You probably like to carry your dog with you nearly everywhere you go, and you may be concerned about their safety during the trip. Dogs love to ride in the cabin with you, their heads dangling out the windows and ears waving in the breeze. As adorable as this is to watch, it is not secure for either you or your dog as even the most well mannered pooch may be enticed to run around on the seats and end up in the lap of the driver.
If you have to move your dog and especially if you will be by yourself in the truck, the best option is to have a dog box mounted in the bed of your truck. Dog boxes are available in wooden and aluminum models and come in an assortment of sizes to hold all kinds of dogs that will be required to to be transported. The drawback is that purchasing a dog box can cost anywhere between $300 – 650 for singles and in excess of $2000 for boxes that can hold 3 or more dogs. If this is not in your price range, you can make your own dog box for just under $100 to safely and comfortably carry your extra family member in your tuck.
Required Tools and Materials
Box material (wood, aluminum, or hard plastic coated with polyurethane or vinyl this guide describes building a wooden box as this is the most affordable material).
Sand paper/ Electric Sander
Hammer and Nails or A Nail gun or carriage bolts
2 sets of small hinges
1 yard of thick carpeting
Using the tape measure, find the dimensions that will be needed for the dog box and make a note of them. Measure the height, width and length that the box will take up in your tuck, ensuring that the very top of the box will not obscure your rear view mirror and that your dog will be comfy while sitting in the box. Also determine the height of your dog for the door you will make in the front of the dog box.
Mark the dimensions you have measured onto the wood with pencil and with the saw or a woodcutter, cut out the parts required to make the box. You will cut six parts in total: A floor, four sides (one side incorporating a door for entry and exit) and a top.
Using the drill, make little ventilation holes in at least two sides of the box. Do not put any holes in the top or floor of the box to prevent water from entering. After drilling, be sure that you sand down the sides that will make up the interior of the box. Cut out a square or rectangle from the side that will be used as front of the box. This will be the door.
Assemble the box using the hammer and nails, nail gun or carriage bolts. (Persons using aluminum will need to weld each of the sides together). Secure the top, 3 sides and bottom to each other, excluding the front with the cut out for the door.
Using screws and hinges, secure the door that has been cut out to the wood being used for the front of the box. Check to make sure that it moves freely, opens outward and closes tightly. Add the latches to the door; add one to at the top and bottom and two on the side opposite to the hinges.
Cut out carpeting and attach to the floor and sides of the box using the staple gun.
Affix the front panel with the door to the box using the hammer and nails, nail gun or carriage bolts and attach handle to exterior.
Paint the outside of the box with a sealer or water resistant paint and decorate
Make eight little holes into the bed of your truck and eight duplicate holes (four on each side) through the wood of the box that line up. Using the large screws and bolts, attach the box to the bed of the truck.
Try Out your dog box without your dog. Use a few full water bottles to simulated the motion of your dog during a drive and verify that the box doesn’t shift on rough terrain or when going uphill.
Tips and Warnings
1) Use protective equipment (gloves and goggles) when using nail gun, sanding or sawing.
2) Double check all measurements before cutting wood.