I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about this post—it’s time to update it! Elevated beds are great for dogs with painful joints. And they help keep your pup comfy when its’s hot, if the ground is damp, if there are ground dwelling bugs, etc.
The Columbus Dog Connection rescue group has a spiffy tutorial on how to make your own elevated dog bed out of PVC pipe like the beds listed in this post on how to keep your pets cool. (Be sure to check out the Columbus Dog Connection too!) This would make an incredible project for students, scouts, etc.!
There are plans for small or large beds. It has great tips on sourcing your materials so you save money—like looking for outdoor fabric in the second or remainders section of your fabric store, or checking with local companies that make awnings for businesses or boats to see if they have scraps. There are also invaluable tips to make sure you make a strong, durable bed. Sweet!
The tutorial includes clear instructions on how to sew the cover for the bed. And a spreadsheet for mass production if you plan to make beds to help your local shelter—they often want elevated beds to keep dogs off the cold, hard concrete floors in their facilities.
As an aside, Columbus Dog Connection looks like a remarkable group. Besides generously sharing such a great tutorial, it looks like the group is very busy. Check out the page on beds they’ve made for underfunded shelters—lots of volunteers and so many beds. Someone behind the scenes is doing great work. It takes an outstanding leader to organize so many volunteers and sponsors. Every rescue group should be so lucky!
And now they have a video tutorial! Columbus Dog Connection is awesome!!
45 Replies to “DIY: Elevated Dog Bed Like Kuranda”
Unfortunately the fabric wrapped around the outside is easily chewed by the dogs. Kuranda’s special design tucks the ends inside the frame which lasts much longer. They have discounts/donations for shelters http://www.kuranda.com.
Looks good but alot like the petcot bed. Also with the fabric on the outside of the pipes it can easily be chewed by shelter dogs which are usually pretty high strung.
I prefer the Kuranda Dog Bed, the fabric is inside the pipes so the dogs can’t chew on it. This design would get chewed up in a hurry in a shelter. Kuranda has good deals for shelters as well.
Maybe kuranda is good for shelter dogs, but what about pet owners???? My dogs don’t chew, and they work great, and they aren’t 100 dollars each either!
THANKS!!! Columbus Dog Connection
these work good for cats in shelters too. When we get excess towels we usually make cage hammocks with dowels but I’m planning a smaller scale version of this for some of the colony cats!
The design and instructions are fantastic! The 3 screws on the corners would prevent any type of chewing but I am not worried about this for my dog. Going to buy materials today!
Yes, Kuranda has a good deal for shelters…but look closely at their sizes, we have standard size crates for our rescue & they consider them “toy” and our rescue dogs aren’t “toy size” (15+20lbs). They don’t have a bed to accomodate the standard size crates we buy from Petsmart, Petco, Walmart, etc.
Awesome instructions! I have three dogs and usually two of them are on the exta large raised dog bed that I got for outside at the same time. Now with this blueprint I can make custom beds for each of them without spending an arm and a leg. They’ll probably still curl up on the big one but at least now they’ll have more options and I can make it look how I want. Thanks a lot!
Its good to find a source of information that can be useful, especially when looking for something to occupy me,thankyou for your help and being of assistance, there’s a good wealth of information here. When you have more i’ll be happy to view it.
I also think this is a good option for pet owners for less cost. I liked and can use this for my dogs who I do not have the problem of chewing with. Plus I can adjust it to fit my decor easily… I like ideas like this where you can save money for basically the same thing and you have the pride of knowing you did it yourself.. thanks for sharing. I also made a dog bunk bed in true bunk bed style by repainting a table upside down fitting it with fabric covered pillows and finials on the top. Curtains on the sides and my dogs are living large in style… be creative and have fun — plus save money!!
So Why not put the PVC pipe on a tablesaw and cut a lengthwise slit in it, put a “pocket” on each edge of the cloth and put dowel / rod inside the pocket to keep it from pulling through the slit? Seems like a good way to make a bed.
Rob…same idea I had. About to try it out 🙂
So…Rob and Destiny
How did the great idea work out?
Rob … Destiny … did you idea about the dowel rods work? Sounds like it would be a great alteration on an already good design. Hope it worked… I may have to give it a try. I too have one chewer and one non-chewer and will try to build one for each. I’m opening a boarding kennel soon, so I’m looking for comfortable & cozy alternatives for my guests (dogs & cats). Something washable…. Thanks for all the great suggestions and ideas.
Rob, Destiny, JMacaroni – that sounds like a good design idea – I think the longitudinal strength of the PVC with slit + dowel will be the challenge, especially for medium and large size dogs.
I have been researching this for over and year and am finally underway! I teach at a prison and the inmates in the Vocational Department are going to build 100 beds which we will donate to local shelters! I am still fundraising and purchasing materials at this point. I am involving as many different community members as possible. The canvas is even being purchased through an Amish Tarp Shop! I have donations from family members from Georgia, Florida, and California, even though the beds are being built in Western New York! Here’s hoping that it all comes together (and that they don’t fall apart)! I’ll update when we are finished!
Thank you! These beds are so inexpensive to make and allow you to be creative with the design, you aren’t stuck with a square. You can easily slit the pipe with a router, hem the fabric, insert in the slot, then slide a dowel or other rod larger than the slot through the hem inside the pipe to hold the material tight and presto nothing to chew on. Still seem rather over the top for an animal bed. You know they spent thousands of years sleeping on the bare ground, outside….
Susan – you sound great and good luck. Please do publish your results.
Our rescue in MD is going to try to make 60 or so of these, so thanks for the info. The dowel with the slit sounds great. I will go to amish, since we are near PA for fabric, too. A thought for sturdiness of slit pvc – how about putting an extra support leg in the center of each long side of the bed, attached with a T connector – maybe more cost, but if the bed holds up better and longer, they would be well worth it. Also a thought. I have found some, not a lot, but some pipe and connectors on Craigs list a lot cheaper – left over building supplies.
Awesome!! I made two for my dogs!! They have been using them for a couple of weeks and are not chewing the fabric. Seems like the comments complaining about this are moot, and are also probably posted by a Kuranda employee because you’re offering a much lower cost solution for pet owners which cuts into their bottom line.
You can also find pvc and connectors at Habitat-for-Humanity’s Re-stores for pennies on the dollar of original cost!!!AND you’re helping Habitat at the same time.
Thank you for showing how to make the elevated dog beds I have 9 dogs all are going to have one got 2 mad so far got to go get more pipe. making one for my mothers dog too
Can’t you publish a list of supplies/materials and where you can get materials from? Cant’s seem to easily locate that on your site.
Thanks so much
I didn’t get to watch this with audio so I have no idea what she is saying, but for those of you curious about putting the slit in the PVC and adding dowel rods this is what they use or at least a suggestion.
If this link doesn’t work search “Kuranda Dog Beds Features and Assembly” on youtube.
I have a quilting frame built like this- It has a second length of pvc that has about an inch slit cut out and fits over the fabric covered length- I guess it would have to be a thinner pvc to be flexible enough, but it would encase the fabric
I’m sorry but what type of material can I use for the bed?
noticed you web and volunteer for out animal shelter in lancaster,tx and do not have money so i want to build some beds with my friends, so where do you get corner pvc pipe please and thank you
dog and cat beds nothing fancy but durable
Having trouble finding out where you said we could get the corners for the beds. I went over to your website and could not find the company to purchase these from. Thanks in advance for your reply!
Hi Lauren, I searched for “pvc 3 way corner” and it looks like you can get these corner pieces a number of places, including:
—US Plastic http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=25005&catid=904
—Northern PVC (Canada) http://www.northernpvc.com/index.php?cPath=1_9
What kind of fabric would be best to use, and where is the best place to get it?
Would also like to know type of fabric
After watching the video, I decided this would be a fun family project. Went out bought the corners from a link on this site, went to Joann and got some outdoor fabric super cheap and on clearance, bought PVC in 20 foot lengths. What a fun project! We built 15 total, donated every single one. I think this project would be fun as a team building excersize, fun for families (which is what we did) fun for schools, or daycare teams. As long as there is an adult manning the equipment. I’m thrilled I had a friend share this site with me. We made some shelter dogs pretty happy! 🙂
Thanks for having this site, and for having these instructions that are so easy to follow, and for giving us a link to purchase everything we need.
P.s. you can NOT find these 1 1/4″ corners in any store.. you just cant. You can find smaller ones, but then you’d have to keep the dog weight at under 45 pounds to be safe. So keep that in mind.
Tammy, I just called my local plumbing and electrical store and was told that the 1 1/4″ corner (3 way) elbows are called “Furniture Fittings”. They are specifically for building things. Hope it will help you locate some in your area.
Conduit pipe (its gray) is stronger than regular pvc if your wanted to make the same bed for a larger dog. I was wondering why they didn’t use pipe glue to hold the pipes in place? If you plan ahead then you have enough time to build and adjust things before the glue sets. And from working in furniture repair a strip of cardboard folded into those seams will help with stability and longevity. The slit idea would work but don’t go completely down the length of the pipe that split can separate in the long run. 1/4 of the way down each side should suffice just cut your fabric to make a sleeve on either end slide them into the slots and run at minimum half in dowels the length of your pipe they lock in place and the section of pipe not cut is your support.
Been a county shelter volunteer for years. Trying to help a rescue shelter in another city with beds, can’t believe the retail price for a kuranda! Have worked with thinner PVC for halloween props. Thanks for the tutorial. Thanks for mentioning the PVC size and for the screw type, most concerned about that. Will have to do it by myself but don’t knw if I can.
Just FYI, Kuranda beds are the same, except that they fit another larger diameter piece of pvc pipe over the pvc pipe with the fabric.
They cut out a piece the same length, then cut 1/8 out of the pipe horizontally. snap it on with some pvc glue and voila.
Also, use either high denier mesh nylon if you’re wanting an easily cleaned version.
For better traction (senior dogs) use Cordura (which is just textured nylon).
You can search for it online, it really isn’t too expensive.
I just looked and these can be bought in Home Depot near me. I can make this…
What if you build the bed to spec and then added a bigger size pvp pipe with split over top of original pipe with the cloth on. Sounds like I need to try this
What are the dimensions for a large dog (Golden Retriever)? Mainly the length of the pvc pipes and for the cloth. Thank you very much! I have already ordered my corners from DP’s Bargain Basement!!
We have a go ahead from our local shelter to make raised beds, but the shelter manager is stipulating the material has to be able to be removed so it can be washed or they will not work re disease prevention. How is removal even possible and rewashed on these type beds. So what can you suggest for the shelter manager instead? How do your shelters manage this issue with the beds you donate to them? Thank you!1
Mary …. just off the top of my head (and I may try to make one this weekend) … make the fabric larger so it wraps around the pvc … could try to use a basic button and loop type closure (being sure to sew the button on really well since it will need to take a lot of stress.
Or … make them as shown … and get a second layer … thinking maybe fleece and cut strips at the corner to tie onto the legs (to hold in place) and that would be the removable/washable piece. The permanent piece could be made with a canvas or cotton that could be sprayed with a hose and disinfected
Just some thoughts …
Im loving this diy bed. For the people that would like to hide the fabric edge inside but are concerned about the pvc holding up My suggestion and what im going to try is to use black sewer pipe instead of the pvc. You can get the same size as pvc but the inner walls are much thicker. This should make the pipe capable of holding after cutting the slit to use dowelfor the hidden fabric edge.
I have made several of these beds and my dogs (and cats) love them. I will be helping my grandson with his Eagle Scout project called M.O.B. (My Own Bed) for Humane Society and Rescue Groups. The dog will own his bed and will go with the animal when it is adopted. If people are worried about shelter animals chewing the fabric because it is on the outside, Home Depot sells the PVC Snap covers that will cover the fabric just like Kuranda beds and still makes the diy bed cheaper.(most stores don’t carry it in stock but you can order online and have it sent to your local store, free or have delivered to your home with a shipping fee)