40 Clever Backyard Designs That Will Delight Pets Everywhere

By Jhoana C

A home with a backyard has more value than a property without one. After all, we would all love to have an outdoor area to relax, sit, or read. Even your pets will appreciate it because they have somewhere to run around and play, even when they are just at home. We know only a few of us have the time to take our beloved pets to the park daily, and the backyard is the perfect solution. However, do you need to make your backyard more conducive for play and exercise for your pets without sacrificing your little piece of heaven? Where do you start? Right here, of course! We compiled 40 backyard ideas that will make you and your pets love the space even more. Read on for some inspiration.

#1 How’s the view, Fido?

Being cooped up inside the home or even in your small backyard all day can be difficult, especially if you have no one to talk to or play with. Now you understand how your dog feels when you leave it alone the whole day.

Image courtesy of freshpatio.com

This explains their joy and excitement when they see their pet parent’s car pulling up in the driveway. Just the smell or sight of you is enough to make them crazy. Luckily for this canine, his owner designed the fence with a viewing window so he could see what’s happening outside.

#2 Going up and down

Goats are not the most common house pets, but we know plenty of people who live on farms that own multiple goats. Goats also need physical stimulation because they also get bored, and we think this ladder is very useful for such a purpose.

Image courtesy of doubledurangofarm.com

If you have the space, this goat ladder will make a lot of difference. Don’t forget to create different levels, especially if space is a little too tight in the backyard. You’ll have as much fun watching the goats go up and down their ladders.

#3 Rabbit run

Another popular pet nowadays is the rabbit. Some people prefer them because they take up less space than dogs, and are more affectionate than cats. However, they do run around too and will need an enclosure where they can just be themselves and enjoy life.

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Bunnies love to jump around, and they love exploring spaces. Make sure they are safe and still have fun by protecting their area with a fence. There might be wild animals in the backyard that can harm them if they hop too far.

#4 We love this doghouse

We just now realized that lofts are excellent living spaces for humans and animals, too, canines in particular. Look at that little guy having a grand time in his loft and acting as if he’s the king of the castle.

Image courtesy of Jayla-Larry Nepomuceno/houzz.com

This would make a great solution for pet parents who face the challenge of having limited space. Don’t forget to add some pillows and cushions; they are affordable additions you can readily get. Your pup should feel comfortable in their space.

#5 Up and down they go

Remember when you were young, and you climbed up and down the treehouse with friends and had a world of your own? It was exhilarating and brought you so much joy, didn’t it? Treehouses will do the same thing for your felines.

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Recreate the fun of your childhood days by building a treehouse for your pet cats and see them run up and down for hours. Let your creativity and artistic skills run wild by decorating the treehouse and making it truly unique.

#6 A wonderful world for bunnies

Here’s another idea that bunnies will love; an enclosure that lets them have fun and protects them at the same time. You want your bunnies to have ample space for exercise and fun, but you don’t want to leave them outdoors where they can easily fall prey to wild animals.

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Make your bunnies a rabbit hutch but don’t just construct an ordinary space for them; put some pizazz into it. Use a net for the enclosure so that your bunnies can see the outside world. Nothing beats seeing greens and hearing the sounds of the surrounding areas while having fun at the same time.

#7 Let them eat pumpkin

Of course, we can’t forget the chickens; they are as part of our lives as other pets. Yes, people nowadays have chickens as pets. Birds eat both meat and plants, though you can also find them pecking at the ground for some yummy worms.

Image courtesy of thefrugalchicken.com

Pumpkins would make a good meal which chickens will appreciate. Don’t throw your jack-o-lantern away after Halloween. Make good use of them by hanging the pumpkin on a rope and watch as the chickens have a go at it. They’re sure to love the treat!

#8 Somewhere the fish can enjoy

We all know that certain someone who has pet fish. Some may have small fish tanks in their homes, while others have huge aquariums teeming with aquatic life. You might want to consider this idea if you have a few.

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Fishes love big spaces reminiscent of rivers, oceans, and ponds in the wild. You may not have a great big ocean in your backyard, but you can build your fishes the next best thing, a small pool where they can swim to their heart’s delight.

#9 Ducks love water too

Who says all the other pets and animals get all the fun? We must share the good times with ducks because we all know they deserve it. Show your duckies some loving by upgrading their little homes in your backyard.

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A duck coop is easy to make and is the perfect weekend project if you’re not busy during your off days. Make sure you give them a little pool in there too so they can have fun on land and in the water! They’re gonna love you for it.

#10 Fun with water for the doggos

Seeing as most people have pet dogs compared to other animals, it is only right that we have more than a single entry here for our beloved canines. Have you noticed how much dogs love water? Well, it turns out it’s not just us humans who love some fun with water.

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If you have a spacious yard, you can easily make a mini water park for your doggos. You only need a hose, a kiddie pool, and a fake fire hydrant to make the water park look more realistic. Once summer comes, you’ll thank yourself for making that mini water park.

#11 Have space? Make an amusement park

Amusement parks are not only for humans; animals enjoy them, too. And if space is not an issue in your backyard and you have plenty of pets, you can let them experience the fun of amusement parks by crafting one for them.

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Plenty of designs are available online so follow the one that suits you best and is the best for the kind of space you have in your home. Some of the more interesting things you can add are a mini pool, swings, a slide, and posts to scratch and climb for the kitties.

#12 Hide that pet door smartly

Pet doors are the easy and quick way for our beloved furry companions to exit and enter our homes quickly and smoothly. As functional as they are, that doesn’t mean they need to be bland. You can do a few things to make your pet doors special.

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You can always add a cover to your pet door so that it doesn’t look obvious. If you need inspiration, this photo is the perfect example. The doggy door/hut doubles as a nice planter, where you can put your favorite plants and herbs.

#13 A little Zen for the dogs

Gardens add value and are an excellent addition to any home. Who doesn’t want to go to the garden and sip coffee there? It also makes a great spot for enjoying a book with the sounds of nature as background.

Image courtesy of Thomas J. Story/sunset.com

But if you have pets at home, they can easily ruin your precious flowers. You can ensure that your plants remain pristine by putting a fence around the garden and putting a path where your furry friends can run on as much as they like.

#14 From the inside looking out

This is a variation of the dog fence we have shown previously. Dogs have plenty of energy, and if they don’t have anything to spend it on, they might resort to destructive behaviors such as chewing on things or digging up your lawn.

Image courtesy of Becky Harris/houzz.com

A good way to keep them entertained and protect your home at the same time is to put a peephole dome for your pet. This way, you’ll get to see who’s knocking, and Fido can see the world outside even if he’s in the confines of your home.

#15 How do things look from the top?

This is an interesting and honestly amazing backyard design that we are sure felines will be happy with. Cats not only love to scratch posts, they also love to climb things so this cat perch is just perfect for them.

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This project doesn’t require a lot; only a piece of wood plank, a few nails, a hammer, and some elbow grease. If only we could be a cat too and see the world from a different perspective instead of only seeing it from the ground.

#16 Let your cat sashay down the runway

If you think only models can sashay down the runway, you’re mistaken. Felines can also do it too and do it in style, we might say! If you want your feline to have their go at sashaying safely in your backyard, make this screened runway for them.

Image courtesy of habitathaven.com

This is literally a catwalk, and all you need to do is put a plank of wood in your backyard, which will serve as the runway for your cats. What’s the purpose of the screened fence? It’s to keep them safe, so you don’t end up worrying if they have gotten into an accident while outside.

#17 Let your pet shower outdoors

We’ve seen vacation rental photos with outdoor showers surrounded by lush plants, and they make us want to go on vacation right away. Your pets may not be able to travel as much —or at all — but you can let them experience what it’s like to take showers outside amidst nature.

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We figure that, with this type of shower, it will no longer be difficult to get them to clean themselves. They might just be running towards the shower the moment you open the door and let them out but remember to have a drying station adjacent to the shower.

#18 Fun in the sand

Fun in the sand doesn’t need to be limited to the beach or the park. You can have that same fun right in your own backyard with your furry friends. They may not exactly be able to build sandcastles, but they can dig and run around in the sand.

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Making a DIY sandpit at home is an easy task. Reserve a small space in the backyard that is suitable for your pets and fill it with sand. Now you can sit back and watch your furry friends have the time of their lives.

#19 Somewhere the dogs can cool off

Hot summer days can be tough for everyone, even pets, especially those who find it difficult to regulate their body temperature. Making sure that they have access to plenty of water can be very helpful when temperatures are unbearably high.

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How do you do such a thing for your doggos? By making them their very own pool! Don’t worry, because they don’t as big as space as we humans do. A small area in your backyard would suffice because dogs just need a place to dip their paws in.

#20 A solution for small spaces

People who live in suburban areas are more fortunate than those in apartments because they have more space for their furry friends. Apartment life can be a challenge with pets because there might not be enough room for them to roam around.

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Don’t worry if you don’t have a backyard at all. You can make the perfect doggy spot by adding some dirt and grass to a kiddy pool. It may not exactly be the dog park, but it’s still a space where they can feel the grass on their paws.

#21 Put some adventure into your pet’s life

If you can make your pet happy and encourage it to exercise more and have more adventures at the same time, wouldn’t you do both? We sure would because what can be better than hitting three birds with a single stone?

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So, in lieu of a regular pet door and flap, why not try something new? Make your pet work for it by putting the pet door on the second level of the home and making a ladder from the backyard that leads to it?

#22 Keep wild animals at bay and prevent your pets from escaping

Canines are naturally inquisitive animals. They love to run around, dig, chew, and explore. They have a lot of energy that needs to be used up, or else they can resort to being destructive at home. However, dogs can get hurt, especially the tiny ones.

Image courtesy of Dig Defence/Amazon.com

Aside from getting injured from mishaps while exploring, other dogs and wild animals can pose some danger, too. They can also get lost or end up escaping your backyard. You can enjoy your time outside, knowing your pets are safe, by installing a fence, including a dig-proof guard, around your backyard.

#23 No, the wheel isn’t only for hamsters

Look at any hamster cage, and there’s a single feature that’s very common. Care to guess? Yup, you got it right, the wheel. Hamsters seem to love it so much — or, at least, humans think that hamsters like wheels. We’ve never asked a hamster how they feel.

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However, wheels also work for other animals, not just hamsters. Just look at the photo above and see the doggo having the time of his life in his giant wheel; well, giant compared to that of a hamster. A lightweight version would work for cats, too.

#24 Something for the birdies too

The birdies in your backyard may not be yours per se, but if you want them to keep visiting your home, you better make sure that they have a place to perch. And don’t forget to provide ample water and food for them.

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Put a bird feeder in your garden so that your feathered friends will keep coming back to your home. Change the water daily to ensure freshness and make sure there are more than enough feeds for the birdies. Consider squirrel-proof feeders to keep other critters at bay.

#25 Let them catch some snooze

As much as they love to run around, dig, and jump, pets also get tired, just like humans. When that happens, they need plenty of rest. Naps are a great way for them to recharge, and with so many naps, dogs and cats seem like furry babies.

Image courtesy Brian Patrick Flynn/hgtv.com

A little nook in the backyard where they can catch some snooze would be most welcome. Make the area welcoming and extra comfy by placing a few cushions to make your furry friends as comfortable as can be when they drift off to dreamland.

#26 Keep the cats in

To some, cats are the perfect pets. They are calm, intelligent, and don’t need to be taught how to use the restroom. However, they can also be aloof and frustratingly independent. They don’t listen to pet parents, and they would rather do what they want instead of what they are told.

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If you want them to prevent them from wandering out of your backyard, a security fence is something you’d need. By installing one, you’d have peace of mind every time they are not in your sight because there’s no way your cat would be able to go out.

#27 An out-of-this-world cat ladder

Cats are incredibly agile. They always land on their feet and can jump really high. You’ve probably seen this countless times in videos online. One of the explanations for this is that the bones in their back are very flexibly connected and have elastic cushioning disks between them.

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If you want them to put their jumping skills to good use, you can make a unique cat ladder, like the one in the photo. Not only will this allow them to exercise and jump around as much as they want without getting hurt.

#28 Fun land for rabbits

Rabbits can be silly, shy, timid, and most often high-spirited. They show they love you by nibbling at you, climbing on you, and sitting near you. Some will even go as far as licking your face and hands. They enjoy rubbing their scent just as much as cats do.

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They need large spaces, but this area has to be enclosed so that they don’t get hurt accidentally. You can turn your backyard into a rabbit fun land by creating areas with holes, water, hills, and plains. Afterward, you can sit back and watch them play with glee.

#29 Make good use of your PVC pipes to protect your cats

Cats have been around for thousands of years, and they were even considered sacred in ancient Egypt. They were believed to be magical and capable of bringing good luck to people who cared for them. If there’s one thing that has remained true of cats until now, it’s the fact that they love to run around.

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These restless creatures love exploring their surroundings, and this trait often brings them away from the safety of your home. Aside from putting a security fence in your backyard, you can also install a DIY fence made of roller bars.

#30 Sanctuary for turtles

Turtles may not be as big and as active as other more common pets, such as cats and dogs, but they make excellent additions to any household. The number of people with pet turtles may not be as high as other animals, but they love their friendly reptiles.

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Turtles love water just as much as they love spending time on land, so give them an area at home where they can have a small pond, as well as a little piece of land with pebbles and grass. Your shelled friends are sure to love their custom space.

#31 Let your dog work out

As we’ve said before, dogs need to exercise because, if they don’t, you’ll have plenty of problems. Instead of having them ruin your shoes, rugs, and furniture, it is better that you let them outside where they can run around, jump, and explore.

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If space is not an issue, a dog-centric gym such as the one you see in the photo above will be very helpful. A few equipment items you can include are A-frames, bar jumps, tire jumps, and tunnels. Not only will they be physically stimulated, but it will also exercise their minds.

#32 A version of tug-of-war

As much as we love our dogs and do our best to make sure we walk them every day and play with them, at times, we are just too busy. We can do to ensure they still get exercise and have fun by making good use of the space at home.

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You don’t need to be physically present for your dog to enjoy this DIY tug toy. Just tie a durable rope to a tree or a post, and you’re good to go. Just put a toy at the end that will get your doggo’s attention, and they’ll have fun with it for hours.

#33 Snack spot

Running around, jumping, and just being active can easily make your doggo hungry and thirsty, especially if they are out and about during a hot summer day. The last thing you want is a trip to the vet because of dehydration.

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Aside from making sure that they have ample space to run around, you also shouldn’t miss providing them with food and water. Install a food and drink station that they can easily reach and operate on their own, so you need not worry even if you’re not around.

#34 A space for dogs just to run

Generally, dogs can run 15 to 20 miles per hour for short distances. If you own some of the fastest dogs in the world, such as the Greyhound, Saluki, Vizsla, Afghan hound, and Ibizan hound, we’re pretty sure you won’t be able to match their speed.

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If you have a large yard, there should be no problem with your dog running around, but this can become a headache if your plants get trampled upon and your garden is ruined. Prevent this by putting a fence around them and having a designated running lane.

#35 Patio for the kitties

The patio in any home can be a beautiful and functional space. You can sip your morning coffee there while reading a book or just sit there and watch the surroundings while listening to the sounds of nature. But why can’t your furry friends enjoy it, too?

Image courtesy of catiospaces.com

If the patio in your home has been ignored, perhaps it’s time for a makeover so you can hand the space to the kitties in your life. Looking for inspiration? Just check the photo here. We think your kitties will have plenty of fun there.

#36 Decorating with fire hydrants

We’re not sure if there is any explanation but for some reason, dogs just seem to have a penchant for fire hydrants. Perhaps because it helps them cool down during hot summer days or it is a good place for relieving themselves.

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Whatever it is, you can design your dog’s playground to include a fire hydrant. No, we don’t expect you to get a real fire hydrant because where will you source that, but even a toy fire hydrant will make a big difference in your doggo’s yard.

#37 Plants can make a big difference

Having a garden can significantly increase your home’s value. They are visually appealing, but they also bring about peace and calm. However, you should be very careful of the kinds of plants you have at home, especially when you have pets.

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Some plants are not suitable for animals, particularly dogs, because they cause allergies or are generally irritants. Read up on what plants you can have at home before making purchases. A few that are ok for dogs are ferns and palms.

#38 A special playground for dogs

Recreation and exercise are both vital for your dog’s health and wellbeing. Dogs, like humans, require activity for a happy, well-rounded day. Imagine how dull your day would be if you had nothing to do but stare at the wall.

Image courtesy of sweetdreamsdoghouse.com

Some dogs are more active than others, so they require more play and exercise. To entertain them and encourage them to exercise, you can create a playground specifically for them. Put some tires, balls, tugs, posts, and climbers, and you’re done.

#39 A protection from the rain and the sun

No matter how much your pet spends time resting beside you in the living room, your furry friend will always need some time outdoors so they can exercise and play. Unfortunately, the weather isn’t always welcoming and it’s just too hot or rainy outside.

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But you shouldn’t let the weather prevent your pets from doing what they love, and a shed is just the perfect solution. Pick a place in your backyard where you can build a shed with space enough for your beloved pet so they can still have fun even if the weather is not ideal.

#40 Add a pond to your backyard

As we have mentioned before, there are certain things that can enhance the value of your home and add to its aesthetics. Aside from a garden, another worthwhile addition we can think of is a pond. It doesn’t have to be very big, either.

Image courtesy of backyardgetawayponds.com

The pond will not only make the backyard look more beautiful, it can also be something that your dog will end up loving. However, this isn’t something we recommend doing DIY, unless you have the necessary background. Best to let the professionals handle this one.