2:07 am

    I love your true confessions. While I prepare the boys' Dr. Harvey's and add the meat/oil, I don't generally bake for them. I am good at dehydrating bananas and apples though. ☺ We would love to do more crafting too.

  42. Ruth Epstein
    December 15, 2016 / 2:50 am

    I cook 95 percent of the time for Layla although I have started buying treats LOL, I enjoy cooking and find it relaxing for me

  43. Beth Patterson
    December 15, 2016 / 2:59 am

    Usually when I bake it is for humans. I used to buy kits for crafts and never finished any of them. I am much more successful when I see a need for something and then figure out what I want.

  44. Cathy Keisha
    December 15, 2016 / 3:14 am

    You and TW are two of a pair. I'll never see any homemade cat food or toys. She can't even put up a tree, for goodness sakes.

  45. Chasing Dog Tales
    December 15, 2016 / 3:24 am

    That's okay, because you write awesome blog articles and you're a fantastic dog mom! 👍

  46. pilch92 15andmeowing
    December 15, 2016 / 4:03 am

    Pets don't care about those things, all they want is our love 🙂

  47. meowmeowmans
    December 15, 2016 / 4:36 am

    No matter what, you're a great pet Mom. We bet Ruby and the rest of the crew don't mind one bit. 🙂

  48. Sweet Purrfections
    December 15, 2016 / 5:11 am

    I can so relate to your post today. I use to sew and do crafts, but I don't have the patience for it anymore. I'd rather spend quality time with my girls.

  49. Tenacious Little Terrier
    December 15, 2016 / 5:39 am

    I'm pretty sure Mr. N is happier with a piece of half raw meat than all the fancy Pinterest cookies so I don't feel too guilty.

  50. Princely Paws
    December 15, 2016 / 6:13 am

    I am there with you on this i am either too lazy or busy to actually sit patiently and make something. I am more of a you need something you go to the store lol

  51. Christine Caplan
    December 15, 2016 / 7:42 am

    I love this! I also don't bake or sew and I'm with you – no one needs 10 good shots of Popsicles and I also think I can take good pics of the boys but not of the boys and brands! Cute coat pic btw 😉 So I guess when it comes to apparel — bring it!

  52. Marie Symeou
    December 15, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    I can relate!

  53. Wyatt
    December 15, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    Your pictures are great and Ruby does not seem to be suffering from your lack of DIY…BOL!♥Wyatt and Tegan

  54. Jackie Bouchard
    December 15, 2016 / 11:51 pm

    Haha. Love the DIY cat bed. 🙂 I don't make cookies/treats for Rita either. I do love to do crafts though! (Would love to rummage through your "island of misfit toys" of unused crafting stuff!) I definitely get that dog-mom guilt too for not cooking for her! And I try to avoid Pinterest – way too much of a time suck!

  55. Jean Dion
    December 17, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    Pinterest also makes me feel guilty–and I'm pretty damn crafty. But even then, I don't mill my own flour or card my own wool. Sigh. Shopping on Etsy is often my solution, too. That way, I can support the wool carders and flour millers without having to do all the work myself!Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

  56. Sweet William The Scot
    March 22, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    Oh gosh you sure burst our bubble we thought you were perfect and we were the slobs!Thanks for being our normal friendSweet William The Scot

  57. Valentine
    March 25, 2017 / 7:23 pm

    I bet your Rosie & Ruby don't really care if their blanks or sweaters or treats are homemade or store bought as long as they came with love from you. They love you – and all that you are for them. And though you don't think the things you handmake for them are worthy, I am sure that they do 'cause it comes from their momma's hand. Hugs.

  58. Monika
    October 13, 2017 / 4:18 pm

    The photo of your cat on a pile of coats made me laugh so hard, thank you for that 😀 I was never a DIY type of person but as I started using Pinterest lately, I got caught up and now I try to make some things myself. I tried making cat treats 🙂 We will see if my diy phase will last.

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