10 Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget

September 27, 2023
Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget

Key takeaways:

  • Grass in parks can have harmful pesticides and toxins. Grow dog-friendly grass and flowers like sprouts.
  • Create a DIY dog obstacle course using everyday, recycled materials.
  • Make a digging pit with dirt or sand and fill it with all their favourite toys.

Looking for dog-friendly backyard ideas on a budget? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re renting with pets or have settled into your dream home, your four legged friend needs a safe space to play.

Unlike what you might think, creating a dog-friendly backyard doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. There are plenty of affordable options for giving your furry friend a safe and enjoyable space to play and unwind.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Fence in your yard

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget
Image credit: Fresh Patio

A fenced-in backyard is a must for dog owners. Also called a dog run, these areas are a safe area for your pup to run around without disturbing your furniture or destroying plants.

Not only does it keep your dog safe and contained, it also keeps other animals out, including pests like racoons.The most budget-friendly fence option is PVC Deer Block Netting. It’s easy to install and very flexible. Alternatively, there are portable fences and pet gates as well.

2. Add a dog house

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget

A dog house provides a cozy and protected space for your dog to retreat to when they need some alone time. You can find affordable, low maintenance options at pet stores or online, or you can get creative and build your own using recycled materials.

Simple and effective, this one of our favourite dog-friendly backyard ideas on a budget.

3. Create a sheltered area for warm days

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget
Image credit: Kolchak Puggle

Dogs can get overheated and dehydrated, especially during the hot summer months. Providing a shaded area for your dog to rest in your backyard can help keep them cool and comfortable.

You can use a portable canopy or awning, or plant tall trees or bushes to create natural shade. Dog tents also provide shade and are an inexpensive option.

4. Install a watering station

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget
Image credit: Makezine

Make sure your dog always has access to clean, drinking water by installing a watering station in your backyard. You can use a simple plastic bowl or a more elaborate fountain if you’ve got the budget and space.

But often, a simple bowl will do. If you want to play around with the design, just make sure it’s safe from being tripped over, and that it’s a good level for your pooch to drink out of.

5. Add some grass or grass alternatives

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget

If your dog can’t help but ruin your gardening efforts, consider replacing your dog’s favourite areas for playing with ground-cover plants, mulch, or turf. Some options for sturdy living ground cover include creeping thyme, Irish moss, and silver carpet.

While no ground cover is completely resistant to wear from dogs, these options tend to be more durable than grass. Mulch and turfgrass are also good choices, especially in hot, dry regions.

If your backyard is mostly dirt or concrete, this patch of grass will create the ideal dog-friendly garden. The grass provides a softer and cooler surface for them to walk on, and helps to keep the dog’s paws clean.

Cedar mulch is a popular option for pet owners as it’s much cheaper than buying stones or other materials. It is also a natural bug repellent and keeps fleas and ticks off your four legged friend.

You can even consider some dog friendly landscaping to ensure your backyard is not only good looking but a great play area for your pup.

6. Create a digging pit

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget
Image credit: Cannon Dog Training

Many dogs love to dig, and it can be frustrating when they dig up the garden or flower beds you laboured over.

Instead of trying to stop them from digging, one of our favourite ideas on a budget is to create a designated digging area for them. Fill it with sand or dirt and bury their favourite toys or treats for them to find.

7. Set up a play area

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget
Image credit: k9ofmine

Keep your active dog entertained with a dedicated play area in your yard. This can be as simple as setting up a few agility obstacles like balance beams, or as elaborate as a full-blown agility course.

You can find affordable options online or make your own using recycled materials like broomsticks, buckets and noodles (the ones for the pool!). A great way for your pup to get rid of excess energy.

8. Make a DIY dog pool

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget

If you have a water loving dog, it’ll love to splash around in water during warmer days. This convenient, collapsible pool allows you to easily provide a spot for your furry friend to cool off. Setting it up is simple – just close the drain plug and add water.

When you’re ready to pack it away, just drain the water, let the pool dry, and fold it up for storage. With this portable pool, your dog can enjoy the water anytime, anywhere.

9. Create a comfortable place to rest

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget
Image credit: HGTV

Give your dog a comfortable place to rest and relax by setting up a dog bed or blanket in a shaded area of your backyard. Maybe add a few pillows or cushions for added comfort.

Add some toys like tugging rope and chew toys to give your pup something to engage with. To make an elevated doggy resting station, consider making one yourself using PVC piping. It only costs $20 compared to the $100 ones online.

10. Plant some dog-friendly plants

Dog-Friendly Backyard Ideas on a Budget
Image credit: Pure Pet Food

While many dogs enjoy munching on grass, the grass found at the dog park may contain harmful chemicals such as fertilisers, herbicides, and pesticides. Additionally, while grass can aid in digestion, it is not a particularly nutritious snack for dogs.

Adding some dog-friendly plants to your backyard will provide your dog with some natural stimulation. Even artificial grass can do.

Otherwise, a healthy alternative to grass is sprouts, which can be easily grown at home. Sprouts are packed with beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that are easy for dogs to digest and provide a nutritious snack. Just be sure to research which plants are safe for dogs before planting.

Liked our dog-friendly backyard ideas on a budget?

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