How to rig up a doggy doorbell to let your pet tell you when it’s time to go outside

If your dog isn’t very good at letting you know when it wants to go outside, or your house is arranged in such a way that you can’t always see him/her pacing around the door, this DIY doggie doorbell might be a worthwhile weekend project.

The design was posted to r/DIY the other day by Redditor turing5000. As the owner of a particularly shy and reserved dog, he needed a better way for his pet to communicate when it was time to go outside, so he repurposed a cheap wireless doorbell to get the job done. Sure enough, after a bit of training, his dog could easily alert him whenever he needed to go for a walk.

Here’s what you need to make one yourself:

  • Wireless doorbell from your local hardware store
  • Some sort of plastic cap for the dog to press (turing5000 used the bottom of an old retainer case – we suggest cutting off the bottom of a plastic cup)
  • Copper plumbers tape
  • Flat wooden shims or a popsicle stick
  • Epoxy putty or some other type of adhesive. If your dog is the type that eats stuff, go with something nontoxic
  • Extra small screwdriver or something else that can put a hole in the plastic button cap
doggie doorbell 1

When you really get down to it, you’re basically just making the doorbell into a bigger button so you dog can hit it with a paw, so feel free to improvise with the materials and construction. Here’s how turing5000 put it all together:

doggie doorbell 2

This is the button cap. Yours might look a bit different,

doggie doorbell 3

Using the epoxy putty, affix the copper plumbers tape to the button cap Use a screw or a short nut/bolt assembly if you want it to be more sturdy.

doggie doorbell 4 Make sure the epoxy goes all the way through the hole – otherwise it probably won’t hold up very well.

doggie doorbell 5 

Affix the wood bits to the bottom of the doorbell button. The idea here is to make the button tall enough that it hits the floor before the edge of the cap does. You don’t want the edges of the button cap to bottom out before the doorbell button gets pushed, so do whatever’s necessary to make that happen.

doggie doorbell 6Screw the entire assembly to the wall so that the button hovers just barely above the floor. Then, just place the doorbell speaker at a central location in your house so it is audible throughout the house. Teach your dog to press the button by giving him treats when he uses it. It might take some time for your pet to pick it up, but once they do, they’ll have a foolproof way to let you know when it’s time for a walk.

 Images via Shutterstock/Imgur

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