Pea gravel works well. Just make sure you scoop poop everyday otherwise it gets squished into the rocks and makes a mess. If you keep up with the poo, the rocks stay clean by hosing it about once a week.
You want the very best? Use a horse trailer mat. They are at feed stores, are heavy and strong and chew-proof, and are made from recycled tires. Use a C-clamp (borrow one) to attach to the edge so you can drag it into place. Then you can use a little absorbent material on top if desired, or just hose them off. If they are too expensive (please at least go see the horse mats) then you can use thrift shop shower curtains with whatever on top of it.
I recently talked to a gal who runs a doggie daycare & she said for the part of the kennel where you want them to go to the bathroom you put in about 4 inches of "Pea Gravel" and if you can get a bit of their scent from somewhere else & add it to the pea gravel, then they will know that the gravel is to relieve themselves on. She said she scoops up the solids & just hoses down the pea gravel weekly, this keeps the smell down. You'll need to use a 2x4 to separate the pea gravel potty area from the "living" part of the kennel...
For the "living" area, besides the cedar & the straw, look into horse bedding or pine-pellets (like the kind that go into a pellet stove). But cement is easiest because you can hose it off... But it is hard on the dog's feet. What works nicely is to use grass & re-seed it each spring with one of those super-hardy seeds you see advertised on TV, then keep it watered & if your dog always pees in the pea-gravel, then the grass might continue to grow & be soft & cool on their feet, at least for most of the summer. Another thing that might be helpful is those vented super-hard plastic or rubber mats they make for fancy garages. Also, you can buy SHREDDED PLAYGROUND RUBBER. (It's made from old tires that have been shredded up) This is both soft on the dogs feet AND you can hose it down too, & it won't decompose like the hay & natural materials will. When you first put it in, it will smell strongly of "tire" or rubber for a week or two, but once it's aired out the smell will go away. You might want to let the shredded rubber air-out or breathe for a week or so before putting your dog on it.
I board dogs in my home and have dog pen that I keep straw in. The straw is not nearly as expensive and concrete and it is also soft under there feet. If it rains the straw keeps the pen from becomeing a mud puddle. I have also made a kidney shaped area in the pen that has river rock in it. This allows the dogs to go potty even when it is raining as they don't like to get their feet wet. I just rake it out a couple of times every month or so and put fresh straw down. There is no way I can get grass to grow out there and I again it would be a mud bath when it rains. I also go out and pick up the "poo" w/a rubber glove and fluff the straw up w/a rake. Straw is only $4 a bale and so I use 2 bales at a time! I have used this method for years and when weeds pop up I either pull them or use my weed eater to cut them down! HTH
If my dog is allergic to hay what would be the next best thing as flooring in his outside kennel?
Alaina from Lynchburg, VA
By Lily 59
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.