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Backyards for dog lovers


With Summer just around the bend most people will be spending a little more time outside enjoying their backyards. Do you love watching your best doggie buddy playing in the yard while you sip a refreshment on the deck? Me too! Stacey & I have compiled some ideas to help you create a dog friendly yard and a few more ideas to create a doggie haven.

Important Basics

Nontoxic plants please. Puppies will put pretty much anything in their mouths. Here is a list of common plants to avoid in the play yard.

  1. Azaleas
  2. Some mushrooms
  3. Lilies
  4. Black walnuts
  5. Daffodils
  6. Sago palms
  7. Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia) This is a house plant in the northwest.
  8. Elephant ears

Good Fencing. Keep them safe and sound and in your yard. Mend or replace broken parts, add chicken wire or rock scape along the inside edges if you have diggers. If you have climbers and jumpers, you can keep them in by making the inside of the fence smooth so they cannot scale it. Use something like plywood to line the interior wall if they climb it.  To make it more dog friendly, place bushes along the fence line for a more natural feel.

I saw this cute ‘bubble’ online for dogs who like to see what going on:

Probably best for the bubblenon-barkers!








Shade. This is a must for dogs all summer. Trees that are mature enough to offer shade are great. If not, a dog house, picnic table or another large stable object will let them lie down and cool off.

Water. Lots of fun options. Of course a big bowl of water is the minimum but if you’re an over achiever, think about a new water feature that you can share with your buddy.  A small pond or pool is great but make sure they can easily get out! Do a safety check and watch them exit many times under supervision before you allow free access. A fountain or a bubbler will add fresh water access and tons of fun.










I think we have covered the basics. Now a few more fun options:


A Marking Post. It’s going to happen so you might as well try to direct it before they will choose your BBQ.  Large stones, a sculptured piece of wood, or the proverbial fire hydrant. Once you have the spot set up encourage them to do their business there for a few days.




A Digging Pit. A designated digging area can help deter your dog from digging up your landscape. In ground or even a ‘sandbox’ above ground can work. Sand or mulch are best. Bury some treats in there and voila.


A Lookout Platform. Dogs want to guard their home. Help them perform their duty by adding a spot for them to view their ‘territory’. A large flat rock, a wooden box, a little trampoline.

Don’t forget the toys!

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