Your Animal House Projects
See how 9 readers used our "Animal House" projects to make their pets lives better than ever
Seems many of you took to your workshops to build the ramp, dog bed, feeding station, and other projects we've been showing you in This Old House magazine's "Animal House" column. Start clicking and you'll see how TOH readers have been using our project ideas and Step-by-Steps to make their dogs' lives better than ever.
Ralph and Linda Niederst
Ralph and Linda Niederst were growing guilt-ridden over their listless Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Molly, who, aside from gaining weight, was starting to look downright bored. Thankfully, that changed once the couple saw our article on How to Build a Pet Agility Course, back in September 2009. After downloading the shopping list from our website, the couple headed to the home center for some PVC pipe and fittings, then built the course right in their own backyard. "And just look at her now," Ralph wrote to us. "She loves that hurdle!"
Jacob and Lisa Canini
Jacob and Lisa Canini's diminutive Dachshund, Lola, threw her back out like an achy octogenarian when she hopped up on the bed one day. But, after they built her a ramp similar to the one in our November 2009 issue, Lola's life took a turn for the better. "I'd seen dog steps in pet stores," Jacob says, "but I didn't want to spend $40 when I could make something better myself for less." We hear you, Jacob.
Inspired by our feeding station project in the October 2009 issue, reader Billy James built this beauty using aromatic cedar. We should also give Billy some added props for the dog bone motif. Genius.
Derry, New Hampshire
Using little more than some leftover quarter-sawn lumber from a bed platform project, reader David Cloutier constructed this simple feeding station for his Labrador Retriever. Judging by the photo, the pup seems quite pleased.
Billy James also built this feeding station, using a recycled fireplace surround. The top is removed to allow for dog food to be placed in a Plexiglas lined container. The insert part of the removable top is made of plywood, and is a slip-fit into the food storage section. It's all covered with a clear poly coating—no stain, of course.
Roaring Springs, Texas
Before acquiring some chickens to raise on her own, TOH reader Jen Charette wanted to make sure they'd be safe. Living in an area with lots of pesky raccoons—and even peskier bobcats—she knew they'd need some protection. So her friend, Preston Weems, built her this elaborate chicken house inside an old cotton trailer, which was flopped upside down, creating a perfect environment for some nice free-range action. "Yes, they're a little bit spoiled," Charette tells us. "My friend calls it the Chicken Taj Mahal."
Reader John Looser lives on a busy highway—making it downright scary for him to let his cats outside. So he decided to build an outdoor cage so they can go out whenever they want. The cage is built right in front of a busted-out basement window, so his feline friends can come and go whenever they please.
Think this is extreme? Check out Palaces for Pets to see a full-sized house completely designed for cats.
New Orleans, Louisiana
These dogs look like they're up to no good. That's why reader Meg Lousteau locks 'em up in this well-secured puppy pokey whenever she leaves the house. Need to keep your canine quarantined? Here's How to Build a Dog Gate.