Creating a Deck Space You and Your Deck Dog Will Love

It’s Mutt’s Day, which means thousands of people in Central Texas will be spending time with their furry family members. Do you plan to hang out and play with your pooch in the backyard? If so, read on for ways to make your current deck more comfortable for your dog and for doggie considerations if you’re building a deck.

Deck protection for Dogs

Non-Toxic Treatments

Dogs can have a tendency to chew on things and wood is no exception. It’s best to err on the side of caution and only use cleaners, stains and other treatments that are non-toxic in case they decide a step or rail is their next chew toy. A few to try include Simple Green Deck & Fence Cleaner and Earthpaint products.

Non-Toxic Plants

Is your on-deck garden a danger to your dog? There are far more plants that can make your dog sick then you may realize. The ASPCA plants guide has identified hundreds of flowers, herbs, vegetables and shrubs that dog owners should avoid planting in their yards and on their decks.

Wood Selection

Certain types of woods could contain toxins that could be harmful to dogs and even people. If you’re building a deck you may need to steer clear of some pressure treated woods and any vinyls decking that contains harmful toxins like arsenic. Trex composite decking is a good options for the deck boards and railing, however a load-bearing wood will need to be used for the structural portion of the deck.

Wood Friendly Water Station

When it’s hot out your dog will need an ample supply of water to keep hydrated when they’re on the deck. The only problem is water isn’t so great for your deck, and certain types of dog dishes could lead to even bigger issues. When it comes to the dish itself go with a plastic non-spill dish like the Petmate bowl instead of a steel or glass one. Steel could get hot in the sun and glass could actually be a fire hazard if sun rays pass through the glass. It’s also a good idea to put a mat underneath the bowl just in case the dogs do slobber a little bit.

Adequate Railing

A solid deck railing system is a safety issue for pets as well as humans. The bottom of the railing should be no more than 3” off the deck. The rails should be close together at around 4” apart, and the railing should be at least 36” high. Even if your railing meets all the required minimums for local codes, small dogs will have to be watched while they’re out on the deck unless the rails are closer together.

Gaps for Drainage and Airflow

The decking should have gaps between the boards to allow for better airflow and also to prevent rain from making puddles, which could make your dog sick it they decide to drink from them.

Gates that Lock

If you need to keep the dog contained on the deck all gates should have dog-proof latches installed.

Canine Spaces

If you want a truly dog-friendly deck you’ll need to keep part of the space open for them to play around as well as a comfortable seating area in a shaded spot. Just make sure to use a pad rather than a bed with a lot of folds and crevices that spiders and stinging insects can hide in.

With a few alterations and additions your deck will be just as enjoyable for your dog as it is for you!


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