Dog owners know all too well how important it is to let your pooch get outside and moving. For those who have the outdoor space, a dog run can be a fantastic way to let your canine release energy without needing constant supervision. These designated spaces can keep your dog out of the garden, provide them with a place to go potty, and give them some fun obstacles to stay busy. Read on for photos and tips that may inspire you to build a DIY dog run.
The Dog’s Very Own Property
Dog runs don’t just benefit the owner by keeping their pets out of unwanted areas, but they also give your pooch a space of their own. This dog run is surrounded with fencing and complete with a strip of artificial grass and two dog houses.
The first step when building a dog run is to determine the location and space. Like a pool, dog runs are most beneficial when they are rectangular, allowing the dog to dart back and forth.
Dog Runs Can Have Multiple Compartments
The dog owner behind this design did a fantastic job of making sure that there is a space for multiple needs. They have a patch of grass next to a rectangular mulch area to provide their pooch with different terrain to play on.
They also created an awning over half of the dog run so that their canine can soak up the sun but also has a place to cool down. Along the fence are gardening beds that provide some landscaping but are out of the dog’s reach.
Concrete Dog Runs Can Prevent Excessive Digging
If your pooch loves to dig, you may be hesitant to let them out in the yard without supervision. One way to solve this problem is to create a dog run that has a concrete floor.
Preparing the area for a dog run is the second step. Using a rake or a garden tiller, you’ll pull up the grass and loosen the topsoil to prepare for the floor installation. You’ll also want to create holes for fence posts.
Dog Runs Can Fit Into Exterior Spaces
You don’t need a massive yard to create a dog run. Depending on the shape of your home, there may be an area that isn’t getting much use, anyways. Side yards are a popular choice for dog runs since they hug the property and don’t eat into the backyard.
Fake grass, mulch, and concrete are all popular choices for dog run flooring. Since concrete can be the most challenging to set on your own, you may want to consider having a professional come out to pour and smooth it out.
You Can Add Extra Wooden Posts As An Obstacle Course
If you want to spice things up with your dog run, you can add a couple of wooden posts to make a simple obstacle course for your pooch. Teach them how to weave in and out as they run from one side to the other.
As with fencing, you’ll want to install the posts before you layer the flooring so that they are secured in the holes in the ground. It’s also important to ensure that your gate or fence doesn’t have enough room beneath it for your dog to crawl under.
Tunnels Are Fun Additions To A Dog Run
Another way to keep your dog run entertaining is to create a tunnel for your pets to run through. Perhaps the easiest way to make a tunnel is by cutting out the bottom of a cardboard box and laying it to the side.
For a more permanent option, you can pick up some tires from your local junkyard and tie them together to form a tunnel. Dig a rectangular hole to set the tires in so they don’t roll around and fill the bottom with dirt to make an even base for your dog to run on.
Gravel Can Help Close The Gap Under Fences
Gravel can be a helpful addition to your dog run by adding a design element and closing the gap underneath your fence. You can plant succulents in the gravel to help prevent your dog from digging them up.
Rocks also make it challenging for the dog to dig their way under the fence and can fill spaces where they might wiggle their way out. Plus, gravel is a low-maintenance material you can use to give shape and variation to your dog run.
You Don’t Need A Huge Dog Run
Those who don’t have much outdoor space will be happy to hear that you don’t need to have a ton of land to make a dog run. This townhome has a thin space squeezed between a wall and a fence for pets to play.
Though larger dogs may be a little snug when they try to turn around, they would still be able to run from side to side or stretch out. Adversely, small dogs would have no problem frolicking along this strip of land.
Roofs Can Create A Shaded Dog Run
Under an overhang is a great location for a dog run. An extended roof can provide shade for the pups for a longer period of the day, which may be a good idea if you have a breed like a Husky.
The ideal temperature for dogs is between 68°F and 86°F, which is the temperature that most dogs and other species can maintain their body temperature without expending extra energy.
Finding The Right Section
On property like this one, there are plenty of spaces to build a dog run. What makes this area a good choice is the flat land, close proximity to trees for shade, and is attached to part of the house. This makes it easier for the dog to run in and out.
This medium-sized space even has a small platform that could be covered. A platform gives the dog a place to lay other than the grass, and can be nice to have if the ground is damp.
A Fence With Close Bars Is Best
Shown here, this dog owner designated a corner of their patio for the dog run. They poured gravel across the dirt, and lined the perimeter with rocks to keep the dog from digging out.
But also, let these rocks be a warning! It shows they are skeptical of the safety of the spacing in the fence. A fence with bars that are closer together would be safer in preventing the dog from getting out, or another critter from getting in.
A Tiny Dog Run For Tiny Dogs
Those who only have a porch or a large balcony can still create a dog run, especially if its for a small dog. Some pooches only weigh ten pounds or so, in which case a corner space like the one pictured is plenty of room to race around outside.
For bigger dogs, having a corner area like this one can still be an advantage in that it provides them a place to go to the bathroom if you aren’t home.
Mulch Offers A Layer Of Bedding
Mulch is a great option for a dog run. Its texture is soft and comfortable for the dog to lay on, like a layer of bedding. Pine mulch is recommended, but cedar is also a good option if your dog isn’t allergic to it (some dogs are) because it also helps repel flies and sticks.
Stay away from mulch that contains fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides, which are highly toxic to dogs, including cocoa bean mulch.
Be Sure That Hazardous Items Are Blocked Off
As important as it is to ensure that your pet can’t escape the dog run, it’s also vital that they don’t get into something hazardous while they’re in there.
Use durable tarps and tie-downs to eliminate hazards, and inspect the areas after the first few times the dog uses the area– safety comes first! Also make sure the plants in the area are safe for dogs, if they ingest, and that sprays and other pest controls aren’t in the space.
Gravel Prevents Muddy Dog Runs After A Rain
Though some dog owners are wary of gravel because it can get hot and runs the risk of being swallowed, there is a major advantage for rainy climates. Water passes through the gravel and gets soaked into the ground underneath.
This means that you won’t likely have to worry about your dog run flooding, and best of all, no muddy paws! It may be a convenient option for those who live in wet weather but need to let their dog out.
Make Sure Your Gate Is Sturdy
It may seem obvious, but dogs can be masters at getting out of a gate. Especially if your pooch will be in the dog run alone, you’ll need to make sure that the fencing is up to their standards.
Wooden fences can be more aesthetically pleasing, but it’s important that they don’t leave a gap at the base. You’ll also want to ensure that there’s paving stone or chicken wire below the surface so your canine doesn’t dig their way underground.
Try To Pick An Area That Gets Shade
Though you can always make a dog run that is covered or has an awning, picking a naturally shady space is a simpler solution. Side yards often have the shade from the house or surrounding trees.
However, be mindful of how the different times of day impact the shade of your dog run. The most ideal spot is one that has various pockets of shade throughout the day so that your pooch can always find solace from the heat.
The Dog Run Shouldn’t Feel Like A Cage
Even if your dog run has a roof, it shouldn’t feel like your pets are locked up in a cage. There are several ways to make the area comfortable for your furry friend. One way is to keep some toys in the area.
As we mentioned before, you can also add some obstacles like a tunnel, stairs, or weaving posts. Some owners add a dog house, even if their canine is an indoor pup. Plus, the more you put into the design, the less it will stand out from the rest of your home’s exterior.
Don’t Forget The Dog Door!
Though many dog runs are not located near an entrance to the home, it is always ideal to have a dog door leading from inside to outside and vise versa. If you’re able to pick a location where this is possible, then there’s less to worry about in terms of function.
For example, there’s less of a need for a roof or shade if your dog has access to the indoors from their dog run.
Feel Free To Mix And Match Materials
From digging to running to using the restroom, dog runs can serve many purposes for your pooch. So, don’t be afraid to mix and match different materials. If you can’t decide between mulch or concrete, incorporate both!
If your fencing is wood but you’d rather have a wire gate, go for it. There’s no limit on the creative ways you can make a dog run uniquely yours and the perfect spot for your furry friend.