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For those of you with outdoor kennels, what do you use for flooring to provide a soft surface other than concrete and prevent calluses on the dogs elbows? Has anyone ever tried astroturf/artificial grass? How do you clean it?
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
For those of you with outdoor kennels, what do you use for flooring to provide a soft surface other than concrete and prevent calluses on the dogs elbows? Has anyone ever tried astroturf/artificial grass? How do you clean it?
Annie is a wrecking crew with her crate stuff. Any bedding stuffed or gnaw-able is going down if I go out of town, etc. and she gets frustrated. I think astroturf would go quick for a frustrated dog, IMO.

However...I took the tip from Ed Frawley's site and stopped by a farm supply store (TCS if you have them in your area) and got stable mats. These are big, nasty pieces of rubber...a 4 x6 mat is around 100 pounds. They cut easily with utility knives but ALMOST NOTHING ELSE. I almost blew out a 15 amp circle saw, hacksaw, and two different cordless drills trying to get creative...finally borrowed a buddies' Milwaukee corded hammerdrill (the big boy) and got a carbide-tipped cut-out bit (the type you use to install door hardware, but with carbide...not the regular saw cut!) to build some small stops to put under furniture (trying to Roomba-proof some of my rooms).

But it's nasty stuff, take the easy way out and use a utility knife. I paid like $50-$60 for a 4 x 6 mat that's one inch thick. You can use it for a lot of other stuff, too. I cut out a backdoor mat as Annie sits there when she's waiting to come in (she's an inside dog, no dog house). Also started using it in my cars to keep the baby seats from damaging the car seats. Use it under her wire crate upstairs to deaden noise from the rattling. All kinds of applications...if you need something heavy, wear- and weather-resistant, and cushioning for any type of load, this is what you want to get. Very, very tough..

It's not really soft but definitely decreases the impact and weight of Annie on things. She does not chew it, and it's too heavy for her to easily move (unlike previous door mats). I clean it by pressure washing it or just spraying enzymatic cleaner on it and wiping it down.

It's very durable, tough stuff. Kind of impressive, really. I would have liked thinner mats but at the same time the weight advantage is nice.

The natural rubber smell they have (like a car tire) goes away after a few days. One thing on the drilling...they smell like a "dirty diaper filled with Indian food" when they are burning.

Mine are FLAT. I have seen some that are grooved...which may be comfortable for a 1500 pound horse but strikes me as really uncomfortable for a 70 pound dog. I'd highly recommend getting the kind with no grooves on them.

I really like them.
 

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Jak's kennel floor is dirt, and I keep a layer of cedar shavings about 2-3 inches thick on top of that. Across the front, where the door is, I made a wooden 'platform' using two pallets with a piece of plywood nailed to the top of them because he goes back and forth across the front moreso than the rest of the kennel. I keep his water bowl on the platform, so it doesn't get shavings in it as badly. I have a picture of it somewhere that I'll post when I can find it, but this setup has worked well for us for the past year.
 

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Sorry, here's the link...and I actually got a 4' x 5' X .75" mat...which still weighs 80 pounds. :roll:

http://www.mytscstore.com/detail.asp?pcID=6&paID=1045&sonID=182&productID=15708

Get help moving them if you have a bad back. Or if you are weak. :twisted: They are unwieldy, like a sheet of drywall...that's as flexible as rubber. Putting this thing in the backseat of a Honda Accord by myself was pretty amusing to the people walking by me....:lol:
 

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Kristen Cabe said:
keep a layer of cedar shavings about 2-3 inches thick on top of that.
I would not use loose cedar or pine shavings in animal housing. Very hard on respitory tracts of animals.

http://exoticpets.about.com/gi/dyna...ets&zu=http://www.ratfanclub.org/litters.html

My dad raised guinea pigs (I know, I know :roll:) for about 25 years, always used pine shavings, developed a really bad allergies and what I guess I'll call "pig lung"...I've not seen them used for dogs much (kinda messy, isn't it? just wondering) but based on what I have seen and heard happening with smaller animals...I'd stay away from it.
 

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I think I would stay away from any type of fabric or carpet as they usually get turned into big toys to "shake and kill" and end up in a million pieces. As a kennel flooring I think it would be hard to keep clean perhaps. I think with kennels good drainage and an easily cleaned surface are really important.
Most dogs like a surface that is a little bit raised to lay on so I use pallets with solid tops or closley spaced slats in the areas where they like to lay. In the kennel runs and tie outs the dogs like to lay on top of their flat topped dog houses. The only dog I have with calluses is one house dog that is a complete "futon ranger". I have a feeling going by photos you have posted that old skids might not fit in your neighbourhood's decorating scheme... :lol: - so you could just build a nice fancy wooden platform...
Pea gravel as long as it is deep enough is nice for a kennel surface also.
I have seen kennels build on a wooden deck type of thing too and it looked pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm looking to buy a house on some acreage by the end of the year, I have my eye on a house that has stables that can easily be turned into dog kennels, they'll still be inside dogs, but when I'm out, or if I'm outside doing stuff, then they have a little more freedom than being stuck in crates. Just toying with ideas right now.

I'm not a fan of stall mats, Tractor Supply Co sells them, I cut thru mine with a sawzall, it was a 2-man job, one person had to spread the cut open so the blade wouldn't get stuck while the other person cuts using a coarse blade, it went pretty fast once we figured out how to stop getting the blade stuck LOL. I put one in Lÿka's crate, I was all happy that she hadn't peed in the crate in weeks, I lift up the mat n I get attacked by, literally, THE foulest most pungent odor I had ever smelled in my entire life, I mean, there is no possible way that I could explain how FOUL this odor was, it was like 2 week old urine (that hadn't evaporated) combined with rubber, n it was such a sharp horrible smell that it stayed wtih me for a WEEK, everywhere I went I'd smell that horrible smell, it embedded itself in my nose. Never again.... :lol: Cujo's allowed a mattress in his crate now, after destroying 3 of em as a puppy, he's OK now... Lÿka, well, I'll trust her when she's 7 or 8 :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Woody Taylor said:
Putting this thing in the backseat of a Honda Accord by myself was pretty amusing to the people walking by me....:lol:
wow... I'm impressed, when I bought mine I had an empty pickup bed to put it in and it was still a pain in the ass to do by myself!
 

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this one shows one of my kennel runs. The beach umbrella is for the one of the runs that doesn't have good tree shade all day long - the run beside it had one too but I pushed a dog house under it when I was hosing the run and forgot to move it back and the umbrella went the way of all things fabric in my kennel :oops: .....
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b385/sewtech/100_5908.jpg


this is a couple of years older but shows the pallets in the shady areas where they like to lounge
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b385/sewtech/100_4764.jpg


I think calluses somettimes just happen - how do you get a callus from this?... http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b385/sewtech/100_4754.jpg


my runs are all patio blocks because I have moved several times and they were very handy that way - they are easy to keep clean with a hose and I pressure wash them frequently. They are a frame of railroad ties filled with gravel and then topped with the patio blocks. The runs are built in panels and are homemade(by me). I like building in panels because you can move the kennel or change it (or repair it)very easily. I would build with more of a slope to the pad next time. I redid the front panels of the kennels this summer and put raised posts so I can install a shade cloth in the summer(out of dog reach :lol: ). I use maple sap buckets for water pails as they hold alot and clean easily and hang on the side of the kennel. I have a rack on the front of the kennels for dog bowls - I think they sell them for restourants to stack plates in, but they work great to store food dishes or kennel items out of dog reach. My doghouses are homemade and have a removeable "lid" so they can be cleaned out and bedding changed easily. They have "legs" on them so sit off of the ground and a re-inforced door rim to deter chewers. They can be made from one sheet of plywood - I have the directions for anyone interested. That's my setup for kennels - I would be interested in seeing others set-ups as it is good for ideas.
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
Woody Taylor said:
Putting this thing in the backseat of a Honda Accord by myself was pretty amusing to the people walking by me....:lol:
wow... I'm impressed, when I bought mine I had an empty pickup bed to put it in and it was still a pain in the ass to do by myself!
Oh god, it was brutal. I didn't realize how heavy that stuff was...lifted it onto a plastic shopping cart and nearly broke that...then I get out to the parking lot, lay the thing down, and try to roll it up (you know if you messed with these that it's not easy to roll at all)...then push it into my Honda with leather seats. Took me like ten minutes, people were obviously laughing at me, and I was just coming off a 3am poker party and a three-hour drive and was hung over . Miserable.
 

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My breeder has grassy areas in her kennels, but for when she has to lock in the dogs (say there's a hurricane or another big story coming), she has astroturf for the dogs to lay on. It's very simple to clean, just pick it up and hose it off, then hose down the kennel. She built her own frames to hold it down. For her non-destructive dogs, she puts the astroturf with a little porus clothlike material under it on top of a stripped-down spring mattress for comfort. Mainly the dogs that are 5+ (Shadow, Reba, Bo, and coming soon Toby) get the special treatment, but Bo isn't very trustworthy with anything moveable in his kennel. They had to get a pig waterer because he would dump ANY pail (whether attached or not) within seconds of it being placed in his kennel, and then he would get dehydrated during the day because he loved playing the the water and wouldn't drink it.
 

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Woody Taylor said:
Kristen Cabe said:
keep a layer of cedar shavings about 2-3 inches thick on top of that.
I would not use loose cedar or pine shavings in animal housing. Very hard on respitory tracts of animals.

http://exoticpets.about.com/gi/dyna...ets&zu=http://www.ratfanclub.org/litters.html

My dad raised guinea pigs (I know, I know :roll:) for about 25 years, always used pine shavings, developed a really bad allergies and what I guess I'll call "pig lung"...I've not seen them used for dogs much (kinda messy, isn't it? just wondering) but based on what I have seen and heard happening with smaller animals...I'd stay away from it.

I know about all that; I raised mice and rabbits for several years. The difference here (IMO) is that Jak is not in his kennel for his entire life like small animals are, and his kennel is open air, whereas small animal cages are usually enclosed (aquarium or plastic 'habitrail' type cages). He's only out there when we aren't home and the weather is nice enough to have him outside. I don't like pine because it's too 'fine,' and dusty, and blows around too much. The cedar chips are larger so they don't blow unless there's a gale force wind :lol: , and they have much less dust. Messy? No. How are you thinking they're messy? Whenever we can get the fence finished, he will have the run of the yard instead of having to stay in the kennel, so it won't be an issue then. All we have left to do is about 150 feet across the front.

I was going to, but didn't, do gravel because he was in the habit of eating it :roll: according to the breeder, who used pea gravel in his kennel runs.
 

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Kristen Cabe said:
Messy? No. How are you thinking they're messy?
Absorbed dog pee and poop in 95% humidity in NC? That would do it for me. I would just think it would be a relatively unhygenic bedding for an animal that would spend time in the house, car, etc. Don't know. It will absorb and retain moisture more readily than dirt, grass, gravel.
 

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Woody, I don't find using wood shavings has ever been a problem in a well ventilated space. Most dogs that are kenneled that have regular turnouts don't soil their kennels much and will usually pick a favourite spot to "download" if they do - so you can easily pick up the soiled shavings daily - your nose will tell you if it ain't working! Doesn't matter what is on the floor if you don't scoop it will be unhygenic. My puppy pen(10 x 12) had a raised wooden floor with a 4 inch rim and we used shavings in it and had very clean, sweet smelling puppies. Lots of work scooping and shavings had to be replaced daily but was very clean and dry. Wood shavings are not messy if you keep them contained. I use shavings(kiln dried pine) in my doghouses in the summer and straw in the winter and the straw is much messier. Wood shavings can be sewpt up easy or shovelled, Straw has to be raked and pitchforked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So if I were to wanna make a wood flooring for the kennel that drains and ventilates under the dog -- what is the softest wood I can use for this? I've seen Cedar crate liners for sale at Ray Allen -- is Cedar the softest? Or is there a softer wood I can find?
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
So if I were to wanna make a wood flooring for the kennel that drains and ventilates under the dog -- what is the softest wood I can use for this? I've seen Cedar crate liners for sale at Ray Allen -- is Cedar the softest? Or is there a softer wood I can find?
I think Doug fir is softer (maybe the softest, aside from balsa).
 

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I think the idea behind the cedar crate liners is more for ventilation and that the slats have some give to them rather than the softness of the wood. Cedar is pretty impervious to water - it's used alot for decks and fence posts and things. Hemlock is pretty good in wet conditions, too.
 

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Lynn Cheffins said:
Woody, I don't find using wood shavings has ever been a problem in a well ventilated space. Most dogs that are kenneled that have regular turnouts don't soil their kennels much and will usually pick a favourite spot to "download" if they do - so you can easily pick up the soiled shavings daily - your nose will tell you if it ain't working! Doesn't matter what is on the floor if you don't scoop it will be unhygenic.
Too many bad experiences with shavings in my life. In high summer in particular. I gotta stick with a super-duty rubber mat. :lol: More fun to try and cut up, too. :lol:
 

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only concrete or beter said (don´t know english word) tegels van 30x30 cm. They have a nightshed and that´s it.
 

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Instead of using cedar or pine (both not good for their aromatic oils as has been pointed out), I find Woody Pet (www.woodypet.com) to be a superior animal bedding. I use it on my rats, mouse, rabbit, and even as a substrate for my jungle carpet python. It's most commonly used for horses. My old rabbit Thor (was scared to death by a loose neighborhood dog a few weeks ago) sometimes couldn't get his big butt in the litter box have the time, but aspen and a lot of those other shaving didn't hold a candle to Woody Pet when his aim was true. For anyone who has raised rabbits, you know what I mean. It's also dirt cheap at about $5 for a 30 lbs bag. I get it at the local farm supply store.
 
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