Making a Zip Line for your Dog
Camping. Picnics. A trip to the park or the beach. Summer promises more time outdoors with your dog – and we have the perfect accessory to make your next adventure more fun!
Keeping Ty and Buster safe, and abiding by the rules of many of the places we visit, means the boys spend a lot of time on-leash. Though we’re always out exploring new territory, I imagine that life at the end of a six foot tether – anchored to a person with a mind of her own about our direction of travel – doesn’t provide them with a satisfying sense of freedom. So, we devised an inexpensive way to give them a little more room to wander when we’re at a campground … a doggy zip line!
Making Your Own Dog Zip Line
Zip Line vs. Tie Out
The zip line has a lot of advantages over the tie outs many people use to keep their dog from wandering off. I’ve seen dogs hit the end of their unforgiving cable tie-out at a dead run and nearly decapitate themselves – that’s not something I want Ty and Buster to experience. In addition, I’m sure most of my time would be spent untangling the dogs from each other, from the picnic table, from what ever stick, tree, or anthill they could manage to wrap themselves around. That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun for me, either.
The Materials and Assembly
Nylon rope and two spring clasps were easy to find at the hardware store and about ten dollars. The rope we chose has a smooth cover which makes it comfortable to handle, and also has a bit of stretch for some shock absorbency to protect the dogs from a harsh stop. I left the knot tying to my Eagle Scout husband, and he made quick work of the two bowline knots that were required to complete the assembly. Pass the ends of the rope though a flame to melt the ends and prevent it from unraveling and you’re done!
The most difficult part of making the zip line is deciding how long you want it to be. Since we have two dogs, we decided on a 50 foot line. That gives us enough length to attach it at each end and wrap the middle around a tree, picnic table, or post (whatever’s handy) to give each of the boys their own run. In the picture below, the line is connected to the ladder on the back of the RV, wrapped around the tree in the right of the picture, and then connected to the Winnebago’s side mirror. Ty is attached to the run from the ladder to the tree, and Buster to the run from the tree to the mirror. This configuration gives them each their own space and helps keep them from getting tangled around each other.
Dogs should not be attached to the zip line using a collar – we use Buster and Ty’s Freedom No-Pull Harnesses. These harnesses have a loop to connect the leash at the chest (which we use for walking) and on the back (which we use for the zip line). The final step is to attach a heavy-weight carabiner to the leash handle and snap it on the line. Now it’s time to relax and have fun! Just remember not to leave your pal unattended on the zip line.
Do you have ideas for making summer more fun with your pets? Please, share them in the comments below!