Three Pet Projects
Pets love messing with our furniture. So maybe it's time to build them some furniture of their own.
Dale Jolliffe knows all too well that owning a dog means giving up some personal space. But in sharing his home with his Great Dane, Diesel, the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, building contractor grew tired of scooching over every time the pooch wanted to join him on the sofa to watch a little TV. (He wasn't thrilled by the drool the big lug left behind, either.) "Dogs want to be just like you," he says. After hearing similar sentiments from one of his clients, Jolliffe came up with problem-solving furniture that's attractive enough for man and beast alike. Equally appealing, each piece can be built with materials from a home center for well under $100.
Jolliffe designed this raised bed to give his own dog a people-height for chew toys and rawhide bones. To get the height right he measured the Great Dane's favorite chair, which was 18 inches off the ground, then constructed the 36-by-36-inch square frame using pine for the legs and plywood for the top and bottom. MDF beadboard gives it a nice finish, and the big dog pillow on top (about $30 at most pet shops) provides Diesel with a comfortable place to rest his head.
Download the Doggie Daybed plans and materials list.
Using more pine, particleboard, and beadboard, Jolliffe put together this litter box hideaway that, topped with a cushion, doubles as a bench in a bath or mudroom. There's an arched opening on the side for the cat to enter, and a piano-hinged top for the litter box to exit for cleaning. Carpet laid inside helps trap the clumps of grit that often get stuck in cats' paws.
Download Cat-box Bench plans and materials list.
When one of his clients complained that her diminutive Shih Tzu was having a hard time hopping up on to the bed, Jolliffe came up with these multifunctional doggiestairs. The 24-inch-wide, 30-inch-high unit is made of plywood cut into risers and store-bought pine treads. Both of the treads—which he also carpeted for maximum traction—are attached with piano hinges and lift from the front so toys, flea meds, or leashes can be stored inside.
Download the Pet Steps plans and materials list.