Make Your Patio Both Pretty And Pet-Friendly

While we were setting up our backyard for the summer, it occurred to me that while of course, we want our patio to be pretty, a lot of what we do is for our Yorkies’ safety and comfort.

How We Make Our Patio Pet-Friendly


Provide A Shady Place

My daughter calls the gazebo my happy place and she’s right, it is! And it’s also my Yorkie’s happy place. They LOVE relaxing in the shade it provides on hot summer days. We started a few years ago with an inexpensive popup gazebo just to be sure we liked having it and would use it. Well, we did so when a storm destroyed it we upgraded to a sturdier model and things evolved from there. We added giant planters at the base of the legs and filled them with Boston Ferns. Then we replaced our old furniture with a sectional sofa and coffee table that instantly made our boring patio into an outdoor living room. And with every addition we spent more and more time outside … I will even close some of the curtains and hang out there with my Yorkies on rainy summer days. You can find a gazebo to fit every space and budget on Amazon.

If you don’t have the space for a gazebo (and even if you do), you can provide a shady spot for your dog with a covered dog bed. Justice has claimed the one we have and doesn’t like sharing it so I’ll be adding another one soon.

Pet Safe Plants

Even though I make sure that the flowers and plants I have in my garden are on the list of plants that are not toxic to dogs, I still don’t want my Yorkies eating them. Just because something isn’t toxic doesn’t mean it can’t upset our Yorkie’s stomachs or cause an intestinal blockage. One way I keep our plants out of our Yorkies’ reach is to hang them. The problem with that is I’m only 5’1″ tall so watering them was not easy until I found these plant pulleys. Now I can easily pull the plants down, water them, and push them back out of reach.

Block Off Dangerous Areas

If you follow us on Facebook (and I hope you do!), in my pictures you can see that I block my Yorkies from going on the grass. I don’t do this because the grass itself is a problem and I do let them have the full run of the yard sometimes. This started because our next-door neighbor moved and the new family had the sweetest senior dog. Whenever our dogs were outside at the same time, my Yorkies would run up to the fence and try to get their new friend to play with them which she couldn’t do because of her age and to be perfectly honest, I think they were scaring her. I was hoping the novelty would wear off and they would leave her alone after a while but it didn’t. Rather than continuing to let them torment her we grabbed some extra puppy pens we had in the garage, opened them up, and used U stakes to secure them to the ground along the edge of the patio so they couldn’t get to the fence and everyone was happy. Eventually, she passed (RIP Nikita) but I left the barrier. I did this because by this time the trees in our garden had grown so thick that it would be easy for one of my Yorkies to get stuck under or behind them and me not be able to get them out so it was safer to just leave the fencing in place.

Look for the potential dangers in your yard and block your Yorkie’s access to them. You don’t have to use a pen, you can find a ton of fencing options at your local garden center.

Potty Area

Obviously, since we spend so much time outside my Yorkies do potty on the patio. I used to leave bags on the table but they were always rolling off or getting misplaced and looked so messy. Then I got this bag holder that can either sit on a table or be hung on the wall, and now I always have one handy when I need it and it looks much nicer too.

The next thing I needed to figure out was what to do with the used bags? I didn’t want a standard trash can on the patio – I mean who wants to look at that? And I didn’t want to constantly walk to the side of the house with our pails to throw them away. This faux planter trash can is a discrete solution.

While I probably wouldn’t put it on my patio, I did want to include the idea of a fire hydrant for those with boy Yorkies. Their purpose is to give our boys a “target” and prevent them from lifting their legs on our patio furniture. This will be my first year using one, so fingers crossed it works.

Solution For Smells

And while I’m talking about potty, I wanted to share what I do for smells. The thing that eliminates odors for me, both indoors and out, is Angry Orange. It was the only product that worked when the neighborhood cat decided my yard would be his summer home a few years ago. I use the spray to spot treat as necessary and every once in a while I let Mother Nature do a deep clean for me. What I mean by that is if I know we’re going to have a lot of rain I will splash or spray the Angry Orange all over the patio and when it rains it will mix with the water, spread out over the whole patio, and eventually get washed away leaving behind the signature citrus scent. One thing to note is that I do not have a garden next to my patio so I can’t say if this would damage plants but I can tell you that the grass next to my patio is fine after I do it.

1 Comment

  1. Deborah

    I not only LOVE seeing your Yorkies sweet faces, but I also LOVE reading your blog! They are so knowledgeable and full of useful tips. Thank you, Susan! Keep doing what you do!

    Wishing you love and health and many many many more puppies surrounding you!


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