Hi what's wrong with grass?? We have very large day runs when we built them we put a layer of wire chain link or weld mesh (second hand of course) over the grass it does not take long to grow through and paving slabs around the outside of the grass to the fence line about 2 wide. It works well great in our hot summer and stops digging as the dog hits the wire. None of the dogs dig in the runs with wire however in one run there is a very small area without wire underneath and you bet they will dig there!!!We also have a couple of the runs with used conveyor belt rubber on top of the slabs. We use these runs for the youngsters and puppies saves their joints if they want to have a run up and down.
I've found for our dogs, that a larger washed rock, a bit larger than the pea rock (gravel has too much dirt in it) has worked best for drainage and pups and dogs do good on it. Mind you, we also have access to rock for next to nothing through friends who have a gravel pit. I tried the sand a few years ago as it was cheap, but it held the moisture in, and then started to smell. This past winter we had rock in one of our runs with shavings on top, which was good, but then when it came time to remove the shavings, it was difficult to get them all out without removing rock as well, and the shavings do hold moisture in, so they do have to be removed regularly. We just finished our indoor/outdoor runs, and so far really like the rock, the runs also have the option of opening up into a large grassed enclosure, and grass is good, but if you have a few dogs pounding on it on a daily basis in the hot weather, the grass sure doesn't last long and just turns into dirt! Before we put up the chain link, we buried stucco wire a few inches in the ground all along the borders of each kennel, and this has prevented any diggers. Overall, I like the rock as I can go out there and bleach it all down, hose it off, just easy to clean. The dogs also find it nice and cool in the summer. We have raised platforms in each kennel with a dog bed as well.
I have been experimenting with the new Nafcor product especially with the youg pups in the welping and weeaning boxes. It is working very well. No odor, no moisture. So far they have not been eating it but if they did it would not harm them. It also would be much easier for them to pass than pea gravel.:)
In our outdoor 10x10 kennels I have the roofing system to keep it shady and to prevent rain from pouring down on them, I have an Igloo dog house in each along with a layer of pea gravel then we put the 2x4 plastic kennel flooring that you can order from www.petedge.com. It is easy to spray clean, non pourous and it keeps the pups and young dogs off the ground.
In our large 1/2 acre fenced playgrounds, which is mostly grass, but along the fence line where they run it works great to put down some sand and the concrete pavers which come in all sizes and colors. This helps to keep the dogs clean. You could use pea gravel for this but of course some of the dogs will end up eating it, plus you have to rake it out smooth every few days because of the constant running on it which pushes the pea gravel to the side, then about once every couple of months or so you have to replentish the gravel supply as it seems to disappear :)
We are in the process of building a nice indoor kennel complete with a kitchen, office, reception area, whelping and weaning rooms and at least 12 indoor/outdoor runs. Most of the flooring in this building will be a combination of concrete and the tile which is used in commercial type buildings such as grocery stores and vet offices (www.marleyfloors.com ). The concrete will be sealed with epoxy or the pourable rubber flooring.I have drawn and designed this kennel to maximize drainage on this particular property.All drainage will go into a septic tank to reduce odor. We can't wait until it is complete!
I will keep you posted on the Nafcor product! So far so good!
Didn't mean to ramble so long!!
Thanks to everyone for their responses. Our dogs have a covered kennel with 6 X 12 kennels on cement with Igloo dog houses. We have 4 indoor outdoor runs and the concrete works well for this situation. It is easy to clean and sanitize. Our 20 X 50 outdoor runs are a mess. They were grass but now mostly dirt as the dogs sure do some damage. In the winter they turn to mud and the dogs either dont get to go out or come back in covered in mud which I dont think they really mind but I do. I really dont want my dogs eating pea gravel so I believe the larger rock would work well but I worry it will tough on their paws. My hubby has been telling me this is what we should do anyway, and I wouldnt listen. I guess he wins this one....grin. Now I have an "I TOLD YOU SO" coming!Thanks again to all,
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