When making the decision to use a crate for your dog, there are a lot of different options. You can choose to buy a dog crate, a kit, or you can choose to make your own crate exactly to the specifics that you fit into your needs, lifestyle, and decorating aesthetic.
You may think that making your own crate is difficult but committing to a DIY wooden dog crate is actually not as hard as you may think. You just need to decide what you want and how much you want to spend.
When considering a DIY wooden dog crate, there are several things to think of before you start putting your plans together – what size crate do you want to make, what materials will you need and what tools should I have to complete the project.
Once you have your concept in mind, it is time to start your project. When starting your DIY dog crate, it is really important to make a plan
Give yourself some time to figure out where you want to house it – do you want it in your living room, a mudroom, or somewhere else? Think about the times when your pooch will use it and what makes sense for your dog.
A younger dog may need to go out more often, so having the crate near a door may be important. A dog that does not like a lot of noise may need a dog in a quieter place in your house.
Understanding the needs of your dog and the needs of your lifestyle are very important factors to consider before jumping into the DIY project – you don’t want to get started then have to completely change your plans.
DIY Wooden Crates
Do you have a large dog like a German Shepherd or a Great Dane? Be prepared to make a large crate, which will need more space than a crate for a small dog like a dachshund or a toy poodle. Thinking about your dog’s size, their need to be comfortable and able to turn around easily, and access to the things they need, are all important factors when deciding on both the placement of the crate and the size.
Once you have figured out where you want the crate and the general size of the crate, you need to consider the style. Some people don’t mind having it in an open area, but others want to make a creation that will blend in with the rest of their furniture.
When making your plans, think about how you want it to look – some crates can be made into side tables or even planters, it just depends on how obvious you want it to be. Now that you have a general idea of what you want, how you want it to look, and the size of your crate, you are ready to put together your shopping list.
The material list for your DIY dog crate is almost as important as the decisions on size and placement. You want to be sure that when making a crate you create a safe, secure place for your dog.
If opting to use recycled material, be sure there are no chemicals, nails, or other items that could injure your dog. There are a lot of options for keeping the price of materials from getting too high – using pallets or recycled wood, scrap wood, or unused siding.
Depending on how rustic or how fancy you want to make your crate, the most important part of your creation is safety. Once you have your primary building material chosen, think about fasteners.
Nails, screws, or even wooden dowels can be used, you just have to be sure that the structure you plan to create will withstand the activity of a dog. It is important to have at least one, or even better, two doors for the wooden dog crate. This allows a change in placement and easier access.
Having strong, easy-to-use latches will also be important for both securities of your dog and the ease of getting it open and closed. You do not want to have a latch that can be opened easily – it should be dog-proof but people-friendly.
Tools and Other Considerations
By now you should have a pretty good idea of your structure, concept, and basic materials you will need to create your personalized dog crate. The last part of the project preparation should be ensuring that you have the tools needed to build your DIY dog crate.
Here are the obvious choices:
- Saw – either hand saw or table saw
- Tape measure
- Screwdrivers of appropriate size and match to your screws
- Screws, nails, or any other choice for connecting your parts
- Door latches and hinges
Some of the not so obvious materials:
- A work partner
- T Square
- Small hand sander or sandpaper
- Exacto knife
- Nail remover or small prybar
Although this is a good start to the list, you may find other things that you need depending on the structure of your project. Be sure that you write down the steps you want to take so you are sure that you don’t miss anything important – no one wants to have to recut wood or remove screws or nails. An additional safety thought is what you plan to do after you have finished building the DIY wooden dog crate.
If you plan to paint your dog crate, be very careful to ensure that the paint fully soaks in and has no peeling areas. If the dog chews on the crate (and many do) they could ingest the paint which can make them sick.
Those that work with dogs may suggest either sealing the wood to be waterproof or staining the wood then sealing it. Using an animal-safe sealant will be important, along with ensuring that everything has thoroughly dried before allowing your dog to enter the crate are other critical things to consider.
The number one important factor when creating your DIY wooden dog crate is the safety and security of your dog. Make note of sharp edges, exposed nails or screws, and any other object that could hurt the dog.
If there is something sticking into the crate, including any large splinters or wood pieces, the dog will find them. If your dog can break off any pieces, they may get swallowed, which can result in a very expensive vet bill.
As you progress through the project, run your hands around the wood, finding and smoothing any areas that could cause problems in the future.
Our dogs are such an important part of our lives. Designing and building your dogs’ wooden crate can be a fun and challenging family project – creating something that fits your lifestyle, your home, and your dog can be very rewarding.
Remember that your dog does not care if it is perfection; your dog cares if they feel safe and secure. By creating a safe space, you create a wonderful home for your dog. Feeling the satisfaction of making your wooden dog crate will be a great accomplishment.
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