If you would like to give your dog a comfortable bed of her own so you can sleep, build a cozy bed for her in an old night stand. She'll enjoy being close to you in her own secure space, and everyone will get a good night's rest.
Measuring Your Dog
Before you endeavor to convert a night stand to a dog bed, determine whether it will actually fit your pup when finished. Dogs can take up more space than you might guess, so don't just eyeball your dog, but get out a measuring tape and take careful measurements. It's usually best to wait until she is asleep and stretched out to find the correct length from her nose to base of her tail. She may curl up most of the time, but her bed still needs space enough for her to stretch out if she wants to. Add about 12 inches to the dog's nose-to-rump measurement.
Choosing a Night Stand
When you've taken your dog's measurement properly, you'll see that only a rather small dog will fit inside the average night stand. This is definitely not the bed style for a Saint Bernard, but for tiny breeds like papillons, chihuahuas and Pomeranians you can usually find a night stand that will work. The standard small-size dog bed is 19-by-24-inches, or 30-inches if round -- just about right for a large rectangular or octagonal night stand. Anything smaller than those dimensions on the inside will probably not be useable without considerable modification. Of course, you should provide adequate headroom as well, so nix any stand with shelves lower than your dog's head -- plus a few inches -- when she is standing erect.
Tackling the Carpentry and Finish
Take out problematic shelves or partitions from the interior of the night stand, and remove nails, screws or other sharp objects within the space. Take off the door and door hinges to prevent accidentally trapping your dog inside or keeping her out when she wants to take a nap. Consider cutting vent holes in the sides and back. Fill other holes and cavities with wood putty, sand any rough spots, and wipe off dust with a tack cloth before giving the interior a coat of nontoxic, washable enamel paint. Don't let your pup sleep in there until everything is dry and paint fumes have completely dissipated. Lining the interior with cloth to match her bed is another decorative option.
Making the Bed
Finish the project with padding. You can use a commercial bed if your night stand is close to the dimensions of a standard dog bed, or shop around for a sofa or bed pillow that will fit. If you prefer to make one, cut a pattern from cardboard using the measurements inside the night stand. Test-fit and tweak it until it fits snugly, then use the cardboard blank as a guide to cut two pieces out of cloth -- adding a half-inch all around as seam allowance. Stitch the two pieces together with their right, or pattern sides, facing, leaving a small slit in the seam for stuffing. Turn it right-side-out and fill with soft rags, polyester-fiber fill or a foam pillow insert. Hand-sew the opening shut.
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