Moving Our Dogs Outdoors

Our dogs have gone through a few transitions since we moved into our new house. Unfortunately they can't be trusted to have free range of our house while we're gone at work (it didn't work so well at our last place), so originally they started out in our sunroom now turned home gym. After two years of making quite a mess in that space, and it needing extensive foundation work and repairs, we fixed up our garage and moved them out there during the day as a short-term solution. Both our dogs love being outside in the yard and we've been planning to create a space for them to hang out while we're at work for the past year.

It's not completely ready but we've finally made significant progress. A few weeks ago we brought back out our local contractor / handyman to add a privacy fence to the side of our garage (built off from our backyard's metal fence) since this area gets lots of shade throughout the day. Here are a few images of what the space looked like before the fence went up a few weeks ago:

It took about two days of work but our contractor did a great job of adding a privacy fence on two sides to enclose this area for our two dogs during the daytime (they sleep inside at night).

Once the fence was built, Keith buried chicken wire along the fence that faces the street to prevent our older dog from digging out. We've also been doing a lot of research for this space about what ground cover is best for dog areas and what else should be included. Last Friday we had pea gravel delivered from a local landscaping company and then my father-in-law helped us spread that out along the ground. We also moved leftover rocks from our past patio project to the side fence to prevent the dogs digging there too.

Keith spent a few Sundays building a custom dog shelter with an outdoor rug on the base and is finishing up adding a metal roof to protect them from the elements while outside. Here are some photos of the process.

The bottom of the base

The bottom of the base

The frame for the base

The frame for the base

Sides for the roof going up

Sides for the roof going up

We plan to finish up the shelter and move it outside tomorrow, then slowly start keeping them out there for a few hours each weekend over the next few weeks until they feel comfortable with the space (and we feel comfortable they can't get out and into the street). I'll keep you updated on how the latest move pans out and share another photo of the yard once the shelter and kiddie pool are all set up and ready for them.