How To Build a Dog Run

How To Build a Dog Run

If you own a dog, you understand that it needs a regular dose of exercise in order to live a happy and healthy life.  While dog owners do their best to make sure their furry friends get the run they need on a daily basis, it’s not always possible to spend the time necessary exercising them.  Dog owners who live in a home with a yard have an advantage, but even those who enjoy this situation face limitations, as you can’t just let dogs run free and unsupervised with no fencing or structure in place to keep them and others safe.  If you don’t have a fence and can’t or don’t want to build one, or there are other reasons that your dog can’t run around your yard, it may seem as though your options are limited.

Aluminum Fences Direct has an option for you.  We provide you with fencing options for all different types of situations, including for when you have a puppy.  In addition to a puppy fence, you could also build a dog run.  Doing so would provide your dog with fresh air and exercise while keeping him or her safe and contained so that you don’t have to worry about encountering any serious problems.  The trouble is, building a dog run can be daunting for those who haven’t done such a thing in the past.  We’re going to present you with some ideas below to help you get started and perhaps even finish this project if you feel it’s what you need.

Analyze Your Available Land

The first question to answer with regards to your dog run is where to build it.  That will largely depend on the layout of your lot and where the dog run will make the most sense.  Generally, people will build a dog run so that it sits along the perimeter of a yard to minimize the intrusion on the rest of the land.  However, some prefer a square-shaped structure.  Consider walking your land and taking a close look at it from the standpoint of where to put this structure, as you may be surprised at what you think of when you do so.  When you have the idea in mind, draw it out so that if/when you talk to others about this, you can show them what you have in mind as you move your plan forward.

Size Matters

The purpose of your dog run is to make sure that your dog can run around outside safely.  That also means that you’ll need to build something that your dog will want to use and something in which he or she will feel comfortable.  Dogs don’t like feeling crowded or cramped, so keep the size of your dog in mind as you think about what you’re going to build.  We’re not just talking about width, but also length.  Generally speaking, your dog run should be at least five times as long as your dog is tall, and it should be at least three 3-5 feet wide if you’re going to have one that’s narrow instead of square.  Beyond that, the more room you want to provide, the better, but any less than that and it may not get the use you hope for.

Prevent Escapes

One of the biggest reasons that people build dog runs in the first place is because their furry friends tend to be escape artists.  That attitude is not going to change if he or she suddenly finds room to roam in a dog run.  You will need to take some preventative measures to keep your dog contained in the dog run, or you’ll be facing the same problems you would if you let him or her roam free outside.  If your dog is a jumper, build a roof on top of the structure so he or she can’t get over the fence.  If your dog is a digger, extend the fence you build below the generally suggested guideline of 12-18 inches below ground.  Dig down two feet or more so your dog won’t have an easy time getting underneath the fence.

Keep the Sun in Mind

Every plot of land is different, which means that the sun will hit your yard differently than most others.  If a dog run is placed such that it exposes the dog to the hot sun all day long, he or she may not want to use it.  However, keeping the dog run completely out of the sun may not be a good idea either if your dog is a sun worshipper.  The best approach, if possible, for building your dog run is to place it such that your dog can sit in the sun if he or she so chooses, but you should also provide the option for shade if that’s what he or she needs.  If you’re not sure about how all of this works, take the time to track the sun’s movement across your yard if you’re not aware of it already.

Plan Your Materials

One of the biggest benefits to building your own dog run is that you are completely in control of how it works, how it looks, where it goes and how much it costs.  In order to provide yourself with proper expectations, list the materials you’re going to need to build the dog run ahead of time and get as close an estimate on cost for each as possible.  This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises and cost overruns that don’t help anyone.  Every self-built dog run is unique, but for the most part, you can plan on needing the following:

  • Wooden posts
  • Fencing
  • Concrete
  • Digging tools if you don’t have them
  • Weed cloth
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Hinges
  • Screws
  • Nails

The list above is hardly exhaustive, as once again it will depend on the specifics of the dog run you’re going to build.  If you’re looking for fencing help, you can always take a look at what Aluminum Fences Direct has to offer in this regard.  Of for bigger dogs, you can choose from any of their options here…  Aluminum Fences Direct.  Otherwise, think about how much of each of these materials you’re going to need to come up with a cost estimate.

Be Honest With Yourself

If you’re going to build your own dog run, you should make an honest assessment of the work with regards to every aspect of it before you begin.  This includes assessing your own ability to build something like this.  While it’s a doable project for many people, it is a lot of work that requires some craftsmanship and skill.  If you haven’t poured posts into the ground before and made sure that they’re plumb and level with each other, it could lead to problems if you intend to build a roof.  If you haven’t worked with hinges or strappings in the past, you may need to be able to do so.  The bottom line is that it may make more sense to hire a professional to help you build your dog run if you don’t have experience with this sort of thing.  That cost may wind up being less than if you start the project and wind up hiring someone to correct mistakes and clean up problems down the road.

Lay the Groundwork

The possibilities for the ground that your dog is going to run on are nearly limitless, as you can use concrete, the ground that’s there, mulch, gravel or just about anything else.  However, what you’ll need to do before you start is make sure that the area where you’re going to build the dog run is completely clear of debris, clutter or any other potential obstacles.  Remove any and all rocks from the area where the dog run is going to sit.  Level the ground and grade it properly so that when it rains, your dog isn’t dealing with standing water.  Do whatever is necessary to make not only the installation, but the use of the dog run as smooth and efficient as possible.

Take Your Time

Rushed jobs are often jobs that subsequently require more work because of things that are missed or because of poor craftsmanship.  You want to give your furry friend a place to roam as quickly as possible, but you shouldn’t sacrifice quality for the purpose of saving a day or two in time.  Invest in your time as well as your materials to make sure this is done right the first time.  You will be rewarded for your patience.

If you’re unsure of where to start or where to turn when thinking about how to build a dog run, you can always speak to the team of professionals at Aluminum Fences Direct.  We’ve helped people with their fencing needs all over the country, and we’d be happy to work with you as you move towards providing your dog with a safe and enjoyable place to spend time outside.  Please feel free to contact us at any time.