24 Weekend Projects for Pets: Dog Houses, Cat Trees, Rabbit Hutches & More

In recent years, pet stores have transformed from small mom-and-pop stores to large supermarkets selling everything from guppies to automatic litter boxes to dog ramps to parrot perches. The emergence of pet store mega-marts has turned the special relationship between people and their companion animals into a multibillion-dollar industry.

However, unlike other retail markets that have been massively consolidated into a few large stores, overall prices have not dropped as a result of economies of scale (as anyone who has ever been charged $100 for what is called a dog bed made of thin Styrofoam wrapped in thin fabric would agree).

Furthermore, anyone who has looked beneath the surface knows that pets store merchandise is not Chippendale furniture. For example, atypical cat condo is made of strand board, 2×4 lumber, and carpets craps. Expensive reptile enclosures are fiber board and plexiglass. Dog kennels are simply chain link panels tied together with pipe clamps.

About the Book

This book is a compilation of research on pet structures that anyone with basic tools can build. The drawings are intentionally simple, but not so plain as to look completely homemade. Most projects require only basic hand tools, a circular saw and a drill/driver. The beauty of pets up plies is that they don’t have to be fancy. It just needs to work well, be safe, look good, and make the pet and its family happy.

We kept costs down by choosing in expensive general-purpose building materials whenever possible, such as ply wood, lumber, melamine-treated particle board, and hardware cloth. However, we specified oak, upholstery fabric, and other “good” materials for specific applications where they would make a difference.

While we strove to keep costs and difficulty low, we did not compromise on projects that could be ugly or gaudy. To the contrary, we have illustrated how to make a sturdy, reliable product that, in many cases, out performs commercial alternatives.

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