How to build an inexpensive dog kennel

How to build an inexpensive dog kennel

By sunshiine I support Smirnoff here Follow

How to build an inexpensive dog kennel

How to build an inexpensive dog kennel

How to build an inexpensive dog kennel

A couple of times a year we go to my son’s property in central Texas. We spend a week or two there; making sure everything is in order and the grass is mowed. We got tired of trying to find a reliable dog sitter so my husband designed this dog run so we could bring our dogs and worry less about them. They like it better because they don’t miss us so much.

This type of dog run is much cheaper than $500.00 ones you can buy and they work just as good and they look fairly nice. He purchased the panels about eight years ago at 20 bucks a piece. We already had the wire, gate, and hinges. You will notice a metal fence post that has not been driven into the ground. My husband used it to stabilize the dog run while we connected it together.

The great thing about this run is you can make it more permanent without a lot of labor or cost. We have used the panels for a portable dog run as well as keeping the dogs out of the garden when they can run free in our fenced yard.

I am not a professional and this project has not been tested like companies who make them do; so please use common sense and understand if you make this you are at your own risk. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD AROUND SMALL CHILDREN. THEY COULD TRY CLIMBING THE DOG RUN AND GET HURT.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

This is what you will need:

Heavy gage wire live stock panels they come 20 foot long 48 inches tall 2x 4 or 4×4 or 6×8 square mesh

How many you need will depend on how large you need to build it. The panels can bend if you bend them carefully.

We purchased ours at a farm supply store in Texas

Aluminum wire My husband likes it because it is easy to bend and work with.

Standard chain link fence gate hinges optional

Old metal gate optional

Metal T fence post optional for a permanent dog run or semi portableabout 5

Sledge Hammer 4 pound

9 Safety latches or clamps 2 at each corner and one in the middle

Reciprocating saw if you are adding a gate or need to cut the panels.

Oil using oil on the blade of the saw helps it cut easier.

Step 2: Gather Supplies and Tools

If you are attaching the dog run to a existing fence you would only need 3 panels.

Lay out the panels.

Choose level ground to set the fence up and level if needed making a trench with a shovel.

Step 3: Connect the Panels Together

My husband likes to use the safety latches to attach the panels together because they are quick and easy but wire will work just as good. You may overlap the panels if you want the dog run smaller and don’t have a way to cut them down. Just add more wire stays to secure it.

Cut one panel for the gate opening or He has used the safety latches to open and shut the panels when it is portable. If you cut a panel it is best to file the rough edges and slightly round them so they are not so sharp. I liked it much better when he added the gate because it was easier to open and close. It takes more time to set up though and you need to add chain link post, gate, and hinges.

If you want the dog run to be stronger drive metal fence posts as shown in the following pictures at all 4 corners.

Step 4: Attach the Gate If Desired

Here is how we attached the gate:

We drove a metal post in the ground at the front two corners and left a little bit of the bottom part of the post exposed as shown. We placed a chain link fence post over the top of the post and let it set on the bottom section of the metal fence post. Then we connected the hinges for the gate. It took less than an hour to erect after we cut the gate opening.

Step 5: Fence Post

If you want to add strength to the dog run you can use metal t fence post at each corner. It helps to stabilize the dog run. My husband has used it without the post with no problems. The wire can be bent to form a corner. I will share the pictures how to do this although; we did not want to bend our wire and we did not have a scrap to use to bend, but hopefully you can tell from the pictures how it can be done. He laid a piece of plywood on the sidewalk to protect the concrete. Then he laid the wire over the plywood. He placed the white plywood (1/2 to 3/4 inches thick) over the wire so he would have a place to stand and the weight of him standing on the plywood holds the wire firmly while he is bending the wire.

My husband starting at one side of the panel; used the wrench to slightly bend each lateral wire; lengthwise of the panel; bent each lateral about 15 degrees working across the panel. He repeats the process about three times until the corner is formed. I took pictures from panels that we used for a fence. You can see the bend in the wire and how it looks.

Step 6: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

We have saved a lot of money not using pet sitters over the years because we take the dog run and dogs with us and set the run up when we can. The dogs like it much better than being tied to a tree or post and we think it is much safer. There is plenty of room to put a dog house and add plywood to the top and sides for weather conditions. The price is not too shabby either. My husband was explaining to me you can make a fence without using post by zig zagging the panels.

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Pet ramps are expensive! I looked at the cost of these things and thought that $100.00 to $180.00 was too much to pay so I thought that I’d design my own with common items found at Home Depot. My intention was to be able to use the ramp to get our Shar-Pei, Buster (otherwise known as “Boo”) in and out of our pickup truck so that he could have some relief from his tennis elbow and not have to deal with the constant impact on his joints. My dog is a darned good tennis player BTW.

So my wife and I walked the aisles of Home Depot looking for parts and pieces that we could use to make a ramp for our dog, We found six foot closet shelves that went for ten bucks each and bought two of them to interlace, zip-tie and use as the ramp structure itself. We also purchased a six foot by two foot piece of outdoor carpet for the main anti-slip surfacing for the ramp assembly. By the way, if you want the carpeting to completely cover the assembly, then you will need to purchase a piece that’s about two feet-eight inches wide.

Additionally, you can also make the ramp wider by about four inches by simply spreading the wire shelves apart and zip tying them at that wider point.

Step 1:

We also bought the rubber end covers for the exposed wire rod ends. These slip on covers serve to protect our hardwood floors and the fabrics of our pickup truck seats.

We simply used an awe and poked holes in the carpet at about every fourth spacing in the wire itself and zip-tied the carpet to the ramp wire rods. Eventually, the ramp was completely wrapped and all of the zip-ties were cut off and their edges rolled to be in positions so as to not be a cutting danger to anyone handling the ramp. Those zip ties can slice you open if you are not careful, so make sure you position those cut ends so as to be completely safe for you and your pet.

Step 2:

As you can see from the photos, Boo took right to the ramp quite easily. There was absolutely no training required. All totaled, this ramp cost us less that $32.00 including the carpet, the two closet shelves, the rubber shelf end plugs and the zip-ties. Overall, this project was simple and took about an hour to construct. So if you have a need for a car or a bed ramp for your dog, give this one a go and save yourself a ton of money!

Take note of the “Batman” logo on my dogs chest. that will give you a hint as to the nature of his night-time activities. no wonder he comes home sore after a night of fighting crime in the neighborhood.

Does your dog sleep outside under the stars? Maybe its old house is crumbling to pieces. Well, you’ll want to impress your friends and neighbors and most importantly, Fido, by getting your dog the best in designer doggy housing — a custom built kennel made by you. If you’re good at wielding a hammer and nail, then go ahead and get started. Chateau Dog will soon be the envy of every mutt on the block.

Here are 10 tips to help you on your way:

  1. When it comes to working out the dimensions of the kennel, think Goldilocks and the Three Bears: not too big, not too small, but just right. Basically, it should be large enough for your dog to lie down, stand and turn around. But snug enough for your dog to retain body heat for warmth in colder weather.
  2. Take your dimensions for Chateau Dog down to your local hardware store and pick up the wood. We recommend exterior grade plywood and chipboard, all non-toxic, of course. Also, ask the employees at the store. They’ll help you make the right purchase.
  3. Order flooring material to size. Flooring that provides extra padding and warmth is another great idea.
  4. To prevent moisture seeping through a wood flooring, raise the kennel a few inches above the ground. You can use stilts, a hollow platform, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, make a concrete base.
  5. Cut the sides and roof to fit your dimensions (unless you were wily enough to get the people at the hardware store to do it for you). And don’t forget to either build a door or cut a door hole, so the dog can get in and out.
  6. Start wielding that hammer. Or you can use your electric drill; they’re fun, too.
  7. Put the sides together first, making sure there are no rough edges or bits of nail/screw sticking out for your dog to snag itself on.
  8. A hand-made kennel that allows for easy cleaning is a smart kennel (and that makes you smart).
  9. Think of options that will allow you to clean the kennel quickly, easily and efficiently. Having a slight slope to the kennel allows for easy drainage, while a detachable roof gives you easy access for washing.
  10. Outdoor furniture cushions make for brilliant bedding. Not only are they comfy for your dog to sleep on, but they’re easy to clean, and more sturdy and weather resistant than the indoor kind.

A well built kennel will last for years, and will not only make your dog feel like king (or queen) of its own castle, but may make your friends envious they didn’t build one for their dog. And that’s always a good thing. Happy kennel building!

Not all dogs live in a house or have free run of the yard. Whether you have a commercial dog breeding or boarding operation, a hunting pack or just want some separate space for Fido, you need to build the right kennel or dog run for your property and needs. Before beginning construction, check with the local zoning office for regulations regarding such structures and setbacks in your municipality, as well as any necessary permits.


Before building your kennel, work carefully to site the structure. Avoid drafty or windy areas and those without shade or screening, while taking note of drainage. Depending on the type and number of dogs, kennels can range from oversize doghouses to structures the size of backyard sheds or larger. Paint any wooden surfaces with nontoxic paint for your dog’s safety. Paint the kennel a light color to avoid heat absorption in hot weather.


The right type of flooring for your kennel or run provides the dog with comfort and hygiene. Avoid wood flooring, as it is hard to clean and deteriorates easily, and dogs tend to chew on it. Concrete is a common, economical choice and relatively easy to clean and maintain. If you use concrete for the run floor, slope it it drains well after hosing it down. Gravel can also serve for run floors. While probably the easiest type of flooring to install, it requires more maintenance. Dogs often dig holes in gravel or create paths when running back and forth, so regular raking or filling is necessary. Droppings must be picked up frequently to avoid becoming embedded in the gravel.

Dog runs can be attached to kennels or consist of separate structures to keep the dog confined to a particular area of the yard. You can purchase dog runs at many pet-supply or hardware stores, with assembly relatively easy. The run should always have shade in hot weather, whether from trees or a canopy placed over it. If your dog spends a lot of time in the run, choose length over width for exercise purposes. As dogs tend to eliminate as far as possible from their "den," or wherever they sleep, as well as food and water areas, a long run allows further distance to separate these functions. This means Fido is less likely to greet you after having run through a mess.

Ease of Maintenance

Whatever type of kennel or run you build, ease of maintenance is an important factor. Stainless steel food and water bowls serves a dual purpose: They are easy to clean, and dogs won’t chew them. For dogs that might be left alone much of the time, install an automatic watering system so water is always available. If your dogs are in the kennel or run every day, you need to conduct a daily cleanup. For multiple dogs, you may need to install a sanitary disposal system available at pet stores, while a commercial kennel will need a septic system meeting local ordinances.