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Awesome dog stroller made from a used jogging stroller

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Picture of Awesome dog stroller made from a used jogging stroller
There is a problem. You like going walking or running with your medium-to-large dog, but he just can’t keep up anymore.  Whether he’s got a temporary injury or a permanent disability, you don’t want to leave your workout buddy behind.  Commercial pet strollers won’t work because they are built for very small dogs and are equipped with small, low-speed wheels.
The solution?  Hack a jogging stroller into an awesome pet stroller.
Please note that this is a re-build of stroller #1 so some parts were already made.  Every stroller is a little different, so each project will need different parts and measurements.  Basically, you want it to be lightweight, weather-resistant, and cleanable, and the parts to be replaceable.  The dog needs to feel comfortable and secure while riding in the box.  The hardest part is finding a box to fit both the dog & stroller.  If you are a fiberglass wizard you could make an artful custom box.
This will attract attention.  Expect to field lots of questions about your dog & stroller. We get our picture taken by strangers – I call them the Pup-erozzi .
Costs will vary depending on how many of the supplies you already have and how much repair your stroller needs.  The first build was around $50 total.  The re-build was $15. 


 
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Step 1: Gather Supplies

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Step 1:  Gather supplies :
*Jogging stroller (this one was $35 at a thrift store, also available cheap at yard sales & curbside on trash day for free)
*Plastic passenger box that will fit the frame of your stroller and your dog.  Buy 2 so you have a spare when the first one cracks.  ($10 each)
*Plywood or chipboard and/or scrap lumber (free or $0.50 from the bargain bin)
*Non-skid shelf liner (cheap, already owned)
*Bath towel or large pillow (already owned)
*Heavy-duty zip-ties ($5/pack)
*Bungee cord (not shown, sorry) ($2)
*Hand towel (already owned)
*Masking tape (already owned)
*Spray paint ($3)
*Marking pen
*Assorted fasteners such as glue, screws, & nails – need will vary.
Optional items:
Stick-on velcro
Box, bin, or bag for storage
Empty yogurt container for cup-holder
Plastic tube or pipe for cane holder
Keeper strap (optional in flat country, a must in hilly areas)
“Helper” cat – not recommended, but sometimes unavoidable
Tools:
Drill + bits
Saw
Wire cutters
Scissors
Screwdriver (not shown, sorry)
Level (optional)
Tape measure or ruler

Step 2: Remove Seat

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Step 2:  Remove the baby seat and any other unneeded parts .  Each stroller is built differently, so just look for screws and rivets.  Be careful not to damage the frame.  You might need to cut some strapping.  I pulled the seat out of this one 2-3 years ago, so it’s a miracle the seat is still here for a token photo.

Step 3: Repair Tires

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Step 3:  Repair or replace any flat or missing tires.  Cost: $0-$20, depending on what needs doing.  One tire needed repair 2-3 years ago, none needed fixing this time.

Step 4: Build Platform

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Step 4:  Cut scrap wood for a level platform to support the box and dry-fit the parts.  No measurements are given because each installation is unique.  You can use a level to check, or just eyeball it.  The first time I converted this stroller, I simply installed some chipboard on the bottom of the frame and it was sloped.  This shifted more of the dog’s weight to his front legs and was uncomfortable.  I ended up trying to build a wedge out of several rolled-up towels and finally am rebuilding the whole thing.

Step 5: Paint Platform Parts

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Step 5:  Paint the wooden platform parts to help keep them weather-proof.  I already had the back end of this platform attached to the stroller frame, so I did not bother to totally dismantle it for pictures.

Step 6: Assemble The Platform

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Step 6:  Assemble the platform and attach it to the stroller frame.  Nail or screw the platform pieces together.  Mark and drill holes in the wood and use heavy-duty zip ties to attach it to the stroller frame.  Avoid drilling holes in the stroller if possible as this will weaken the structure.

Step 7: Fit Passenger Box

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Step 7:  Fit the large plastic box into the stroller.  It should rest firmly on the platform and fit inside the frame.  If you have to squash it a bit to make it fit, that is okay. 

Step 8: Mark And Drill Passenger Box

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Step 8:  Mark the box with a pen and drill holes in the box on either side of the frame rails in several places. 

Step 9: Attach Passenger Box

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Step 9:  Secure the box to the frame with heavy-duty zip-ties.  Make sure the box will not tip up or down if the dog jumps around or stands at either end.  If needed, bungee the loose end of the box to the frame or screw it to the wooden platform.  I wanted to avoid putting more holes than necessary in the box, so I used a long bungee cord.

Step 10: Add Non-Skid Liner

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Step 10:  Cut non-skid shelf liner to fit the box.  Place in the box but do NOT glue down.  This will keep the padding and dog from slipping, but is easily removed for cleaning.

Step 11: Add Padding

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Step 11:  Add old bath towels or pillows for padding.  I like towels because they are easy to wash if they get wet or muddy.

Step 12: Add Storage Bin or Bag

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Step 12: (Optional)  Add storage bag or bin to back of passenger compartment if desired.  I used and REI shopping bag ($2) and secured it with stick-on Velcro.  It is handy for carrying dog toys, extra leash, water bowl, and pick-up bags but it is also easy to remove and carry around.

Step 13: Add Cup Holder

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Step 13:  (Optional)  Add cup holder.  I did not end up keeping this, but it is a good option if you like to carry spillable beverages.  Drill 4 holes in an empty 1 quart yogurt container and use 2 zip-ties to fasten it to the frame near the handle.

Step 14: Add Cane Holder

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Step 14:  (Optional)  Add cane holder.  Canes are useful both for a whiney knee or ankle and for personal protection.  The plastic pipe pictured in the ‘supplies’ photo did not work out.  Instead I used plastic electrical conduit ($3.50 for 10 feet) because it was lighter.  Cut the conduit to the desired length.  Smooth cut edges using sandpaper or a pocket knife.  Drill 6 holes ~3/4 inch from the bottom end.  Thread three zip ties through the holes to make a mesh bottom.  This will keep the cane in and let the rain out.  Attach the conduit to the frame of the stroller using zip ties.  Insert cane.  Note: you can paint the tubing, but I did not bother since this conduit was UV-resistant.

Step 15: Repair Handle

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Step 15:  Fix handle if necessary:  The padding on this stroller is tearing, so I folded a hand towel lengthwise and taped it to the handle bar with masking tape.  Every few months I cut the masking tape off, wash the towel, and put it back on.

Step 16: Add Keeper Strap

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Stept 16: (Optional)  Add a keeper strap. If you live in a hilly area, a keeper strap would be prudent  Just clip a leash onto the handlebar and loop it around your wrist to avoid losing the stroller on a steep hill.

Step 17: Final Notes and Thoughts

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Future Modifications and Other Options: 
1. You may want to add lights or reflectors to your stroller.  The dog & I both have lighted and/or reflective clothing for night walks so I haven’t bothered on this one.
2. Eventually, I would like to make a snazzy denim & terrycloth cover with a Velcro closure for the handlebar, but the tape-N-towel has worked so far.
3. Adding a bike brake with lockable grip is on my to-do list.  Stroller #2 has this and it is a great feature.
4.  One of the new generation strollers with swiveling front wheel is on my wish list.  The fixed-wheel strollers require you to pop a wheelie to change direction.

A Few Final Thoughts:  This stroller will not work for extra-large dogs.  If you have a 70-150 pound dog I would suggest making or modifying a flatbed shopping cart topped with a cushion and possibly a ramp.  Game carts designed for hauling dead deer are light & maneuverable and would probably work with some modification.  If anyone makes one, please send me the link – I’d love to see it.
If your dog’s disability is only temporary, a garden wagon will work fine.  The garden wagons with rack & pinion steering won’t tip over on turns like a classic kid’s wagon. The disadvantages are that they are not as ergonomic as a stroller, are heavier, and won’t fit into most cars or any bike racks.  They also seem to be a bigger distraction to drivers than the stroller, I don’t know why.


ambate21 year ago

You are a genius! I'm so going to make this for hauling around my 60+ daily newspapers. My back already thanks you in advance for this instructable!

criztos1 year ago

Awesome

Wivaz0752 years ago

Wivaz075 says: Jan 4, 2013. 12:45 PMReply
Thank you so much for this idea... Moved to Canada for a short period of time and decided not to buy a car (we are saving a lot of money in car payments and insurance), but carrying my groceries home is a real pain!!! And after destroying three foldable shopping carts decided to use your idea, bought an old stroller and with some spare pieces of wood made my shopping stroller... Used a very strong plastic crates and made a cute cover for them... Carrying my groceries home is a lot easier... Thank you!!!
Wivaz0752 years ago
Here is the pictures to my shopping stroller... I still can folded to store it in the closet ... Thank you again for the idea... ;)
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rosewood5132 years ago
This is beautiful, and I went out a bought one, but I did not pay much. I really want one like this with big wheels.
CatTrampoline (author)  rosewood5132 years ago
Please let me know how it works out. What kind of dog do you have?

The big wheels are great for rough ground or for running. I am keeping my eyes open for one of the models with a swiveling front wheel.
Thanks so much for this! We're going to try building the converted stroller this weekend for our 45-lb arthritic lab.
CatTrampoline (author)  menage-a-noir3 years ago
Good luck, and let me know how it turns out.
Uptonb3 years ago
Good luck on the Pets Challenge.
mary candy3 years ago
I love this project ;)
got my vote
CatTrampoline (author)  mary candy3 years ago
Thanks!
seamster3 years ago
Very nice. I especially like the custom drawings!
CatTrampoline (author)  seamster3 years ago
Thanks! The drawings went places where I thought, "shucks, I really should have taken a picture of this".
DorrieH3 years ago
I wonder if a twin or triplet stroller would work for larger dogs over 70 lbs
CatTrampoline (author)  DorrieH3 years ago
Possibly, since they are designed for that much weight. If someone makes one, I'd love to see pictures. I figure I'll have to make a twin dog/kid stroller if I get grandkids in the next 10 years - won't that be a sight!
Now I'd love to see that :)
Thanks for the reply
plowe13 years ago
I was wondering if anyone may have a plan for a doggy wheelchair ,old shepards hips are going and needs a little hlep getting around
CatTrampoline (author)  plowe13 years ago
Dog wheechairs are tricky to fit correctly. the balance has to be right and the dog's weight needs to be supported comfortably. I worked on a front-end one (double the difficulty of a rear-end cart) for Pretzel for 6 months before admitting defeat. I got him a cart from Eddie's Wheels before finally locating OrthoPets, who made the leg brace. We still have the cart in case he needs it later in life.

If you do decide to try building your own or buying used, please visit the Eddie's Wheels site for fitting and measuring tips. I am not an employee or stockholder - just an impressed customer.

http://eddieswheels.com/carts/used-carts/
DorrieH plowe13 years ago
You might be able to adapt this idea for your dog.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Dachshund-wheelchair/
teechur3 years ago
This is wonderful! I appreciate people who care enough about their animals that they care for their needs, even when the pet is old and infirm. I see a gentleman in our neighborhood running with a young lab, and a very old lab in a pet stroller (he uses a modified bike stroller) and I think that says a lot about his character.

And the helper cats are priceless. We all need helper cats to keep us in line because, you know, we can't be trusted without their guidance.
CatTrampoline (author)  teechur3 years ago
Thank you for your kind words.

We have a supervisor cat (not pictured) that keeps us in line. She might not be a real cat - I suspect she is an alien anthropologist in a cat suit.
kelliott43 years ago
Thanks so much for sharing this......... I had a cat once and she always wanted to "help". If there was a "container" she was in it!!
pedleyfigg3 years ago
I think your helper cats are awesome.
CatTrampoline (author)  pedleyfigg3 years ago
Thank you. Those two are friends with the dog. The third one is bent on world domination and does not approve of dogs.
gwrober3 years ago
This is so awesome!! Now your pup can go with you without pain. So cool.
CatTrampoline (author)  gwrober3 years ago
We used take short walks and still get stranded 3 blocks from home when his legs would give out. Now we go as far as I have time for.