Puppy Proofing for Small Spaces

First things first, I must give full credit to the original version of this in 2008, but who completed the answer for my dog crate situation in 2011. It was really useful in puppy proofing our space.

My partner and I were awaiting our new arrival (a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy). And we knew from the very beginning that we wanted to crate train him. But, as we live in a one bedroom flat, we didn’t want to buy one of the huge metal crates that would look hideous in the corner of our relatively small living room. We thought about all sorts of options and ended up googling ‘innovative dog crate’ into google and eventually found this fab idea on IKEA Hackers.

Materials for our puppy proofing crate:

We bought an IKEA HOL storage unit and when assembling it, we left off the lid and one end. We bought three small bolt locks from our local DIY shop and a piece of timber to reinforce the base. We screwed the locks onto what would become the front of our crate (two at the bottom and one at the top), and nailed the timber width-ways across the bottom of the unit.

Unlike the original hack, we decided not to nail the lid of the unit down so that it didn’t come off, as by keeping it flexible we had not only a lockable crate, but also a puppy pen.

Puppy Proofing for Small Spaces

To avoid the base of the unit becoming soiled/wet/wasting away/chewed, we stapled some spare carpet down, remembering to leave about 1 inch spare by the front of the crate so that the door can lock properly. We then covered this in a cut up plastic bag, which we stapled down on top of the carpet. This stopped the carpet becoming messy and acts as a waterproof layer in case the pup should tip up his water bowl/pee. We chose a strong plastic bag that was thin enough to be able to go over the edges of the base, and underneath so that any other fluid would flow out and not stand a chance of ruining the base. Finally, we lined it with newspaper for house training.

We are ecstatic with the results, and everyone who has seen the result cannot believe this is a dog crate. It fits in perfectly with the rest of our room, and as a result we bought the other smaller IKEA HOL storage unit to go with it.

Puppy Proofing for Small Spaces

This now acts as a coffee table/electricity hub which protects the pup from any cables/wires that were previously out on the floor. This was really easy to do by just cutting out a small section of the base before nailing it down when assembling it. It now houses an extension cable with a hairdryer, internet box, laptop charger and many more! We wanted a small lamp on top, and to stop the light from shining down into the box and revealing all the messy cables within, we stapled a square of canvas to the inside lid, which also stops any pens/post it notes from falling through the holes into the box.

Overall, our puppy proofing solution costs us:
  • £45 for the large Ikea Hol box
  • £18.50 for the small Ikea Hol box
  • £3 for the 3 hinges
  • £2 for the spare timber

A brilliant solution to our problem, and our pup likes it too – thank you Ikea Hackers!

~ Ruth, Cardiff, Wales