5 Tips and Tricks for Building a Dog Run

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Your dog (or dogs – if you operate a shelter or rescue operation) may be a member of your family or your ultimate best friend, but when curiosity gets the best of them, they can wreak havoc on your yard or facility. Instead of patching grass, replanting flowers, or constantly watching where you’re walking to avoid stepping in a doggy disaster, why not give your perfect pooch a place of his own?

Dog runs allow both you and your dog to enjoy your yard. This way, you can have the plushy green grass and the beautiful flower garden without worrying about Fido making a mess of it all. At the same time, your dog will also enjoy having his privacy in an area built just for him. If you are considering a dog run, be sure to use the following tips and tricks.

1. Determine the size.
The size of your dog run is very important. Remember that your dog still needs plenty of exercise, so be sure it’s big enough for them to run around and play. Deciding on the size will also depend on the size of your dog. Smaller dogs need smaller runs, so a dog run for a Miniature Schnauzer can be smaller than a dog run for a Great Dane.

2. Decide where it’s going.
When determining the size of the dog run, you should also consider its placement. Maybe having it in the back corner of the yard seems ideal at first, but will you want to walk outside in the winter to put your dog in the run? It’s a good idea to try and place it somewhere with easy access, like right outside a garage or porch. This way, you can easily let your dog in and out of the run.

There are other things to consider about the location. For instance, does that area get too much water during rainfall? If so, you’ll need to build up this part of the yard and add drainage. Drainage is very important in a project like this—materials could wash away if not done correctly. Is the area right next to a grouchy neighbor? If so, you may want to consider placing it on the other side of your yard to avoid complaints. Be sure to consider all the variables when determining where it’s going.

3. Make sure there’s plenty of shade.
You wouldn’t want to be sitting outside in the bright sun all day long without any shade, and neither does your dog. When building a dog run, you either need to make sure the area is in a naturally shaded area, or you need to plan on providing some type of shade, such as a roof, a dog house, or even an umbrella. This way, your dog has the option of basking in the sunlight or getting out of the heat.

4. Choose the right materials.
Picking the right materials is important for your dog run. Some people make the mistake of using grass, and while it’s cheap, it’s also messy, and you’ll find yourself replacing it at least once a year. Instead, you should consider a stone like pea gravel, limestone or gravel chips, as well as screenings as the base of the dog run. These materials are not only soft on your dog’s paws, but it also provides the right amount of drainage needed for the area.

You should also be sure you’re choosing sturdy materials for the sides. Many dog owners opt for chain link fencing, but any type of fence-like material should do.

When choosing materials, it’s also very important that you accurately measure how much material you will need. If you plan on using pea gravel or another aggregate, our materials calculator can help ensure you get the right quantity.

5. Fill it with amenities.
You love your dog, so feel free to spoil him in his dog run. Give him a dog house with a comfortable bed where he can lay and take a nap. Buy an automatic dog water bowl that hooks up to an outside spicket and provides your pooch with fresh water all the time. Remember that it’s your dog and your dog run, so you can customize it in any way you wish.

Ozinga has a large choice of stone, gravel and other aggregate material on hand. If you’re looking to build a dog run, let our materials experts help you.

Contact a Materials Specialist