Dog Kennel (outdoor) floors

Asked July 20, 2015, 2:48 PM EDT

Any advice r.e. dog kennel/ dog run floors? We have a 6 yo Siberian Husky and an Airedale about 2 y.o., both fairly aggressive diggers left to themselves. Prior dog run floor was 1.5" crushed rock w/ pretty significant edges and points. Dog run measurements appox. 10 x 30.' Prior weed barrier was farm grade black plastic overlain w/ the crushed rock. Have gotten various opinions as to what to do now that we've pulled the old rock and are back to raw dirt. Our Vet says only truly workable fix is cement or pavers. Some say landscape fabric overlain w/ chicken wire or hardware cloth overlain with pea gravel has worked. Have seen compelling info on artificial turf produced specifically for the aforementioned use, but is also quite costly (est. $8000) for our area's dimensions. Any advice or insight would be appreciated. Thanks, Craig Colberg

Weld County Colorado

1 Response

Hi Craig,

I got your question last night, but waited until today to reply because my dog is currently at doggie day care and I knew with the number of dogs they see they would have a good answer.

Well, I was wrong. Her answer was, “It depends.”

Her first thought was that with the space you have available, you should use two types of flooring. Ideally it would be pea gravel and grass. However, grass might not be the best solution for you.

Let’s begin with the pea gravel.

The part of the kennel where you want them to go to the bathroom you put in about 4 inches of pea gravel. In the doggie day care, the dogs have learned to potty here, however, if you can get a bit of their scent from somewhere else & add it to the pea gravel, then they will know that the gravel is to relieve themselves on. She said she scoops up the solids & just hoses it down weekly, this helps lessen the smell. You'll need to use a 2x4 or some barrier to separate the pea gravel potty area from the "living" part of the kennel.

For the "living" area, cement is easiest because you can hose it off... But it is hard on the dog's feet and can be cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. What works nicely is to use grass & re-seed it each spring with one of those super-hardy seeds you see advertised on TV, then keep it watered & if your dog always pees in the pea-gravel, then the grass might continue to grow & be soft & cool on their feet, at least for most of the summer.

Dogs do stop digging as they get older, but I am guessing grass might not be the best option for you. You might want to look into using a horse trailer mat. They are at feed stores, are heavy and strong and chew-proof, and are made from recycled tires. Use a C-clamp to attach to the edge so you can drag it into place. They are heavy! They are similar to the nice mats you find in some commercial garages or restaurants where people stand all day, but cheaper.

Between cement and pavers, I like pavers better. Pavers are usually angled to allow run off, and are easy to hose down, but urine can be absorbed and leave some lasting scent. The area can be treated with a concrete sealer, but this also makes the floor slippery.

Regarding the artificial turf, it’s definitely important that it is made for dogs. The type you would use for a patio room can easily be snagged then chewed on and eaten by dogs. I cannot begin to describe how bad this is for a dog’s stomach.

Here is a web site with some things to think about.

And here is a Pinterest site that shows what other people are using.

This is an excellent question. Selecting proper flooring for an outdoor dog run is crucial for creating a kennel that is safe and comfortable for your dog, yet still easy to maintain. I enjoyed researching it.

If you still have questions, please repost.