I have a golden retriever. She is a 3 year old house dog who is completely potty trained. My back yard is fenced, and I let her go outside all the time. The problem is, I'm starting a full time JOB which will keep me away for hours at a time. I cannot leave her in the house for that long and do not want to put her in a crate. Letting her roam the back yard is my only option, but I get worried that she will get lonely and try to find a way out (it's happened once before.)
After exploring my options, I've decided on purchasing a dog run. I plan on putting it in a nice shady spot in the corner of the yard. But here is my problem: the outdoor kennel needs some kind of floor. I could just plop it on the grass, but that will turn into a muddy mess in no time. So I set out to see what kennel flooring options are available.
My first thought was to throw down some indoor/outdoor carpeting. Maybe get it in some funky color to spice up her space?? A doggy diva has a reputation to maintain you know. So I ran down to Lowe's garden department. As I was searching I came across another option – outdoor patio flooring. Not as many color options nor nearly as stylish as outdoor carpeting. When the guy working there asked me what I was looking for and I told him, he pointed out that the dog is going to be doing her business somewhere on her dog run floor, and that the outdoor rug would be toast in no time flat.
My next stop was the local farm supply store. They suggested I use stall mats, like what they put in horse stalls. The mats are about an inch thick and made of heavy rubber. You cut them down to whatever size you need. Cleaning them isn't a huge issue, as you just sweep them off or hose them down. You can even use a cleaner on them. They are kind of squooshy, which would make it comfortable for my dog when she's laying down, chillin. I could even throw down some wood shavings, which, I was told, keep a fresh smell in my kennel and certain kinds of wood even keep the fleas away.
While pondering stall mats, I began to brainstorm about other types of floor mats. Bar floor mats? They have lots of holes, which would be great for drainage in case she spills her drink. But her paws might get stuck in the holes, and they could sink down into the ground. Kiddy floor mats? Available in primary colors and she could learn her ABC's and 123's at the same time! Actually they do make interlocking floor tiles for dog runs. You put them together like puzzle pieces.
Another thought is to install a concrete pad. After all, that is what the professionals use for their kennels. I pointed out to my husband that it's a simple DIY kind of weekend project. All he needs is some 2×4's, a wheel barrel, and some concrete. He could whip that out in a morning and it would only take two to three days to cure, depending upon the weather. After it's done, I could throw in a rug or blanket, maybe a styling dog house to give her somewhere to go in case of inclement weather, and string up some party lights to make her feel at home.