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Upgrades for Kennel #3

Our third kennel was installed hastily on a sloping surface that was once a gravel driveway.  As I usually do, I built a foundation for it of pressure treated 4x4s.  I did not take my usual course of hauling in 1 1/2 tons of pea gravel to fill the foundation and provide a cleaner floor for the dog in that kennel.  The reason for that decision has to do with impending upgrades and a concrete slab, that when that time comes will require me to MOVE kennel 3 (and all that gravel).

Recent prolonged rains have made the floor of #3 a muddy mess and I need to address that somehow so I can keep the dog cleaner, as well as keeping the dog bed and deck and dog house cleaner.  Letting them out to run in the yard is bad enough, they don’t need a muddy kennel as well.

I decided to try the chipped pine that is used in horse stalls.  So Rebel and I made a run to Tractor Supply Co. in Newport and bought 4 bales (32 cubic feet) of the pine chips.  The bales are compressed, so when I opened them I used a rake to break up the bales and “fluff” the chips as I spread them out. If the rains continue, the chips will get wet, and stay wet, but hopefully will keep the dog out of the mud.  And since there are a dog house, a dog bed, and a deck to lie on and stay dry, having a wet floor should not be a big issue.  When the next upgrade takes place, I can haul the used wood chips out to my garden for composting.

This is an ideal time to do this because we just sent two foster dogs off on rescue and will be getting two new fosters next week.  So I spent the day scrubbing and sanitizing dog houses, dog beds, bowls, and decking.  I now have about 5″ of wood chips across the bottom of the kennel to help keep the new resident out of the mud.  That is providing that the new dog is not a digger who will just stir mud up from underneath.  This has been a problem with some dogs, even in the gravel floored kennels.

I put Roc-Kloth ™ down under the gravel to keep the rock from being driven down into the mud below when it rains.  That worked great until dogs started digging and tearing up the heavy fabric underliner.  Now the mud and rock are mixing again and the kennels are getting the dogs dirty.  It seems the only way to keep things clean is going to be a concrete slab.  So that’s next.  But until I can afford that, I’ll do the best I can with what we have to provide as healthy an environment as I can.

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