Working Dog Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Any input on what would make for a dog/kid/me friendly substrate to go under a playset I'm putting in the backyard? I don't want to use sand, and don't want to use pebbles...what would be safe for the dog yet a good play surface?

Thanks i
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Woody Taylor said:
Hi

Any input on what would make for a dog/kid/me friendly substrate to go under a playset I'm putting in the backyard? I don't want to use sand, and don't want to use pebbles...what would be safe for the dog yet a good play surface?....Thanks i
Here's a quote from the FAQs at http://www.swing-n-slide.com/faq.htm

Soft surfaces, laid after installation, are ideal under your swing set. Never place your swing set over hard surfaces like blacktop, concrete or packed earth where injury could result in the event of a fall. The CPSC recommends the following loose fill surfacing materials: wood mulch (9” depth), double shredded bark mulch (9” depth), uniform wood chips (12” depth), fine sand (12” depth) and fine gravel (12” depth). Refer to the Safe Assembly Practices for more complete information on surfacing materials. END

I remember from my own \"jungle gym\" when I was a kid (and from copying it when my kids were little) that the important part was the depth of the \"floor\" under the playset.

Our set was fixed in a big square hole he dug, as I recall maybe 10\" deep, then the hole was filled with wood chips. Otherwise it's an eternal job to keep the chips where you want them.

Maybe certain types of wood chips are better.......I don't know if some might be poisonous to dogs (pups) who might just make a meal of them. We had adult dogs then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, that's what I was wondering...if cedar chips or cocoa shells or whatever were treated with something. I'm really not sure what would be best.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Woody Taylor said:
Yep, that's what I was wondering...if cedar chips or cocoa shells or whatever were treated with something. I'm really not sure what would be best.
This .pdf downloads fast and is loaded with info:
www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/usda/agib666/aib66604.pdf

Also, I read that
-you can buy non-pesticide-treated wood chips;
-you want uniform-size wood chips if you go that route, so you don't have smaller shavings, etc., tracked everywhere (inside, into the car, etc.);
-some people use processed (ground, I guess) corn cobs!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,869 Posts
Woody, I'd be leary of cocoa shells. I don't know if they do or don't contain theobromine. That's the substance in chocolate that is toxic to dogs.
Connie??
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Bob Scott said:
Woody, I'd be leary of cocoa shells. I don't know if they do or don't contain theobromine. That's the substance in chocolate that is toxic to dogs.
Connie??
In fact, according to Snopes (and UrbanLegends), they contain even more than chocolate that we eat.

http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoa.htm

Plus caffeine!

In fact, reading the Snopes article is prompting me to make a separate post about this. Good work, Bob!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Independent of the fact that it's poisonous, the last thing I want to give my dog is caffeine. Sheesh.

Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it, as always.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Boy did I have a bad experience with this subject. A few years back I bought a big play set and I wanted the kids to be safe. I got this brain storm (AKA bad idea) that I would build a huge sandbox around the play set with cedar landscape ties and then hauled in 17 tons of beach sand…. What a nightmare that turned out to be. I forgot that beach sand sticks to everything and I was forever trying to keep it out of the house, off the kids, off the deck etc.. Plus… beach sand gets pretty hard when it rains and compacts. 3 years I battled this beast. :cry:

Finally I had it dug out removed and replaced with small wood chips. 1000 times better because they don’t compress in the rain and they are heavy enough not to stick to the kids… but not so heavy that the kids get hurt.

A friend of mine used a type of gravel… it was heavier then normal gravel. It looked like little tiny rocks (about the size of a pencil eraser). That worked pretty well too. It was just heavy enough not to stick to everything and didn’t compact much.

The local park in our town uses wood chips as well, but here a few links to some cool playground flooring.

http://www.xlgeneration.com/playground.html

http://www.floorscore.com/playground/

I am now facing this same dilemma again... but this time I am sure of one thing… NO SAND! Since a puppy will be sharing this space I am interested in hearing all the suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
The only thing that I would be concerned about using sand it that if you have stray or outside cats that freequent your yard especially at night with the dogs & or kids are not out there, they will use this area as a litter box. ICK! I use wood chips in my yard around my kennel & any of the heavily used pathways that my dogs freequent to keep the mud down. My dogs like to use the outside line of the kennel like a race track & chase eachother around it all the time & created a muddy mess. Don't have any playsets in the yard but the chips definately are a good alternative to any gravel or other rock that can cause havic with the lawn trackter as it bleeds out of the designated areas (I don't have wood sides layed on the paths to keep the chips in place..someday if I can afford to do that I will) I don't mind having to replenish it periodically & I like that it is natural. The down side is that my dogs like to chew on the chips....but if it wern't for the chips, they would find something that I would find less desirable to chew on. They are both big on having something in their mouths.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,983 Posts
I just put wood chips down on everything that wasn't covered in grass in my back yard, around trees, plants, bushes etc... no more muddy paws!! :) Well, for the most part anyway... but it's alot better than my dogs running behind the bushes thru icky mud. I like wood chips, I'd go with those for the kids.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top