Keeping your dog happy and healthy involves making sure he or she gets enough exercise and outdoor time.
If installing fences around your entire yard is not feasible or you just want to have a more secure, escape-proof area for your dog to get some outdoor time, building a dog run is a great idea.
Why Build A Dog Run?
Dog runs offer a great way to get your dog outside even if you don’t have fencing or your yard is not dog-proof.
They provide a clean and protected area where your dog can enjoy the outdoors, burn off some extra energy, and give you time to do the vacuuming inside.
Dogs are much safer in runs that where cannot escape.
They are a great option for dogs who climb, jump over, or dig under fences.
A dog run can also be convenient for you, providing a safe place for your dog to stay when you have a repair person coming, there are small children around, or you want to entertain and not worry about your dog trying to get his or her share of the hors d'oeuvres.
Important Considerations When Building A Dog Run
Although there are many inexpensive portable dog runs you can buy and set up out of a box, they typically don’t last very long nor provide your pet much space or security.
A permanent run built to suit your specific dog and yard is a much safer and more practical idea.
Permanent runs are also easier to keep clean and more durable.
Once you’ve decided to build a dog run, there are certain details that must be worked out before calling a fence company to start working.
Consider these important specifics so your dog run project can be completed without any problems:
- Permits - Do you need a permit from your county to put up fences or build a dog run? Obtain any necessary permits and review requirements or restrictions for this type of structure.
- Location - Choose a spot with good drainage and at least partial shade or plan on putting a roof on the run. Consider factors such as access to doggie doors, good visibility from the house, safe positioning in the yard, etc.
- Size - Dog runs should be appropriately sized to allow your dog enough room for comfort. Minimum size should be a width of 2-3 times and a length of 5-10 times your dog’s nose-to-tip of the tail length to provide enough space; more space is even better. Overall, there should be more than enough room for your dog, a doghouse or igloo, and space for the dog to exercise and play.
- Footing - If you have a digger or want a surface that can be easily cleaned with a hose, consider putting in a cement pad that can be enclosed with fencing, or installing paving stones. You can also install a screening or gravel base, artificial turf, rubber animal mats, or just leave the bare dirt, although that could get messy in wet weather.
- Overhead Cover - If your dog climbs or jumps, you’ll also need to cover the top of the run to keep him or her from escaping. A roof over the run will also provide essential shade and protect the run from inclement weather.
Choosing the Right Fencing for Dog Runs
After you’ve worked out all the details, the next step is to choose the right fence for the fence company to install around the dog run.
Select one that is tall enough for you to walk into the enclosure and cannot be jumped over if some type of roof or cover is not being added.
The fence must also be scale-proof unless it is protected by a roof and should have openings small enough to prevent your pooch from getting stuck.
The best options include aluminum bars, chain link, wire mesh with smaller openings, wood options with wire mesh, and anything else that will keep your dog safely contained.
A run is a practical choice when fencing an entire yard is not feasible or you just want a more secure enclosure.
It is a great investment that both you and your dog will appreciate!