Throughout the pandemic, many dogs in need have found their forever home, but creating a space where they can enjoy outside can be difficult if you live in an apartment. Apartment patios are a great space for pets to explore the outside world from the comfort of your home, and can even become a sanctuary for your furry friend. So whether you are looking to create a space for your dog in Denver, CO, or helping your pet adjust to their new home in San Diego, CA, here are apartment patio ideas for dogs, straight from the experts. 


Create a potty section with artificial turf

Artificial turf or even live sod on your balcony makes potty breaks in an apartment super easy, but keeping it smelling fresh can be a challenge in such a small space. We recommend cleaning your dog’s balcony potty with a natural enzymatic cleaner that destroys odor safely from inside out. Make sure you avoid cleaners with added fragrances as they can overpower our dogs’ sensitive noses. – Porch Potty


Dog-proof the railings to keep them safe

Safety is the number one important factor to keep in mind when preparing a balcony space for your dog. We recommend buying a set of sandbags in order to securely place a chew-proof leash away from the edge or railing. Pairing that with an outdoor bed and a small piece of turf to practice potty training is the perfect combination of safety, training, and comfort. – Crafty Canine Club

 

Add dog-safe greenery for your dog to enjoy 

Turn your balcony into doggy heaven by adding some greenery that your pooch can munch on! Chamomile, marigolds, basil, lemongrass, sprouts, rosemary, etc. are all excellent choices to bring some life to your concrete escape and provide your dog with something to sniff and add to chew on. Adding nutrition to their diet and possibly yours… if you like sharing with your pup. – Wild Child Dog Training

 

A few rules to go by when creating an apartment patio for your dog

When creating an outdoor patio for dogs there are a few rules to live by:

  1. Safety. Stay outside on the patio/balcony with your dog until they learn safety rules (no climbing over, squeezing through rails, or jumping after squirrels). Privacy fence panels are great ideas for the mischievous pup. Keep tables on the side furthest from the railing, even the most well-behaved pup may not be able to resist the urge to chase the wildlife.
  2. Bring a little nature in. Plants that make the area safe for your pup and beautiful for you are a necessity to bring nature to your balcony/patio. Daisies, azaleas, and daffodils are beautiful but toxic if ingested. Stick with sunflowers, marigolds, or camellia flowers to add pops of color. If you enjoy edible gardens, rosemary, dill, thyme, and more are safe for dogs and provide pleasant scents for you both. 
  3. Make a space just for them. A corner for them to enjoy the weather with their favorite bed, their favorite toy to keep them occupied, and never forget the water. Ceramic bowls are great for hot days to keep the water cool. – INN the Dog House 2

 

Keep your dog comfortable throughout the year

Create a comfortable space for your dog to catch some rays. We offer vet bedding designed to keep your dog cool in the summer and warm during chillier seasons. Lennypads will also make a great addition – they are highly absorbent, reusable potty pads perfect for a patio or balcony. Lastly, consider installing a dog door so they can go inside and outside as they please with your supervision. – Lakeside Products


Disguise Fido’s bowls as decorations

If you have a smaller space, your pup’s food and water bowls may be at risk of being knocked over. A plant pot with a heavy lid can easily be converted into a secure ‘cookie jar’ for your dog’s treats, and your pup’s water bowl can be placed inside an appropriately-sized planter or pot. This simple solution gives these items a secure base and adds a decorative touch to your patio or balcony. – Nature’s Advantage


Furnish your balcony with the basics

Mock fencing can be used along your patio to ensure that your dog does not fall through the balcony bars. Additionally, adding non-toxic plants to a potting bench, and a patio rug is a tasteful way to add dimension to your space. Turf can be added to a small area of the patio for an eco-friendly and reusable alternative to replace potty pads. – Alpha Instincts Dog Training

 

Create an area in the sun and the shade

If your balcony has sun and shade, create a resting spot for your dog in both areas. Some dogs love to lay in the sun, others don’t, but many like to go back and forth. So make sure you have comfy spots for them in the sun and in the shade. – Zen Dog Training

 

Dedicate a space on the balcony just for your dog

You can start with a cute artsy-looking dog tent (covering almost half the balcony) that can really spruce up your balcony and also double-up as a fun and safe house for your dog. Put a comfy bed that stretches a little over the outside of the tent. Place a few colorful favorite toys to keep them active. Dress up the water bowl in a corner to match the tent. Place some safe plants like peppermint, rosemary, camellias, or anything your fur buddy likes or matches the artsy theme. Finish the setup with a dirt-free grass wee pad that absorbs urine & controls odors. While we focus on the theme, ensure to dog-proof (proper railing) the entire space. Can’t wait to chill with my mate on a lazy Sunday afternoon. – PawSpace

 

Add dog-safe plants that you can use too

One way to elevate your patio space while creating an enriching environment for your pets is through doggie-safe plants. Herbs like rosemary, parsley, oregano, and peppermint engage your dog’s need to explore with their senses in a safe way while simultaneously beautifying your space with greenery. As an added bonus: you can use these herbs in everyday recipes, too. – Pampered Pet Resorts 

 

Try all-natural potty pads

No one wants unsightly plastic pee pads on their balcony for everyone to see. Try an all-natural dog potty pad made from real bark. The Bark Potty is like a dog park in a box, so the natural outdoorsy smells will compel your dog to “go,” while keeping the rest of your balcony clean. – Bark Potty


Use an umbrella to add shade to the space

It is very important you have shade on your balcony on hot summer days. You can set up an umbrella to give a partial shade so your doggy can cool off when needed. You don’t want your dog barking at people and dogs passing by, so consider covering the street view if you think it might be an issue. Set up some plants which are dog friendly and maybe a small swimming pool if you have enough space for it. – K9 University Chicago

 

Create a doggy garden 

While there are many awesome ways to turn your apartment patio into a space your dog will love, our favorite idea is creating a doggy garden. Spruce up your balcony with a fenced-in area featuring artificial grass or hydroponically-grown grass. Then, add everything your pup needs to feel at home—a comfy doggy bed, some pet-friendly greens (sprouts are a great, healthy option), or even a portable dog pool if they can’t get enough of the water. – All Paws Express

 

Waterproof your balcony 

Your loyal companion is entitled to an outdoor space of their own— somewhere that’s safe and accommodating for sun naps and fresh air. Here are our favorite ideas to transform your balcony into a doggie haven; waterproof dog bed and furniture with washable covers, cooling turf, faux grass or disposable potty pads, upgraded water bowl, and most importantly: coverage for railing gaps that’s been approved by your building management. Gone are the days of Fido not living his best life. – Team Tapper

 

Designate an area for your dog to cool down

Dogs love to have that spot on the balcony to soak up the sun and then a place to hide from the sun when they need to cool down. Making a spot for sun and shade is perfect and this can happen with an umbrella or some kind of dog house or table where your pup can find a shady spot to move to. – Warren London

 

Add synthetic grass 

Give your dog a nice place to relax by using synthetic grass in your home’s outdoor living spaces. Not only does it feel cool and comfortable like conventional grass, but EnvyLawn grass also has anti-microbial additives keeping your furry family friend clean and safe. A perfect place to relax, do their business, take naps, and it looks great too. – EnvyLawn

 

Incorporate balcony furniture to keep your dog safe

A turf pee pad for preventing accidents would be the most appealing to the eye, blending well into a nice outdoor space. If the balcony has banisters, for safety it’s important that there is a blocking object to prevent them from trying to squeeze through. For this purpose, although chicken wire can be used, plants may be a more aesthetic way to achieve the same objective. It’s also important that there aren’t any high objects which can be used as a platform to jump from. If you want to keep a bed outside, it’s best to use a tepee, as the pointed top will stop the most adventurous. – Hepper

Article is a collaborated effort with Redfin