It’s not cool, or even safe, to let your pets run loose all over the neighborhood. But they don’t want to stay inside all day, day after day, either. So loving dog and cat owners look for creative, functional ways to keep their dear ones corralled in the yard. Even if your property is fenced, adding some kind of space just for your pet can make their time outdoors more enjoyable. Especially when it includes artificial grass.
Creating a special outdoor space for your furry friend ensures they can get plenty of fresh air, soak up the sun, hang out and watch the squirrels, etc. – safely, comfortably, away from the pool and flower beds. The options are almost endless, for dogs and cats.
It’s easy to find pre-made dog runs
The easiest solution is to purchase a commercial enclosure for your dog. Note that some are kennels – essentially a playpen, with or without a roof – whereas others include more room to move around, if not actually run. Some are strictly fencing, others are complex structures.
Pet Life Today published a list of their recommended outdoor dog kennels and runs. Among their top picks:
- Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel (a welded-wire pen with a removable, fitted tarp-like cover)
- Oxgord Heavy Duty Portable Dog Playpen (an 8-panel pen that folds for travel)
- K9 Kennel Store Ultimate Dog Kennel System (a handsome, partly-covered structure with room to roam, a swivel feeder you can fill from outside, and a built-in septic system)
These things aren’t cheap, especially if you choose a nicer, roomier style with amenities. But you can build your own backyard dog run, and get exactly the size, shape, and amenities that fit your dog, your yard, and your budget.
What’s that, you ask? Why, it’s our new catio
Kitties like to spend time outdoors, too. With a catio, your feline can sun herself and spy on birds and butterflies, whether she’s resting on an outdoor window ledge or ensconced in an enclosure large enough for humans, too. Add shelves and alcoves for snoozing, tiers for climbing and a change of scenery, catwalks for prowling, and life is purrfect.
For structures attached to the house, cats can enter directly via a window-mounted pet door. For free-standing structures, cats can travel to and from the house through a covered catwalk tunnel. Full covering with 2” welded wire mesh ensures security and safety, and elevated catwalks provide varied viewing without interfering with landscaping below.
Check out what this woman built for her cats -- talk about taking great advantage of the lay of the land and blending into the landscaping! The photos will inspire ideas, and you can read how she went about creating her outdoor feline paradise.
Things to consider
Buying or building for your dog or cat, you’ll want to consider these factors first:
- Purpose of the enclosure – permanent or portable
- Size and number of dogs or cats
- Cover – sun is lovely, but every pet needs shade and protection from rain
- Doors – for pets and/or people – with latching systems that clever dogs and cats cannot open
- Amenities – a water bowl, of course, but what about food, bedding, room to romp or play with toys, multiple levels, etc.?
Artificial grass is essential
No matter what kind of “run” you create for your pet, flooring the space with artificial turf adds style and paw-friendly comfort. It’s cushy for snoozing, or faking a snooze to watch the birds. It’s tough, durable, drains and dries quickly, and cleaning up pet waste is a breeze. Best of all, it’s green and gorgeous. Artificial grass will make your pet’s space blend right in, as handsome and inviting as the rest of your outdoor living area.