35 Pet-Friendly Backyard Ideas and Designs

pet playhouse

Pets – dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, fowl and even reptiles are part of our lives. Almost every house has at least one pet. Our homes have also evolved to accommodate their needs as much as ours. Aside from the house, planning and designing our backyards should also consider the needs of our pets. Here are some pet-friendly backyard ideas and designs you can use;

1.       Glass Dome Peep

Add a glass dome peep on your fence for your dogs and other pets! This will provide them with a view of the outside. It will expand their horizons, entertain them during the long hours that you’ll be out and will minimise breakouts and under-the-fence digging.

dog glass dome peep

2.       A Rabbit Hutch

Rabbit lovers will love the safety features of this hutch in the backyard, and the rabbits will love the outdoors. Keeping them indoors all the time will bore your pet rabbits and letting them freely roam the backyard may not be safe. You can DIY or hire contractors who can build you a hutch.

a rabbit hutch

3.       DIY Dog Tug

This is an easy DIY project that your dog will truly love. The dog tug will add variety to your dog’s self-play, develop strength and muscles and will help release those pent-up doggie energies. You will need a sturdy post, more wood for the beam, spring and your dog’s favourite tug toy.

diy dog tug pole

4.       Sand Pit

Indulge your dogs’ penchant for digging by providing them with a sand pit. This will eliminate destructive digging and encourage exercise through the activity. You can DIY the sand pit and use any available materials you have – old tyres, leftover bricks or repurposed wood planks.

sandpit for dogs

5.       Catio

A catio is an enclosed patio intended for cats. It provides them with a safe outdoor space to stare at birds and enjoy the sun. A typical catio will include cat perches, ramps, catwalks and pots of cat-friendly plants like cat grass, catnip and lemongrass. Show your cats some love by building them a catio.

cats in catio

6.       Cool Shed

A cooling shed like this will provide your outdoor pets with a place to hide out from the heat of the sun and shelter from the rain. Its grass-covered roof provides additional space for cats, dogs, goats and other pets to explore and ensures a cooler space underneath. You can even set up a cosy corner for your own to relax in.

cool garden shed

7.       Dog Shower

This is one sensible addition to homes with dogs. A backyard dog shower will save you a lot of cleaning up indoors. With an outdoor shower, you can let your dogs run and play wild and dirty as much as they can. Just run them through the shower before herding them inside, tired, hungry and happy.

dog shower area

8.       Rabbit Run

Keeping your herd of rabbits in an outdoor hutch? Expand their domain by adding a rabbit run next to the hutch. Keep them safe inside the enclosure with some doggie fencing. Just make sure to let them back inside when nobody is around to watch.

rabbit run backyard

9.       Water and Treat Station

Your dogs will surely love this water and treat station installed in your backyard. If a day out in the yard is not treat enough, this will complete their day. Make sure your pets are well-hydrated when playing outside by providing fresh water for them. The treats can be handy when teaching tricks or when they’re just extra sweet.

water and treat station for pets

10.   Fence Cat Guard

It is almost impossible to contain cats within the backyard. But, not even the sneakiest and jumpiest cat can jump over this smart fence installation. The screen overhang will prevent them from accessing the top of the fence and going over it.

cats on a fence

11.   Goat Climbers

Goats love to climb. It is their favourite playtime activity. Keep your tribe of goats happy and entertained with this set of goat climbers. The ramps and bridges will satisfy their need to climb. You will also get to enjoy watching your goats at play, that is guaranteed.

goat climbers backyard

12.   Pet Playground

This pet playground is designed for active dogs and owners to enjoy. The various activity areas will encourage play and exercise for both owner and pets. Customise your pets play area to your needs. You can DIY the project and get creative with the available materials you have at home.

pet playground backyard

13.   Fire Hydrant

Your furry friend will surely love to have his or her own fire hydrant. It is eye-catching and a surprising addition to any backyard. Dogs might not even pee on it, but the novelty of having your dog’s own favourite landmark will delight your pet, you and your guests!

fire hydrant for dogs

14.   A Cat Tree

Cat parents who truly know their cats will insist on installing a cat tree in their backyard. A cat tree will spur the cats’ hunting skills, encourage active play and entertain the cats. This cat tree cat perches, swing, bridge and climbers.

cat tree

15.   Bed on the Porch

A day out in the backyard might be too tiring for some of your pets, especially the younger and the older ones. Provide a restful spot for them to take naps, lay down to relax or just to catch their breath. A snug pet bed and some toys on the porch will be much appreciated by your fur babies.

pet bed on porch

16.   Garden Paths

Design your garden so that it is not only gorgeous to look at but also engaging to your pets. Pet-friendly gardens include paths that encourage them to explore, hunt and play. You pets might also find special spot and hidden nooks where they can create lairs and claim as their own.

dogs in a garden

17.   A Doggie Pool

A doggie pool featuring a fire hydrant will be an absolute treat for your dogs. This is a must-have if you have a water-loving dog. Adding the pool will give dogs another fun activity and provide them with a fun way to cool down. Don’t be surprised if your kids join the fun too!

dog pool backyard

18.   Rabbit Patch

Provide a fun activity centre for your rabbits! This engaging rabbit patch includes tunnels, mini hills and rivers and a cooling pond. Your cute bunnies will have a great time exploring the many landforms of their warren. Choose a quiet corner of your backyard and get creative!

rabbit patch

19.   A Cat Ladder

Cat ladders help cats easily access windows, fence catwalks and perches. While cats are prolific jumpers and can easily get themselves up there, you should also consider their safety. A second storey window, a five-foot tall fence and a high catwalk are best equipped with cat ladders.

cat ladder

20.   A Patch of Grass

For city and apartment dwellers, a backyard is more likely not on the list of your home features. This patch of grass will give your dog a certain degree of the outdoor experience and also the outdoor bathroom necessary. Make sure to bring your pets to the parks a few times a week to keep up with his or her exercise and social needs.

dog grass patch

21.   Fence Window

Full privacy fences are great, but when you have a dog at home, it also confines them behind the walls. Open up the walls a little bit and expand their horizons by adding a pet window. This grilled pet window allows your pets to watch the outside while keeping them safe inside.

fence with pet window

22.   A Water Park

Fun, entertaining and functional. A mini water park in your backyard can be enjoyed by your pets and kids. This pet-friendly mini water park features a fire hydrant water fountain surrounded by a few ground spouts. A great summer treat for your furry babies.

mini waterpark for pets

23.   Exercise Wheel

An exercise wheel is also a great addition to a pet-friendly backyard. When you have limited space for your dogs to run in their zoomies, this exercise wheel can give them all the running lane they need. You can also use the wheel to exercise cats and other pets.

pet exercise wheel

24.   Screened Catwalk

Cats love to prowl your home’s perimeter and explore the top of the fence. Let them prowl and explore to their heart’s content but keep them safe and contained with this screened catwalk installed on top of your fence.

catwalk on a fence

25.   Doggie Loft

Let your dog lord over his or her domain with this creative and attractive doggie house with a loft. The top of the house gives a good vantage point perfect for a guard dog to relax and watch, while the roomy space under is a snug doghouse. Add a dog ladder or ramp for easy access.

dog house with loft

26.   Bird Feeder

Bird feeders attract birds to your garden. It feeds the birds and also provide a great entertainment for your cats! Just make sure the birds are safe from kitty attacks by adding a squirrel guard.

bird feeder

27.   Pet Playhouse

This is a luxurious pet resort and a real treat to your furry babies! The structure is complete with a doggie pool, diving stations, dog tug toys, beds, lounging areas ramps and a digging area. Why not spoil your dogs when you can?

complete pet playhouse

28.   Pet Fence Barrier

Under the fence digging can be hard to control especially if dogs get restless inside your backyard or when something interesting excites them to explore the world outside the enclosure. This metal fence barriers are easy to install, just stake down under the fence, and effective in stopping doggie escapes.

under fence barriers

29.   Cat Perches

Give your lazy cats a reminder of their wild ways by providing them with some cat perches. Cats love the vantage points and views from high places. You might see them napping in their favourite perch for hours or using the platform to hunt, hide their catch or as a jumping platform. Cats are simply unpredictable.

cats on a fence

30.   Pet Friendly Plants

Every responsible pet owners should be aware of the friendly and dangerous plants for their pets. Amaryllis, lilies, hyacinth and daffodils are toxic for cats, while tulips, azaleas, oleander and peonies are just some of the danger plants for dogs. Ferns, palms, catnip, lemongrass and hibiscus are some of the most pet-friendly plants.

dog in a garden

31.   DIY Dog Pond

A pond will be an interesting and eye-catching feature for your yard, and it can also be your pets – dogs, ducks and other pets’ water paradise. You can DIY or engage a landscape contractor to build your backyard pond. Either way, your pets will love it.

diy dog pond

32.   Roller Bar Fence

This is a contraption that prevents cats from going over the fence. The top of the fence is installed with two cable wire lines, each with a PVC pipe attached. The PVC will roll and drop the cats trying to hold onto it and cross. So, inside cats stay inside and outside cats stay outside. Clever.

cat proof fence

33.   A Dog Run

A fenced-in dog run is a safe spot for your doggie to do his or her zoomies without him or her destroying plants, banging on house furniture or running into other trouble. This will give you the peace of mind and your pet the freedom and safety. Remember to include a shaded area for your dogs to cool down and relax.

dog run

34.   Hide the Pet Door

This flower box effectively and creatively hides the pet door from plain sight. It also shields the entry from rain, sleet and snow. Aside from flower boxes, you can also use dog houses, cabinets or bins to disguise or hide the pet door.

pet door

35.   A Dog Ladder

Install a doggie ladder or ramp from the pet door to the ground for easier access. These implements will not confine you to only installing the pet door in the lower levels of the house. With pet ramps, you can place the pet door wherever you see is best for you, your house and the pets.

dog ramp

Do you have any fun and creative pet-friendly backyard ideas and designs to add? Why not discuss it on our RenoForum!