How to Make a cozy dog bed for free – well almost

I think a great bed makes a very happy dog, especially if they have a full tummy

As an engineer, specialising in materials handling and storage, when it comes to a bed for the dog I wanted to create a cosy place for her to sleep. For several months I persevered with pet cushions etc but they just get filthy and are not very easy to clean or warm to sleep on outdoors. In winter this year we had two feet of snow, which the dog loved but it was cold for her and I wanted something better.

Pallets are often equipment you can pick up for free. Two or three of them are very simple to convert into a bed. 1000mm x 1200mm is a perfect size. If you have an outhouse, garage or shed they will fit easily inside. It doesn’t matter if the dog chews them, the wood can be recycled or used for fire wood and if you use straw, the straw can be composted or burned. Now this solution is not for everyone but the dog will love it and you may grow to love it and here is why:

  • The straw helps clean the dog
  • The dog can scrape and arrange the straw as it wants it
  • The pallet and a few straw bales make a very cosy den
  • Filled with straw your dog can live comfortably outside in all weathers
  • Living outside is better for the dog
  • Dogs will grow their natural seasonal coats in line with the climate. Inside they go into a state of permanent moulting, outside unheated they can live more naturally.
  • The straw is cosy and warm the year round especially with the added protection of 380mm to 450mm of insulation on 6 sides
  • The pallet keeps your dog off the cold floor – essential.
  • Straw bales range from £1.75 to £3.50

Before you go into blind panic about scabies or mange, I have never had any trouble. However if you are worried ask your vet, I think you will find that the modern treatments keep them at bay anyway. Do watch out for nails and cardboard (stapled on). Plywood makes good tops if the wood is spaced or a bit rough and then the deep straw does the rest.

My dog really loves her straw bed and is quite happy to get into it and I rarely see her little black nose come round the edge of the bale until I call for her.

There is an awful lot of nonsense talked about training and not much help with the real control commands when they don’t work. Much of the time it is just not possible to intercept mistakes and behavioural dysfunction in time to correct it in a way the dog can quickly grasp the requirement. This just makes it tougher on both you and the dog

I am a materials handling engineer by profession, and a keen motorcyclist which I use for work most of the year round. The BMW GS 1200 Adventure is a challenging and awesome machine, so if you are in commerce or industry and want to build or equip a new warehouse or production unit, please go and visit my website.

I have had spaniels most of my life, having grown up with them. I have always found it hard to get help with the really tricky bits of training. I prefer to train the basics and build my own relationship with my dog and I like to see her working in the field doing what she does best and then getting her to come back to me in an orderly way and not via the adjoining county. I usually send the dog for a season with a keeper to specialise, it’s a bit like doing a ski season for the dog.

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