Pet dogs are usually put in a cage or on a leash when it is allowed out of the house. While being caged or tied up gives dogs a chance to stay outdoors, they are still not able to enjoy moving around freely. Walking on a leash with their owners during pee and poop time is not counted as “moving freely”. The dogs need some time to run and jump without being choked. This is where dog runs come in. Dog runs are open spaces secured by fences to provide dogs legroom, literally. Here are the major factors you should consider when building dog runs.
- Find out if there are local ordinances regarding dog runs in your area. There may be rules you need to follow and permits you need to secure before building a dog run, especially so in a more crowded residential area. Coordinate with the local government office.
- Consider the size and number of your dogs. The size and design of your dog run will depend on the breed of your dogs. Bigger dogs will need a sturdier and higher fence, while small dogs will need a smaller space and a lower fence.
- Assess your options for the location of the dog run. If your yard is all grass and soil, then place the dog run in an area far from the garden and the garage, but near a tree if there is one. It should also be in an area where it can be seen from inside the house. If your yard is all cemented, then place the dog run near a cooler area, preferably close to the house. You may have to add a permanent roof if you intend to have dogs in the long term.
- Prepare the materials for the dog run. If you plan to build a temporary dog run just for the summer, then all you need are materials for the fence. If you will build a permanent dog run, then you will have to add materials for the roof, and if the ground is bare, you will also need to cover it.
- The fence is usually made of chain link although you may also opt for picket fences. Chain link fences are better especially for bigger dogs because you are able to see through it and there is better ventilation. You have to have metal or wooden posts for the corners of the perimeter to attach the chain link to.
- For the ground cover, you may use gravel, but if your dogs have sensitive paws, you may use woodchips. If the soil is sandy, then there is no need to cover it.
- Build the dog run. The metal or wooden posts need to be secured on the ground, preferably at least two feet deep. Dig deeper if the height of the fence is more than five feet. Then attach the chain link fence. Make sure it touches the ground, and if your dog is the type that digs in the soil, then you have to extend the chain link below the ground to keep your pet from escaping. You will need a more secure foundation if you will include a roof.
Once the dog run is built, make sure it is always clean and that the dogs still get their “pee and poop time” during your walks.