Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Elevated Dog Beds can easily be made for as little as $12.00 each

This idea was passed along to me by a dear facebook friend and I wanted to share it with all my friends. The info came from a website that deserves much credit for there wonderful idea. This can be done by anyone if they just get people involved. Im sorry for not posting the original website I do make errors from time to time. There are many many wonderful photos please check them out & let this wonderful idea spread across America. Click here To see  and Here

Below, you will see simple, inexpensive plans to help dogs in shelters who must sleep on wet concrete kennel floors.
We estimate the cost for you to build a bed to be $12. My inspiration for posting this info is because so many animals in shelters needs beds across the country .With a little time and a few tools you can easily create a low cost durable bed that will last for years. 

If you're only making small beds, you need 1 stick for each bed and you'll have 8" left over from each stick.
 1 stick = a 10 foot piece of PVC (120 inches)
 1 stick = 1 small bed with legs and 1 extra leg (plus 2" scrap)
 1 stick = 1 large bed and no legs
 1 stick = 20 legs, enough for 5 beds
 5 sticks = 4 small beds and 1 large bed
 6 sticks = 5 large beds
 11 sticks = 4 small and 6 large beds

Materials Needed and Where to Purchase Them
-PVC Pipe1 ¼ inch, schedule 40
pvc comes in sticks, 10', can be purchased at any hardware store,  runs about $4.38 from big box stores for 10' stick
20' sections are least expensive, purchased from suppliers rather than big box stores

-corner pieces  (only a few companies in the entire country make these pieces, ordering directly from them will be least expensive)

 1 ¼ inch
not carried by hardware stores, can be ordered on lineAvailable Plastics
C & S Plastics     (mention you reached them via our web site for possible discount)
US Plastics
creative option, contact your local awning company or boat companies that makes awnings for businesses/boats, ask for scraps or shorts-any durable cloth may be used, to test if it is strong enough, take a key and try to gouge through it ...if it can hold up to that....likely it can hold
                up to dogs scratching at it

Cleaning of beds or cloth like Sunbrella like material

cordura is the least expensive, best option as it is moisture resistant, durable, low cost cloth to use
   -order 1000 denier cloth, $2.50 / yard, must be ordered in 50yard lengths often times, check for specials and ask for shorts
   (shorts are ends of reams of cloth material)

if awning is donated, we have found that well used awing will likely not hold up to a dog's nails, we scrape all used awning
  with a screwdriver or key to see if it breaks though, if it does, don't use it

-sources for cordura,
Top Value Fabrics,   -
look under promotion section under Nylon for seconds, cheaper, typically    color is a little off
Top Value only sells full rolls, only good for people who are making a large number of dog beds

screwsRound Washer Head #8-18 x 1/2 "
Home Depot, $5.60 for 250 screws  carries boxes of 1500 and 3000 for much lessFastenal Screw
Check local construction supply companies

Cutting the PVC
Small Bed     Cloth size  36” x 29” 
1 10 ft stick or 112”, will have 12" left over-2 pieces at 18.5 inches each
-2 pieces at 25.5 inches each
-4 pieces at 4 inches each

Final Dimensions   22"  x  29" 

Medium Bed Cloth size34.5" x 38.5"
1 10ft stick will make one complete bed including legs,
-2 at 24"
-2 at 28"
-4 pieces at 4 inches each (legs)
Final Dimension 27.5" x 31.5"

Large Bed   Cloth size  36” x 45” 
144” needed     You will need 1-10 ft stick of PVC and an additional 20" to make one complete large bed
-2 pieces at 25.5 inches each
-2 pieces at 34.5 inches each
-4 pieces at 4 inches each

Final Dimensions  
 29"  x 38"  x 8"

Tools Needed
  -Electric/Battery Screw driver
  -Saw (to cut PVC)
  -Tape measure
  -Channel Locks (to turn pvc after cloth is
   applied to tighten)

Building Instructions for Elevated Dog Bed
Tips if you are having a large group make the beds        

-not everyone is use to using a drill, tell everyone to stop drilling when the screw is flush with the cloth, we ended up having some stripped entries from folks who were continuing to drill once the screw was as embedded as possible

-you will make a better bed if you have 2 people working together, one to fold and hold, one to drill, we had folks attempting to fold and screw by themselves and the
results are not as tight and neat as if you have 2 people.  It is critical to get the corners neat and tight or, as we have found, the dogs will chew on anything they
can grip.  In the shelters, this pvc and cloth are the most chewable thing, and they will try to chew it.

1   Using a corner piece, put one short and one long pipe into 2 of the 3 holes    


2 Once the frame is built, use a hammer to on each corner to firmly hit each side to force the legs into the corner pieces,
    don't worry about hitting too hard, the pvc is strong


3  Insert 4 legs into holes, turn bed over and hit the top of each corner 1-2 times to be sure legs are in as far/tight as they can be
         --no picture for this

 4  Lay the cloth on a flat surface and lay the frame on top, with legs pointing up, center frame on cloth

5  Fold cloth corners under frame, be sure to keep frame centered on cloth when doing this
      (note:  fold of cloth, 2nd picture, should be centered just inside of corner piece)

6  Take one long side of cloth and make 2 one-half inch-ish folds, the material should hit the center of the pvc on the bottom side
    of the frame   

7  Place one screw in the mid point of the PVC and screw the cloth to the PVC.
    Be sure that the screw goes thru the folds of the cloth 


8  Place screws evenly spaced on each leg,
     (5 screws, short side of small bed, 6 screws for long side)
     (6 screws for short side of large bed, 8 screws for long side of bed)
9  Screw one screw to the opposite side of the frame then use channel locks to tighten plastic frame, which will tighten cloth
    important:  do not use channel locks on top of cloth, it will tear it, tighten so cloth is taught, screw in rest of screws

Important Note (July 3, 2008)
Be sure to place 2 screws on the bottom of 2 opposite corners so they hold the legs and stop them from turning under the weight of the dog on the bed.
We didn't do this on earlier beds and the weight of the dogs makes the legs turn which causes puckering of cloth, which is an invitation to CHEW !  These screws should be the last thing you do.

10  Finish putting in screws for opposite legrepeat steps for other sides of bed
     If the frame doesn't sit square on the floor, put the frame on its side, legs facing you and twist the legs a bit

11  On the top side of the bed, place 5 screws thru the cloth and into the corner of the pvc corner piece, this serves 2 purposes
    1 keeps the cloth from being chewed
    2 keeps the side frame pieces from turning
    Be sure the end screws are near the end of the corner piece so they 
also pierce the side frame pieces and keep them from turning,
    if these screws do not pierce the side frame pieces, the weight of the dog will eventually turn the pvc and the cloth will
    pucker, which leads to chewing, or they will laying in a hammock like bed that will touch the ground


           You can't use too many screws on the corners.  The corners are the point most likely chewed so extra reinforcement is best.
Picture 2 is best as the screws will be a deterrent to start chewing.  Picture 3 shows screws inserted too far from the edge.
           Be sure to have volunteers place screws as close to edge of the cloth as they can..

I hope this info will help everyone that would like to buy a Kuranda bed but cant afford it.All it takes is a little time and effort. Get all your buddies together one day and have a put a bed together party. The dogs will love you for it. This is what I will be doing for my local shelters .Also another great idea is to get your local cheerleading squad and girl scouts involved as well.

This idea is from a website please check them out here
Columbus Dog Connection

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