When the family heads outdoors, you also want your dogs to come outside and enjoy the fun. In fact homeowners with dogs want dog friendly backyards where they can let their dogs out, when they don't have time for that morning/evening walk. When watching HGTV, these buyers always want a fence but what other things can you do to create a pet friendly space?
Dog Friendly Backyards Start with Fencing
Fencing is a good idea for dogs and children, keeping them safe and under your watchful eye. While a chain link fence might be faster and inexpensive, why not add a fence that's attractive and compliments your home and landscaping. The fence here might take a little more creativity but it reflects the rustic style of the house and shed, with wood posts, wrapped with a larger mesh fabric that you can install down 6 to 12 inches for dogs who like to dig their way out. You can also integrate your fence into the landscape with shrubs and creeping vines that will grow up the posts.
Lots of dogs are territorial and if the fence blocks their view, they're likely to bark and no one likes the noise. That's when you want to add one or more dog windows to your fence and here are just a few ideas we found online.
Dog Houses or Shade for Dog Friendly Backyards
Consider how hot you get sitting outdoors on a hot, sunny day. That's why we use umbrellas, awnings and trees for shade and dogs need this relief too. They can suffer from dehydration, sunburn and heatstroke just like people, so they need always need a way to get out of the sun when it gets too hot.
The ideal choice might be trees but if you have a new house, you probably don't want to wait for 10 or more years until they're grown enough to provide the shade you want. In the interim, you can use a doghouse or overhead tarp, or a dog door (tips on pet doors) so they can get back in the house or garage is also an option.
Dog Friendly Backyards Need a Watering Hole
We go outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, and then we get thirsty and need something cool to drink. Dogs also need water so rather than having to continue filling their outdoor water bowl, why not create some type of water feature that's part of the landscaping for dog friendly backyards.
Okay, I thought the self-serve water fountain from Coolest-Gadgets was fantastic, so had to through it in here.
Other Features of Dog Friendly Backyards
We've covered the basics but there are lots of other features you should consider for your dog, and several of them will save you money. That's because dogs are creatures of habit and while you'd like to train your dog to stop digging, changes are you'll lose so why not give them a place to dig?
- Include a place for digging in your landscape plan. If you'd rather not deal with the dirt they might bring into the house, consider using sand or mulch that's easy to dig and find the bones they've buried.
- Dogs are territorial and like to mark their territory. You can provide them with large rocks, driftwood sculptures or shrubs to define their space and train them to use your marking posts versus the grill or swing set.
- You and your dog want outdoor exercise. So consider paths in your landscape design that provide materials like concrete, smooth rocks, pebbles or brick, that are comfortable for your dog's feet.
- You've got swing sets for the children so why not include an outdoor tunnel that your children and dogs can use for running around, hiding and having fun.
Photos and more ideas for pet friendly backyards on Pinterest, Pets and People.