Dogs enjoy being outdoors, even if they are house pets and sleep indoors at night. Any yard will do, but for their ultimate comfort, dogs need certain things in their outdoor surroundings. Incorporate some of these features in your backyard landscaping plan for the dogs and you will have one happy puppy.
Fence and Perimeter
When choosing a fence, select varieties that allow the dog to see through or over the fence. If you have a jumper, the fence should be tall. Chain link fence is a cost-effective way to corral your dog. Vinyl or wood picket fences could also be used. If your dog is a digger, a trench filled with concrete next to or under the fence may be needed to block egress from the yard.
Dogs, by nature, will walk the perimeter of the yard. They want to spy through the fence and sniff who or what might be attempting to enter their space. A path of mulch or gravel 18 to 24 inches wide along the fence instead of grass can create a pathway that won’t lead to muddy paws on rainy days.
A kid size hard plastic pool (not inflatable-dog’s nails could puncture it) filled halfway with water makes for great summertime play. Toss in floating toys for the dog to retrieve. I chose to use a small pool that I could easily empty periodically. Our dog would stand in the water, but only once laid down.
Digging is natural for dogs, so provide a space for digging. Supposedly, you can slightly bury a treat in an area where you don’t mind the dog digging and once they dig there, the dog will return to the same spot to dig again. In our yard, we let the dog choose where she wanted to dig. She chose two places, one at each end of the property. On hot summer days, she will dig the hole a little deeper or wider to get to cool, moist soil, and then nap. Periodically, I’ll take the rake out to partially refill the holes.
Shade and Sun
Dogs like to lie in the sun, sometimes even in the summer, but shade is needed for very hot days. Shade may come from existing trees or a structure. Shade can be created with a section of tall fence, a lattice panel, a large patio umbrella, or a tarp that might be secured to the doghouse and the fence or other structure.
When it comes to dogs, “a view” means height to oversee their territory. We used to have an old wooden picnic table in the dog’s portion of the yard. We never used it, but the dog did. Climbing onto the table, she could see over the fence, which was far enough away that the table didn’t create a catapult-effect for her to leap the fence. We gave the table away thinking we were creating more running space for the dog; but then, we found her running back inside to jump on furniture by the window to look out onto her kingdom. A large rock, bench, or a shallow-slopping roof on a dog house can create the height a dog needs to monitor anything or anyone nearby.
If your dog lives outdoors, a sturdy shelter will be necessary to protect the dog against rain and cold. Our dog sleeps indoors, but I suspect if we bought her a dog house, it would have climate control, thickly padded bed, and speakers to listen to the same classical music her mommy enjoys while fading off to sleep.
Source: Personal experience reinforced at http://www.sunset.com/garden/landscaping-design/dog-friendly-garden-ideas-00418000067590/