40+ Pet-Friendly Backyard Designs To Make Pets Feel Right At Home

By Ishita P

This article was originally published on mydiwise
Backyards are a great way to enhance your home. You can do so much with the space. You can turn it into a beautiful green garden, a fabulous patio, a creative dining space, and more. In a well-designed yard, you can always relax and have a great time alone or with friends. But when you have a pet, it’s even more important to have a comfortable backyard. Aside from being an easy spot to relieve themselves, yards can provide endless hours of entertainment where they can get their energy out — with more space to move around, zoomies are cute rather than destructive. With that in mind, we’ve put together some creative and fun ways to turn your backyard into a pet-friendly space.

A Space Full of Sand

One of the main reasons people love hitting the beach is because of the sand. Whether building sandcastles or writing your name on the sand, almost everyone loves to do these activities. However, this love for playing with sand is not only limited to human beings. Dogs love sand, too.
Source: housetodecor.com
Although building sandcastles may not spark their imagination, dogs love digging holes in the sand. You can make a DIY sandpit in your yard. Create a small space in the backyard and fill it with sand so that your fur friend can dig up some sand, rather than your lovely lawn.

Shower Amidst the Nature

Showering your pet at frequent intervals is essential to maintain their health and hygiene. And, of course, having a soft coat and a good smell is a benefit for every dog owner. However, actually getting your pet into the shower is one of the biggest challenges.
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Add a shower space for your dog in the backyard. You can get them nice and clean without worrying about small bathtubs making them claustrophobic. Just make sure that you have a drying station next to the shower, or else you’ll end up with a muddy pup.

The Ladder of Ease

Most pet owners create a pet door on their house’s lower levels so that their fur babies can gain access to the outside world and explore to their heart’s content. But now, it’s time to unleash your creativity and try something unique for your pet.
Source: littlethings.com
Instead of a simple flap in the door, construct a ladder in the backyard and attach it to the upper level of your home. Then, fit in a small pet door to let your little one ingress the outdoors in a different yet adventurous way.

A Scenic Dog Pond

Certain elements have the power to enhance your outdoor simply by their presence, and one such thing is a pond. Having a pond in your backyard will not only serve as the center of attraction for your exterior, but it will also give your dog great company.
Source: backyardgetawayponds.com
For a safer and neater result, hiring a contractor is your best bet. Also, add some pretty and pet-friendly plants to its sides to decorate the pond and make it appear even more attractive. Trust us; your pets will thank you for this!

The Great Fence of Safety

Dogs are natural explorers. They love roaming in the outside world, and perhaps this is why they do not like always being confined to their habitat. Running around and going on some great escapades at times is in their blood.
Source: Dig Defence/Amazon
But when it comes to your pet, you might be worried that while running around, they may escape and get lost or injured. Even with a traditional wooden fence, they might dig a hole without you noticing. So, to prevent your furry friend from escaping, install a metal fence barrier in your backyard.

A Screened Runway

Every time the Fashion Week or the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is around the corner, we get excited to watch the models take the runway and determine who has the best and strongest catwalk. But here’s the truth — cats have the best ‘catwalk!’
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So, give this model its own runway in the house by adding a lane to your backyard. Add a screened fence around it so that your feline friend can walk as long as they want without you having to worry about their safety.

The Fence with a Window

One of the most common ways to keep pets safe in your yard is a fence. The problem, though, with traditional wooden fences is that your pet can’t see the world outside your yard. Even if they can’t run around beyond your property, they love looking at what else is out there.
Source: freshpatio.com
Why not give them a viewing window in your fence! Just cut out a space in the fence, then add some metal fencing or glass window with bars. Now, your dog can get a glimpse of the world outside while staying safe in your yard.

A Peaceful Dog Pool

Hitting the beach or going to the pool for a relaxing swim can sometimes be the happiest moments of our lives. But, then, why should it be any different for your pets? Some also love to engage in some swimming sessions.
Source: adogsnewlife.org
Unlike human beings, pets don’t need a giant pool filled with water to swim. Instead, you can simply create a small space in your backyard and fill it with some water. Then, allow your pet to dip in it, which will be enough for them.

A Treehouse for Your Cat

A treehouse is one of the best places you can create memories that last a lifetime. So, if you have spent much of your childhood in a treehouse, you may feel a bit of nostalgia reading this. But now, it’s time to recreate this nostalgic moment for your little kitty.
Source: @indulgyworld/Pinterest
Allow your cat to create its own memories by constructing a tiny yet spacious treehouse in your backyard. Decorate it creatively; you can add a small swing too. You will be surprised to see how glad your cat will be to run around in this happy space.

A Ladder for Goats

While they’re not as common to keep as pets, goats have found their way into the homes of many. If you’re a goat owner, you surely know how much they love climbing on just about any surface they can find.
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Give them space to climb up and down as much as they want with some climbers. You can save space by creating levels in the same area, and they’re sure to love it just as much. Make sure that you have enough climbing area to accommodate all of the goats.

A Shed Filled with Shade

Outdoors are indeed one of the favorite places for pets. But you must keep in mind that when your pet is outdoors, they are exposed to several weather conditions like scorching heat or sudden downpours, which can make them sick.
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But the uncertain climate should not stop you from allowing your pet to enjoy the outdoors, right? So, you can construct a cozy corner for them in your backyard with a cool shed so that when it rains, or the sun shines too bright, you don’t have to deprive them of their fun.

Fence with a Peeping Glass

Nowadays, almost all doors have a built-in peephole. Every time there’s a knock on your door, this hole comes in handy for you to peep outside and see who the visitor is. They also help maintain the security and safety of you and your house.
Source: Becky Harris/houzz.com
You can also let your fur friend enjoy this amenity by creating a dome for your pet in the backyard with a glass hole. In this way, you can give them an outside view from the inside itself. Moreover, it keeps them well-entertained.

Running Ground for Rabbits

Although rabbits are smaller than dogs, and you might not think they need as much space, they love hopping around as far as their enclosure will let them. If you have a yard, it’s the perfect place to create an open space for your bunnies to explore.
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Since they love jumping and moving about from one place to another, creating a hutch accompanied by a spacious ground that is protected with fences can be a safe and enjoyable space for them. Just be careful of what wild animals are around.

Playground for Your Pet

Most of us have a favorite sport or activity, and the same goes for our pets. Moreover, the more your pets play, the more they tire themselves out. For more active pets, consider adding a play area for your pets in your yard.
Source: sweetdreamsdoghouse.com
To enable your pets to engage in some entertaining activities, create a DIY playground for them in the backyard of your house. Add different playing equipment and climbers so that even you can play around with your pet and have a fun time together.

Pet-Centric Garden

Having a garden in the backyard can immediately make your entire home look more visually appealing and welcoming. However, having a garden with pets at home can be a bit of a dangerous combination. Since pets love to run around, they may step on your plants and damage them.
Source: Thomas J. Story/sunset.com
You can thus separate your gardening area by adding fences on the side and creating a path in the middle. It will help your pets take a safe stroll through the garden while admiring it without getting close to your plants.

Little Corner of Grass

Planning a personal space for your pet is easy when you have a home with a huge backyard. But the real challenge occurs when you live in an apartment or a building in the city that doesn’t facilitate a spacious backyard or lawn.
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There’s a famous saying, “fake it till you make it,” and this is what you should do when you don’t have a real backyard. Take a tiny space on your indoor or balcony and add some grass. It will add an outdoor vibe, and your pet will love it.

The Wheel of Fun

Be it humans or pets, some forms of exercise are essential for everyone to maintain one’s health and well-being from within. Dogs, however, may not be fancy about hitting the gym, but that doesn’t mean they have to steer away from fitness.
Source: renoguide.com.au
You can add a huge exercise wheel in your backyard where your dog can run around and have some fun. It will give your pet a private exercise space as well. Of course, this isn’t just for dogs. Cats also love running around on these wheels.

The Comfort Zone

Lofts are a fantastic place to have in your home. It gives you a space to lounge around and relax all day long. Hanging around in the loft also gives you peace and calmness. So then, why not construct the same for your dog?
Source: Jayla-Larry Nepomuceno/houzz.com
Make a creative dog house in your backyard with a small loft at the top and fill it with rugs, cushions, and a blanket so that your pet can feel snug and comfortable there. Don’t forget to add in some stairs so they can access their loft space.

Mini-Amusement Park for Pets

Amusement parks are one of the best places that make us feel alive. From the twists and turns of the roller coaster rides to the heart-sinking ferris wheel rides, they are filled with thrill and fun. You always leave these parks feeling refreshed and contented.
Source: dogsmonthly.co.uk
Why not give your pets the same fun by creating a mini-amusement park in the backyard by constructing a small playhouse. Incorporate a slide leading to a pool, add a dog tug, make space for a lounging area, and install a small swing in the playhouse for a variety of fun.

Plants for Pets

Plants make us feel tranquil. Being surrounded by them gives us the power to eliminate all the stress we have in our lives. They not only have a healing effect but also have an enhancing effect as they make the indoors and outdoors look pleasant.
Source: housetodecor.com
Some plants, however, can be dangerous for your pets. For instance, tulips and peonies are two plants that dogs cannot tolerate. Add pet-friendly plants like ferns, lemongrass, catnip, hibiscus, and palms to your backyard so that you don’t have to sacrifice your love for plants.

A Pet Door in Disguise

As we’ve mentioned before, many people have a pet door for their furry companions to enter and exit their homes with ease. If you want to add some flair and creativity to your boring pet door, consider adding a covering in front of it.
Source: hometalk.com
This pet owner made a multi-purpose pet door cover. First, the covering adds a safe space from the elements for their pet to enjoy the outdoors. The plants on top add some extra greenery to their yard. This space could be used for decorative plants, or even a small herb garden.

View from the Top

Imagine if we had wings and could fly! The bird-eye view of the world would probably make us appreciate the world more, right? We get a glimpse of it through airplanes and helicopters, so it’s time to let your cats enjoy this view, too.
Source: Kelly Cooper/Pinterest
Add a cat perch at the top of your backyard’s fence so that every time your kitty feels tired and needs a little rest after constant running and jumping around, they can sit there and enjoy the view from the top.

Garden with Bird Feeders

A backyard without a garden feels like it’s missing something, right? Gardens add beauty and enchantment to your residence and make it feel homier. But having the right decor items in your garden is essential. Bird feeders are one of the best things you can add to your backyard garden.
Source: duncraft.com
These utility/decor items not only enhance the look of your garden but can also be used to attract the local wildlife. Besides, bird feeders also act as a great source of entertainment for any other pet you have as they watch the birds flying around freely.

Water World

Going to the water park and enjoying the slides and water rides is always fun. However, this enjoyment should not only be limited to us humans. With some clever planning, you can give your pets the opportunity to experience the fun, too.
Source: homemydesign.com
Make a pet-themed mini water park in your backyard! With a kiddy pool, a hose, and a fake fire hydrant, you can have the perfect dog park! Trust us, it will be a great summer treat for your pets, and they’ll love playing in it.

Space for Some Sweet Sleep

We all love taking naps. Many studies even suggest that getting a short afternoon sleep is beneficial for your health and well-being. The same goes for pets. While they love jumping around and playing, they’re not immune to a little afternoon shut-eye.
Source: Brian Patrick Flynn/hgtv.com
Create a comfortable sleeping space in the backyard for your pet by adding some soft cushions and let them take naps or relax there cozily while enjoying the fresh air. Sure, pets don’t mind laying down on the grass or patio, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a comfy spot to rest their heads.

Pet Landmark

Sure it’s cliche, but there’s something about dogs and fire hydrants. While they don’t mind marking any spot, many seem to gravitate towards these structures. Why not give them a fun place to relieve themselves with a fire hydrant in your yard.
Source: renoguide.com.au
Of course, it doesn’t need to be a real hydrant. Although dogs don’t see in color, you can paint a mini hydrant figure with the classic red and white. While you’re at it, why not give your dog house a funky color. They might not appreciate the color, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.

Security Fence for Cats

Cats may be cute, but that should not blind you from the fact that they are one of the most mischievous pets one can own. Unlike dogs, cats may not be polite enough to listen to your commands and act accordingly.
Source: renoguide.com.au
Felines are stubborn, and once they start moving, it is seldom possible to control or keep track of them. So, creating a spacious area covered with tall fences on all sides of your backyard will prevent your kitty from jumping over it, making you worry less about their safety.

A Pawsome Patio

Patios can sometimes be the most beautiful and functional space in your home. You can do so much with a patio; from unleashing your creativity and decorating it in numerous ways to turning it into a cozy dining space or a relaxing lounge.
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However, if you own many cats, one way to efficiently utilize your patio is to turn it into an enclosed outdoor space where your kitties can hang around freely under the sun. You can also add cat-friendly plants and other decor items to make the patio more inviting.

An Innovative Hutch

Rabbits are such cute and fun pets to have around, but they are too fugitive by nature. Hence, leaving them outdoors can be unsafe, and keeping them indoors may bore them. So, try constructing a rabbit hutch for them with a touch of innovation.
Source: Framebow/Pinterest
You can easily construct a simple enclosure partly built with fences and partially covered with a net. It will keep your rabbits safe inside the hutch without having to compromise their enjoyment of the outside world. It’s a win-win design!

Creative Cat Ladder

If there was an Olympics tournament for animals, there is no denying that cats would receive the gold medal for being excellent jumpers. One minute they’re there, and in the next minute, they’re ten feet away. In fact, these feline creatures seem to be playing hide and seek 24/7.
Source: renoguide.com.au
Indeed, cats are talented jumpers, but sometimes it may be unsafe. They may accidentally step on things they should not or fall hard on the ground. So, to avoid this, construct a creative cat ladder in your backyard where they can practice and enjoy their hobby of jumping without getting hurt.

A Runway for Dogs

If you had a running race with your dog, who’s more likely to win? Unless you’re Usain Bolt, the answer is surely “your dog.” And this proves the fact that once they start running, it can be too hard for you to catch them.
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While you may not have a problem with your dog running to and fro, sometimes they can end up destroying plants or even furniture. So, to avoid this, create a running lane surrounded by fences in your backyard so that your dog can run freely there without ruining anything.

Rabbit Fun Zone

Rabbits love having fun, and if your idea is to confine them indoors with just a small space allotted to them, you may be depriving them of their enjoyment. But again, rabbits are too fugitive, so the best thing you can do is let them be free in a large space enclosed with fences.
Source: renoguide.com.au
Turn your backyard into a personal space for your rabbits by adding some hills, small ponds, tiny holes, and more. Get creative so that they can jump around with glee, and you can find peace by simply watching their happiness.

A Stop for Treats and Water

You may love cuddling your dogs and want to hug them forever, but sometimes they love running around more than getting pets. So, letting them loose is essential. But due to this rigorous movement, they tend to get tired and exhausted frequently.
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So, you must ensure that they are adequately fed and hydrated throughout the day to maintain their energy levels. To do so, you can install a station with some delicious treats and water in your backyard so that your dogs can satisfy their hunger and thirst whenever they want.

The Roller Bar Barrier

Of all the pets you can own, cats are probably the naughtiest. They are always full of energy, and the only time you can see them stay still is perhaps when they’re taking a nap or enjoying some delicious treats.
Source: renoguide.com.au
Now, as cats are always running around, you may fear that they may escape the safety of your property. So, install a roller bar fence using PVC pipes so that every time your cat jumps on the fence, it rolls over, and the cat is brought back inside.

Pumpkin Treat for Your Chickens

Chickens are omnivores, so you can almost always find them pecking at the ground, looking for some tasty bugs to eat. Of course, they’re also fond of fruits and vegetables. Why not give them a special treat on November 1st.
Source: thefrugalchicken.com
After Halloween, give your jack-o’-lantern to your chickens. For some extra enrichment, hang it on a rope, so they take a bit longer to get the swinging fruit. Just make sure to cut off some of the exteriors, to make it easier for them to eat.

A Turtle Habitat

Turtles are one of the cutest pets you can own. But as most people usually prefer cats or dogs, you can be amongst those few who hold a penchant for rearing and nurturing turtles at home. Besides, having a turtle can also put your backyard to good use.
Source: @shailuchouhan801185/Pinterest
These creatures stay on the land as well as water. So, you can create a pretty habitat for them in your backyard by laying some pebbles and grasses and adding a small pond for them to dive in when they yearn for water. However, don’t forget to add fences on the sides to ensure their safety.

The Tug of Dogs

As said before, dogs love running and playing around. However, you may be busy and not have enough time to play with them all the time, which may lead your furry friend to bother you more by bringing over toys to play with.
Source: renoguide.com.au
So, a great way to keep your doggo engaged is by creating a dog tug in the backyard. All you need is a sturdy post or a stable tree branch. Add a rope with a toy at the end. Now, your pet can easily play with the tug without getting bored and keeping itself entertained.

Pretty Backyard Aquariums

Although you can’t cuddle them like dogs and cats, many people prefer having pet fish as they’re relatively low maintenance. Aside from giving you company, these aquatic creatures also add an element of beauty and refreshment to your home. However, most people keep their fish indoors in a small aquarium.
Source: verdell galeana/Shutterstock
But do you know fishes love spacious areas? After all, their natural habitat is outdoors in big rivers and at sea. So, while having a whole ocean in your backyard is impossible, you can spare some space to create a small pool and add sufficient water, letting your fish enjoy swimming freely under the sun.

A Dog-Centric Gym

For more active dogs, having just one activity in your yard might not be enough. Sure, they’ll love a hanging tug toy or ladders to climb on, but they’ll still want more to interact with. So why not give them a bit of everything!
Source: @joseedupont/Pinterest
Take a spacious part of the backyard and convert it into a playful DIY gym for your doggo by adding equipment like A-frames, tire jumps, bar jumps, weave poles, tunnels, etc. It will engage your pet in regular workout sessions, which, in turn, can help them stay fit and active.

Duck Coop with a Pool

Ducks are one of the prettiest creatures ever to grace the earth. Only a slight sight of them fills our souls with happiness and makes us believe that the world is beautiful. So, if you have ducks in your home, it’s time to give your backyard an upgrade.
Source: renoguide.com.au
Create a duck coop in the backyard by adding some barriers on the side and including a pool of water or a small pond inside so that your ducks can have the best of land and water. Also, adorn the coop with some pretty plants and other decor items to make it look more attractive.

Durable Green Paving

This one applies to all kinds of pets. If you are a pet parent, you know just how much animals love to be outside. As such, it’s important to ensure they have a nice dedicated area where they can be free to run around and play.
Source: landscapediscount.com
Enter the Geocell ground grid paver. This will ensure you have a strong base at the bottom when you need to plant some grass in your yard. Just ensure you have a geotextile fabric at the bottom before installing the grid, adding some aggregate soil mix, and then the grass.