Thursday, April 22, 2010


I have been to many breeders kennels. Some of them have a protective cover on top of their kennel runs and others do not. I always preferred to have my dog’s kennel runs covered but finding the ideal type to do it with was always the problem. For my kennel run now, I used a tarp like kennel cover that came with a metal frame and it was pitched in the center so if it rained the water went down on the outside of the kennel. (See the above picture to see what it looked like).  However, three winters ago we had one of those “final reminders” that it’s still winter a couple of weeks before it was actually spring. We had one of those this year as well. It couldn’t be a small little snow storm. Nope… had to be the biggest snow storm of the season! The snow was heavy and it pounded our area as most of us slept in the comforts of our warm, toasty bed. The next morning when I let my house dog out, she and I were greeted with a kennel roof totally destroyed with the metal frames twisted every which way. My dog had to gingerly go around it to go potty. What fun that was trying to unhook the rest of it and get it out of the run. So it hasn’t been replaced yet.

It seems there are a few ways that one can cover their dogs’ kennels. Many companies sell the tarp like structure that I used. I really did like it for the couple of years that I had it. It was attractive and it served the purpose for what I bought it for…..shade and protection from the elements. The reason that I thought it was attractive is that it had the pitched roof and it made it look like it was part of the house off the deck where I have my dog’s run.

“Options Plus” sells the Universal modular hard roofing system. Here’s the description from their website. Heavy-duty polycarbonate, twice as thick as standard PVC roof panels from box stores • 26" x 65" panels, with pre-installed, easy-attach roofing straps (lays approx. 2' x 5' when overlapped). Will handle snow loads up to 20 lbs./sq.ft. • Opaque gray. • UV treated for long-lasting durability. • Includes galvanized steel frame - either flat or sloped models. • Easy to assemble, no drilling, with adjustable upright leveling piping (sloped roof only). • Roof panels have overlap for minimization of leaking and added strength. • Create multiple setups, runs and configurations easily.

Years ago I used to use that kind of roof over my kennels. I like that it says it can handle the snow well because of my bad experience with the softer roof already. Also this roof seems easy to put together. Some of these come in flat roof or slope roof systems.

Another kennel cover is the Kennel Sun Block Top which is a woven UV treated polypropylene top with reinforced brass grommets. The sun block top provides shade to help keep your pet cooler and reduces the temperature inside the dog kennel by up to 15°. This doesn’t have a pitched roof but stretches across the top of the dog kennel.

I often wondered how one can prevent the sun or elements from coming into the kennel from the side. I always found that no matter what type of roof I used, the rain or snow still came into the kneel from the side. I searched the internet for something like this but all I found was this one pictured here that Amazon sells. From the description: K9 Kennel 8 Foot Canvas Side Cover: Made of heavy duty weather proof canvas, it protects your pet from wind, snow, sun and rain, installs in just seconds with easy slide over form fitting pocket, D rings at bottom for easy attachment, and comes in colorful cameo pattern only.

I did find that some of the fence companies sells privacy panels for their fencing, so perhaps they sell if for their kennels as well. Most of this stuff is custom made by the company for your specific needs. So ask if they can make these privacy panels for your dog runs if that is something you would like to have.

So having had both the tarp like kennel tops and the hard kennel tops, I would say that the tarp one is the most affordable (as long as mother nature doesn't fool around with it)and the hard top is the most durable.

So do you cover your dog’s kennels or not?

My rating: pitched tarp like roofs: (3), hard covered roofs: (4)


  1. Protect from Mother Nature? Oh heck my dogs are protected the same as me... AC in the summer and Heat in the winter. They're in the house during thunderstorms and out sunning themselves on the deck when the weather is good, like right now. 74 degrees and sunny. They also have their run (bigger than my house) covered with a canopy of Live Oak trees. They have a better life than most people !! But then that's how I always thought our Companions were supposed to be treated?

    Becca "mom" to Paco and Schade and 8 bunnies.

  2. Yup, life is certainly good for your dogs at your house. All dogs should be treated so well! Thanks for writing!