Outdoor pet enclosures are known by names such as kennel runs, dog fencing, dog run cages, and outdoor dog playpens. They are valuable assets for managing your dogs, but it can get quite confusing to know which ones are which and which enclosure is best suited for your dog. What are the different types of enclosures and how do you know which one is right for your dog?
What is an Outdoor Dog Enclosure?
Before delving into the different types of enclosures, it is important to first understand what an outdoor enclosure for a dog is. An outdoor enclosure is a temporary or permanent structure that is used to contain dogs outdoors. They come in different shapes and sizes and are designed to keep your dog safe for short periods of time.
Outdoor enclosures are made in a range of material from metal wire to plastic and wood. They are made to be durable to withstand harsh weather conditions. There are four types of pet enclosures, namely exercise pens, modular panel enclosures, chain link kennels and pet gates.
Exercise pens are playpens that can be used both indoors and outdoors. They are removable and are found in the form of panels or gates that can be strung together and arranged in a circular shape.
This type of enclosure can be used to house small dogs or puppies, and they are generally made from durable metal. They are like playpens that are used indoors and come in different sizes and heights. Most exercise pens are adjustable, meaning you can add or remove panels to make the area bigger or smaller.
Exercise pens are easy to setup, and they are portable so you can take them with you when you travel. The only downsides to using exercise pens is that they cannot be used for large breed dogs as large dogs can knock the panels over or jump.
These also do not come with covers, so your pet may be exposed to harsh sun or wind if you choose this enclosure. You can, however, purchase a cover separately. Another downside to using an exercise pen for your dog is that heavy winds can knock the enclosure over and your dog can escape, so keep this in mind if you choose this type of outdoor enclosure.
Pet gates or pet doors are like toddler gates that block off a doorway to prevent dogs from entering or exiting a room. They are made from a range of materials, including metal, plastic, and wood.
These are useful enclosures for pets because they can help keep your dog out of the house while you entertain company or cook a meal without disturbance. They can be straight extendable gates or foldable gates that stretch out to cover a large doorway.
Pet gates come in a variety of sizes and heights to fit the space you intend to cordon off. This type of enclosure is easy to setup and store and can provide your dog with the outdoor play they need without you having to worry about their safety.
A disadvantage to using a pet gate is that your dog may feel disconnected from you, and this may affect their willingness to obey commands. While pet gates may be great for indoor enclosure, they do not offer much in terms of control of environment for outdoor enclosure and generally work best for small breed dogs.
Chain Link Dog Kennels
Chain link dog kennels are freestanding structures that have four panels joined together to form a square structure. One of the panels contains a door and they are all made from chain link wire mesh.
This type of enclosure is generally more durable than the others and comes with a cover for the top and sides to help protect your dog against harsh weather conditions. Chain link enclosures are very low maintenance and are safe to use. There is a very slim chance that your dog can break free from this type of enclosure, so it offers great security. Choosing a chain link dog kennel for your furry friend can be quite expensive however and does not offer adjustability.
Modular Panel Enclosures
If you intend to house more than one animal in outdoor enclosures, modular panel enclosures may be the right option for you. They consist of steel gates that are sold separately to allow you to design your enclosure to suit the space available.
This type of enclosure is adaptable and adding on more enclosures is simple. You can use the panels to create square or rectangular spaces and house any breed of dog. The panels can also be used to section off a space (like a pet gate). Modular panel enclosures are also cheaper than chain link enclosures. A downside to choosing this type of enclosure is that it does not include a cover to keep your animal safe from the elements.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Dog Enclosure
Now that we have discussed the different options you have for your outdoor pet enclosure, we must take into consideration the factors that may influence your decision. The most important thing to consider before deciding on an outdoor enclosure is the size and shape of your yard.
If your yard is small, you may not have enough space for a chain link kennel or modular panel type enclosure. Another important thing to consider is whether your dog likes to be outdoors. If your dog has been raised indoors, you can cause anxiety and fear by moving your dog outside, so be wary of this.
As you may have noticed, outdoor enclosures are made to suit different breeds of dogs. If you have a large breed dog, exercise pens and pet gates may not work for you. You need to also ask yourself why and how long you intend to contain your dog. Always remember that enclosures are meant to be used for short periods of time and should not be used for the entire day or while you are on holiday.
Also consider how much shelter you have in your yard. If your yard has lots of sun, an exercise pen or pet gate may not be the best option as you may need to purchase additional covers for your enclosure. Another important aspect to consider is your budget. How much are you willing to spend on an enclosure? Pet gates and exercise pens are relatively inexpensive, while you may pay more for chain link kennels and modular panel enclosures.
Outdoor pet enclosures are useful for keeping your dog out of trouble and they provide adequate outdoor space for your dog to move around and play in. They give you the freedom to step out while keeping your dog or puppy safe and out of trouble.
There are four different types of outdoor enclosures, and each is made differently, has different characteristics and suit different dog breeds. These types are exercise pens, pet gates, chain link dog kennels and modular panel enclosures. They all come in a range of sizes and prices so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. With this handy guide, you have all the information you need to choose the right outdoor enclosure for your dog.