6 Tips for Setting up a Dog-friendly Patio

Hanging out with your dog allows you to bond with them. However, if your patio isn’t dog-friendly, you can ruin those precious moments. A dog-friendly patio setup requires you to identify what your dog needs and what setbacks may be encountered while outside, then provide a solution.

With a dog-friendly patio in place, you won’t have to worry whether your dog is thirsty or whether they have enough shade. A pet-friendly patio gives you peace of mind by letting you and your dog enjoy your time without dealing with distractions.

But what are some of the ideas for setting up dog friendly patios?

Dog Friendly Patios Should Offer Sun Protection

A little sunshine suits your pet, but the temperature may soar and overheat everything inside the patio.

Provide a place where your dog can shelter from the sun. You can create permanent shade by installing a dog house or provide temporary shade by using a canopy or an umbrella, which can be moved and repositioned anywhere.

If you wish to have the ground on your patio paved, use material that doesn’t get too hot and scorch your dog’s feet. If your bare feet burn on the pavement, your dog may feel the same.

Choose limestone and other white materials. Their light color reflects light, making them comfortable for your dog to walk on.

You can also carry sunscreen for your dog if they’re predisposed to sunburn. Hairless dogs and those with pigmented noses and eyelids are at a higher risk for sunburn.

A Safe Enclosure

Make your patio pet-friendly by ensuring the fencing is sturdy enough to make it escape-proof. Avoid using wire mesh or netting, as it may be a choking hazard.

Protect your pets from the high-rise syndrome if your patio is on the rooftop. High-rise syndrome is when a pet jumps from a high-rise building and is injured or dies.

If the space between the railings is wide, attach acrylic or plexiglass to the rail. Do this if the space between the railings and the floor is wide enough. Place a barrier atop the railing if you feel your dog may jump from your rooftop patio.

Avoid Poisonous Plants

Plants that can poison your pet when touched or ingested include tulips, oleander, geraniums, and azaleas. Safe plants include hibiscus, black-eyed-Susans, African violets, and herbs like rosemary, thyme, and peppermint.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists toxic outdoor plants you should avoid planting.

Use organic or pet-friendly fertilizers if you don’t want to keep your dog off the patio area when you spray your plants with insecticides. Symptoms of plant poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and weakness. Contact a vet if you notice these symptoms.

Also, avoid plants that have thorns to protect your dog’s eyes, skin, and paws from injury.

Create a Play Area

Your dog needs a section where they can play to avoid them jumping all over the furniture and other items. Be consistent with where your dog will play; they will learn the boundaries.

Be careful that your dog’s play area has the correct pebble size. Small pebbles such as pea gravel can lodge between a dog’s paws and make them uncomfortable. If you want to landscape with rocks, use smooth river rocks.

Dogs love to dig. You won’t enjoy your time outdoors if your dog digs everywhere, and you must keep shouting at them to stop. Instead, place a sandbox in their play area for them to dig.

Bring out old boxes, tires, and barrels that don’t have sharp edges or aren’t choking hazards, and let your dog play with them. You can also place a water feature where they can splash and cool off.

Place a bird or squirrel feeder where your dog can watch birds as they come and go. This will keep them entertained, and they won’t bother you much as you try to relax.

Offer Access To Drinking Water

Your dog may get more thirsty while outside because they’re playing more and it’s hotter. A dog will naturally cool down by panting and losing moisture through its paws.

A dog that loses 10-15% of body water might get sick. You can assist such a dog by providing more water than you normally give it indoors. If your dog has little energy, sunken eyes, and a dry mouth after spending time outside, check if their water bowl is empty. They could be dehydrated.

A stainless steel water bowl is excellent because it’s easy to clean and sanitize. Fill it with water whenever you’re outdoors, but place it in a way that your dog won’t knock it over in excitement.

If it’s too hot, add some ice cubes to the water. You can use a gravity water bowl if you don’t want to keep refilling the ordinary bowl with water.

Designate a Potty Area

If there’s grass, you can designate a small portion for your dog to relieve themselves so that you won’t have to constantly clean after them.

Train your dog/pet to pee in a designated patio area. Otherwise, your grass will start turning brown from the urine. You can use buffalo grass or Kentucky grass which withstands urine better.

Artificial turf is another option that doesn’t need mowing or weeding and won’t turn brown when your dog urinates on it. If you want to avoid grass altogether, cedar mulch is ideal because it’s a bug repellent and will repel fleas and ticks.

Your dog will most probably have muddy paws when they’re done digging and playing. Set up a small washing station to clean their paws before letting them into the house.

Final Thoughts

Dog friendly patios should have water bowls to quench your dog’s thirst while outside. It should also have shade for protection from the sun. Set up a play area where your pet can dig and play with their toys and designate a potty area to relieve themselves.

Plant non-toxic plants to avoid poisoning your dog, and set up a washing station to clean your dog’s paws after playing in the soil.

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