Backyard Landscaping Ideas for Dogs

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We all want our lovely dogs to be safe and comfortable while playing outdoors. A fun-filled dog-friendly yard does more than fulfill your pup’s exercise needs.

A properly planned landscaping idea should make the area dog-safe while maintaining the aesthetics of your home’s exterior.

Below, we have outlined 10 backyard landscaping ideas for dogs that provide both safety and convenience for your dog while keeping your flower garden neat and green.

10 Backyard Landscaping Ideas for Dogs

1.    Install a perimeter fence

Backyard Landscaping Ideas for dogs
Image Credit: bigredtoby from Instagram

Your dog’s safety starts with installing a sturdy fence to secure the yard. Some dogs, regardless of their timidness, might be tempted to walk out and explore the neighborhood if there’s no barrier.

Sadly, an innocent escape could lead to potential accidents, getting lost, or even getting stolen. Your dog could also be in danger of trespassing on private property or biting a stranger when they feel attacked.

Installing a strong natural fence could keep all these troubles away and provide a controlled environment for safety and convenience.

If your dog digs at the fence line, we recommend burying a layer of concrete, spreading rocks, or installing a heavy-duty mesh a few feet down alongside the fence.

A well-maintained natural fence should keep your dog safely in and unwanted visitors out. For smaller dogs, most fences are sufficient.

However, if you have a large breed or a dog that loves to jump, a fence at least 6 feet high will do the work right.

2.    Build a water station

Dog water bucket
Image Credit: arthursausage9 from Instagram

If your dog spends quite a bit of time outdoors, you should definitely consider setting up water stations across different points to keep them hydrated.

Dogs can get heated up under the scorching sun, so providing continuous access to clean drinking water is a step toward good health.

In addition to serving their main purpose, outdoor dog water stations can be a decorative and fun element to add to your Pet-friendly yard design.

There are lots of options at your disposal, but we can recommend installing a charming ornamental fountain, a mini pool for splashing, or a playful sprinkler system to keep your dog refreshed.

For the best use case, consider adding these water features in shaded spots to keep the content cool and refreshing for your pup.

Change the water regularly and clean the containers to prevent harboring mosquitos and other harmful parasites which can be a source of illnesses.

3.    Create a good ground cover

A good ground cover will preserve the looks of your backyard, but there’s another reason why we love them.

Most dogs are prone to accidents in outdoor spots, despite being well-trained on good potty behavior. Without a ground cover, a dog’s urine will ruin the grass on your lawn by leaving yellow marks.

One way of dealing with this problem is by spot-cleaning the dog areas in backyard, but we can guess that you won’t have the time to do it all day.

Below are some effective options you can consider instead of using ordinary grass:

Artificial turf: pet owners who would love to maintain a green landscape in their backyard can go for synthetic turf. These artificial grass works don’t need mowing and provide a good way to discourage digging.

Clover: Another natural grass alternative to keep your eyes on is clover. In addition to being resistant to staining, clover is safe for dogs and edible too.

Smooth Stones: Smooth round pebbles can be a good ground cover especially if your dog loves getting into muddy adventures. Consider choosing soft pebbles that won’t cause harm to your dog’s paws as they walk or try to dig. The pebbles should also not be too small to get stuck in your dog’s paws.

Soft mulch: Mulch is a budget-friendly, natural groundcover made composed of organic materials like shredded bark, leaves, and woodchips. It protects your soil, adds a decorative touch to your landscaping, and is generally safe for dogs. Just be sure to avoid cocoa bean mulch, which can be toxic to dogs if eaten (just like chocolate).

4.    Eliminate toxic plants from your garden

Dog playing in the yard
Image Credit: fxw_us from Instagram

Many common garden plants are surprisingly toxic to both humans and pets. As beautiful as they are, these plants pose a serious health risk to your dog if ingested in any amount.

Double-check your yard today to see if you have anything that could harm your dog. The ASPCA website has a full list of toxic and non-toxic plants to keep your furry friend safe.

5.    Be cautious about chemicals

Dog owners who choose to maintain a green lawn will definitely be tempted to use pesticides and other harsh chemicals for pest control.

In as much as these chemicals do a great job of keeping your lawn in the best condition, you should also beware that some of them can be harmful to your dog when ingested even in small doses.

Your dog could suffer certain symptoms from stomach upset to seizure when inhaling these chemicals or chewing freshly sprayed grass.

It’s prudent to sweep your yard clean of any pesticides or chemicals before bringing your furry friend out in the yard.

But for the best results, we strongly recommend using pet-friendly natural weed killers such as diluted vinegar, hot water, or using biological control methods.

6.    Add an outdoor kennel

Your dog should have a comfy outdoor shelter that features proper ventilation, provides enough shade, and has a waterproof rooftop.

Engaging in outdoor activities can be exhausting to dogs, and such a shelter will provide a comfy space to rest while protecting them from harsh weather conditions.

With a little creativity and inspiration from woodworking experts, you can get handy and build your dog’s house by yourself from scratch.

If you prefer getting a readily built outdoor kennel, you can check with your local carpenter or visit an online store to pick yours.

Your dog will need plenty of shade spots to cool down, especially during the summer season. Besides a ventilated doghouse, consider planting a large canopy tree that will provide a sweet spot to cool down.

7.    Create a dog digging pit

Consider creating a sandbox digging pit to discourage your dog from sinking their paws along your fence line, in green lawns, or ground cover.

Image Credit: __thetrolls from Instagram

A commercial sandbox or raised bed filled with loose soil will give your lovely canine a safe place to indulge in their instincts to dig.

For DIYers, below is a simple process you can use to create a sandbox:

  1. Prepare a nice spot: Dig a shallow pit in your yard, about 8-12 inches deep should work for most dogs. Get creative with the shape, and ensure it’s big enough for your dog to stretch out.
  2. Secure the base: Mix some fast-setting concrete and spread a thin layer across the bottom and sides of the pit. Don’t forget to add a few drainage holes at the bottom.
  3. Add clean sand: Fill your pit with playground sand from a hardware store, or get white beach sand if you live along a coastline.

During the heat of the summer, consider adding some water in the sandbox to keep the area slightly moist and refreshing for your canine buddy.

8.    Build a backyard dog path

Dogs are naturally territorial animals who love patrolling their yard while surveying the home for perceived or real threats.

If you don’t build a pathway for your canine friends, they will walk on your grass and create one for themselves, which can be an eyesore to your greenspace.

To avoid this inevitable ruin, why not build a dog pathway across your flower garden? This will serve as your dog’s highway to patrol the area and add a touch of décor to your front space or yard’s greenery.

Concrete pavers, decorative pebbles, or pea gravel are some of the best materials you can use to create a dog path that mimics their sense of adventure.

While at it, remember the trails should have soft curves instead of rough angles to encourage your furry friend to walk on them instead of taking shortcuts.

9.    Create a simple agility course

Agility Course
Image Credit: oneminddogs from Instagram

If you have an energetic pup who can’t resist the agility courses at the dog park, consider building one for them right in your backyard.

A DIY agility course provides an incredible way to maintain your dog’s physical fitness, mental stimulation, and general awesomeness.

Add obedience jumps, weave poles, tunnels, standard tunnels, and other exciting obstacles to keep them active, engaged, and safely away from your green garden plot.

Crafting your agility course at home might seem like an expensive adventure, but you’ll be shocked at how cost-friendly it can get.

10. Dog potty area

Dog Potty
Image Credit: slinky.the.slinker from Instagram

Setting aside an outdoor potty area for your dog will help prevent them from messing with your mowed lawns.

In the spirit of getting handy, you can build an outdoor toilet for your canine friend by digging a small pit and adding small gravel to fill it up.

Owners who would love to maintain the aesthetic appeal of the yard area can consider investing in a store-bought potty pad.

Such potty pads may include an artificial turf which can easily be cleaned with water once your dog finishes their business.

If you don’t have too much space to work with, consider cutting out a small part of your lawn to designate it as an outdoor doggy bathroom. You will have to train your dog on how to use the area for elimination.


With these 10 backyard landscaping ideas for dogs, we hope you have picked an inspiration to transform your back garden into a dog-friendly spot.

Dog-friendly landscaping isn’t just about protecting your yard. A well-designed outdoor space encourages your dog to play and exercise, keeping them in top condition.

Implement these dog-friendly areas in your backyard to keep your lawns free from damage and your pup will enjoy safety in fun activities.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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