One New York Times piece revealed that in the United States alone, 60% of dog owners consider their pups to be a part of the family just as much as their own partners and children. The majority of those owners also let their dog sleep in their bed with them.
While there’s nothing wrong with this, some dogs can benefit from having their own dog crate that’s built, designed, and decorated just for them. Much like how you would like to have a personal space for yourself, your dog would also appreciate having that.
Crating your dog is a personal decision, but there are numerous benefits if you’re training a puppy, teaching your dog to be independent, or merely looking to provide your pup with their personal space. If your dog has specific health issues such as arthritis, a wooden dog crate can also help ensure that they’re receiving the support they need in terms of comfort and care instead of simply relying on your mattress as a bed.
Want to give your dog the space they deserve?
You can create a personalized crate built specifically for them. Before we learn how to build a wooden dog crate that’ll delight your pup and allow them to rest and relax in peace, let’s take a look at the benefits of a dog crate and what you should consider before building one.
Benefits of Using a Dog Crate to Train Your Pup
If you’re the parent of a puppy, a dog crate is almost essential, especially if you tend to leave them home quite a bit while you work or head out to run errands. Crating them while they’re home alone is a way to ensure you’re protecting their safety. If you leave them out to roam the house, they could chew cables, fall off stairs, or get into other dangerous areas of the home that might cause them harm.
Other benefits of using a dog crate to train your puppy or adult dog include the fact that you’re helping them learn to become independent and helping them stick to a schedule (which puppies love!). Crate training during the evening is a good way to help anxious dogs develop a sense of independence.
And if your dog is new to the household or is still a puppy, using a crate is an excellent way to help them develop sleep and potty routines. It can also help to ease a new or young dog’s anxious feelings about the new or unfamiliar environment as it’s a smaller place where it can feel safe in. This is better than allowing it to roam the whole house, which can be terrifying.
If you’re concern that your new puppy might feel anxious being in a crate alone, you may want to put in some toys or chew bones for it. You should also throw in a blanket so that it’ll feel safe in the crate. You can check out this article on What to put in a puppy crate and keep it happy for more ideas.
4 DIY Dog Crate Tips
Before learning how to build a wooden dog crate, we suggest arming yourself with some basic tips. From preparing your workspace to figuring out what size crate your dog will need, here are 4 great tips for your DIY dog crate projects.
#1: Measure Your Dog Before Building the Crate
This is crucial! You need to ensure that you’re building the right sized dog crate for your dog, especially if you’re planning on allowing the dog to continue using the crate even when they’re an adult.
As a general rule of thumb, your dog should be able to stand up, lie down, and sit up in the crate without feeling uncomfortable or hitting their heads. They should also be able to stretch their paws comfortable without feeling constricted.
We’ve created a helpful guide on What Size Dog Crate Should I Get for My Dog, but if you’re going to measure them, be sure to measure both their length and height and don’t worry about including the tail.
#2: Think About the Crate’s Location
The benefits of building a wooden dog crate include the fact that you’re able to design it however you want. You may want to keep in mind the layout and design of your house because you can make your dog crate look like furniture.
This means that if you’re planning on storing the crate in a unique area of your home, you’re able to cut the wood to fit the space’s dimensions. It can fit in with the whole look and feel of your apartment’s design so that it does not stick out like an eye sore.
Be sure to consider this before you start building as it might affect your decision regarding what kind of dog crate to build. We’ll talk about getting creative with the design of the bed inside of the crate below.
#3: Purchase High-Quality Materials
What kind of wood is best to use for a dog crate?
The answer depends on where you’re planning to put the crate. If you plan on keeping the crate outside, we recommend using a water-resistant or weather-resistant type of wood. Water-resistant plywood and impregnated wood are two great options for outdoor use.
On the other hand, if you’re intending to keep it indoors, then it may not need to be weather resistant. However, it also needs to be durable in order for your dog to use it for a longer period of time.
#4: Think About Getting Creative
As mentioned above, you will want to measure out the space where you plan to keep the dog crate as you might find that you have the space to get a little creative. While the main goal is to create a space where they are able to be enclosed while you’re away or while they’re sleeping, that doesn’t mean you cannot make it look unique.
Some creative ideas for dog beds and crates include bunk beds, bone-shaped doggy doors, or turning the crate into an end table like this ecoFLEX crate. This, along with the Casual Home end table crate, are both great examples of what we mentioned above where you’re able to work the crate into your existing space and design it so that it feels as though it’s an additional piece of furniture in your apartment.
How to Build a Wooden Dog Crate
Now, it’s time to get down to work! Follow along with our step-by-step guide on how to build a wooden dog crate. Keep in mind that these 9 steps are simple steps; if you’re going to get creative, you’ll need to make minor adjustments along the way.
An important tip is to first make a list of the materials you will be needing and to have everything ready before you start. This includes reading up on how to drill holes and having the necessary tools ready.
#1: Build the Bottom Frame
To build a wooden dog crate, you’ll need to start with the bottom frame first. After measuring your dog, you’ll likely have a good idea of how long and wide the crate needs to be. Add a couple of inches (no more than two if they’re a small breed dog or four if they’re a large breed dog) to the total and then prepare the base.
We suggest pre-drilling holes into where you’ll put screws or nails into place as this will prevent the wood from splitting. The base is just a frame, not a full base, so you can use wood that measures about 44x44mm or something similar. Remember to cut out blocks of wood for each corner of the base (four in total) and screw those into each corner.
#2: Build the Side Frames
Using your measurements, build the side frames accordingly in the same way that you built the base frame. Pre-drill holes before screwing anything together. After you’re done, it should look like you have an open box that’s connected but lacks the actual walls that keep your dog inside.
At this point in the process, we suggest measuring the full size of the crate as it is before proceeding just to ensure you’re on the right track (and can fix anything major before it’s too late!).
#3: Make the Roof Waterproof
If the crate is for outdoor use, you’re going to want to make the roof and perhaps the sides of the crate waterproof and watertight. To do this, you’ll need to staple a pond-liner foil from edge to edge on each side of the crate (aside from the bottom).
This means that you’ll need to measure five squares or rectangles for each side of the crate you have. Take those pieces of pond-liner foil, staple them on each side of the crate, and proceed to the next step.
#4: Cut Out the Floor
Depending on the type of flooring that you choose (it doesn’t have to be the same wood as the rest of the crate, or even wood at all), you’ll now need to cut it out and place it on top of the base. Pre-drill holes for countersunk screws. It’s important that you use these specific types of screws as it will ensure that they are even with the rest of the floor, preventing your pup from catching their fur or paw in a screw that’s sticking out.
#5: Fit the Roof
If your crate is a square, then the chances are that your roof will be the same size as your flooring. If you’re interested in adding an overhang for aesthetic purposes, simply calculate how large you want the overhang to be and cut accordingly. To fit the roof to the crate, we suggest using countersunk screws to hide them within the wood.
#6: Attach the Siding
Now, you’ll do the same with the siding! It’s important here that your measurements be exact because you’ll be fitting them together, and if one is slightly larger than another wall, it will cause everything else to be off.
So, be precise with how you’re cutting the wood panels for the wall sidings and nail them to the frames you’ve built before. We suggest nails here as they’ll likely be sturdy enough with most types of wood and you’re able to paint over them to disguise them against the wood.
#7: Cut Out the Door
Before or after attaching the front wall panel, be sure to mark out where the door will be. It’s essential to decide which kind of doggie door you’re interested in (see the next step) so that you’re able to know how much room to cut out and whether or not you need to leave space for screws or hinges.
#8: Attach the Door
To reduce time, we actually suggest searching for a pre-made door that you’re able to screw onto the front panel. Depending on the style you’re interested in, you can find sliding barn doors, wire doors, or even fancy wooden doors that open and close like a regular door does.
#9: Add Insulation if Needed
Yay, you’re almost finished! Assuming the door and the roof are all fixed without any issues, you might want to next think about adding insulation if the crate will be placed outside or if your dog likes a warm, cozy crate to sleep in.
If you’re not worried about appearances, we suggest looking for insulation pads at your nearest hardware store. They usually come in squares that you can cut down to size. Simply cut out the sizes you need for the walls and roof and then glue them onto the panels with wood glue.
That’s it! Now you have created your doggie crate! However, learning how to build a wooden dog crate can be fun and all but actually building it may take up a lot of time and effort. Not only do you have to make the crates yourself, you will also have to buy the materials and to ensure that you do not make any mistakes when fixing the parts.
If after reading all about the steps, you realise that it’s much too tedious, there’s actually an easier way to still give your best friend a space of their own.
You may want to consider buying ready-made ones instead of building one yourself. These commercially made wooden dog crates can still fit your desire to have them fit into the look and feel of your house design. They also come in various sizes and prices that fit your budget. The best part is that you can save time and hassle from having to create them yourself as they will be delivered right to your door-step.