Before building a dog kennel, the owner needs to decide on placement, size and the kind of flooring to use for the kennel. Dog owners have several options to choose from for the kennel floor. Rock floors offer a mix of comfort for the dog and ease of maintenance for the owner.
Pea gravel is one of the best choices for a rock floor. The gravel is naturally rounded, frequently from being tumbled in river beds. It's small, widely available and decorative. The gravel doesn't have any hard edges to hurt a dog's foot pads. It also allows for drainage and is heavy enough not to scatter when hosed off. Pea gravel is typically available in 3/8-inch and 3/4-inch sizes. The smaller the gravel, the better. Smaller gravel is easier for dogs to walk on and more comfortable.
Concrete is a popular flooring material in dog kennels. It's usually poured at a slight angle to allow liquid to run off. A drainage pipe inserted at the base can funnel rainwater and urine into a drainage area. Concrete is expensive to put in initially and it requires a long curing period; however, in the long term it is low maintenance and highly sanitary. Owners can scoop up feces and hose off the concrete to clean it.
Laying Out the Rock Kennel Floor
To build a rock-floored kennel, you'll need to excavate at least 3 inches of ground or build a wood or concrete form to contain the rock. After tamping down the ground, cover it with a layer of heavy gravel, then top with a layer of your chosen rock or with concrete. You can install a pipe at the base of one end to allow for drainage.
Alternatives to Rock
Dog owners may consider alternatives to rock for their dog kennels. Grass is an inexpensive option but requires mowing and turns yellow in spots from urine. Wood chips are a cheap alternative but they absorb liquids and decay within a few months. Wood chips also fly away when the dog digs or runs across the kennel. High-density plastic and composite materials are environmentally friendly and low maintenance, but they heat up in the sun.