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Ground Cover For Dog Run

Posted by ilovemymutts USDA z9 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 28, 04 at 13:20

Hi Everyone! I'm hoping someone will come to the rescue of this new resident of the southwest/new homeowner/clueless new gardner!
My new house backs up to an open desert area in Tucson. Recently, more than a few small pets in our neighborhood have become appetizers for local wildlife. In an effort to save my two over-confident maltese from becoming sashimi, we are constructing an enclosed dog run on the side of our house. We can't quite figure out what to put on the bottom of the dog run. While we intend to clean it frequently, it would be helpful if the substrate were something that could absorb the the inevitable odor (you'd be surprised at what two 10-pound dogs can produce!) And, if were also somewhat attractive, all the better.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ground Cover For Dog Run

gravel? maybe wood chips?


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RE: Ground Cover For Dog Run

Concrete...... dye it green LOL otherwise your looking at berumda grass,, but personally that creates more problems


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RE: Ground Cover For Dog Run

  • Posted by HoovB z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 12, 04 at 18:17

No suggestion for a ground cover, but there are enzyme products that can be sprayed periodically to get rid of the odor. Check a store that sells pet products.


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RE: Ground Cover For Dog Run

Yeah, I agree, no plants will withstand doggie feet, pee and poop.

As a confirmed dog person currently sharing the house and yard with 6 k9s some thoughts: protect the top of the enclosure. Coyotes jump or crawl like Superman. Use heavier gauge wire on the fencing, kennel mesh is too thin (if my dogs can chew thru, so can coyotes), reinforce every diamond along the bottom and side rails.....coyotes, foxes and determined Great Pyrenees can bend that stuff back. Shade is critical unless you want cooked pups. Water is a constant necessity, autorefill bowls help.

It's the nitrogen in the urine that causes the burnouts. Forget the additives to the food to stop the problem.

If you plant around the enclosure, leave space around the enclosure for the urine to disappate before it creeps into the plantings. Better yet, can you berm a bit around the enclosure to raise any plantings above "p-level?" (hence real need for enclosure top now). Pick up poop 2x daily and yes, the enzymes such as Nature's Miracle does help.


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RE: Ground Cover For Dog Run

Creeping Jenny can tolerate Dog Urine and I have used it in the past for such a project. Note that too much may make it hard to clean out this area.

I would recomment Pea Gravel or Pond Pebbles for the Flooring, this would allow water and urine to penetrate into the ground. You could even get fancy and use non-porous pavers with the pebbles for a cool effect.

You may also want to pitch the pavers in this area slightly to allow cleaning to drain off nicely, just a slight pitch will help and not be too noticable.

Use a Herb to mask odors, since they spread fairly quickly it will may maintenace problems if not used properly in your space. You can always use a couple to combat odors and also offer some visual interest.

Sorry I am in a Zone 5-6 Area so I don't know what plants would be best for where you are...

Hope that helps.


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RE: Ground Cover For Dog Run

I'm on the East Coast and cedar chips work well.


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RE: Ground Cover For Dog Run

Dear ilovemymutts:

The very, very, very best ground cover for a dog yard is decorative pine bark nuggets. I have tried EVERYTHING, and this is the absolute best! I have a 150 lb. Great Dane and a 70 lb. Chocolate Lab. They are enclosed in a dog yard that is about 1000 sq. ft.(of course they are in our part of the yard a lot, too!). You can imagine the volume of poop and peep that this "little" boy and girl can produce! I bring in a pallet of decorative pine bark nuggets two or three times a year (about $135 dollars each time). I simply distribute the unopened bags all over the yard, and then go back and cut them open, shaking the nuggets out. This requires a minimum of intense labor and about two hours of time.

The very best part of this is the fact that I NEVER have to scoop any poop, and there is virtually NEVER any odor in the area. An added benefit is the fact that fleas can't stand pine bark. So although my dogs are given Sentinel once a month (to prevent heartworms and fleas), I think I would probably not have a flea problem anyway with the pine bark.

I get these pallets from Lowe's, but you can also buy them by the bag at Lowe's or elsewhere.

Hope this helps.


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RE: Ground Cover For Dog Run

YOU SHOULD USE CRUSHED GRAVEL SO IT'S EASIER ON THE DOGS FEET. STAY AWAY FROM PEET GRAVEL, IT GETS HOT. AS FOR THE SMELL, INSTALL AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM IN THAT AREA TO RINSE THE URINE SMELL. YOU WOULD ONLY NEED TO RUN IT 1 OR 2 TIMES A WEEK. I WOULD STAY AWAY FROM WOOD CHIPS AS THAT COULD ATTRACT TERMITES.


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RE: Ground Cover For Dog Run

K-9 grass is a product is the best choice I feel. It is easy on the dogs paws, contains an anti-bacterial agent and is easily cleaned. Contact number is 1-866-992-7876. No I'm not a dealer, Im a satisfied customer. P.S. Do NOT use pine bark- it can be lethal as many dogs get it caught in their intestines plus many dogs are allergic to it. Not sure why one of the above posters is recommending that but it is potentially fatal for dogs.


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