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Best Dog Runs for 2020

A dog run is a fenced-off area in an outdoor space where your dog is safe, enclosed and limited to where they can go.

They come in various sizes and materials, but most importantly, they are specially designed for outside use. For those occasions where you can’t keep an eye on your dog, a run will keep them secure and prevent any escapes.

These are the best options available to buy online, which all fit into the minimum size requirements.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    FeelGoodUK Walk-in Pet Cage
    • Spacious
    Check Price

    Top 6 Best Outdoor Runs For Dogs Reviewed

    1.
    FeelGoodUK Walk-in Pet Cage

    One of the largest overall runs, although not the strongest materials, so it depends on your particular dog as to whether it is suitable.

    It has been designed to maximise the available space, as well as allowing you to walk into it freely. The cage comes with an ample amount of meshing, which should also include enough for you to bury some into the ground to prevent digging under if you will be putting it onto the soft ground.

    Cable ties and ground pegs are also included to bolster the strength. We like how the door is split in half, so you can open the top half to feed your pet or throw in a toy without opening the bottom, which is good if you don’t want them to escape.

    Covers are available, or you can just cover the roof in standard tarpaulin and it should stay relatively dry. Building it is a bit of a pain, according to some other reviewers though, so ensure you are willing to prepare and don’t need it ASAP.

    Features

    • Spacious

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: L20 x W9.8 x H6.6ft
    • Materials: Metal Frame, Mesh Panels

    2.
    SAILUN Heavy Duty Puppy Dog Pen

    Made from 16 individual panels, this is a good option if you need the width and area but aren’t fussed about the height. Each panel is 80cm x 60cm, and they all attach to each other so there is no reason why you can’t buy more panels to extend it even further.

    It is only 2ft tall which falls short of the recommended 6ft, but for older dogs or ones who won’t attempt to jump, it could be ideal. The coated iron panels and stakes are easy to erect for a quick fix, and it can be up in minutes.

    This also means that it can be back down in moments and is able to fold flat, which is a good idea if you don’t want something completely permanent in your backyard – perhaps you will be training your puppy to get used to the garden, or they just need somewhere in Summer when you’re all out in the garden.

    Or maybe your fence is currently being repaired, so you need a temporary fix until it can be repaired. It could also be taken with you if you go on a staycation to somewhere with a big garden and don’t want to take the owners word that it is all fenced in.

    If it was taller it would be ideal, but as we say – it will suit most dogs just fine anyway.

    Features

    • Strong materials
    • Can be shaped how you like

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: D42 x H2ft
    • Materials: Metal Frame, Welded Wire

    3.
    4wire Large Pet Pen/Run

    At 6ft by 9ft, this large wooden enclosure is made up of a total of 10 panels fixed together with a wire mesh roof – 9 Wire mesh panels, 1 door and 3 mesh roof sections.

    It will be best for small dogs, as the space may not be large enough for the bigger hounds, but it can also house chickens and other small animals in case you have a bit of a mini farm and want to get the most out of it.

    The 19G wire will keep dogs who don’t chew or scratch in, but won’t keep possible predators out so do be aware of this for long periods.

    Features

    • Wooden poles
    • Looks aesthetically pleasing

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 9 x 6ft
    • Materials: Wood Frame, Mesh Panel

    4.
    4wire Animal Enclosure

    If your pet has to be out for longer periods, the weather can be an issue. Whether it be rain or shine, however, this run with a waterproof roof is a good bet.

    The 19G wire will cope with small dogs who are well-behaved, but it can be adjusted so you can contact the company to request thicker wire if you wish. It will take no longer than around 15 mins to assemble, and it is made up of 9 wire mesh panels, 1 door and 3 waterproof roof sections.

    It isn’t the largest, so bear this in mind when thinking about extended time frames.

    Features

    • Good solid roof
    • Secure door

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 6 x 9ft
    • Materials: Wood Frame, Mesh Panel

    5.
    Kennel Store Mesh Full Panel

    Individual panels are a great idea if you need a really specific size or shape, such as an area large enough for multiple dogs or you want to close off an awkwardly shaped garden.

    These ones are made from high-quality steel which is then hot-dipped galvanised for an extra-strong superior product. Essentially, it isn’t wire like a lot of others on the list, so great for those dogs who simply need the strongest materials to keep them in place.

    All panels are the usual 6ft high, and then there is a choice of 3’3ft, 4ft, 5ft, 6ft and 6’6ft lengths so you can make your run however large you need. You can purchase floor and wall brackets for an additional small fee, which will finish the whole thing off and make it very secure.

    Need a bit more persuasion? These panels meet all boarding regulations and are used by both the M.O.D and police forces. If it’s strong enough to contain a crime-fighting K9, we are sure your precious Poppy will be perfectly safe, too.

    Features

    • Galvanised steel mesh
    • Lifetime guarantee

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: H6ft, Choice of lengths
    • Materials: Metal Frame, Welded Wire Panels

    6.
    Dog Kennels Direct Eco Plastic Panels

    Perhaps eco-friendliness is not your first thought when looking for an outdoor dog run, but these panels offer a lot of things which the other metal bar options don’t.

    The environmentally friendly plastic is very strong, and at 22m thick, there is little chance of any dog breaking through it. Within this thickness is a 10mm insulating panel, which makes it one of the warmest panels available on the market. Perfect if your run will be used year-round and you want it fully protected from the elements.

    There is no maintenance to be done, as it will never need treatments and stains to protect is as wood or metal would. The weather also won’t affect its wear (although you should always double-check everything periodically).

    Plastic is also one of the most hygienic materials available. It can be power washed inside and out, making it ideal if you have a revolving door of temporary dogs, and the construction repels pet owners so it won’t smell like a wet dog after a few weeks of use and forevermore.

    A galvanised steel frame around each panel finishes it off and makes it completely chew-proof.

    Features

    • Hygienic
    • Long-lasting
    • Easy to clean

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: Various Available
    • Materials: Metal Frame, Plastic Panels

    Buying Guide

    Size

    The minimum measurements you should look for in a run are 3ft wide x 10ft long x 6ft high (W92cm x L305cm x H183cm). Most runs easily accommodate the former two points, but the height can sometimes suffer for larger runs if they’re more like dog pens.

    One of these can still be suitable, however. It all depends on whether you think your dog is able to jump high or would want to. They wouldn’t be able to be covered, though, so this is worth bearing in mind in the long term.

    Most of the runs featured above come as panels, so there is often nothing to stop you purchasing additional panels to make the setup even larger. Contact the seller or purchase two runs, and they will usually be able to fit together.

    Materials

    Outdoor run builds and frameworks generally come as metal, wood or plastic builds. The panelling will come as welded wire or chain mesh, or occasionally plastic.

    Metal frame and welded wire is perhaps the most secure and strongest option, and what is generally used by officials such as the police, army and official boarding kennels. The panelling is permanently welded onto the frame, and most frames will come ready-meshed so it is just a case of securing them together.

    Because it is so permanent, it is often pretty unbreakable. It can take quite a bit of upkeep to ensure there is no rust or wear over time, and is usually the priciest option because more goes into making them and ensuring the strength.

    Wooden builds are usually the most widely available, especially when it comes to buying as one entire unit online as opposed to the individual panels. The wood is usually treated and safe for use with pets. Most come with chain mesh, which needs to be fitted by yourself onto each frame.

    The downside of this is that they may not be as secure for larger dogs, and the mesh could be broken through. The wooden frames are also harder to fasten to surfaces to make them stronger and more permanent.

    Plastic ones are harder to come by. They are often closed, so there’s no wire or mesh to let air through or allow them to see out. But this may be good for dogs who are nervous or to fully protect them from the weather. These panels are also much easier to clean down than metal or mesh, which could be good if you board dogs or foster them temporarily.

    Weather

    As outdoor environments, a dog run can suffer from the elements. You may wish to buy a roof cover in addition, so your dog is sheltered from the rain and the sun in equal measure.

    There are often dedicated covers available to purchase separately, but some form of tarpaulin or plastic sheeting is often enough to do the job. Just ensure it is fastened securely.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    What Is A Dog Run?

    Larger than a kennel and with higher walls than a playpen, a dog run is designed to go outside and give your dog an area in which they can run around, yet can’t escape out of in case the garden isn’t fully secure or they need to be kept separate from other animals.

    It can also prevent any animals from getting into the run, such as foxes or badgers, when your pup is outside. They may also be referred to as a dog enclosure, fencing or kennel run.

    Most come as separate panels, so you can make them as large or small as you wish, or even into different shapes.

    Why May I Need A Dog Run?

    There are several reasons why you may want a dog run:

    • Your back garden or yard is not secure so you want to ensure they are safe when outside
    • You have other small animals or pets in your garden such as chickens or rabbits and need to keep your dog separated from them when you can’t watch them
    • If you are training your dog to go outside and need a set space to teach them how to walk on a lead, toilet training or interactions with other dogs
    • If you look after dogs professionally or foster them temporarily, and need to keep multiple dogs separate or safe and behaved in a certain space

    Some people who own working breeds such as guard dogs or greyhounds may wish to keep their dog in an outdoor run like this all the time. While we wouldn’t recommend using something like this for full-time containment, if this is what you want, get a plastic run which is sheltered from the elements and is warm.

    Where Do I Put A Dog Run?

    They are designed for outdoors but do think about how your dog will get into the run. You may wish to attach it to an external door if you don’t want them going outside in the open to get there.

    Also, think about the surface you will be placing it onto. Grass lawn is the most common as it gives your dog the real feel of being outdoors, but do bear in mind that dogs can dig so you would have to lower it into the ground or use some extra mesh fencing as a lower barrier.

    If you need it to be extra secure, it could be worth placing it onto paving and screwing the frames onto the ground. You should ideally give your dog a chance to go outside onto grass and in an area that they can sniff too, however.

    Can I Put Any Other Animals In A Dog Run?

    Dog runs are also commonly used as outdoor chicken enclosures, as they provide plenty of space for multiple birds and if it is secure enough for a dog, your chickens will be fine.

    You may also wish to use one as a catio for felines, or as a large area for rabbits or other small animals.