You would be surprised how easy it is to build your own dog’s Bailey Chair, but sometimes there are reasons you just can’t attempt it. What to do? What to look for? Well, what NOT to do is to go to anyone non-local to you, to “order a Bailey Chair” to be shipped to you. It won’t be properly fitted to your dog, and you don’t want to waste valuable time (and needless expense) shipping back and forth! Your dog needs it now.
I would suggest a local handyman or carpenter, but a handy neighbor, fire station personnel, school shop class, senior center and the like, usually provide many options! Just have us send you private links to the “how to” video online, or ask me to ship you a DVD that shows how to build the chair, and includes care tips.
REASONABLE COST: I am chagrined from time to time when I hear that someone paid more than the cost of the materials (about $50 - 75 depending on size and available scrap on hand) plus a reasonable amount for a half day's work for building the chair. That means about $150 - 175, on average. You may have to prime the wood and paint it yourself, but your inner lining with closed cell foam should be already affixed well, and the chair has to FIT your dog comfortably with no slump, slouch, or too tightly.
CHIN RESTS: There should be padded chin rests on the top of the sides at the right height, for comfortable naps after eating, to wait for food to get to the stomach.
FRONT ENTRY: A must! There is a reason for the front entry design, especially for the larger dogs. It’s MUCH easier for the dog and for you! You can’t drop your dog in from above, and a rear entry is difficult to maneuver. We initially built the chair with both. After one or two tries, the back “gate” was never needed or used. It’s against the wall, anyway! This and the side “chin” rests are two of the most important and tried and proved features.
THICK, ROUNDED PAW REST: Food bowl trays, although cute, are impractical and often put the dog's head and neck on the wrong angle for this condition. In any event, you are going to have to be right there with your dog - why not hold her bowl on the slant for the few minutes while she eats? Eventually, they hold their own bowl, like Bailey chose to do.
SHORT “GATE”, BOTTOM FRONT: To keep rear paws from sliding forward.
The chair should be functional, clean, and comfortable. You don’t need “cute”, fashionable, or “gimmicks”. But you may want to build a six inch gate across the bottom of the front, to avoid the dog sliding forward.
Despite claims to the contrary, we do not authorize anyone’s commercial product, and are not affiliated with any builders of Bailey Chairs, despite anyone’s efforts to associate themselves with our design. We don’t build them, we don’t sell them, or sell anything else.
Build it yourself, or have it built locally. Often your dog’s success depends on these concerns.