Dogs need exercise! That has never been a secret, but it can sometimes be a problem. Not everyone has the time to walk their dog once or twice a day, and certainly not everyone has a fenced-in yard. A great solution to these problems is to have an exercise pen for dogs. An exercise pen is great for a lot of reasons. It provides dogs with an adequate amount of space to exercise, have fun, and to do their ‘business.’ An exercise pen also keeps your animal safe from other animals and traffic, and many of them can be moved from area to area in your yard, preventing the destruction of your lawn.
There are two different ways you could go about acquiring an exercise pen for your dog, one just a little bit easier than the other.
Do it yourself – build the exercise yard of your dog’s dreams.
- Your first consideration is the size of your dog. The materials you purchase have a lot to do with the size of your yard and may save you money in some circumstances. If you have a very small, Chihuahua-type of dog, you will not need nearly the amount of supplies you would if you are building for a Great Dane or German Shepherd.
- Choose your type of fencing. You will need to either purchase chain link fencing, which will run you anywhere from $50 per roll to $80 per roll (depending on the height you choose), or smaller grade kennel and yard fencing, which can run you anywhere from $30 per roll to $50 per roll (depending again on the height).
- If you have a larger, taller, and stronger dog, you will want to probably choose chain link, in either 6′ or 4′.
- If you have a smaller, shorter dog, the kennel fence will most likely be the best at 3′ or 4′; it is lighter weight and easier to work with as well.
There are of course many other types of fencing, so make sure to shop around for what is best for you.
- Buy fence posts. You will need fence posts to secure the fence, as well as reinforcing steel posts on the bottom of the fence to hold its shape. They will often be called Terminal Posts or rails, and can cost from $9.00 to $15.00.
- Pick out a gate. These can be found along side the fencing supplies. The best place to find the fencing materials are locations like Lowes, Home Depot, and Menards.
The benefit to building your own exercise yard is the ability to make it absolutely any size you wish. It will take more work and dedication, but you’ll feel a strong sense of satisfaction it in the end.
Purchase an exercise pen. This is the less strenuous of the options, but finding the perfect pen won’t be as easy as you may think. There are many different places to find a pen, as well as many different styles.
- Visit home improvement stores. Locations like Lowes and Home Depot will carry a very basic chain link exercise pen, which will cost anywhere from $150 to $200. These are often very large, 7′ structures.
- Check pet stores. If you prefer to shop at locations such as Petsmart or Petco, you will find the same similar pens that you would find at the home improvement stores, but they have other choices as well. For example, you can find something called the Uptown Dog Kennel, which is sizably smaller but has a roof to keep out the weather. This costs around $200, but is perfect for a city dweller with a small yard. For the very small dogs (normally for dogs under 10 lbs.) and very small yards, they also offer small fold-up plastic pens. Another choice is a metal fold-up, which is slightly larger than the plastic. The metal one will run around $75.00. These are also ideal for a litter of puppies to play outdoors inside. Offers vary form location to location.
- The last place you will consider looking is your local feed store or tractor supply company. These places often have great deals on pet products. Tractor supply company products range from 3-foot fold-up kennels to durable 10-foot galvanized steel kennels. They have tremendous selection, but prices vary from store to store, so remember to compare before you purchase.
Purchasing or building a kennel for your dog may not be a life-saving decision, but it is an important one for your pet’s welfare and is part of being a responsible dog owner. Whatever you decide to do, always make sure that the kennel is an adequate size for your dog. They need to have at least enough room to stretch out and move around, and always be provided with food and water. Also remember if you are going to be keeping your dog in the pen for any amount of time unsupervised or overnight, to provide them with adequate shelter from the sun and the weather. This is a process that can be easy, so take your family, head to the pet store, and purchase that perfect kennel for your furry member of the family!