Regular time outside is vital for your pup’s overall health. They must run and play daily to burn off energy, flex their muscles, and stimulate their senses. How do you ensure your pup gets the daily exercise and outdoor time they need? Have you considered making a dog patio? We’ve got some great dog patio ideas for you!
Going on regular walks or trips to the park are great options, but we all lead busy lives, and it can be challenging to make time every day. If you have a nice backyard, you can easily let them run free in the yard, but only some are blessed with a yard equipped for a dog.
But you don’t need a big beautiful yard to provide your dog with an outdoor space all their own. You can convert any patio porch, deck, or small yard into a dog-friendly space for your furry friend.
Not all dogs are the same. Some love playing and lounging outside in the sun for hours, while others only like going out long enough to do business. Some dogs love water, and others get overheated easily.
What does your dog do when they get bored? Are they diggers, climbers, chewers, or criers?
Knowing your dog’s behavior and needs will help you prepare your dog’s patio properly.
The space you are working with determines what’s possible. You are limited to the square footage and design of the yard, patio, balcony, or deck you are provided.
For example, you might have a small patio with a concrete floor and a waist-level railing. If so, you will need to provide a patch of some turf for them to pee on and find a way to raise the height of your railing to ensure they can’t jump over it.
Dogs love a good nap in the sun, but too much direct heat can lead to them getting overheated or worse. And the excessive sun isn’t the only serious weather condition you need to shield your pup from.
All you need to do is provide a covered area where they can rest out of the unpleasant heavy rain or rays.
Is the dog patio purely functional, or do you want to decorate it up? Is your pup the only one using the space, or will you also need to make it cozy for you?
Understanding how you want to use the area and nailing down a vision for the final product will help guide you.
If you live somewhere hot, adding a water fountain or pool can be a great way to keep your pup cool and hydrated.
IMPORTANT: When you add a water feature you add the risk of. Don’t ever leave any dog or child unattended in the area!
Your dog needs a place to pee and poop; cement or concrete won’t work. The best materials are clover, synthetic turf, or a durable grass blend like Bugalo Grass or Kentucky Bluegrass.
You can also try stone or mulch for a grass-free option. Pre-made faux-grass pee pads are great options as well.
Adding a dog bed or house can help your dog relax and get comfortable in the space, especially if you plan to let them chill for more than twenty to thirty minutes.
You will want to provide your pup with drinking water in their outdoor space. Including a bowl of food could also be good, depending on your dog’s feeding schedule.
Don’t forget to change the water frequently and keep the bowl out of direct sunlight. No one wants to drink hot or contaminated water.
One of the most critical safety measures when planning your dog’s patio is simple and completely free. Make sure you never leave your dog alone out there for extended periods.
That’s not to say you can’t leave them out there for some time while you take care of things inside. They should be fine for thirty minutes to an hour, maybe more if you are lucky.
But too much time alone outside will cause your baby to get bored and restless, leading to all sorts of trouble.
Again, don’t ever leave your dog or child unattended if there’s a water feature. Also, only leave your dog outside in the patio unattended after you’ve tested them outside on several occasions to confirm it’s safe, dog-proofed, and they are not able to escape the patio and go missing.
You must ensure that the railing, fence, or wall surrounding your dog patio is secure.
If you plan to share the space with your pup, you’ll need to be mindful of the durability and placement of your outdoor furniture.
You don’t want your dog to hurt itself on the furniture or by using it to jump over the railing!!
It doesn’t matter where you live, dog-napping is becoming more and more common, and coyotes can be spotted even in most urban cities.
You might also consider taking precautions against snakes in a hot climate.
Pesticides and weed killers are common, but most formulas contain toxic chemicals for dogs. You must ensure that no chemicals are used or stored on your dog’s patio. If you are worried about insects or weeds, plenty of pet-safe treatments are effective.
If you decide to decorate your dog’s patio, ensure nothing has sharp points or pieces that can be torn off and swallowed.
Unfortunately, not all plants are safe for dogs, and they can’t tell the difference.
Dog-safe flowers and plants:
- Tiger lilies
Plants that are poisonous to dogs:
- Lily of the Valley
No matter the space you are working with, the steps are the same for your dog patio project:
Step 1: Secure the space. Ensure they can’t get out without your help and that no one else can get in without your permission.
Step 2: Make sure they have a place to pee.
Step 3: Provide shade and comfort in the form of a bed and water bowl.
Patios come in all shapes and sizes. Some patios are part of a larger backyard, while others are stand-alone “yards.”
The process is pretty simple if you want to convert yours into a dog patio:
- Dog-proof the space by fencing off a dog-specific area or ensuring any furniture is safe for and from dogs.
- Once the space is secure, add a shaded area with a shaded dog bed or shade cloth.
- Then, make sure your dog has a place to do their business.
- Finish by adding comfort items and a water bowl.
Dog patios are reserved for more than those with limited space. Sometimes you have plenty of outdoor space; it must be shared safely.
A great option is fencing off the yard on the side of your house and converting it to a dog patio.
All you need to do is install a sturdy fence with a gate. It doesn’t need to be a full-scale fence, just tall and sturdy enough to contain your pup.
Once the space is sectioned off, you can install the necessary comfort items and pee-safe terrain (if needed).
Apartment balconies are typically pretty small, so it’s not likely that the space will allow your dog to do much running around or playing.
However, it can be a perfect space for them to do business and soak in vitamin D.
The last thing you want is for your fur baby to jump over or through the railing. So, the first step is making sure the railing is secure.
Start by measuring the openings and the railing height. If the openings are big enough for your pup to fit through or the height is short enough for them to jump over, install netting or lattice along the entire barrier or choose a different space for your dog patio.
Once the balcony is secure, you can add a grass pad, dog bed, and water bowl. If the balcony gets heavy sunlight, consider a shaded dog bed to provide a little relief.
Before adding any furniture to your balcony, make sure that you can position it in a way that won’t allow your dog to use it to jump over the railing!
Converting a porch or deck into a dog patio is another great option. Much like with an apartment balcony, you will need to start by ensuring the railing is dog-safe. Do this by covering all gaps in the perimeter.
Most porches have stairs that lead to other outdoor spaces. You will need a dog gate in this opening. Before buying one, measure the opening so it fits properly.
Once the perimeter is secure, you can add comfort and care items like water bowls, dog beds, and grass pads.
There is no one way to create a dog-friendly outdoor space. It all depends on your dog’s needs and the specific space you are working with.
It usually consists of creating a safe, comfortable space where they can enjoy the outdoors and do their business.
That often includes dog-proofing the space, creating a designated “pee spot,” and adding comfort elements like water, plants, and shade. If you’re crafty, you can upgrade your drab dog crate with a DIY dog crate cover that not only enhances its look but also provides protection from the sun and rain. And if there are stairs, consider adding a DIY dog ramp for your outdoor space too!
Share your favorite outdoor dog patio ideas in the comments!.