How to Build a DIY Dog Cart Trailer

We discovered some other ways of building dog carts besides using PVC and Radio Flyer wagons.

People have used aluminum tubing and plywood or plywood with wood for DIY dog carts. We believe plastic sheeting could also be used in combination with some framing materials.

The biggest challenge most dog cart builders mention is the axle. We are still learning about how carts are put together, especially the axles, and will pass on details once they become clear.

a photo of a bicycle trailer modified into a homemade dog cart by Kyler.

Below is our condensed version of how he modified the trailer.

Kyler’s Method for Building Dog Carts

From narrative of Kyler’s wagon projects: Trek Transit Deluxe

Kyler used a Trek Transit Deluxe bicycle trailer because it was lightweight, could be taken apart quickly and stowed in a small airplane. He was also interested in the Trek’s stroller accessories such as the castering wheels and padded handle.

The process:

  1. Add a carbon fiber plate to stiffen the floor.
  2. Add castering wheels to make a stable four-wheeled cart that still turns like a two-wheeler.
  3. Slip tubes into the square receivers already on the trailer.
  4. Drill holes for lynch pins.
  5. Add nylon webbing to the tube sides for tug lines.
  6. Add a front tube between the two square tubes for the poles to pivot around. Secure this with cotter pins.
  7. Bend the poles up so they’re in the same plane as the dog’s back to keep the dog’s legs from getting caught in the poles. 
  8. To keep the poles in place under the trailer, push tee nuts through a rubber strap and thread them on the extra length on the wheel mount bolts.
  9. Use the strap to fasten the stowed poles under the trailer.

This also keeps the ends of the poles from poking the dog’s eyes, and the tug lines above pee range.

Final Steps for this Homemade Dog Cart

  • Snap the push handle from the stroller kit into the round tubes at the top of the trailer. This handle prevents you from running into the trailer and you can use it to guide your dog or push the trailer through snow etc.
  • To make brakes, add pipe clamps to the poles and cover with clear tubing. The tubing protects your legs.

Kyler concludes by saying that “It makes much less noise than the wagon and it seems to pull easily, even with a load.” His dog, Grazie, had no trouble pulling it first time out.

He mentioned some “planned enhancements” including:

  • Covering the tips of the poles with aluminum putty on top of some expansion nuts.
  • Changing the 8-inch casters to 10-inchers to prevent the trailer from tilting forward and making it possible to negotiate larger bumps.
  • Adding flashing LED lights to the flag holder for evenings.