How to Build Dog Boxes

So you want to know how to build dog boxes? 

Are you tired of worrying about your dogs while carting them around in the back of your pickup or van?

Below are some ideas for creating a custom built truck dog box for the number of dogs you wish to transport.

Isn't this a beauty? See here for more details regarding this custom designed dog box (or travel cage as he calls it) by John K. Dunn of Fresno, California.

Planning Your Build

Planning helps you design dog boxes for dog comfort, safety and convenience. An important thing to remember is to avoid obscuring visibility from the driver's rear view mirror(s).


First measure out how much space your vehicle will accommodate.

Also figure out how much room each of your dogs will need.

Things to consider:

  • How many boxes will you need?
  • How big does each dog's space need to be?
  • How do you want to align the boxes? (For example, along the sides or across the width?)
  • Where do you want to place the doors?
  • How high does the door threshold need to be?


  • What will you use for the exteriors of the boxes - metal, wood, plastic or a combination? 
  • Be sure to consider your area's weather conditions.
  • How heavy are the materials?
  • What will you use to fasten the doors?

  • How will the boxes be ventilated?
  • How will the boxes offer protection from rain, wind and snow?
  • What kind of padding and/or insulating materials will you use?

  • How will you fasten the dog boxes to the vehicle to prevent them sliding around - bolts, latches or strapping?
  • Do you want to be able to remove the boxes to serve double duty as doghouses or to be able to use your vehicle for other purposes?
  • Once you've found the answers to the above questions, you'll be ready to find a set of truck box plans to adapt to your situation or contact someone to custom build them for you.

    Sam's Travel Cage

    We were very impressed by John's design of the truck box he built for his dog Sam. Here is how he describes it:

    Made Sam a new cage:

    • This one has removable shade cloth panels (75% on rear and sides, 95% on top). 
    • Side panels slide up and out for easy access to doggies. 
    • Whole assembly is a sequential, slip-fit design.
    • Easily installed/removed by one person in less than ten minutes.
    • Stores against a wall in about eight inches of space, or when no dogs on board, just slide out removable gate for full use of truck bed. 
    • Fully welded and powder coated with all hardware electroplated

    If you'd like to contact John, you can reach him at 559-351-4078 or You can also find him on Facebook.

    How to Build Dog Boxes: Truck Box Plans

    For a detailed set with photos, here are plans for Miller Outdoors Beagle Dog Box.

    We hope that this information on how to build dog boxes was useful to you.

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