Category Archives: dog run

How to Build a Dog Run

By Ruthie Bently

Have you ever wanted a safe place for your dog? Or do you just need a place for your dog to relieve themselves that is easy to control for pick up reasons? A dog run can be a great solution. It’s a place you can put your dog without them having to be leashed.

The first consideration is location. Pick a spot that will give you easy access to the dog run. You don’t want it too far away from the house door. You should also be able to see it from the house, and shouldn’t put your dog in their run without someone being home to supervise them. Make sure the location is large enough for the run.

Another thing to consider is whether your dog is a jumper or a digger. The run fencing should be tall enough to keep your dog from jumping over it. My AmStaff Katie went over a six foot fence from a standing start, which was a feat I never thought possible. The fencing for Skye’s dog yard is in different heights from four to six feet; she does not have the inclination to jump the fence, though I know she is capable of doing so. If you’re worried about your dog climbing the fence, you can always put a top on the run. This way your dog won’t get out and nothing will get in to bother them either.

If you have a digger, consider burying the bottom of your chain link fence down about eighteen inches. Or take chicken wire or an extra piece of chain link fence and bury it down far enough to dissuade your dog from digging, and attach it to the body of the main dog run fence. The breeds that are most apt to be diggers are sled dogs and wolf hybrids, although any dog can be a digger if there is something on the other side of the dog run fence that they want to get to. You will know best if an eighteen inch depth is enough, and you can adjust this depending on your own digging machine. Another way to dissuade diggers is to sink the posts of the dog run in cement. Our dog run fence is made to be free-standing and there are several natural plants as barriers on the outside of the run.

Shade is an important factor especially in the hotter months of the year. Some part of the dog should be in a shady area or able to be shaded by another means. You should also provide fresh water in your dog run, replaced daily to keep it from getting fouled by bugs or plants falling in, or algae growth. A dog house can be added for the winter months, though I suggest putting the house on the outside of the fence and cutting an access to it through the fence, unless your run has a top. Make sure the dog house is too heavy for your dog to push out of the way, to escape the run. The main reason for putting the house outside the run is to keep your dog from using it as a launching pad to get over the fence.

Making the run itself can be the labor intensive part, but well worth it. If you are going to make a graveled dog run, here’s how you do it. First, after you’ve decided how large your run should be, pick a place with the above requirements. Measure out the space where you want the run, and mark it off. Then dig down at least six inches and remove all the dirt from your space, leveling the bottom as well as possible. Put down a 2 inch layer of lime, which will help break down the urine and any feces washed into the gravel in the run. Next, put a two inch layer of large pea gravel (about 1 to 1-1/2 inch in diameter). Over the pea gravel put another layer of smaller pea gravel. This is what your dog will walk on.

If you have a dog with larger feet, you can pick a larger variety of pea gravel. You can use any stone, but pea gravels tend to be more rounded and without sharp edges. You can also use cement as a floor for your run, which is easy to hose off but could be rough on the pads of your dog’s feet if they are a pacer. Some people choose wood chips as well, but I don’t suggest them, as they can be full of bugs and bacteria can grow on them.

Remember, these are my personal observations and each dog is different. If you have more than one dog, you should consider their individual traits when you build a dog run.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Spring Cleaning Your Dog Run

It is almost that time of year again when we all venture outside for the next several months. This weekend in Minnesota we had a thaw, and Skye and I got to go outside and play ball. There is no grass growing yet in Skye’s dog yard though there is old grass from last year, which is about a quarter of an acre. 
While we were playing ball, I got an unpleasant surprise. The snow may have begun to thaw, but the ground has not. So we have frozen ground, with a layer of ice on it in places and standing water on top of that. While Skye does not go potty all over her yard, as she picks the fence perimeter in a few spots, it was still not a very nice sight especially after racing through it while chasing her ball.
I have been picking up dog poop and putting it in a compost bin over the winter, because I can’t use our doggie septic tank. So now I have liquefying dog poop around the yard where it had frozen to the ground before I could get to it. I’m sorry but I’m only human and I refuse to go out at 1:00am in a Minnesota winter if Skye wants to go out; to pick up poop in my nightie, especially when it is 20 degree
s below zero F. There isn’t any smell to speak of yet because it is now mixed with water and draining away, but it made me wonder what the regular dog owner does. What does someone with multiple dogs do? So I thought I would share some of the tools that I use when cleaning my dog yard.

In one of my recent articles I mentioned Odormute™ and how good it is to use on skunk odor. Well that isn’t the only thing it works on. I have used it since the mid 1970’s when I first discovered it; on cat litter boxes when they need to be cleaned, on cement floors that smell musty, to clean garbage cans and in my dog’s yard as well as anywhere else I needed a good deodorizer. It is non-toxic and non-caustic and is made of natural enzymes and salts. You can make three different strengths depending on the strength of the odor you are dealing with. It will not harm plants, pets or humans, and that is why I like it so much. I mix up a bucketful and spread it
 around the dog yard to deal with the odor issue. Odormute™ is now marketed by Hueter Toledo as well as the other product Ryter made called Lim’nate™.

Lim’nate™ is a sanitary digester for using in a doggie septic tank, which you can either make yourself or buy at a pet shop. In the spring after the temperature rises above about 40 degrees F, you put water in the bottom of your doggie septic tank, add Lim’nate™ and add your dog’s poop, and put the lid back on. The Lim’nate™ does the rest, digesting the poop you put in, and there’s no smell because it is underground. Depending on the weather conditions, all you have to do is add more poop, water and Lim’nate™ from time to time. The only thing about Lim’nate™ is that the digesting enzymes don’t work under about 32 degrees F. Other than that it keeps your yard odor free, which is a plus when you are dining al fresco or having a garden party.
All dog owners know how to scoop poop and dispose of it, but with these tools on hand it can make your job easier and you and your pets can celebrate a nicer smelling summer.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.