Your outdoor living spaces may include a relaxing hot tub, swimming pool, fire pit and cooking area, but have you ever considered designing a space that is great for your four-legged friends too? If you have one or more dogs that like to frolic in the backyard, don’t forget to add a few amenities to keep them happy and safe.
“When you’re creating a yard for you and your dog, you want it to be big on durability and be functional,” Fran Kiesling, owner of Dirty Dog Landscape Consulting & Design in Minnetonka, MN, told Beneful. “But most of all, you want your dog to be happy.”
Pups love fresh, cold water too! Especially during the hot months, a water feature specifically for your dogs will ensure they are safe after running around. But this doesn’t mean you have to add an unattractive feature to your yard. Consider an antique water spout cascading into a stone well along the side of your house if your backyard boasts a country-style theme. If your yard is more modern, opt for a stone water spout where your dog can walk up and slurp up some H2O.
Does your pooch like to jump into your pool? While swimming around with Fido may be fun for the kids, his fur can clog up the drain and cause some costly issues. Why not make a pool specifically for your dog? There are a ton of different options for doggy pools that you can install in your backyard, but one of the best mimics a beach setting. Some pups are a bit nervous about jumping straight into water, so design the pool so that Fido can just walk on in and cool off.
Puppies love galloping through tunnels, and if you don’t want to buy an actual tunnel for him, you can create one out of your landscaping! Construct tunnels with shrubbery and leave an opening for him to scurry through and play games. You might want to put this play area toward the back of the yard so it is less visible to guests, as it will likely get a bit messy after some play time!
If you are creating an outdoor play place for your dog, you must include an open green space where Fido can run free! Designate this as the area where you will play fetch, Frisbee, tug-o-war and other fun games that your pooch likes. If your dog likes obstacles, make sure that you include some stuff for him to jump over and climb through. After all, it would be ideal to wear him out in the backyard so he doesn’t chew up the furniture!
Don’t forget to add a few shady spots for your pooch to relax in on the warm days. Although you may enjoy the sun’s toasty rays, your dog may prefer to sit where the sun isn’t in direct contact with his fur. Plus, trees will add great aesthetic to your entire backyard. If, like the tunnels, you are planning to have your pooches play area toward the back of the yard, plant a couple trees along the fence so they don’t disrupt the rest of the flow of the yard.
Give him a home
Even though your dog likely comes indoors with you, a doggie house outside will provide him with shelter whenever he wants. Have a food bowl ready in there so your pooch knows exactly where to go when he gets hungry during play time.