Columbus Dog                                                 The inspiration for our beds: Dogs on wet floors.
updated May 19, 2015                                                                          Notice the dog in the white container above?  

Elevated Dog Beds 
(complete info below, please scroll down for everything you need)
You Tube Video of how to build our bed
Columbus Dog Connection was moved to create a low cost elevated dog bed.  A few Doggedly Dedicated Dogmanity Do'ers, pulled their creative talents and came
up with an easy & inexpensive way for anyone to build an elevated dog bed. Below, you will see simple, inexpensive plans to help dogs in shelters who must sleep
on wet concrete kennel floors.  Your cost to build the bed will vary depending on how much of the materials you are able to get donated.

Printable Instructions
Printable Supply List
A sewn version, Beds 4 Paws, of the Columbus Dog Connection Elevated Bed Design                  

Our  Elevated Dog Bed Building Days

Our beds built by groups across the US, boy & girl scouts, high school & community groups, send your picture to Kellie to be posted and help inspire others


Option to cover arms to protect from chewing                
Option to build Dog Couch

Professionally Made Beds for Purchase     Animal Rescue Aid-An inexpensive alternative    Berker's Dog Beds       Kuranda

 -dogs will chew any of these beds, best to remove beds from dogs who are chewers

As of January 2013, Columbus Dog Connection has donated 913 to shelters in OH, Indiana, W Virginia & Kentucky. 
Orange signifies donated beds.

                                                               Mercer Co OH                    Meigs Co,   OH                        Paulding Co OH                                 Harlan Co KY                     Putnam Co, OH

Highland Co, OH                     Preble Co, OH                    Morgan Co, OH                       Marion Co  WV                               Henry Co OH                            Holmes Co OH 

             Auglaize Co OH                Clay Co Indiana                      Fayette Co, OH                                Jackson Co, OH                         Monroe Co, OH                     Seneca Co,  OH     


  Four Materials Needed

1   Corner pieces   1 1/4 inch 
Big Box stores usually do not carry these corners in the stores, however, we have received emails about some Home Depot & Lowes Stores having them.

Where to Buy:
C & S Plastics   (Don, "The Bomb" owns this company, mention you reached him via our web site for possible discount)

PVC Fittings

Home Depot,  online 

US Plastics                                                                                                                               

IPP Industrial Plastics Products

Savko         (store located in Columbus OH)

PVC Pipe
 1 1/4 inch, schedule 40

pvc comes in sticks, 10', can be purchased at any hardware store,  about $4.38 from big box stores
can also buy 20' sticks from plumbing supplies

Round Washer Head #8 x 1/2 " 
NOTE  Our YouTube video shows our screws being 8 x 3/4 inch.  You can use either size, we happen to have had the longer ones donated for a recent bed build.

--Home Depot, $5.60 for 250 screws  carries boxes of 1500 and 3000 for much less
--Fastenal Screw Fastenal Part #  (SKU) 32014


Cloth    -the best option for covering the beds is 40oz or even 50oz solid vinyl, it's easiest to clean while being most durable

Free Options
-contact awning or boat companies for scraps or shorts
 -any durable cloth may be used, to test if it is strong enough, try to gouge a key through it ...if it can hold up to that....likely it can hold up to dogs scratching at it -Phifertex Mesh Fabric is a screen like cloth that allows moisture to pass through look under Suntex 
-Sunbrella Sling Fabric is another good option

-cordura,  moisture resistant, durable, low cost cloth to use   -order 1000 denier cloth, usually ordered in 50 yard lengths, check for for shorts, ends or drops

-Trucking Companies make covers for semi trailers, this vinyl holds up to just about anything, can be sterilized w/out damaging it, try for 18 or 22 ounce vinyl

-Top Value Fabrics -
promotion section under Nylon for seconds, only sells full rolls, only good for making a large number of dog beds-Send email to this company for newsletters on seconds in Hilliard OH

-Cleaning of beds or cloth like Sunbrella like material


Cutting PVC & Tools

Cutting the PVC
If making numerous beds for a shelter, we recommend building the medium sized beds and add a few large ones. The medium beds will accommodate most dogs. 
As an option for the medium sized beds, you can added 3 inches to the long side and subtracted 3 inches from the short side (or any amount you need) to better
fit into narrow kennels.  Be sure to make appropriate cloth sizes if you change the frame size.
--Best to mark plastic of frame to alert shelter staff not to throw away frame as it can be recovered with new cloth.

Tools Needed
    -Saw (to cut PVC)
    -Tape measure
    -Channel Locks (to turn pvc after cloth is applied to tighten) 


   Dimensions for cloth & pvc

Small Bed
Cloth size   36 x 29
1 10 ft stick or 112
-2 pieces at 18.5 inches each
-2 pieces at 25.5 inches each
-4 pieces at 4 inches each (legs)

Final Dimensions   22"  x  29" 

Medium Bed 
Cloth size 34.5" x 38.5"
1 10ft stick will make one complete bed including legs,
-2 at 24"
-2 at 28"
-4 pieces at 4 inches each (legs)

Final Dimension 27.5" x 31.5"

Abbey is a 70lb dog

Large Bed   
Cloth size  36 x 45 144 needed    
You will need 1-10 ft stick of PVC and an additional 20" to make one complete large bed
-2 pieces at 25.5 inches each
-2 pieces at 34.5 inches each
-4 pieces at 4 inches each 
Final Dimensions 
 29"  x 38"

  Peppy the Dalmatian is a 76lb dog


Building Instructions for Elevated Dog Bed

-not everyone is use to using a drill, tell everyone to stop drilling when the screw is flush with the cloth
-you will make a better bed if you have 2 people working together, one to fold and hold, one to drill,
-It is critical to get the corners neat and tight or the dogs will chew on anything they can grip.  In the shelters, this pvc and cloth are the most chewable thing, and they will try to chew it.

PVC Mass Production of beds  
Mass production spreadsheet

Use the Beds tab if you know how many beds you want to make, but need to know how much PVC to get
Use the Sticks tab if you have PVC pipe and want to see how many beds you can make

If you're only making small beds, you need 1 stick for each bed

 1 stick = a 10 foot piece of PVC (120 inches)
 1 stick = 1 small bed with legs
 1 stick = 1 large bed & no legs
 1 stick = 20 legs, enough for 5 beds
 5 sticks = 4 small beds & 1 large bed
 6 sticks = 5 large beds
 11 sticks = 4 small & 6 large beds


Printable Instructions

 1   Using a corner piece, put one short and one long pipe into 2 of the 3 holes   


2 Once the frame is built, use a hammer to on each corner to firmly hit each side to force the legs into the corner pieces,
    don't worry about hitting too hard, the pvc is strong


3  Insert 4 legs into holes, turn bed over and hit the top of each corner 1-2 times to be sure legs are in as far/tight as they can be --no picture for this

 4  Lay the cloth on a flat surface and lay the frame on top, with legs pointing up, center frame on cloth

5  Fold cloth corners under frame, be sure to keep frame centered on cloth when doing this
      (note:  fold of cloth, 2nd picture, should be centered just inside of corner piece)


6  Take one long side of cloth and make 2 one-half inch-ish folds, material should hit the center of the pvc on the bottom side of frame   

7  Place one screw in the mid point of the PVC & screw the cloth to the PVC. Be sure screw goes thru folds of the cloth

8  Place screws evenly spaced on the frame.
     (5 screws, short side of small bed, 6 screws for long side) 
     (6 screws for short side of large bed, 8 screws for long side of bed)

Screw one screw to opposite side of frame, use channel locks to tighten plastic frame which will tighten cloth
    important:  do not use channel locks on top of cloth, it will tear it, tighten so cloth is taught, screw in rest of screws


Important Note (July 3, 2008)
Be sure to place 2 screws on the bottom of 2 opposite corners so they hold the legs and stop them from turning under the weight of the dog on the bed.
We didn't do this on earlier beds and the weight of the dogs makes the legs turn which causes puckering of cloth, which is an invitation to CHEW ! 
These screws should be the last thing you do.

10  Finish putting screws for opposite leg, repeat steps for other sides of bed
     If the frame doesn't sit square on the floor, put the frame on its side, legs facing you and twist the legs a bit

11  On the top side of the bed, place 5 screws thru the cloth and into the corner of the pvc corner piece, this serves 2 purposes
    1 keeps the cloth from being chewed
    2 keeps the side frame pieces from turning
    Be sure the end screws are near the end of the corner piece so they also pierce the side frame pieces and keep them from 
    turning,if these screws do not pierce the side frame pieces, the weight of the dog will eventually turn the pvc and the cloth will
    pucker, which leads to chewing, or they will laying in a hammock like bed that will touch the ground

      1    2       3    

           You can't use too many screws on the corners.  The corners are the point most likely chewed so extra reinforcement is best. 
           Picture 2 is best as the screws will be a deterrent to start chewing.  Picture 3 shows screws inserted too far from the edge.
           Be sure to have volunteers place screws as close to edge of the cloth as they can..



How the beds make a difference

i Kellie,
We are so grateful for your generous donation of the 50 elevated dog beds....It is AMAZING, the immediate effect the beds have!
As we made our rounds with installing the beds, the combined echoed dog barks and shelter tone quieted with each dog getting on their beds, checking them out and then
balling up on top of them to rest- it was remarkable!

The same thing happens now each day- the folks go in to clean, take the beds out for the day for scrubbing/drying, etc...the dogs bark and squeal with the days events and as SOON
as the beds are put back in, there is this crazy silence with them hunkering down for the night on the elevated beds. (until something gets them barking again, but they settle down
faster when the beds are in the kennels) Fascinating to see this time and again, the calming effect of the beds.

With constant use and cleaning our dogs are tearing through the canvas pretty good at this point, so we are saving the frames and have contacted Kuranda for new material to re-cover
the beds you sent us. The are sending enough to cover all the beds you wonderful folks gave us for the shelter dogs! ( bright red 50 ounce vinyl)
With your kindness, we have gotten the dogs off the concrete and we are extremely grateful for that! THANK YOU!
Melissa, Marion Co WV  Oct 2011

January 17, 2013  new cloth option with semi truck covers
July 6, 2012  new cloth option with
May 4, 2012 
New Sewing Instructions   
July 26, 2010  changed legs from 6" to 4"  easier for dogs to get on beds, see new spreadsheet for mass production numbers, 
Nov 23, 2009  New size added, medium which is good for mass production for shelters
Dec  2, 2008    Info regarding screws on corners
Sept 13, 2008  Addition: calculations for bulk building
Nov 13, 2006   improved corners


614-471-9000   or  
Kellie at      Columbus Dog        2761 Johnstown Rd       Columbus OH  43219