For most people, their dog is part of the family, and when the family travels, the dog ultimately comes along as well. Unfortunately, most trucks have limited cabin space and trying to keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel can be painful when your dog is jumping around your cab. One of the solutions is to build a dog box that fits securely on the truck bed and is quite comfortable for almost any size dog.
Dog boxes are surprisingly easy to build and about as challenging to build as a dog house. While the proper materials can cost a few hundred dollars, construction and installation should only take a few hours, here are some tips.
Dog Boxes For Pickups – Tips
Before you start building a dog box, try to think about how you will use it. First off, most dog boxes are similar to tool boxes that are secured on the truck bed. Remember a dog box should be very strong, be resistant to the elements, and it should have a mechanism of staying secured to the bed at all times. Dog boxes must be comfortable for the dogs, they need to be ventilated so that your dog can breathe, but insulated against extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Finally, a dog box should be easy to clean, transport, and secure.
If you want to build a dog box, but are not sure about the type of box you want to build, a good idea might be to buy the many dog box plans available. Just like building a dog house, you can purchase or even download dog box plans online. Some plans are customized for a certain make or model of truck.
DIY Dog Box For A Truck
If you are building a dog box on your own, here are some tips (keep in mind that every truck owner has a different truck and dog- so modifications will be necessary).
Choose the material to make your dog box. There are several options including aluminum (which is lightweight) different types of wood (choose woods that are weather resistant) and metals or tough plastics that are covered with polyurethane or vinyl.
Figure out the measurements of your dog box. Obviously, you will need to take into consideration two factors, the size of your dog and the size of your truck. However, your first consideration is your dog. Your truck size will almost always accommodate the least amount of space that is still comfortable for your dog. Once you have come up with a specific amount of space, you can start to cut pieces of your materials. You will need a floor, four sides, and a top. One side of the box will need to include a door so that your dog can safely enter and exit. In general, a dog box should have a width of at least 24 inches, a height of 22 inches, and a length of 39 inches.
Once you have your six pieces of material cut to fit your dimension, drill small holes for ventilation. Ventilation holes should be drilled on several sides of your dog box (at least two sides). Many people cut holes in the box doors themselves. Do not cut holes in the top or the bottom of the unit. You do not want the water to come in from the top and if the truck bed gets dirty, you do not want the water to flow into the box from the bottom.
Choose the type of door or latch you want for your dog to enter and exit safely. Cut a hole in the material according to your specifications. Once all holes are cut, make sure you sand them down. You do not want any sharp or ragged edges. These edges can cause injury to your dog.
Now you can start assembling the unit. Many people use carriage bolts or weld the dog box together, making sure all parts are solid. Remember, the life of your dog will rely on a strong bond. However, leave the front entrance (the side with the doors unattached for now- you will want to insulate and make the space comfortable). Some dog boxes are sealed with silicone to make them airtight. This step is up to you; however, it may not be necessary since ventilation is a good thing.
Weld on latches to secure your dog box to the truck. Latches should be welded onto the bottom piece. Four latches, one on each side should do the trick. If you don’t want to weld latches, you may be able to make four holes into your material where bolts can be placed.
Make the space comfortable for your pet. Many dog boxes come with a wood floor in which a rug can be added and removed easily. Also, the sides of the box should be padded and insulated. A bumpy ride can have your dog moving around the box; make your box as comfortable as possible.
Now that the interior of the box is complete attach the remaining side of the box (usually consisting of the door). Use the same method as the other sides, either with a weld or bolts. Once the last side is attached, you can also attach the door. Make sure that door is attached properly; a door that opens easily can cause the dog to fall out of the box.
Finish the exterior of the box. Some boxes look great as they are; others can be painted; it’s up to you how you finish the exterior.
Secure the box to your truck. To secure your dog box to your truck, you will need to make four small drill holes into your bed. Once these holes are made, you can screw in bolts from your dog box latches or holes which were drilled from inside the box. If you would like your dog box to be removed with ease, you might want to purchase straps that can easily allow the box to be removed from the bed.
Test your dog box without your dog. Make sure that it doesn’t shift even on rough pavement. If the dog box is safe and secure, you can now start using it. However, before a trip with your dog, inspect the dog box to make sure that it is secure.