If you have a dog, you probably want to take it everywhere you go, whether it is to the park, hunting or to the beach. For those that own trucks, fitting a dog in the cab can be uncomfortable and dangerous, since it’s hard to drive with your dog jumping around the seat beside you. For truck owners, one way to make it easy, safe and comfortable is to build a dog box for your truck. Here are some tips on how to build a fairly simple dog box.
Before you build your dog box, keep a few things in mind. First off it has to be safe for your pet. It needs to have good ventilation, enough space and be comfortable enough for your dog to stay in it for up to an hour. It also needs to be secured tightly to your truck. One way to easily build a dog box is to look for dog box truck plans which are available both for free and for a small fee. You should also keep in mind that each truck is different and each dog is also different so your dog box will in many cases be unique.
Choose the materials to make your dog box. There are plenty of options, however one material that is light weight and very strong is aircraft aluminum. Others include wood and polyurethane/vinyl. You want to make sure that any material you choose can stand up to the elements and will be comfortable for your pet.
Figure out the measurements of your dog box. Keep in mind that your dog will need some space to be comfortable. Many dog boxes are usually at least 24 inches in width, have a length of about 39 inches and a height of 22 inches. Keep in mind you will also need a floor and ceiling (6 pieces in total). One of these pieces will require a door for the dog to enter and exit safely. Once you know the sizes of the materials you will need, you can start creating templates and making your materials ready for construction.
Cut all six pieces of material to your dimensions. Drill small holes for ventilation. Many dog boxes have ventilation holes on the doors, in addition, you might want to put ventilation holes on another area of the dog box. Because your dog box will need to be secured to the truck bed, you will need to either weld latches on or drill holes into the bottom of your dog box. When you drill these holes, make sure you sand them down and that there are no sharp edges that can cause injury to your dog.
Once you have all the materials cut to your specifications, you can start assembling the dog box. If your dog box is metal, you will probably want to weld it together, if your dog box is made from wood, simple nuts and bolts should do the trick. Keep in mind that all pieces should be assembled except the front panel that most likely includes the door. Before you fully assemble the dog box, you will need to insulate and create a comfortable space for the dog inside.
Now that the dog box has been assembled, you can start making the interior comfortable for your dog. Some dog boxes add a wood floor that is easy to clean. Others might use carpet, pillows, etc. Make sure that within the dog box there are no sharp edges or anything that can injure your pet. Remember, your truck will be bouncing around. Before completing the interior make sure that there is very good ventilation. Your dog will need to breathe and stay warm or comfortable depending on the outside weather.
Once the inside of the dog box is complete, you can attach the front panel that will presumably include the door. Make sure that the door stays shut securely. You don’t want the door opening up while on the road.
Now that the dog box is completely assembled, you can finish the box. Some choose to paint the box or add an attractive sticker or design.
Once your dog box is completed, you will want to secure it to your truck bed. There are several ways to secure your box to the bed; two ways are either through bolting it to the bed or using harnesses to keep the box steady and secure. With bolts, use the holes you created in the dog box and drill down into the bed. Use strong, thick nuts and bolts to attaché the box to the bed. With a harness, buy a harness that works and fits with your truck.
Test your dog box first, without your dog inside it. Make sure that your dog box is safe and secure in your truck bed. Take your truck on rough pavement to see whether or not your dog box moves. Also make sure that inside the dog box, the dog can breathe and that the temperature is comfortable. You never want to subject your dog to extreme hot weather or cold weather. If everything is good, start using your dog box. A good tip to remember before each trip is to inspect the box to make sure it is secure and safe.