For most dog owners, their pet is another family member. Therefore, we want them to be as healthy, secure, and comfortable as possible. On the other hand, usually, our four-legged buddies tend to misbehave when they get the chance, and if you care for your garden as well, you will try to keep them away from your flower beds and veggies.

One of the best and most common options to prevent all of these is placing a dog run in the backyard. Normally, people focus on important stuff like the location of the dog run, the materials, length, height, and even the style, but they usually forget to consider the ground cover. The wrong choice of ground could end up in nasty situations, especially during winter.

barkWood Mulch

Wood chips or mulch placed over landscaping fabric is a very popular option. It looks great and provides excellent drainage. Nonetheless, it is hard to remove your dog’s waste and rinse out the urine. Eventually, you will need to replace the wood chips. Otherwise, bacteria could breed easily.


Gravel is another popular option for dog runs. It is affordable and also provides good drainage.

If you want to go with gravel, make sure of the quality. You will want to avoid sharp edges on your gravel. If your dog has a tendency to chew rocks or has sensitive paws, then you might want to consider another option.


Natural grass provides a soft ground cover, and most dogs enjoy grass. Nonetheless, grass requires as much maintenance as wood mulch. Mowing, watering and weeding constantly is recommended to keep it nice and soft.

Make sure there are no toxic plants near the dog run that might grow on the ground. Consider using non-toxic insecticides and herbicides, especially in the areas your dog normally uses as a restroom.


A concrete pad is easy and inexpensive to pour. It can simply be rinsed down to remove liquid waste, and solid waste is very easy to remove as well. However, it can get easily flooded if it is not constructed correctly, especially during winter.

Concrete pads can also get extremely hot during the summer. It is important to place the dog run where it gets enough shade during the day. Otherwise, your dog could harm its paws.

Paving Stones

Creating a paving stone floor for your dog run is more expensive than pouring concrete, but it is also far more visually appealing. This option provides a slip-resistant surface that allows for easy solid waste removal and cleaning by simply rinsing it off with a garden hose.

Paving stones provide excellent drainage, but can also become warm in direct sunlight, so shade should be a priority if you choose to use pavers for the entire floor of your enclosure.

Fake Grass

Artificial grass is a non-toxic, pet-friendly option that requires very little maintenance. It provides the look and feel of natural grass without the concerns about brown spots, bare spots, mowing, watering, weeding, or needing herbicides and insecticides.

dirtSolid waste can be easily removed and urine can be rinsed away with a garden hose. It also limits digging, in case your dog is a digger.


Dirt can become a real headache during winter. It can get really muddy, and that means paw prints all over your place. During summer, it can also get really dusty, so you need to consider all that hard work. On the other hand, it is one of the cheapest options you will find.

Consider these options before getting your dog run. Think a little bit of your location and the way the weather behaves. Going over these can provide a nice and cozy solution instead of a nasty problem for you and your dog.

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