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How to Keep Water & Snow off of a Dog Kennel Cover Tarp

Marie Murdock

Even those people who house their dogs inside may have an outdoor kennel for a variety of reasons. They may work long hours knowing it is unfair to make the dog wait for a backyard visit, or they may want their pet to breathe fresh air during the day. Even if you only have a part-time outdoor kennel, however, you will want to make certain that any tarp used as a roof on the kennel doesn't cave under the pressure of standing rain or snow.

  1. Slope the roof. There's no better rain and snow repellent than gravity. If you have a flat tarp that is not large enough to slope and cover the entire kennel, it may be time to go to the home improvement store and either buy a larger tarp or invest in a dog kennel cover kit. These kits come in a variety of sizes and include assembly instructions. If your tarp is large enough, install a post or pole in the inside center of the kennel and tie down the corners of the tarp along the kennel walls to add a temporary slope. For a more permanent solution, use piping or tubing to build a light-weight frame to attach to the walls of your existing kennel. Anchor the tarp to the frame as necessary to prevent it blowing away in a strong wind.

  2. Spray your gabled or sloped kennel cover with a quality water repellent. This may discourage standing water in any areas of the tarp that aren't stretched tight. Read instructions carefully or check with the manufacturer to make sure that the runoff from any repellent used will not harm your pet.

  3. Hang small, loose weave socks or nylons filled with table salt every couple of feet from the tarp's peak with durable string. This should assist in melting any snow, allowing it to run off the roof. Be aware, however, that salt may kill any plants within the runoff area. Therefore, depending on the location of your kennel in relation to landscaping, this may not be an option. One of the advantages of using salt is that it kills hatched fleas, so in addition to melting snow, it may also work as a natural pesticide.