Building a Dog Run

By Muffy Marracco , last updated March 9, 2011

Building a dog run is a great home improvement project that will provide a safe space to exercise your dog. As an added benefit, the dog run can keep your dog away from your precious plants and landscaping. You can buy a pre-made fenced kennel or build your own dog run.

Use fencing to make the dog run. Try to make the fenced area as long as possible so your dog has plenty of room to run and build up speed. Measure your dog – ensure that the space is at least twice as wide and five times longer than the dog. But ideally, provide as much space as you can for Fido. Also make sure the height is adequate so your dog can’t jump out and escape.

Since dogs react to passersby, postal carriers and other distractions, consider in investing in a more solid fence than just chain link, such as wood. Or insert slats in the chain link to block your dog’s field of vision. Check local building codes before you start to make sure you’re not violating any zoning rules. Consider hiring a professional if you’re not comfortable taking on the project yourself.

If there is space, provide a doghouse for your dog. This will shelter him from the hot sun, cold winds or rain. Hang a tarp over part of the run to make shade and keep part of the run dry.

Always provide a bowl of water so your dog can drink throughout the day. Clean the dog run regularly so your dog isn’t running around in his own waste. And don’t assume that the run is providing enough exercise. Your dog will still need regular walks. Do not leave your dog in the run 24-7. Dogs left out overnight tend to bark, and your dog craves your attention.

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