An raised dog bed or pallet is a great solution for dogs who spend a great deal of time outside because they do not transfer the extreme surface heat or chill that can make outdoor decks and patios uncomfortable for dogs. In addition to being a comfortable place to rest, raised dog beds also make it more difficult for fleas and other pests to bother your dog. If you are looking for a way to keep your dog comfortable without spending a fortune, consider building your own raised dog bed pallet out of PVC and sturdy fabric.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- 1-inch PVC pipe
- 3-way PVC connectors (8)
- Pipe glue (optional)
- Cordura fabric
- 1-inch screws
- Floor mat (optional)
- Scissors or utility knife
Measure your dog's length and width with a measuring tape when it is lying down to determine the ideal size for your dog bed. Add at least 6 inches to the length and 12 inches to the width measurements of your dog to provide enough space for comfort. Standard dog bed sizes range from 18-by-24-inches for a small bed to 30-by-36-inches for a larger bed.
Cut four pieces of 1-inch PVC pipe using the length measurement you determined and four pieces using the width measurement. You will use these pieces to construct the frame for your raised dog bed pallet.
Cut four pieces of 1-inch PVC to a length of 9 inches. These pieces will serve as the vertical legs for the dog bed which will raise it off the ground.
Insert each of the four 9-inch pieces of PVC into the vertical connection on a three-way 1-inch PVC connector. You may choose to apply some pipe glue to the pipe before inserting it into the connector to increase the stability of the connection.
Arrange two of the longer and two of the shorter pieces of 1-inch PVC previously cut in a rectangle shape on the ground in front of you. The pieces of equal length should be parallel to each other. Connect the pipes at the corners of the rectangle by inserting them into the open ends of the four 3-way connectors to complete the top frame of your raised dog bed.
Assemble a second rectangular frame identical to the one you just built using the remaining four pieces of 1-inch PVC and another four 3-way connectors to create the bottom frame for the dog bed. Insert the open end of the 9-inch pieces of PVC into the vertical opening on the 3-way connectors to connect the top and bottom frame of the raised dog bed.
Cut a piece of cordura, a strong and durable fabric often used in luggage and backpacks, to approximately six inches longer and wider than the dimensions of the assembled dog bed frame. Fold over 1 inch of the fabric on all four sides and press the fold flat with an iron.
Drape the cordura over the bed frame so the folds are flush with the PVC pipes. Wrap the fabric around the PVC pipe on one side of the frame and, holding it in place, insert a 1-inch screw through the fabric into the pipe. The screw should be as close to the center of the pipe as possible.
Wrap the fabric around the PVC pipe opposite the one in which you inserted the screw, pulling the fabric tight across the frame, and secure it in place with a screw placed about halfway down the length of the pipe. Repeat this process to secure the fabric to the remaining two sides of the frame.
Insert additional screws approximately every 3 inches along all four sides of the PVC frame. You may also choose to insert a screw through the bottom of each 3-way connector into the PVC pipe inside to prevent the connection from slipping under the weight of your dog.
Reinforce the corners of your dog bed by folding the fabric under and inserting 4 to 6 screws through the fabric into the 3-way corner connectors. These extra screws will not only add stability to the corners of the frame but also prevent the fabric from puckering which might encourage your dog to chew on it.
Place your raised dog bed pallet in the desired location. If you plan to use the bed indoors, consider placing it on carpet or on top of a mat to prevent the PVC legs from rubbing the floor as the frame settles under the weight of your dog.
Tips & Warnings
- If you plan to use your dog bed outdoors, select an outdoor upholstery fabric such as the type of canvas used for outdoor awnings.
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