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Question on building a kennel

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I am in the process of finishing a small dog-run/kennel on the back part of my property. I do not have the funds at this time to lay a slab like I would prefer and am trying to decide on the best alternative. I am thinking about either river washed pebbles or cedar mulch. The pebbles would be more hygenic and easier to keep clean, but would retain heat in the summer, though the area is shaded. The Cedar mulch would not be as durable, harder to clean, but would probably be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and I'm thinking, being Cedar, provide some insect repellant properties. Does anyone have any suggestion/ advice on these alternative or perhaps some other inexpensive cover.

PardnersPal.

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A thought to keep in mind: smooth pebbles can act like ball bearings, which may not be ideal in a situation where a dog may be running in the area, especially if he/she needs to come to a sudden stop.

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I have lately been hearing that the oils in cedar shavings (and so I presume mulch) can cause problems for dogs. If the kennel isn't large (which would bring Bustopher's concerns to the fore), I would opt for the pebbles. If the area is shaded, the pebbles will actually feel cool in the summer, and I think they would definitely be easier to keep clean. Just be sure to provide a comfy place for Partner to rest (a raised platform or a rubber mat) in addition to a house.

 

J.

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Another concern is that small pebbles can be consumed. I couldn't use them because my pup would most likely eat them (the little weirdo). I use cedar shavings in their dog houses and then something called "crush 'n run" in the outdoor part of the kennel. It is crushed slate and over time, it gets worn down so it becomes a hard surface. It less expensive than concrete, easy to pick up poop on, easy to deoderize and doesn't get icy in the winter or hot in the summer.

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Valhalla,

Thanks for the information. I have not heard of this product. Where do you get it? I can get the river washed pebbles and cedar mulch at local landscaping firms. Is the "crush n run" something that is local to Virgina?

Julie, thanks for the information on the Cedar. I will have to look into it. I have a little of both covers in the pen right now. The pebbles are much easier to clean than the cedar, so I am leaning that way. Another option may be limestone paving stones. They are pretty cheap where I live and would be too big to eat. BTW the kennel is small enough that I don't think sliding on the pebbles would be a problem.

PardnersPal

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I got it for my kennel when I lived in Georgia, so it is not just Virginia. I doubt a landscaper would carry it because it is not for landscaping, but more for like gravel driveways. Maybe call a paving company that sells gravel? We have a slate mining company nearby and that is where I got mine from.

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Most sand and gravel companies should carry crush n run. It is used a lot for driveways in this part of the world, and I imagine it should be available in Texas too (or something similar anyway). When I was growing up we used to get something called crushed bluestone (probably the same as crush and run)--it was rather powdery but when packed became quite hard surfaced.

 

I don't see why the limestone pavers wouldn't work as well.

 

J.

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You can get crush-n-run pretty much anywhere - it's a standard road surfacing material. It may be called something different and be made of something different (granite isn't available all over), but it's the stuff they typically use on what we call "gravel roads".

 

We built wood kennels but we don't use ours much. I'd think for extended stays or determined "markers" they could get nasty pretty fast. If it ever comes to that I'll seal them with ship varnish and lay mats down for tractions. I like wood because it's private and warm and looks nice (well, they will when they are painted).

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I had previously layed a cement pad for my dogs at another place I lived before. I found it to be cold, rough and hard to clean-

When I moved I did not want to put aother slab in--so I opted for the 4X8 heavy rubber stall mats for the floor.

I like them alot, and have used them in another kennel setup since. They can be washed out easily and cut to fit if necessary.

I have a pea gravel base which they are layed over.

My dogs are all diggers--so any kind of porous surface is not an option.

Here is what it looks like.

I bought mine at the local farm co-op. They are about $45 apiece. _MG_2149.jpg

This works perfectly for me.

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I have had great results from laying rubber stall mats (fit tightly with no gaps) on either packed soil, sand or decomposed granite. Depending on how active your dog is cedar and/or pebbles could end up making a mess (especially if you have a digger). The stall mats reduce impact, prevent digging, are very easy to clean, stay warm in cold and provide a comfortable surface. I started using the mats to thwart an adolescent digger and quickly converted the rest of the kennel because I liked it so much. At the time I couldn't afford a cement pad and didn't want to install anything permanent. I recommended the mats to a friend with a pup that was eating gravel and rocks (and had vet bills) and it solved the problem. I like that you can really sanitize the mats and provide a clean surface for the dogs.

 

These days I have cement flooring for my kennels but still lay the stall mats for the comfort of the dogs and for cleanliness. No matter what surface my dogs are on, I think I'll always have stall mats in their kennels.

 

My 2 cents.

 

Elizabeth

 

Edit: Oh, it looks like Bonnie and I responded at the same time with the same answer.....Hi, Bonnie!

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If I were going to use an aggregate material I's use Stone Dust the finest form of crushed stone. This material can pack down almost as hard as concrete. You could come back later and lay a hard surface over this material like paver stones or concrete. Crush n Run or what this place calls 2A Modified is a mix of stone and dust and is often used for gravel drives and roads.

 

Look in the yellow pages under "crushed stone" and you should find quarrys and possibly both limestone and granite. Vulcan, LaFarge, and Luck Stone are big companies in our area.

 

Mark

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I'm just up on this stuff right now since we're working on laying a brick-paver path from our drive to front door and this material is what I will be using for the base.

 

Either that or it was growing up in a family of plumbers and always being around new home construction.

 

Mark

 

P.S. One last note, if your dogs pace in their kennel runs stone dust will be hard on their pads.

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Herderdog - what do you cut those mats with? I have a couple and need to cut them. I'm planning to try the mats in my new kennel set up as well, i like them.

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Christine,

LOL :D

This is the Pacific Northwest--what summer??? :rolleyes:

No--no more than the concrete would I suppose.

 

No doubt that you could water down some type of aggregate a little better than the mats and get some evaporative cooling. My dogs love to dig down in the ground in the summer to stay cool.

 

My kennels do have a wooden shed covering them, but I have used regular shade netting on them too. I actually use this hanigng in front of the kennels now to keep the sun out.

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Robin,

 

I've cut thick stall mats for Mary before with a utility knife and lots of elbow grease. I had to make multiple passes with the knife to get through the mats.

 

Mark

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Mark - that's kind of what i was picturing, just thought maybe there was a trick i wasn't thinking of.

 

Hey Christine! Geez i'm going nuts here. Who knew my house would sell do quick. 4 weeks to homelessness and no new house contracted for yet, plus a camper to gut and fix up to live in, yikes!

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The Crush n Run is often referred to as Crusher Run and as was said, is commonly used on roads and driveways (mine included). Within a few years, it will be fused together and you would need a pick-ax to break it up. If you use it, make sure it is granite and not shale/slate as that may slice the dog's pads.

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Originally posted by Kitch:

If you use it, make sure it is granite and not shale/slate as that may slice the dog's pads.

I have slate in my kennels and have had no problems with cut pads.

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Flat slate or crushed slate? Whenever I went hiking with my brother's old dog in slate areas, he always ended up a slice or two. It also depends on the dog's lifestyle...Reggie was a house dog, through and through. If your dogs are outside running around a lot, or actual working dogs, their pads will be tougher.

 

Just wanted to put it out there as a possible warning.

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