13 Dog Friendly Landscaping Ideas

Updated: Apr. 19, 2024

You want your dog to be safe while playing in the yard, but you also want your landscaping to survive. With proper planning, you can have both. Here are 13 dog-friendly landscaping ideas for you to consider.

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Safety First

Safety should always come first when it comes to your pet. When considering landscaping ideas, always ask yourself, “Is this safe for my dog?” Every dog owner makes these 53 mistakes.

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Think Like Your Dog

Different breeds will want different things, so think like your dog. Does your dog love to run around and play? Consider an obstacle course. Does your dog prefer to lay in the shade? Make sure there’s a comfortable spot to stay cool. Here are eight genius ways to pick up your dog’s poop.

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Watch Out for Toxins

There are many plants that are toxic to pets, some of which are common in landscaping. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers a list of plants that can be dangerous to your pet. If you use chemicals, make sure they are safe to be used around pets. These 12 plants in your yard may be dangerous.

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Provide a Water Source

If your dog will spend a lot of time in the yard, be sure they have access to water. While a water bowl will do the job, a small splash fountain or small water feature may be even more fun for your dog, as long as you keep the water fresh and clean. Learn how to build a low-maintenance water feature.

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Use Safe Materials

Be sure to use materials that are safe for pets. Materials should be easy to walk on and not get too hot for a dog’s foot pads. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says flat rocks, pavers and bricks are good choices. Pebbles and rocks are also good choices as long as they aren’t sizes that will get stuck in paws. However, note that some dogs may be tempted to eat small pebbles. Learn how to build a chain link outdoor dog kennel. Your dog may also love these dog kennel designs.

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Play Safe

You’ll need a place where your pet can get some exercise. Be sure there is space for your dog to run and play without running into anything. Every pet owner should know these 19 cleaning tips.

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Offer Shelter

Your dog may need to take shelter from the hot sun or a sudden shower. If you don’t have a tree to offer protection, a pergola or overhead shade cloth can help. Some dogs may also like relaxing in a dog house. Make sure your dog stays warm outside with these 12 tips.

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Create Paths

Some dog breeds love to patrol their territory, so create some paths throughout the yard. Use patio pavers, brick, much or pebbles. And if you use any landscaping plants on the path’s edges, be sure they are safe for pets. You can build these garden paths in just one weekend, without breaking the bank.

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Use Safe Mulch

Most mulches are safe for dogs. However, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, some veterinarians have expressed concerns about the use of cocoa bean shell mulch, especially for those with dogs left unsupervised in the yard. There have been some reports of dogs eating the mulch and getting sick. Get to know if it is safe for dogs to eat grass.

This guide will help you choose the right mulch for your backyard project.

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Create a Border

If you have an area of the yard that is off-limits to your dog, make sure you have some kind of barrier set up. Some people use large pieces of driftwood to keep dogs from areas of the yard that are off-limits. Large rocks may also keep your dog away from any flowers you don’t want them to trample. If your dog likes to jump, be sure the barrier isn’t too low. Check out these 14 smart small-space landscaping ideas.

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Choose Sensible Plants

When selecting plants for your landscaping, in addition to making sure they aren’t toxic to pets, consider plants that will stand up to play and rough-housing. Be sure the plants are sturdy enough, but also that they don’t have any thorns, thistles or burrs that may get caught in your dog’s paws or fur. These 11 plants will keep pests out of your yard.