How to Build an Outdoor Dog Bed
A smartly designed outdoor bed is a great place for your pooch to beat the heat
When the mercury rises, you're not the only one who wants to recline in a shady spot—many dogs do too. "While not every dog seeks out a cool place to relax, it's critical for heavy-set and short-nosed breeds, which can overheat quickly," says Sarah Wilson, author of My Smart Puppy Guide. Once their body temperature increases, our furry friends regulate it by panting; they can perspire only through their noses and paws. Short-nosed breeds, such as pugs, bulldogs, and Pekingese, can't pant as efficiently as other breeds because of their physiology.
An elevated bed may be just the solution, lifting the dog off the ground so that air can flow below to help him cool down. The addition of a canopy provides shade from the sun's rays—important because dogs can get sunburned. We built the bed shown here using PVC pipe, joints, and couplings for the frame and covered it with all-weather fabric (Sunbrella's Manhattan Cobalt, about $32 per yard; for retailers). With a perch this comfy, you won't have to entice your pet to sit and stay awhile.
If your pet likes extra cushioning, add a pillow: Dog Gone Smart Rectangle Bed, about $99.
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