If your dog likes to spend most of his time outdoors, he will need adequate shelter to protect him during inclement weather and periods of extreme heat or cold. A kennel will provide a safe haven for your dog, and a run will allow him to get the exercise he needs without requiring your supervision.

Kennels and runs are available for purchase in a range of styles, from the basic to the deluxe. While most kennels and runs require some assembly, many are modular units with panels that you simply clamp together. Available opened or enclosed, with or without runs, most kennels are made of chain link.

Kennels and runs often come with optional accessories, such as:
  • Covers or shades to provide extra protection from the elements
  • Resting benches for your pet to lie down on
  • Gate units with stainless steel bowls for easy access to food and water
  • Spring-loaded pet doors to make it easy to go in and out
  • Removable floors for easy cleaning
  • Dog curtains for decoration and to filter direct sunlight
You can also build your own kennel. All it requires is some concrete or pea gravel for the floor, chain-link material for the sides and some kind of material to make a roof. When you plan the kennel, make sure it will adhere to any local code requirements, and design it so that you can easily maintain it and expand its size later, if necessary.

When you build your own kennel, make sure you provide:
  • A comfortable and safe shelter that provides protection from direct sun or rain
  • Sufficient space
  • Heating or air conditioning, if necessary
  • Proper drainage and disposal
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Easy access to food and water
  • An exercise area (or a run)
Remember to clean your kennel every day to keep diseases at bay and to make your dog's outdoor home a great place to live.