What’s the Most Dog Friendly Decking Material?
Crafting a pet-friendly patio or deck is essential for those who wish to give their canine chums a safe and pleasurable outdoor haven. Your dog loves spending time with you, and putting some thought into your deck’s design ensures every family member, including the furry ones, can enjoy being outdoors together. In this blog post, we will explore various aspects of designing the perfect deck that caters to the needs of your four-legged friends while also maintaining an aesthetically pleasing, relaxing, and functional environment.
We’ll delve into composite decking, hardwood, and solutions to protect your deck from the inevitable dog urine accident. We will also discuss choosing pet-safe deck railings, avoiding hazards that make a deck too hot for a dog, and special considerations for small dogs.
By the end of this post, you’ll be well-equipped with knowledge on how to create an ideal dog friendly decking space tailored to both you and your best “furriend.”
Composite decking is the winning choice for pet owners due to its durability, low maintenance requirements, and natural look. It’s also an excellent option for those concerned about the decking being too hot for dogs. This material doesn’t absorb heat as much as other options, making it more comfortable for bare feet and paws. It also tends to be resistant to scratches.
Additionally, composite deck railings are typically designed with narrow gaps between boards, preventing small dogs from slipping through while still allowing airflow.
A final perk: capped composite decking lasts for decades.
Composite deck railing can be a great way to bring style and sturdiness to your outdoor area, making it ready for everyday wear. And don’t worry about muddy paws, nose smudges, the inevitable potty accident, or a sloshy water bowl – maintenance is a breeze!
Capped PVC is also a clear winner when it comes to durability and temperature. It has the natural look of wood and is tough as capped composite decking, but it retains far less heat.
Got a pool? This is perfect for the pool deck for Fido’s gymnastic leaps chasing after that frisbee that lands him in the water! It’s also great for a boat dock.
Another option for composite decking, you might want to think about plastic. Decks & Docks has heat-reflective WearDeck to be gentler on puppy paws.
Many brands are also made from recycled materials or have waste-reduction programs, and plastic decking typically has an extensive range of colors to choose from.
Not just everyday wood decking, hardwood decking can also be a pet-friendly option. Hardwoods like Ipe and Cumaru are not only highly durable, dense, and hard but also less likely to retain heat than other materials. This means your dog can comfortably walk on the deck without burning their paws during hot summer days.
Hardwoods also naturally resist insects and decay, ensuring a long-lasting and low-maintenance outdoor space for both you and your furry friend.
Lastly, Ipe, in particular, is slip-resistant, so if you’re looking at decking in a wet or marine environment, this is a great choice.
Hardwood decking can create an outdoor living space for dog lovers that will last. It provides durability and beauty while still being pet-friendly, making it the perfect choice for your pup’s safety and comfort.
Pet-Safe Deck Railing Systems
When choosing pet-safe deck railings, make sure to look for materials that are durable and won’t splinter or crack, like vinyl and composite. A railing design with narrow gaps between posts or boards prevents small dogs from slipping through – especially if your pup has a penchant for chasing squirrels!
You might consider installing a mesh screen with your railing system, which offers both safety and visibility for your furry friend. Alternatively, consider using closely spaced balusters or adding an additional rail at the bottom of your deck railing system to keep your pup secure.
Construct a safe area or new deck where you and your furry friends can enjoy the outside world; this will also ease your mind as a pet owner so you can relax and enjoy your deck.
Add a Patio Cover for Shade for Your Dog
Providing shade on your deck is essential to keep your dog (and you!) comfortable and safe during hot summer days. Sun sails, pergolas, roller shades, umbrellas, awnings, and even plants can help protect your dog from harmful UV rays and prevent the decking surface from becoming too hot.
Dogs also enjoy taking a break outside and snoozing, so constructing a patio cover is an ideal way to give shade and solace to your canine companion while they appreciate the open air.
Decks & Docks has lots of high-quality materials to construct and install attractive shaded areas – let us know if you have questions about what might work for your space!
Dogs and Squirrels: Install a Gate!
Installing a gate with secure latches on your deck can help keep your energetic dog from escaping off your deck to finally nab that gopher or rabbit and potentially getting injured or lost. Depending on where you put your gate, it can also keep them off your deck if necessary, particularly if it involves entry to a pool or a marina.
Note that a baby gate is not meant to be outside and is not sturdy enough to withstand the elements. It also has little curb appeal.
A hardware-mounted gate install is the most safe, secure, and permanent solution. It is the best choice for those looking to have a barrier that can withstand weight against it. Decks & Docks carries the Trex brand, which has high-quality deck gates.
How Can I Protect My Deck from Dog Pee?
The type of decking material you choose makes a big difference in clean-up. As mentioned before, composite decking is a first-rate option for any messes. Periodic hosing off and mild cleaner will keep your deck or dock looking great for decades.
Also, dog urine should not damage Trex composite railing or decking if cleaned promptly. The protective shell of Trex boards resists staining from spills; however, it’s a good idea to clean up any messes quickly using a soap-and-water solution followed by rinsing with water.
Hardwood decking is low-maintenance, but you will still need to have it finished and clean it regularly. For Ipe and hardwoods, we recommend Penofin Hardwood Formula – an oil-based finish specially formulated to penetrate dense hardwoods while allowing the natural beauty of the wood to show through.
If you are still housebreaking or potty training a dog for specific areas of your yard, using “puppy pads” temporarily for dog urine can absorb liquid and prevent any damage to the surface of your deck until your dog gets the hang of things.
Alternatively, you can create a designated “potty area” with artificial grass or gravel in the corner of your deck. You can even get subscriptions for real or artificial grass patches that you can place in a specific corner of your deck for Fido to use.
This will help keep the rest of your decking clean and odor-free while still allowing your furry friend to enjoy outdoor time.
Contact Us For Your Dog Friendly Deck Project
By following these tips for dog-friendly decking, you can create a space where both you and your four-legged companion can enjoy spending time together outdoors.
If you’re looking to build a deck that is perfect for pets, contact Decks & Docks today! Our expert team knows all the ins and outs of creating a great exterior living area for you and your canine companions to enjoy.
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Dan has worked for Decks and Docks for over twenty-five years. He managed the original Decks and Docks store in St. Pete, which is our largest store. Dan is simply the best all around. He knows more about this company and our products than probably anyone else. Dan currently works in Sales at our corporate office.