A Dog’s Dream Home – Add a Dog Run to Your House for Endless Fun

Benefits of Attaching a Dog Run to Your House

benefits of attached dog run

Attaching a dog run directly to your home provides numerous benefits for both you and your furry friend. Some of the top advantages include:

Convenience – Having the dog run attached means you don’t have to walk your dog to a park or yard for playtime and exercise. You can simply open the door and let them out into the run. This saves time and energy [1].

Security – With the run attached to your home, you can easily monitor your dog from inside. This gives peace of mind that they are safe while playing outdoors [2].

More Time with Pets – A home dog run allows you to spend more quality time with your furry friends since you don’t have to drive them anywhere. You can conveniently play, train, or relax together [3].

Exercise – Dogs get great physical and mental exercise while using a run. They can sprint, play fetch, dig, or chew toys while expending energy in a safe space.

Cost Savings – Maintaining a home dog run is cheaper long-term compared to paying for commercial doggy daycares or boarding.

factors to consider before building dog run

Things to Consider Before Building

There are several important factors to consider before embarking on building a dog run attached to your house. Understanding these elements beforehand will help ensure the project goes smoothly.

First, check with your local zoning laws and homeowners association rules to ensure a dog run is allowed on your property. There may be regulations on size, materials, or placement that need to be followed.

Next, develop a budget for the project based on the design, materials, and size of the run. Some lower cost options are chain link fencing and gravel flooring, while more expensive choices are treated wood and poured concrete.

The layout and flow with the home is also important for easy access. Measure the space to allow adequate room for your dog to comfortably move around. Consider how the run will integrate with your landscaping as well.

Research which building materials will be safest and most durable for your climate. Pressure treated wood and galvanized hardware are good basic options to withstand the elements.

Ideal Size and Layout

ideal size and layout for attached dog run

The ideal size and layout for an attached dog run depends primarily on the size and temperament of your dog(s), as well as how many dogs will be using the space. According to sources like DIY: Building the Perfect Dog Kennel – Gun Dog Magazine (https://www.gundogmag.com/editorial/how-to-design-the-perfect-dog-kennel/175609), a good rule of thumb is to allow for at least 100-200 square feet per large breed dog. Smaller dogs may only need 50-100 square feet.

It’s also important to think about having designated areas for play, rest, eating, and elimination. Install play equipment like tunnels, ramps or agility obstacles in one section of the run. Include a shady spot for napping and elevated dog beds for comfort. Position the food and water bowls away from high traffic zones. And designate a corner with landscaping or artificial grass for a potty area.

An L-shaped or rectangular layout tends to work well for an attached dog run. This allows you to maximize space while still keeping an open flow. Just be sure to avoid narrow passages where dogs may feel trapped. Having 10-12 feet of length or more is ideal. Consider installing decorative fencing or barriers to divide zones within a larger run.

Best Materials to Use

When building an attached dog run, it’s important to choose durable materials that will withstand your dog’s activity as well as the elements. Here are some of the best options for fencing, flooring, shelters, and accessories:


For fencing, galvanized steel is a popular choice as it is sturdy, weather-resistant, and difficult for dogs to chew through. According to Install It Direct, galvanized steel fencing often comes in 6-foot tall panels that can be screwed into posts set in concrete.

Other good fencing options are vinyl coated wire mesh, pressure treated wood, or composite wood like Trex. Be sure to choose a fencing height suited for your dog’s size and jumping ability. For added security, consider covering the run with a roof and dig the fence 6-12 inches into the ground.


For flooring, mulch, pea gravel, and rubber mats are good options according to MegaGrass. Mulch is natural-looking, budget-friendly, and cushions paws. Pea gravel drains well, is soft underfoot, and can be hosed off. Rubber mats are durable, easy to clean, and comfortable for dogs.

Artificial grass is another popular choice as it offers drainage, comfort, and resembles real grass. Be sure to choose artificial grass made for pets. Other flooring like concrete or patio blocks can work too.

Shelters and Accessories

For shelters and accessories, consider weatherproof dog houses, platforms for the dogs to lounge on, digging areas, chew toys, bowls, and shady spots according to Ideal Turf. These items will keep your dog entertained, comfortable, and safe while in the run.

Make sure to include proper drainage and ventilation as well. And don’t forget to add accessories that you will enjoy too like benches, decorative landscaping, and lighting.

How to Attach Securely to House

When attaching a dog run to an existing house, it’s important to integrate it properly into the home’s walls for maximum stability. According to K9 Kennel Store, using metal brackets specifically designed for connecting a dog house to a kennel run is recommended. These sturdy brackets bolt into the wall of the house on one side, and to the roof frame of the kennel on the other, keeping both structures firmly in place.

The run should attach to the house via a secure gate that latches closed to prevent the dog from pushing it open. Using a heavy-duty sliding bolt latch or other weatherproof closure ensures the gate stays shut. The walls of the run should also be made of weather-resistant materials like treated wood, galvanized steel, or composite fencing to withstand outdoor conditions. Caulking around seams helps seal out moisture. With proper construction techniques, the run will integrate seamlessly and safely into the home.

Important Safety Features

When building a dog run attached to your home, safety should be your top priority. Proper fencing, gates, shelter from the elements, drainage, and ventilation are key factors to consider.

The fencing should be sturdy and high enough that your dog cannot jump or climb over it. Metal wire fencing often works best, at least 5-6 feet high for large breeds. Bury part of the fence underground to prevent digging and escapes (Source).

Include a secure gate with a latch that cannot be opened by your dog. Make sure there are no gaps in the fencing or gate where paws could get stuck.

Provide adequate shade and shelter, like a tarp canopy or enclosed dog house (Source). Proper drainage is also important to avoid standing water and muddy conditions.

Allow for ventilation in warm weather but block cold winter winds. Fans or openings at the top of a partial enclosure can improve airflow.

With safety as the priority, your dog can enjoy the independence of an attached outdoor run worry-free.

Fun Additions and Accessories

An attached dog run becomes even more exciting when you add fun toys, obstacles, and water features for your dog to enjoy. Here are some fun additions to consider:

Toys – Adding toys to a dog run keeps your pup active and engaged. Good options include chew toys, balls, ropes, and interactive toys like treat-dispensing puzzles.

Obstacles – Obstacle courses are great for giving high-energy dogs an outlet. You can add tunnels, hurdles, teeter-totters, hoops, and other obstacles for your dog to jump over and run through.

Sprinklers – On hot days, dogs love cooling off in sprinklers! Attach sprinklers to spray above or across parts of the run for a fun water play zone.

Kiddie Pools – Fill a plastic kiddie pool with water for a place for your dog to splash, swim, and beat the heat on summer days. Supervise use to prevent tipping.

Adding engaging toys, splash pads, and obstacle courses makes a dog run even more enriching and fun for pets. Change up additions regularly to keep your dog mentally stimulated.

Maintenance and Upkeep

An attached dog run requires regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure it stays clean, sanitary, and free of damage. Here are some tips for maintaining your dog run:

Cleaning should be done at least once a week, or more often depending on use and weather conditions. Use a hose or pressure washer to remove dirt, mud, grass, feces, and urine from the floor surface. A mixture of vinegar and water helps sanitize and deodorize (1).

Check for sharp objects, uneven footings, protruding nails or broken boards, and make any necessary repairs immediately to avoid injury. Inspect the perimeter for loose boards, gaps, or holes where your dog could potentially dig out or escape (2).

Control pests like fleas, ticks, flies, and mosquitos which can breed in the dog run. Use pet-safe sprays or powders and replace gravel or sand if needed. Check for rodents and block any holes or entrances to the run.

During winter, remove snow promptly after storms so it doesn’t turn to ice. Consider adding a roof overhang to prevent snow buildup.

With regular maintenance and by making timely repairs, your attached dog run will stay clean, safe, and functional for years to come.

(1) https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Building-a-Dog-Run-for-Pennies

(2) https://www.germanshepherds.com/threads/any-tips-for-maintaining-a-gravel-dog-run.127968/

Cost Breakdown

cost breakdown for building dog run

The cost of building an attached dog run can vary greatly depending on the size, materials used, and whether you hire a professional or do it yourself. Some of the main costs include:

Materials – Basic chain link fencing can cost $15-$25 per linear foot installed. Other options like wood, composite, or vinyl fencing range from $25-$100 per linear foot. Prefabricated dog run kits start around $500. You’ll also need costs for posts, hardware, gravel or pavers for the base, a roof or shade structure, doors, and any accessories.

Labor – Hiring a fencing contractor to install a basic chain link dog run will cost around $800 on average. More complex builds with wood or other materials may cost $2,000 or more. Do-it-yourself installation will save significantly on labor costs.

Maintenance – Periodic maintenance like removing waste, hosing down the run, and checking for damage may take 5-10 minutes daily. Deep cleaning the run thoroughly 1-2 times per year will take 1-2 hours. Repairs for fencing, roofing, or accessories may be needed every few years.

Final Considerations

Before building an attached dog run, it’s important to think through a few final considerations.

First, speak with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is healthy enough for regular outdoor play and exercise. Some dogs with arthritis or other health conditions may not be suited for a dog run.

Additionally, properly train your dog to use the run space. Take time to introduce them slowly and positively reinforce good behavior in the run. Proper training will prevent issues like excessive barking or digging under the fence.

As an alternative, consider building a smaller enclosed outdoor area connected to the home, like a screened-in porch. This allows your dog some protected outdoor time while still being close by. A partially covered run is another option.

Finally, be sure to check with your homeowners association or local permit office. There may be regulations on size, materials, or placement you need to follow when constructing an attached dog run.

With some planning and training, an attached dog run can be a great addition to your home. But be sure to consider your specific circumstances to make the best choice for you and your dog.

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