15 Outdoor Pet Projects You’ll Lap Up

Your unconditional love for your pets shines through with the care and thought you’ve put into building things that make them happy. And your projects have also made your patios and yards more interesting. Get ideas from some homegrown responses to pets’ love of the outdoors — and to the need to keep pets safe and comfortable. Have a look, then please share your own outdoor pet project.
Reader Pet Projects

Houzz user midmodfan knew it would be hard on the cat when the last tree in their small atrium garden had to be removed. To keep the cat happy, midmodfan replaced it with a 10-foot-high wooden stake, wrapped rot-resistant rope around with frostproof glue and U-shaped staples. The new scratching and climbing “tree” is attached to metal footing driven into the ground.
Reader Pet Projects

This darling bunny barn in Costa Rica built by Houzz user Shirley McKale houses three rabbits, who needed a cool hangout. “I wanted lots of ventilation in the new barn so made both sides the same — a door and two windows, plus a high window on each end,” she says.

The galvanized tin roof reflects the sun and is removable for easy access. Learning from a past hutch in which the rabbits burrowed a “basement” underneath from outside, McKale did not give this one a floor. The rabbit yard is covered by a shade cloth about 8 feet off the ground.

Reader Pet Projects

In Arizona’s hot climate, plenty of water for dogs is imperative. Houzz user Diane Way created this fountain from bored green granite and river rock, with underground circulating water that a sprinkler systems freshens once a day. “Luna loves it, and it’s just her size,” she says.
Reader Pet Projects

Way’s oasis also attracts local birds when Luna’s not taking a drink. These beauties are wild lovebirds.
Reader Pet Projects

“After my two large dogs starting drinking out of my neighbors’ birdbath on a regular basis, and seeing some great ideas on this site for dog-friendly backyards, I decided that I would make my own water fountain for them,” says Houzz user katiek78.

“I wanted something that I could afford and would circulate the water to try and keep things from growing in it.” She fashioned the doggy fountain from a planter and a garden pond pump, and the dogs can’t get enough.

Reader Pet Projects

Everyone loves a porch, including Houzz user jkpp04’s dog Oscar and his friends.
Reader Pet Projects

The dogs spend a lot of the day outside and have a great shelter to enjoy.
For the Horses

When it came time to create horse shelters, Houzz user and equine health and welfare expert Susan Kauffman didn’t want the usual. “We designed and built our own horse shelters; we wanted something more aesthetically pleasing than what one typically sees,” she says. “Plus we also wanted them to be very inviting to the horses, as some horses are claustrophobic and won’t use a shelter if it isn’t designed with their natural way of thinking and reacting in mind.”

In her shelters, 5-foot walls promote airflow and allow the horses to see over them. The roofs are composite shingles, which are much quieter than metal in the rain. The floors are rubber mats that are spiked into the ground, so the horses avoid ingesting any sand when eating. “They have been a great success, even with my normally shelterphobic Morgan gelding, Gryphon! They use the shelters for rain protection, shade from the sun, and we feed all their meals in there.”

Reader Pet Projects

Houzz user osvold11 recently completed a dog-friendly backyard makeover.

Oz has this fetching strip.

Reader Pet Projects

There is also a sunning and resting spot for Pilar in osvold11’s yard. The yard does not have any lawn, and all of the plantings are tolerant of the dogs’ doing their business and can recover from heavy pet use.
Reader Pet Projects

The dogs have access to the fence line to visit with their neighbors without destroying plantings.
Reader Pet Projects

This backyard, belonging to Houzz user asnikkar, is pet friendly, with terraces for plants and a lower area for the dogs to play and do their business in without messing up the gardens.

More ways to design a dog-friendly landscape

Reader Pet Projects

“To help our dogs, we built ‘windows’ into our privacy fence,” says Houzzer Amanda Naughton. It has stopped one dog from trying to dig underneath the fence, and the other just enjoys checking out what’s going on beyond the yard. “To help them with the neighbors’ dogs, we put a window from our yard to their yard. Now our two dogs and their two dogs can sniff and see each other, so there is a lot less barking.”

The two windows in the fence gates were such a success, Naughton built the dogs a raised and covered corner area, called “the fort.”

Reader Pet Projects

I always felt bad about keeping my cats inside, but I also know that there are so many dangers awaiting them outside, especially in our area,” says Houzz user and blogger cuckoo4design. “As they reached the senior citizen stage, I couldn’t take it any longer, because I felt so bad about them never lying in the sun, breathing the fresh air, watching birds, squirrels and butterflies.” Thus, she installed these homemade cat cages that have an access point from the living room window, and the cats have never been happier.
Reader Pet Projects

Gary the cat has his very own catwalk on the small deck of the condominium belonging to his owner, Houzz user joaniemccully. He has a private place of his own and can share the deck with her dog in peace.
Reader Pet Projects

Houzz user gcanty created this cat tree as a Christmas present for her four kitties.

See more stylish cat furniture

Reader Pet Projects

Houzz user lwiniars takes these cat tunnels on the road with the family’s camper. The tunnels have a ramp and lock into a window so that the cats can come and go as they please.
Reader Pet Projects

When Houzz user dzanoff designed a garage with a guesthouse over it, a doghouse was included in the design. The exterior entry gives access to an indoor space underneath the stairs that includes a light, a raised bed and a heated water dish for winter. Visiting kiddos also like to use the dog space as a fort.
pet projects

This little shelter was inspired by a garden shed on Houzz, and it even has its own dog weather vane. “I made this doghouse for my mom’s two pups and painted it to match the house,” says Houzz user Feels Like Home. The house also serves as a pass-through with a doggie door to the inside on one end. Inside is a carpet to wipe wet paws on, and the structure gives the pooches shelter on rainy Seattle days.
Courtesy of Houzz.com
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