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How to Build a Dog Kennel

By: April Metroulas

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When building your own dog kennel, there are several things to consider. The very first thing that you should do is check with your neighborhood building officials to find out if your construction is in line with local codes and regulations. This step is very important as every area has specific codes and regulations for making any changes or modifications such as this, especially for a septic tank. The kennel described below is for a basic single pet, 5-foot by 10-foot kennel with a 13-foot 10-inch by 18-foot concrete slab floor and septic tank.

Things to Consider

  • Your Pet. Consider the size of your dog. This kennel is for a medium-sized dog. If you have a larger dog, or more than one, you can adjust the size of this kennel to fit your needs. If you have a small dog, you may want to scale down the size. Make sure your dog is one that can live comfortably in a kennel. Some dogs do not enjoy being kenneled - they do not wish to be away from their families. The dog's temperament should also be considered before building a kennel.

  • Location. Where you place your kennel is of utmost importance. Check with your local humane organizations for recommendations on where to place your kennel. A balance of shady areas and sunlight are important for the safety of your pet. The shade will keep him cool in summer, and the sunlight will dry out the kennel flooring keeping bacteria at bay. In addition to shade, trees and other barriers can help reduce the effect of wind in cold weather.

  • Housing. Some areas require a doghouse to be placed inside the kennel to provide ample shade. Keep this in mind before you put your kennel together.

  • Cost. Do you want to spend the time, energy and money if your dog is not going to be using the kennel very often? Expect your kennel to be between $150 and $500, depending on the manufacturer and different parts of the country.

  • Materials. When choosing the materials, pre-made kennel components are the best bet. They can be customized to your specifications, and are less expensive than buying chain link. They are also far less hassle than buying fencing from the hardware store. These products are designed for this purpose, and tend to be very durable and safe. There are many companies that manufacture kennel components. A simple search using the key words DOG KENNEL will get you plenty of manufacturer links.

  • Flooring. The kennel described below uses concrete as the flooring. Most humane organizations recommend a concrete slab with a light broom finish. In some areas, the concrete may have to be reinforced with wire mesh, depending on the climate. Ask your local hardware store for advice on this. Other floorings such as gravel and roughly finished concrete, smooth concrete, and dirt pose problems for your pet. Gravel can be abrasive causing sores and scrapes, smooth concrete is slippery, and dirt is dirty! Concrete also makes cleaning a snap.

    Materials for the Kennel

  • One 5 foot by 10 foot roof component
  • One front wall component with a door and adequate latch
  • Two 5 foot by 10 foot wall components
  • 4 cubic yards of 3000 psi concrete
  • One rear wall component

    Materials for the Septic System

  • One 10-gallon sealable septic tank bucket (found at most pet stores)
  • 100 feet perforated drainpipe
  • 25 feet of 4 inch solid PVC drainpipe
  • Drain pipe fabric
  • Septic system microbes (found at most pet stores)

    To Build

  • Begin by pouring the concrete slab 4 inches thick and 13 feet 10 inches wide by 18 feet long. The slab should be level except for the area where the kennel will sit. This area should be dug down about 2 inches and should be 6 feet 10 inches wide and 10 feet long. This area should slope toward the collection trench, which should be dug 3 feet 8 inches from one of the sides.

  • The collection trench should be dug 8 inches wide and 10 feet long. This area should slope down about 4 inches to the center where the drain should be placed. A 4-inch PVC pipe should be run from the collection drain to a septic tank. This pipe should be poured in with the concrete. A perforated drainpipe should then be run from the septic tank out to a draining field. This area must be lower than your kennel and have loosely packed dirt.

  • Lightly finish the surface with a broom. Let the concrete cure for a few days according to the manufacturers instructions.

  • Construct your kennel components according to manufacturers instructions. This is the easy part.

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