Pets have become a natural part of home ownership for many homeowners. Many have come to realize that enjoying their yard in the summer is best done with the companionship of their furry friends. Some go as far as to build elaborate doghouses or entire agility training courses in the back yard so their beloved dog doesn’t become bored. Here are some great ways to create a pet-friendly oasis for your pet on your deck.
Add an Easy Access Ramp
If your canine companion has been in the family for a while, or is small in stature, they may have trouble navigating human sized stairs. A built-in ramp can be a great addition to your deck that makes it comfortable and easy to navigate for your pet. A ramp can also save unnecessary wear and tear on your pet’s joints. Continually hopping up and down stairs leads to joint compression and arthritis over time. These conditions often affect the wrist, shoulder, and spine, especially in longer breeds of dog.
Built in Shelter
If you know your dog or cat will be spending a good amount of time on your deck, a built in shelter can be a great option. Endless styles and designs are available for creating a unique space to keep your dog or cat sheltered from sun, heat, and water. Make sure the shelter has an easy access doorway and plenty of room for your pet to escape the sun’s rays.
Water features are great for adding a little ambiance to your deck. In addition to providing a nice focal point, by installing a small fountain or basin with self-circulation and filtering, you can provide a place for your pet to get water on hot summer days. Make sure the water is always fresh by cleaning it when you notice the formation of algae or any other unsavory bits that may be harmful to your pet.
Outdoor Rugs and Pillows
When choosing your deck furniture and decor, make sure to keep your eye out for pet-resistant outdoor rugs and pillows. Straw beach mats can work great for providing a cool place for dogs to nap on days when the deck gets too hot, and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Please remember that your pet’s feet are accustomed to the cool interior floors, and they may burn or even blister on the deck without protection. Outdoor industrial carpeting can be cut into small areas, and outdoor pillows can be great comfy retreats for your pet.
In the hot summer months, bugs can be just as much a nuisance to your pet as your guests. Consider planter boxes with some pet-friendly bug-repellant herbs and plants such as lemongrass, catnip, basil, or bee balm. Many other plants help deter bugs and other pests, do some research on the best types to fit your deck’s decor. These small gardens can add pops of natural color while serving a practical purpose.