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How to Make Your Own Pet Teepee

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Pets like to have their own space to curl up and relax in throughout the day, and while your pup may have a cozy bed (or five), why not take things up a notch and give him a teepee to call his own? Here is an easy guide to making your own fabulous pet teepee.

DIY Pet Teepee Supplies

  • 48” dowels (5)
  • Sandpaper
  • Rope
  • A painter’s canvas (can also use a sheet or a piece of fabric)
  • Scissors
  • A clothespin
  • An electric drill (to drill holes through the dowels)
  • Markers, construction paper, ribbons to decorate as desired
  • Anti-skid rubber protection pads (optional)

DIY teepee supplies

Note: The dowels, canvas and rope can all be picked up at a home improvement store. If you are making a teepee for a small-to-medium size dog, like I did, buy 48” dowels. You will need longer dowels for a larger dog. The painter’s canvas was durable enough to wrap around the base of the teepee, but you can also use an old bed sheet, a piece of fabric or a blanket. Get a canvas that measures at least 4’x7’.

Instructions

Wash and dry the canvas. This helps to soften it up and also ensures that it’s not wrinkly when you wrap it around the teepee.

With a quarter-inch drill bit, drill a hole four inches below the top of each dowel then use the sandpaper to smooth out the holes, as the drilling can make them a bit rough.

Line the dowels up in a row. Thread the rope through each dowel, one at a time, linking them all together. If the end of the rope gets frayed from pushing it through the dowels, you can burn the tip with a lighter.

Spread the dowels out to form the base of the teepee. Space two of the dowels a little wider apart than the others. This will be the door opening. Enlist someone to hold the dowels together while you take the rope and wrap it repeatedly around the top and secure it tightly.

DIY teepee step 1

If your teepee will not be set up a carpet, place anti-skid rubber protection pads on the bottom of each dowel. This will help to protect your hardwood floors and will also help keep the base of the teepee from sliding around.

DIY teepee step 2

Cut the canvas in a triangular shape. Wrap it around the teepee and secure it with a clothespin.

DIY teepee step 3

Cut or tuck in any excess fabric.

Decorate the teepee as you like. I opted to keep mine pretty natural so that it would not clash with the furniture in the room. To spell my pup’s name on the outside of teepee, I cut triangles out of colored construction paper, spelled his name on the triangles, and strung them together with a piece of decorative string.

Place a dog bed or a soft blanket inside the teepee. Invite your pet inside to check it out and reward him with a treat when he lays down on the bed. Enjoy!

DIY teepee final


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Nicole Pajer is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, energetic Doberman, and rat terrier.