If an outdoor kennel or run is the best option for your dog, you'll want to be sure it's a safe and comfortable space for your pup. This includes providing shade, water, a bed, and the right kind of flooring. There are different flooring materials for dog kennels, but rock flooring is a popular choice for a number of reasons.
Pea gravel flooring
Pea gravel refers to small, smooth stones that come in a variety of colors. It is commonly used for landscaping, driveways, and footpaths, and many people consider it the best rock for a dog run as well. Pea gravel is low-maintenance, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive (about $3 for a bag that covers 5 cubic feet). It doesn't retain much heat and is a more comfortable surface for dog paws than other materials.
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Crushed limestone flooring
Crushed limestone is another good option for dog kennel flooring. This material is hardy in all kinds of weather and is easy to clean by hosing it down. It can actually help minimize the odors from dog urine and feces due to its natural lime properties. Crushed limestone is smooth and doesn't retain a lot of heat, making it a good option for dog paws. It is also fairly affordable at around $1.50 per square foot.
River rock flooring
River rock is another popular flooring for a dog kennel. River rocks are larger than pea gravel or crushed limestone, but this material has some qualities that make it a desirable choice for dog runs. These flat, smooth stones are comfortable for canine paws, drain easily, and don't sink into the ground like smaller rocks or gravel.
River rock does have some downsides, though. It can become hot in the summer months, as the rocks absorb a lot of heat. This makes it a less than ideal dog kennel floor in areas with hot summers or in yards that don't have much shade. River rock is expensive and can cost up to about $4 per cubic foot, making it a pricey option for larger kennels. River rock should be carefully installed using landscape edging, as loose rocks create a tripping hazard for dogs. The uneven surface can also be uncomfortable for dogs to lie on. Make sure to provide a raised bed or a grassy area for your dog to snooze on if you use river rock in the kennel.
Concrete kennel flooring
Another option for outdoor dog kennel flooring, concrete is often used due to its durability and ease of cleaning. Concrete can be poured at an angle, creating a slope that lets the area drain easily. However, concrete can be tough on a dog's paw pads and joints over time. If you do choose a concrete floor for your dog kennel, be sure to provide an area for your pup to relax that is not concrete. A wooden platform, thick rubber mat, or a raised bed are all great options.
Other considerations for concrete are that this material gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Concrete costs around $2 per square foot, but the price will vary depending on whether you plan to pour it yourself or hire a contractor.
Outdoor dog kennel ideas
In addition to weighing all the dog kennel flooring ideas, there are a number of factors to consider when building an outdoor dog kennel. The size, location, materials, and amenities for your canine residents are all important choices to make. You can build your own outdoor dog kennel or run with a bit of work and some DIY guides.