When designing your dream backyard, it’s important to consider every potential user of this space. Designing and constructing a backyard that is appealing and functional for all types of people and events is essential in getting the most use out of your outdoor space. With that being said, there is one user who will probably use the space more than anyone in the family and therefore deserves a little extra consideration. This user is, of course, your dog. 

Before settling on any design or beginning construction, take the time to notice the way your dog uses and moves through your existing yard. Do they have specific paths and routes they take? Do they gravitate towards or avoid certain areas or plant species? Where do they tend to do their business? How much time do they spend outside daily? These are all important questions to answer and address before meeting with your landscape designer, as they can greatly affect the success and function of your final backyard design.  

If your dog does have certain routes and paths they take, don’t implement a design that interferes with it. You wouldn’t want to end up with a carefully crafted space, such as a garden, that has a trail carved right through the middle of it, ultimately damaging the plants and or entire design. 

If your pet tends to consolidate their business in one area, make sure the ground plane is natural and easy to clean up. Natural sod grass is perfect for this. In addition, consider planting aromatic herbs and flowers nearby to help cover up any lingering scent. Basil, oregano, lavender, and roses are all great options for this. 

On a similar plant note, make sure to avoid species that are poisonous to dogs. There are more plant species than you might realize which are very harmful for pets to ingest. Here is a link to the comprehensive list compiled by The American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to avoid including in your backyard redesign:  https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

Lastly, if your dog loves to spend all day outside, make sure there is ample shading and some form of water access. Shade structures like pergolas and trellises can be built,  or more natural shade such as trees and tall shrubs can be planted.  

Ultimately, creating a backyard design that takes into consideration every potential user will ensure an outdoor space that is sustainable and equipped to be enjoyed for years into the future. 

Ready to plan your dream yard?  We can help!  

The talented team at Artisan Outdoor specializes in designing, building, and maintaining outdoor living spaces. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation.


We are experts in building – Hardscape, Landscape, Lighting, Water Features, Fire Pits and Fireplaces, Outdoor Kitchens, Pools, Spas and more…Artisan Outdoor’s exceptional craftsmen are skilled in building your perfect outdoor environment.
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