Core ProTips

How to Design a Pet-Friendly Deck, Porch & Patio  

How to Design a Pet-Friendly Deck, Porch & Patio

Family time outside should include our four-legged friends

Welcoming a furry friend into your home is a joyous experience and, as a responsible pet owner, you want every corner of your living space to be pet friendly. When it comes to outdoor areas like decks, porches & patios, there are plenty of creative ways to design a space that not only meets your needs but also ensures a safe and enjoyable environment for your pets. Let’s explore ways to transform your outdoor space into a pet-friendly haven.



Composite flooring is easy to clean, resistant to scratches and provides a comfortable surface for your pets, but it can get hot in direct sun exposure. This is especially true with darker colors of composite which absorb more heat than lighter colors. As a result, you can choose composite floors that are grey, light brown or off-white. An even better solution is Advanced PVC Flooring which is about 30% cooler than composite flooring and offers more light-color options.


Two puppies sitting on pet friendly composite decking.



Regardless of which flooring you choose, there are several ways to add shady comfort to your outdoor space. Pergolas, umbrellas and potted plants are popular choices. Some plants can be toxic to pets, so opt for pet-friendly greenery like catnip, mint, or lavender. Raised planters can help keep curious pets away from potentially harmful plants. We will explain the tradeoffs of each option so you can decide which works best for your lifestyle.


Deck with a pet-friendly shade cover.



Choose outdoor furniture with pet-friendly fabrics that are durable and easy to clean. Consider incorporating pet beds, cushions and blankets into your seating arrangement to make your pet companions feel right at home in all types of weather.


Two dogs in a blanket because they don't have furniture.



Water bowls can be placed on the floor or attached to railing. While water spilling onto wood decking can cause mildew, mold or water damage, there is no need to worry about this with composite or Advanced PVC decking because these materials are impervious to water damage.


If you have an older deck or porch, be aware that railings are the top failure point of these structures. You should regularly inspect your railing to ensure it is secure for the safety of your pets (and human guests). Installing new railing will virtually eliminate this concern since modern materials are extremely reliable.


Cute dog is looking at a treat in a well-behaved sit. The dog is sitting in a screen porch with black railing.



Create convenient cleanup options with waste bags, disposal bins and a hose for easy cleaning. Keeping the space tidy ensures a hygienic environment for both you and your pets.


Pet Doors

Pet doors provide dogs and cats with great flexibility for entering and exiting a porch. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, our preferred pet doors include a rigid safety panel that can be easily inserted to provide an extra level of security.


Orange fluffy cat with green eyes sitting in front of a screen porch that has a pet door.



A simple and inexpensive way to keep dogs inside of your deck is to install a gate at the top of the staircase. Gates are also an effective way to prevent young children from leaving a deck without constant vigilance so you can kick back and relax. When properly designed, a gate will swing effortlessly out of the way, and be available any time you need it.




Install outdoor lighting to ensure the space is safe for your pets during nighttime. Soft, ambient lighting can create a cozy atmosphere while also guiding your pets through your outdoor spaces.



It’s Easy to Do

All it takes to design a pet-friendly deck, porch or patio is a little thoughtful planning. By incorporating these tips into your outdoor space, you can create a comfortable environment where your whole family can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine together. Contact Us to make your outdoor space a true extension of your home, designed with love and consideration for every member of your family, including the four-legged ones!