If you’re a dog owner, you know that sometimes you need a safe, enclosed space for your pets. It might not be something that you want to do, but there are situations when you just can’t let your dog run free in your yard and a dog kennel alone isn’t enough and you don’t have enough time to go to the dog park every day.
Maybe you’re having a barbecue and your dog keeps trying to steal your guests’ food. Or, maybe your young nieces and nephews are coming over and you’d feel more comfortable if there was some separation between them and your dog. There are practical reasons, too. Perhaps you just planted some grass or had the landscaper spray the yard with fertilizer and you would rather keep your dog away from that area of the yard for a while.
Whatever the reason, a dog run is a practical, customizable way to keep your dog confined when necessary. It’s a much nicer option than a cage, your pooch can have doggie play dates in his own personal little dog park without tearing up your garden, plus it allows you to create a nice space that your dog might actually enjoy.
What Is a Dog Run?
Put simply, a dog run is a safe, fenced in and gated area using something like chain link fencing or wire mesh to keep your dog short term. It’s not meant to be a permanent place for your dog; it’s just there when you need it. It’s usually rectangular and is long enough to allow plenty of room for your dog to run back and forth and get necessary exercise in an area of at least 10 feet long.
By building your own dog run, you have all the control. You can make it as big as you want and add as many amenities as you want. It could even be a space that your dog enjoys. Add a dog house, a padded place to lie down, and built-in food and water bowls, as well as a bunch of toys and your dog just might like to go to his dog run to relax.
The first thing to do when you decide to make your own dog run is to plan according to your dog. What size is your dog? What does he like to play with? Look a bit deeper into the kind of breed your dog is to see what specific needs he might have and how much room he needs to run around, etc. Once you have a good idea of the size dog run you’re building, you need to think about the climate you’re in.
If it’s hot and sunny most of the time, make sure you place your dog run somewhere in the shade or plan to build a roof on it to protect your dog from the sun’s rays. If you live in a climate that’s rainy a lot of the time, you’ll also need to consider a roof and possibly even guttering if rainfall is going to be too much for the structure to handle.
There are a few basic parts to every dog run. You can make them as simple or as complicated as you want as long as it’s safe and sturdy. The first thing you’ll need to consider is the frame. It should be durable and sturdy—it’s typically made of metal pipes or bars but can be made of wood. Sometimes, it’s built as a freestanding structure while other times it uses poles that are placed or even cemented into the ground. Consider your climate and the size of your dog when deciding what material to use.
If you live in a region that gets storms or tornados frequently or if you have a particularly large dog, it would probably be best to build a dog run with a frame that’s cemented or otherwise anchored to the ground. The main purpose of the frame is to hold the fence. You can choose any kind of fencing as long as it’s durable and safe for your dog. Remember, the point is to keep your dog in and everyone else out. It’s also important to make sure your dog can’t jump over it.
Some people use standard thin wire fencing but you can also use thick wire fencing or even rods. If you want to give your dog some privacy, you can even use metal sheets. Roofs are optional but recommended in order to protect your dog from rain and the sun. You don’t have to cover the whole thing, but it’s a good idea to have at least a small section where your dog is protected from the elements.
As far as the ground goes, you have a few options. Pouring concrete will keep things a little neater because it gets less messy when it rains. You can also use a bed of mulch, pea gravel, or cedar chips. You don’t have to use the same material for the whole area. For example, you can use half concrete and half mulch so your dog has some options as to where to play and where to relax.
Here Are Some Basic Steps To Follow To Build Your Own Dog Run:
- Prepare the land. Use a rake or other garden tool to remove the grass and loosen the topsoil in the area.
- Put up your frame. This might mean digging and installing fence posts or building and laying out a simple frame and a gated area. If you’re going to be digging, make sure that there aren’t any utility lines that you need to worry about hitting.
- Lay the ground. Frame the area with wood first and then either pour concrete or fill the space with mulch, cedar chips, pea gravel or whatever you’ve decided to use.
- Install the fencing. How you do this will depend on what you’ve chosen to use (i.e. the method will differ between chain links fencing or a wooden post fence). Sometimes it involves installing more poles into the ground or nailing the thin wire fencing in place.
- Add your roof. Whether you’re choosing sheet metal, tarp, or a more permanent kind of roof, it will be the last thing you do when building your dog run.
To save some time there are also several pre made dog fences that you could use instead of making fencing from scratch:Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel (6’Hx4’Wx8’L) Advantek The Original Pet Gazebo – Medium Alion Home Sun Block Dog Run & Pet Kennel Shade Cover (Dog Kennel Not Included) Banha Beige (10’x 10′)
Go, Dog, Go!
If you build the right kind of dog run for your furry friend, the time you spend on it will be well worth it, to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for him while ensuring complete dog safety! Building your own dog run gives you a chance to create a space to run, sleep, and play where your dog will be safe and actually enjoy himself.
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