Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Preventing Dig Out-Using Concrete as a Kennel Floor

For starters, I dislike the term "kennel" because to some it implies an outdoor area in which a dog lives and spends all of it's time.  That is not the case here.

We moved into our home in late November.  The basement is a finished walkout basement, and already had a doggy door in place.  We immediately set up heavy duty kennel panels in a 20' x 30' to make a secure area for my three dogs to come and go as they please when we are not at home.  We purchased two panels with gates, and placed locks on them. We purchased field fencing to make a larger area for supervised play, but the ground froze right after we moved, and until the last couple of days has remained frozen solid or snow covered. 

My dogs are diggers.  With the ground frozen, it is not something I had to worry about.  With Spring and warmer temperatures approaching, I realized I needed to dig-proof their kennel area. 

Several options exist for preventing a dog from digging out under a fence.
  • Some, including a friend of mine, use large paving stones the entire length of the fence line.  I considered this option, but there is a cost or effort to make them look nice and ensure that they stay properly in place.
  • Others bury fencing three feet or more underground.  This would be timely, and a huge labor investment. 
  • I have seen others take cattle or hog panels and place them on the ground, perpendicular to the fencing itself, and then secure the panels to the fence.  Dogs cannot dig an area large enough through the panels to dig out.
  • Lastly, I have seen many use concrete.
I ended up choosing concrete for two reasons.  Firstly, I feel that it is safest, in that it is nearly impossible for a dog to dig through or move concrete.  Secondly, my dogs live inside with me.  Concrete will mostly eliminate the mud and dust tracking that terrorizes me on occasion.

concrete dig guard in dog kennel
We had a warm up and snow melt, that led to my nemesis:  MUD.
The smaller kennel is set up to create a double gated entry, for when we leash the dogs outside to take them on walks, particularly if it one at a time.  This creates a safer environment to prevent escapes. 

Close up of the horrid mud.
I contacted a local company last week, and they agreed to come do the work on Monday.  Sunday evening, we removed the kennel panels, and made a sliding device to close off the doggy door.

They arrived early Monday morning, and did a bit of leveling, set up a frame, and placed a sheet of thick, heavy plastic on the ground.  We chose to have it slope slightly, to run into the grass when hosing it down.

The concrete truck showed up a couple hours later, and poured the concrete in.  I am easily entertained, as I had to watch it being poured.

Then these gentlemen set about doing the hard work.  Leveling, smoothing, and placing expansion joints in the concrete.  It took them nearly all day.

concrete for dog run flooring

Monday and Tuesday were beautiful days here.  High temperatures in the 60's, and sunny.  We took the dogs on long walks, and enjoyed the time outside with them either on leashes, or on tie-outs near us, while the concrete "cured."

Last night, we replaced the kennel panels, and this morning, it was ready to use.

concrete for kennel floor

It might be hard to tell, but that IS snow in the picture.  After a high of 68 degrees yesterday, it was snowing this morning, and the wind chill was near zero degrees. Only in the Midwest. 

I am glad I chose concrete.  I feel safe with it, and there is also the cleanliness factor.  I am going to purchase some outdoor beds, for the times when my dogs just want to nap outside, so that they don't have to do so on hard concrete. 


  1. I think that is great, easy to clean and safe and the perfect safe outdoor pad for the months to come. Happy days. Have a wonderful Wednesday
    Best wishes Molly

  2. I've lived Nordic breeds in the past, so I know how escape-prone they can be. I think the concrete is a great choice, especially with the addition of dog beds to laze on! Nice!

  3. Wow, that looks so nice! I'm glad you found a solution to keep them safe. I would've also gone with the concrete, because I love how easy it is to clean.

  4. Looks like they did a great job! If had to do over again and when we ever can afford it, I would like to get concrete poured all around the inner edge of fence to stop the digging under the fence. Although our dogs are pretty good about staying in fence line, but sometimes when chasing a chipmunk or something they can get a little crazy! lol

  5. What a great setup you have!! I would love to be able to let our dogs have access to the outside when we're not home, but our house just isn't set up right. Concrete sounds like the perfect thing for the ground. That is a very nice looking kennel, or whatever you would prefer to call it :) yard?
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  6. Great idea...I'v never had an 'escape artist' so never had to worry about it, but this is a good solution.

  7. Oh, that is pawsome!!!! I loves the double entry too! Ma has a 'double entry' set up in the's called a pet gate in the entry way!! BOL
    One would think she doesn't trust me or something....
    Ruby ♥

  8. I love what you did with it! Concrete is a great solution!! ANd it looks fantastic!!!! It is nice to see people being safe about these things.
    And hey, don't feel bad, I would have watched the track pouring the cement and everything else to, heck I watch the snow plows when they do the parking lot across the street! haha!! Simple things eh?
    Great post and thanks for sharing!

    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  12. the lighting over the sink reflected and you could not see the flowers. But I am not sure what else could have filled this space, so it all worked out. fence construction

  13. The concrete truck showed up a couple hours later, and poured the concrete in. I am easily entertained, as I had to watch it being poured.vinyl picket fence


Thanks for the howls!!