I have a golden retriever. She is a 3 year old house dog who is fully potty trained. My backyard is fenced in and I let her out all the time. Problem is, I’m starting a full time JOB that will keep me away for hours. I can’t leave her in the house for that long and I don’t want to put her in a cage. Letting her wander in the backyard is my only option, but she worries that she will get lonely and try to find a way out (it happened once before).
After exploring my options, I decided to purchase a dog park. I plan to put it in a nice shady spot in the corner of the patio. But here’s my problem: the outdoor kennel needs some kind of flooring. You could just drop it on the grass, but that will turn into a muddy mess in no time. So I set out to see what kennel flooring options are available.
My first thought was to throw out some indoor/outdoor rugs. Maybe get it in a funky color to spice up your space? A doggy diva has a reputation to uphold, you know. So I ran to the Lowe’s garden department. While searching, I found another option: outdoor patio flooring. There aren’t as many color options or as stylish as outdoor rugs. When the guy working there asked me what I was looking for and I told him, he pointed out that the dog will be eliminating somewhere on the floor of his dog park, and the outside carpet would be toast in no time.
My next stop was the local farm supply store. They suggested that I use mats, like the ones they put in horse stables. The mats are approximately one inch thick and made of heavy rubber. You cut them to the size you need. Cleaning them isn’t much of a problem as you just sweep or hose them down. You can even use a cleaner on them. They are a bit squooshy which would make it comfortable for my dog when he is laying down relaxing. I might even throw in some wood shavings which I’m told keeps my cage smelling fresh and certain types of wood even keep fleas away.
As I was thinking about stable mats, I began to think about other types of mats. Bar mats? They have plenty of holes, which would be great for drainage in case you spill your drink. But their legs could get stuck in the holes and they could sink into the ground. Carpets for children? Available in primary colors and you could learn your ABC’s and 123 at the same time! They actually make interlocking tiles for dog parks. You put them together like puzzle pieces.
Another thought is to install a concrete pad. After all, that’s what the professionals use for their kennels. I pointed out to my husband that it’s a simple DIY type weekend project. All you need are some 2x4s, a wheel cylinder, and some concrete. I could get it out in a morning and it would only take two to three days to heal depending on the weather. Once you’re ready, you could put down a rug or blanket, perhaps a stylish doghouse to give him a place to go in bad weather, and hang some party lights to make him feel right at home.