Dogs love decks – but not all decks are great for dogs. One of the fundamentals of creative deck design is creating spaces that work for the entire family. In some cases, that means thinking through what makes a deck a safe, happy space for canine companions.
Safety First: Dogs & Decks
In most of the greater Boston area, it’s really important to keep your dog contained. Busy neighborhood streets are no place for puppies to go exploring! Talk to your creative deck designer about your plans for your dog. Smaller dogs can be contained with creative rail and gate designs; for larger dogs, or those that love to jump or climb, a more vigorous design might be in order.
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Dogs spend more of their time with more of their bodies in contact with a deck than their human owners generally do. For this reason, it’s important that a dog-friendly deck be built of material that’s safe for animals, as well as being durable enough to resist being damaged by a dog’s toenails, playful enthusiasm, or wagging tail.
Composite decking fills all the requirements. Available in a wide variety of colors – which your dog won’t be able to see, but people like them – composite decking resists mold, mildew and fungus growth. It’s durable and requires little to no maintenance to stay looking great. Best of all, dogs don’t generally enjoy chewing on composite decking the way they do on wooden decks. (There are dogs who chew on everything – we know! But most dogs don’t chew on the composite decking.)
Other features that are important on the dog-friendly deck: a protected area where the dog can access food and water whenever they’d like. A shaded area is also good, especially during the hottest part of the Massachusetts summer. Many families find that having a screen room built on the porch is an ideal way to allow their dog (and the rest of the family!) to enjoy the great outdoors without worrying about sunburn or biting mosquitoes.