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The Ideal Dog Run

What is a dog run

A dog run is an enclosed space that that confines your dog to a certain area, usually for a short amount of time.

Even if you have a well-fenced or if your garden or your property is secured using a pet containment system such as the StayFence Pet Containment System you will probably still need and benefit from owning a dog run. 

Not all households can provide a big space for their pets to run around in. Luckily StayFence offers Small Dog Runs and Large Dog Runs alike so you can find the perfect dog run for your backyard.


What is a dog run used for

The purpose of a dog run is to provide your dog with a safe, comfortable, enjoyable place to be when he or she is not inside with you or enjoying your full backyard.

This is particularly true if you have a need to contain your dog for short periods of time such as when you have visitors, entertaining outside, added security and safety for your dog, or you may just want a need a separate area for your dog while you are away from home.

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How big should a dog run be

Your run should be as big as your garden and budget allow, this is particularly true if you intend to have your dog inside it for long periods of time to make sure they have plenty of room to run, play and explore without feeling cramped in a small space. At a minimum, space should be at least twice as wide and about five times as long as the length of your dog.

Be sure to pick a location with good drainage so that your dog will not be standing in mud or water when it rains.


How to build a dog run in backyard

All StayFence self-assembly dog runs come with easy to follow assembly instructions and can be completed with little difficulty. 

What is the best surface for a dog run

You may be able to put your run on an existing surface or on your grass if it is safe for your pet and allows for proper drainage. Below are some options to consider when deciding what the best surface for your dog run. 

Natural grass

Natural grass provides a soft base for your dog run and is one that most dogs enjoy. While this is a popular option that many homeowners use, there are some factors to take into consideration before placing your run on grass.

For example, mowing, and weeding. You will have to contend with brown spots in areas often used as a pet restroom and will need to pay attention to the strong potential for bacterial buildup in the soil. If your dogs are active, you may also have to deal with bare spots left by clumps of grass being pulled up during play.

Wood Chips / Bark Mulch

Some dog owners prefer the look of wood chips or Bark mulch placed over landscaping fabric, which is another popular option. This base will definitely make your dog run more visually appealing; however, wood chips provide a good breeding ground for bacteria – particularly because you cannot simply rinse urine out of the run, and you will need to regularly add more wood chips to replace those lost when picking up solid waste and to keep this option looking fresh.


If you want to go with gravel, make sure you choose pea gravel, which is usually rounder and does not have quite as many sharp edges as other types of gravel. Gravel can be hard on your dog’s feet, so it is not a good option for dogs with sensitive paws. It is also not a good option for dogs who like to chew on rocks, as it can cause significant dental damage.


A concrete base is easy and relatively inexpensive to pour, making this an option that many homeowners choose. A concrete dog run can simply be rinsed down to remove liquid waste, and solid waste is very easy to remove. Dogs with sensitive paws may find this option to be a bit abrasive.

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 easy cleaning by simply rinsing it off with a garden hose. Paving stones can also become warm in direct sunlight, so shade should be considered for the summer months should you choose to use paving slabs for the entire base of your dog run.

Artificial Grass

Artificial grass provides the look and feel of natural grass without the concerns about brown spots, bare spots, mowing, watering, weeding, or needing herbicides and insecticides. Solid waste is easy to remove, urine can be rinsed away with a garden house, and you can keep a spray bottle of one part water, one part vinegar on hand to spray down areas that are frequently used for urination. To completely remove the urine smell, you will want to use a turf odour eliminator.

Rubber Padding

While this is significantly more expensive than other options, rubber padding is easy to clean and provides a safe, attractive surface for a dog run. To make it even easier to clean any of these dog run groundcover options, you may want to consider the addition of a pheromone-treated urine stick, which will encourage your pets to use just that area to relieve themselves.

How much does it cost to build a dog run

The cost of your dog run will really depend on a few things, such as the size and what you choose as a ground covering. StayFence self assembly dog runs are available from €249. 

Where to buy a dog run

StayFence is the leading Irish brand when it comes to Pet Containment with over 25 years in the industry. It’s never been easier to buy dog runs online, in-store or over the phone. 

Speak to our expert team for the latest advice and deals. 


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