Running around and playing in the great outdoors is an essential part of any healthy and happy dog’s life. However, if you decide, for whatever reason that you can’t spend enough time outside with your dog each day, then it’s highly likely that a dog run is on your agenda. Containing your dog in a safe and secure place is important both for your peace of mind and your dog’s happiness and safety. It’s for this reason there are several things to take into account before diving into building a dog run. Here are the main things we think you should consider to get the project spot-on:
- Work out where you’re going to put the run. Knowing where you want to put the run will help you plan your whole project. It’s essential that you make sure that the dog run doesn’t spoil your time in your garden, but also that it makes the best use of space available from your dog’s point of view. Putting your dog enclosure in the right spot from day one will save you work in the long term and will mean that you and your dog have a long and happy time in the great outdoors. Think about sun, wind, rain and visibility here.
- Establish the size of the run. The size of dog run you need will be determined of course by the size of your dog and your garden, but it will also be affected by the amount of time your dog is likely to spend in the run each day. A general rule of thumb is: the longer he needs to spend in it, the bigger it should be.
- Decide if you’re going to tackle the job on a DIY basis or whether you’ll get the pros in. Although building a dog run isn’t all that complicated, you do need to make sure that you have the required skills before taking on the job on a DIY basis. You also need to make sure you either have, or have access to all the tools you’ll need to do the job properly. If the land where you plan to situate the run needs leveling or working to be suitable for the run, then you need to add this into the equation too. If you are in any doubt about achieving a great result, it’s well worth getting the pros in to get the job done quickly and effectively (sometimes this option costs less in the end).
- Establish the best sort of dog fence for your dog. When it comes to establishing what type of dog fence you need, you have to take into account the size of your dog and whether or not he is a climber. Here are some rough guidelines: 8cm spaced bars suit medium to large breeds, but not small breeds as they can get through the bars. On the other hand, 5cm spaced bars suit all breeds. Bar type runs have the advantage of being anti-climb. Mesh type runs are suitable for all breeds but dogs can scale them, which is a problem if you have a climber. If you have a climber, you’ll need to roof a mesh type run.
- Decide whether you will put his kennel inside or outside the run. Whether you position the kennel inside or outside the run will depend to a large extent on the space you have available and also whether or not your dog is a ‘jumper’! If you place the kennel inside the run and he decides he wants to make a leap for freedom, then he’s got the chance to hop on top of the kennel to make his escape with only a couple of feet left to jump over the dog run. If space is tight however, and you need to have your kennel inside the dog run, a solution is roofing the run (at Slaneyside Dog Kennels and Runs we make it a priority to always find a solution)
- Determine whether you should roof the dog run. Whether or not you should roof your dog’s new outside space will depend on the weather and whether or not he has a kennel. If your dog doesn’t have access to a kennel while he’s in his dog run, then it’s essential to roof at least part of the kennel so he has protection from the sun and the rain. Also, as we’ve already mentioned, if you choose a mesh type run and you have a climber, you should also roof the run to keep your dog enclosed and safe.
- Establish the best position for the gate. When planning your run, it’s important to establish the best position for the gate. When considering layout, make sure you consider all year round planting implications. For example a gate position that works in the winter might no longer work in the summer when plants and trees are bushier and need more space. Needless to say, it’s important to make sure that the gate is positioned at the most convenient place for access from your point of view.
- We do hope this guide has helped you figure out what you need to think about when building a dog run, but if you’re still unsure, why not get in touch? At Slaneyside Dog Kennels and Runs we’re always happy to provide impartial, professional advice to help make sure every dog is a happy dog.