Dog Runs / Playpens

Dog pens or runs are a great way to allow your dog to get some exercise safely in your garden. But if you have a garden, why not just let the dog have the freedom of the whole garden you may ask. Well it depends on the dogs temperament  and how secure your garden is.

Some dogs are great escape artists and may be able to escape the confines of the garden and go exploring where they shouldn’t. A dog roaming the streets on his own is a danger to himself and the general public , plus you run the risk of being fined or sued if the dog causes an accident.

Other dogs can be destructive in the garden, digging up your newly planted flower beds or vegetable garden. Whilst some others may well decide that your garden furniture, or tools make good chew toys.

There will also be times when you are working in the garden, and don’t want your dog getting in your way or injuring himself on tools or machinery. If you have a puppy, then the dog run or playpen is especially useful as you can place the puppy in the playpen, with his favourite toys, whilst you cut the grass or carry out other maintenance. This allows your dog or puppy to be able to see you, but at the same time be contained in a safe environment.

You can purchase dog runs or playpens in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate all breeds of dog, and can either be a permanent, fixed feature in the garden or mobile allowing you to locate them in various positions around the garden to suit the circumstances.

Along with different shapes and sizes, dog runs and playpens also come in a variety of materials such as metal wire, plastic, wood or cloth.

If you have a small dog a plastic or cloth type may be ideal, as they are light and collapsible, making them ideal to take with you if you go away for any length of time. If the dog has grown used to being placed in the dog run or playpen then they can help your dog feel safe when in a new environment as it is a familiar place.

Wire and wood dog runs are usually too big and heavy to transport when travelling, but are usually more suitable for larger dog breeds. You can either purchase a ready made, fixed size, dog run or buy interlocking panels that allow you to create one to your own specifications.

The interlocking sections are very versatile as you can either build a permanent custom design of your own, or make a temporary run that can assembled, dissembled or rearranged as needed. If you hold a party for instance you can assemble a run that will allow your guests to access the garden but keep your dogs safely out of harms way. You can then disassemble it after the party.

The type of dog run or playpen that you will need largely depends on the size and temperament of your dog. Cloth pens for example would probably be fine for something like a Jack Russell but larger breeds would more than likely break out of it. Active chewers would be better off with a metal wire pen than a wood, plastic or cloth one.

You also need to consider is the height of the dog run or play pen. It’s no good getting a pen that’s about 1m (39in) heigh if you have a large active breed dog, as they will probably clear it in a single jump.

Some dogs are also quite good at climbing and may be able to climb out of a 2m (78in) high pen depending on how it is constructed. If you have a dog like this then you will need to consider attaching a secure roof to the structure. Many dog runs or playpens available today have a detachable roof as an option.

Before making a decision on what type of dog run or playpen to purchase, it is always a good idea to visit a few different pet shops, or search the internet, to see what is available to you in your area.

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