Instructables
Picture of Super Comfy Dog Kennel Bed
My dog, Mac, spends about 10-12 hours at night in his kennel (it's OK - he likes it) - so I want it to be a comfortable place for him to be. Mac's old dog bed was getting a bit frazzled, and instead of dumping a bunch of money into another one that would have a limited life span due to questionable design and materials,  I decided to build him one structured more like a piece of furniture - one with a durable, washable, replaceable cover that could handle the occasional sickness and accidents without showing much wear and tear.  I never have understood why pet beds are made of fuzzy or soft fabrics - most pets (that you'd be building a bed for) are likely covered in fuzzy, soft, material already and probably can't tell the difference.

I also wanted to build the bed out of scraps and found materials - along with some supplies I had lying around - i.e. I didn't want to have to buy anything to make it.  Now, I realize that very few people are going to have most of these supplies "lying around" (what can I say?  I'm a pack-rat)  - but they would be readily available from most upholstery supply shops.  I buy a lot of my supplies from here: http://www.rochfordsupply.com as well as from local suppliers.

Total cost, if you were to buy everything, would probably be around $100 - which is half what I've spent in the past on beds that didn't last much more than a couple of years.  In addition, this bed can be easily cleaned (most can't) - and if the need should arise it can be recovered for about what a cheap dog bed would cost.

Supplies:
  • 1000-Denier, urethane-backed Cordura - I picked up some on clearance a few years ago (hence the cammo pattern).  It's waterproof, abrasive resistant, and tough - and was pretty inexpensive.
  • 1/2" Dacron batting
  • Scrap 2"x4" lumber for the frame
  • Scrap 1/2" or 3/4" plywood for the bolsters
  • Elasbelt Webbing - like very strong elastic - used as a replacement for springs in furniture
  • Urethane Foam - good furniture-grade foam will last a lot longer and be more comfortable
  • 1" Hook and Loop fastener - about 6 feet should do it
  • Staples, Foam Adhesive, Screws
 
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be11 year ago
My boyfriend and I just finished making a version of you dog bed. Love it! So does our 4 month old lab Bo.
13, 7:10 PM.jpg
jwilliamsen (author)  be11 year ago
Awesome! It looks great! Thanks for posting a picture :)
Lucky Dog!
What a fantastic idea. I LOVE the cushioned sides to separate the doggie from the metal crate . Our beagles spend about 8 hrs at night in their crates and it would be great for them to have this extra "plush" to sleep against. thank you!!!
miafrieda2 years ago
What a cutie, that gorgeous smile...
foehn2 years ago
Nice bed, your dog looks happy in it--BUT I hope he gets out during the "10-12 hours at night in his kennel." I mean, dogs gotta pee sometimes during the night too! 10-12 hours is a LONG time to hold it!
jwilliamsen (author)  foehn2 years ago
It actually depends on the breed and what they've been trained to do. Some people inadvertently train their dogs to go constantly - and then some dogs just don't have much "capacity" (baby-bladder syndrome). Malinois are known for their ability to "hold it" and sometimes Mac will get out in the morning and go lay in his bed in the kitchen and won't ask to be let out for a few more hours. I call him the "pee camel" - lol. He's gone more than 24 hours a few times in the past - which kind of freaked me out at first - but he gets to go when he wants, so I had faith he'd let me know. Then again when he DOES go, he goes for a looooooong time... it's like draining a swimming pool - lol.
Our little dog survives fine for the night, but I always try to get her out before bedtime for me. If she is really desperate, she will whine (rarely) for us to let her out. She is quite patient when asking to go out.

I guess I am used to females (being a female myself)--I know you guys can hold it longer!

Has your dog ever asked to go out while still in his crate? And if he is crated at night, why is he crated?-- or should I ask, is he locked in his crate for all night, and if so, why? is he especially destructive or something? Once our dogs are house trained, they got run of the house, ( and some were biggies, up to 90 lbs or so, female all).

Jus' wondering. . . ;-) We had kittens that we had to crate at night because they would get on counters and knock all sorts of stuff off. They were just too kittenly-destructive to be allowed to race the house at night (and we needed our sleep!).
jwilliamsen (author)  foehn2 years ago
Mac isn't destructive - at least not any more (unless you're a stuffed toy). When I rescued him (he was about 5 years old) he didn't know how to behave in the house - he'd had a pretty rough life up to that point - so - I kenneled him to keep him from making mistakes and to help him feel safe. Now, he likes being in there, and he feels uncomfortable if the door isn't closed when he's put down for the night - although latching the door is unnecessary. His kennel is *his*space.

There have been times when he's whined a little at night (he's not very vocal) to get out, and there are times I've heard him "circling" so those are his way of saying he wants to go outside - but it's rare - maybe once or twice a year.
He didn't know how to behave in the house--this is what I guessed as Mac looks like he is a happy dog now!

Our dog thinks she wants to sleep with the big dogs (us) and tries to hog the bed, but the big dogs win! My sister says she wants to sleep in a big dog pile with us, but ah needs mah sleep.
bmsovick2 years ago
Being waterproof is nice but where does the pee go when Mac has an accident. My dog Phil has a peanut bladder and has accidents about once a week. I use blankets in his crate because they soak up the pee and are easy to toss in the washer but not nearly as comfy as your bed looks.
jwilliamsen (author)  bmsovick2 years ago
Mac has never actually peed in the house. His accidents usually happen when he gets sick - usually from something he eats - and they tend to be diarrhea (gross, but it happens).

You could still put a blanket or towel over this kind of mattress - or even a crib pad of some sort, I would think. The Cordura "grips" towels and other materials pretty well. The nice thing is that this mattress can be hosed off outside, or, in the bathtub when it's too cold out.
awesome instructable!
whit89652 years ago
very cool
I am thinking about making something to fit in the passager seat of my pickup truck for my dog she is always slipping and sliding
mahvin2 years ago
I'm assuming the final material covering is tacked or stapled down the same way as the batting? Did you cover the sides as one continuous piece or are they 3 separate pieces? Is the bed frame covered on the bottom or did you leave it open?
jwilliamsen (author)  mahvin2 years ago
Yes - the cover material is pulled down around the sides and stapled all around the perimeter along the bottom edge. The cover is one contiguous piece of material. If you look at Step 3, the 8th image shows the cover material in place. The frame on the bottom is left open - there's not real reason to cover it.
Apologies - I didn't see those other images. I kept thinking the arrow button would take me to the next set of steps. Now I know, otherwise. Thanks for the great instructable - my next project.
tn.2 years ago
fabulous! although i admit, when i first saw the picture, my thought was "finally! a use for all those useless crib bumper sets!", lol
ajmuller2 years ago
Nice job! I just bought a Kong bed for my dog, when that wears out, I will be doing this. I think the camo pattern might be what I look for on purpose, it give the bed a nice flair, and will hid a million puppy sins.
Quinkes2 years ago
a very handsome comfy dog.
batonas2 years ago
One lucky dog.
SarahDance2 years ago
Your bed has terrific structure and upholstery - reminds me of an elegant upholstered piece of furniture. I would love to make your version if I had the wood working tools and skills but I don't.

But I can sew and I used those skills to make my own dog bed about 6 months ago. Like you, I gave up on store-bought pet beds. I constructed one for my 11 pound terrier from a standard size bed pillow. I also made a velcro-close "pillow case" from sturdy, washable fabric. I compacted the pillow stuffing because it was too lofty and I reduced the footprint to fit inside the kennel. My dog was very much a puppy when I made this so I wanted to be able to throw every component into the washing machine. That is why I made a removable slipcover and why I used a human's bed pillow. So far, mine has held up well but that's only because my dog is small. Beds for bigger dogs like yours will be much more durable if you build them more like a piece of furniture just as you did.