How To Build Dog Run With Artificial Grass (Easy Fix)

Whether you have a dog or not, the backyard is a great place to relax. You can work on your tan, throw around a Frisbee or just enjoy life. 

But what if you want to add some extra excitement to your backyard? One way is by adding an artificial grass dog run. 

An artificial grass dog run gives your pooch plenty of room to play and exercise without having to worry about him damaging your lawn or garden beds (not like he would anyway).

DIY Dog yard with artificial turf
Key Takeaways From “How to Build Dog Run with Artificial Grass: Easy Fix”
Building a DIY dog run with artificial grass is an easy project that can provide a safe and low-maintenance environment for your furry friend.
The first step in building a dog run is to determine the size and layout, then prepare the area for installation.
Installing a weed barrier and a sub-base are important steps in the construction process to ensure a flat and stable surface.
Once the sub-base is installed, it’s time to lay out the artificial turf, cut it to size, and secure it in place with adhesive and fasteners.
Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and brushing, can help extend the life of your artificial grass and keep your dog run looking great for years to come.

Decide Where You Want to Build the Dog Run

  • Location of your dog run:
  • Water and food bowls:
  • Shelter:
  • Toys:

Dog’s bed: The perfect location for a dog’s bed is somewhere that is warm, comfortable, and private. A doghouse or large crate will work well for this purpose. 

Consider the size of your dog when choosing where you want to put their bed – if you have a large breed or two small dogs who share the same space, then an oversized doghouse may be best. 

For smaller breeds that sleep alone in their own crates, make sure there are no sharp edges on either object where they could hurt themselves if they accidentally rolled into them at night.

Locate Underground Utilities

First, it is important to locate any underground utilities before digging up the yard. To do this, you’ll need to check with your local utility provider or municipality for information on where gas and power lines are buried. 

This information should be available online or at your local utility office. Once you’ve located all the underground utilities in your yard, mark them out using flags around each line location so that you don’t accidentally dig into them while installing the dog run and artificial grass.

If you accidentally damage a line while digging out your dog run area, contact both the gas and electric companies immediately so they can repair their lines as fast as possible—and make sure there are no lingering safety concerns!

If you want to grow your plants without soil and in an efficient way, check out our guide on how to build a hydroponic garden tower for an easy-to-follow step-by-step process.

Measure and Mark Your Dog Run Area

Before you can begin laying turf, you must properly measure the area you want your dog run to be. To do this, use a tape measure and stakes to mark off the perimeter of your future dog run. 

If your backyard has a circular or oval shape (like ours did), make sure to double check that all angles are equal with a measuring wheel or protractor first! 

Once you have drawn in all four corners with stakes and string, it is time to move onto step two!

Prepare Your Dog Run’s Footprint

It’s important that you have enough space for your dog run. You want to make sure that it doesn’t encroach on the areas where you and your family spend time. You don’t want to feel like you are being pushed out of your own backyard. 

A general rule of thumb is that a dog run should not be smaller than 10 feet by 10 feet, but this can vary depending on the size and activity level of your pooch. 

Many people prefer building their runs in an L-shape so they have more room to play without encroaching on other areas like vegetable gardens or patios where friends or family may congregate when visiting during backyard barbecues or cookouts.

Adding sand to your artificial lawn is an essential part of the maintenance process. Check out our guide on how to add sand to artificial grass to learn about the benefits of sand and how to add it properly.

Buy Artificial Grass

Whether you’re looking to build your own dog run or simply install artificial grass in your backyard, there are several things you should keep in mind. 

First, what kind of grass is best for dogs? It’s important to choose a durable surface that can stand up to the wear and tear of dogs running on it all day long. Second, where can I buy the best quality artificial grass? And finally, how do I find the best price for artificial grass?

There are many factors that influence a buyer’s decision when choosing an artificial lawn. For example: quality of materials used during manufacturing process; warranty offered by manufacturer – usually between 10-15 years; number of pieces included with purchase (usually 1/4″ thick strips) as well as color options available at time of order (light green vs dark green). 

The most important thing is whether or not this type has been tested under heavy loads while remaining durable throughout its lifespan so that it won’t require replacement anytime soon!

Cut Your Artificial Grass Piece to Size

Cutting your artificial grass to size with a utility knife or scissors is the second step in building your dog run. This step is critical because if you don’t get the right size, it won’t fit correctly and could cause issues later on.

To ensure that you’re cutting your artificial grass to the right size, make sure to measure twice and cut once so that you can avoid any mistakes. 

You should also use a sharp blade when cutting the grass so that it doesn’t fray or tear as easily as it would with a dull blade.

If there are children or pets around, we recommend doing this part of the project outside away from them so that they don’t accidentally get injured by falling scraps of material because they might be confused when walking over these pieces lying on their feet later on during installation process.”

 If you plan to install artificial grass on top of your wooden deck or any wooden structure, check out our article on how to attach artificial grass to wood for the step-by-step process on how to make it happen.

Lay Your Artificial Grass in the Run.

Lay the artificial grass in a criss-cross pattern, starting with the first piece of turf on the right side of your dog run. Place one edge of this piece up against the front wall (or one side if your run has no walls), and then stretch it across until you reach the back wall.

Overlap each successive piece by at least 1 inch, pulling from left to right so that all pieces overlap. If you’re using multiple colors for your turf, make sure that each color is placed in alternating rows so that each row has a different color at its edges than does any adjacent row.

Once all pieces are laid out, use a rubber mallet to tap down any seams where pieces meet.

Attach the Edges of the Artificial Grass Panels to Each Other With Glue or Nails.

If you are planning on attaching the edges of your artificial grass panels to each other with glue, do so now. Glue is best for areas that don’t get a lot of use. 

Nails work better if you have an area where dogs will be running around and playing often. Attach the edges of your artificial grass panels together by using nails or glue, whichever works best in your situation.

Synthetic grass, particularly when exposed to harsh elements, requires care and occasional maintenance. Check out our guide on how to care for artificial grass to learn about the best practices for maintaining your grass and getting the most out of it.

Fill All Gaps with Crushed Stone or Gravel and Pack It Down.

After you’ve laid the grass, fill in all gaps with crushed stone or gravel and pack it down. This will keep your dog from tripping over loose seams between sections. 

Make sure that there aren’t any pockets of dirt left behind, since these can come apart when walked on. 

If you used sand instead of artificial grass, then use a tamper to pack down the sand as well—this will help even out any bumps or dips that might form in your final surface.

Next up: you’ll want to add another layer of topsoil and seed so that your doggie playground looks like a real lawn!

Add a Top Layer of Sand or Rubber

You can purchase sand or rubber at your local hardware store. You want to use a product that is easy to clean and maintain, so it’s important that you find out what type of material they recommend for your artificial grass before purchasing anything.

If you are using sand as the top layer, you should use 2 inches of it on top of the base layer of concrete or foam. 

This will prevent weeds from growing through the dog run since sand is an excellent weed deterrent. 

If there are seeds in your backyard, they will not be able to grow through this top layer and cause damage or inconvenience later on down the road when trying to maintain your dog run.

Rubber mulch is another option for preventing weeds from growing through the ground instead of using sand.

 It works similarly by creating a barrier between plants underneath that do not allow them access above so they cannot germinate at all!

 If you’re new to artificial turf and don’t know where to start, take a look at our beginner’s guide on how to choose the best artificial grass to learn about the essential factors to consider before making a decision.

Add Weed Barrier if Needed

If you’re installing artificial grass over bare soil, you’ll want to add a weed barrier (a plastic sheet) between the ground and your new grass. 

Weed barriers are available at most home improvement stores, and they’re not expensive. Weed barriers prevent weeds from growing through your artificial grass and causing it to look unsightly.

Add Fencing Around the Dog Run

Now that your dog run is complete, it’s time to add fencing. The fencing will keep your pet in and other pets out of the area.

You need to make sure that the fence is at least six feet high. You can use metal or wood. If you use wood, be sure to stain or paint your fence so that it blends in with the rest of your yard and doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb!

You may also want to install gates so that you can access different areas of the yard without having to go through the dog run. 

Make sure these gates are big enough for your dog(s) – if they are too small, they could become stuck trying to pass through them! 

If you don’t feel like building a gate yourself (or don’t have enough time), there are many pre-fabricated fences available online that come with added privacy screens embedded directly into them


As you can see, there are a lot of steps to building a dog run with artificial grass. However, if you have the right materials on hand and follow our tips for laying down the artificial grass, it should be an easy process that takes just a few hours.

 With all the benefits of this material — including its resistance to pests and disease, low maintenance requirements and ability to withstand some abuse from your pet — we think it’s worth putting in the extra effort!

Further Reading

If you’re interested in more information on artificial turf projects, check out these resources:

Best Artificial Turf Projects: Fun and Easy DIY Dog Run Ideas – Explore some fun and creative artificial turf projects you can do for your furry friend, including DIY dog run ideas.

How to Install Artificial Pet Turf – DIY – A step-by-step tutorial for installing your own artificial pet turf, reducing maintenance and costs.

Artificial Turf Dog Runs – Discover the benefits of artificial turf for dog runs, and get some tips and tricks for using it in your own space.


What are the benefits of artificial turf for dog runs?

Artificial turf provides many benefits for dog runs, including a low-maintenance, non-toxic environment that is easy to clean and reduces the risk of injury.

Is it safe for dogs to use artificial turf?

Yes, artificial turf is safe for dogs and in many cases provides a better surface than natural grass. Be sure to choose a product that is appropriate for pet use and follow proper maintenance procedures.

Can I install artificial turf myself?

Yes, it is possible to install artificial turf yourself with the right tools and techniques. However, for larger or more complicated installations, it may be best to hire a professional.

How do I clean artificial turf in a dog run?

To clean artificial turf, simply remove debris and pet waste regularly and rinse the turf with water. For deeper cleaning or disinfecting, consult your turf manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines.

How long does artificial turf last in a dog run?

The lifespan of artificial turf depends on several factors, including the quality of the materials, the amount of traffic it receives, and how well it is maintained. With proper care, most artificial turf products can last for many years.