Pet friendly backyard landscaping

by Elaine
(Allyn, WA USA)

We are going to be building our home on a our 2 acre property.

I am very neat/clean freak. We have 2 pups (min pin & rat terrier), who now use the doggy door from our kitchen to the large fenced in dog yard (our backyard).

The area where we're putting our house will have room for a dog yard. I'm having issue though. I don't want mud inside my home, yet, still would like our pups to have access to the yard on their own.

We were thinking on using pavers. But getting a design that works. We don't want to overpave, yet don't want to have too much muddy areas. Being that I live extremely close to the woods in WA state, this is a problem. I would also like a pet friendly yard. Non-poisonous plants to begin with. A place the pups could run around and where we can actually go out and relax and play w/ them.

Any ideas?


Hi Elaine,
Is there a reason that you can't use lawn? I have a fenced in back yard. My dog is there many times a day. If it rains hard, his paws get wet, but not really muddy. I keep some paper towels nearby so in that kind of weather, I do wipe his paws. And I have a white floor there!

Another idea is to use groundcover. You said you are near the woods...are you inferring that it is shady and therefore stays wet? There are many groundcovers that like the shade. Pachysandra (not sure if it is hardy by you) gets lush and full, hides doggie "stuff" and is nice to look at too.

Pavers are such a hard material for that purpose...I would imagine it would be a fairly large expanse. Expensive too.

Some kennels use concrete and just hose it off (which would be easier than hosing off pavers), so for a hard area, that might be a more practical solution. You can color the concrete to make it more attractive and even lay it in a pattern. See my page on concrete patio designs

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