When the weather starts to change seasons, it means there’s a lot about to change. Some are good and some are just a headache like cold, snowy dog walks. Did you just get a shiver? I did. But some of the change is pretty cool. Like the deals, you can snag. Have you been working on updating your dog yard? Do you have a stepped budget for your dream dog yard? If so, then the off-season is an affordable way to style your dog yard and step it up in a big way.
Today, let’s explore ways to style your dog backyard and make it more beautiful. These are the top 10 deals you can grab in the off-season if you’re lucky. Then when Spring arrives, and the snow melts, you will be well ahead of your goals with your dog yard.
1. Outdoor rugs
A lot of stores, both online and brick and mortar have outdoor rugs on sale in Fall and Winter. When considering your dog, look for ones that are extra durable and can be washed. Honestly, for me, I’d be more likely to drop my dinner while retelling a story than Henry, my dog, do something he shouldn’t. But the idea of a washable (also stain resistant) puts my mind at ease.
Additionally, a great aspect of outdoor rugs is they add a whole lot of impact with just one purchase. You can even get several smaller ones and scatter them for a different look. The colors and patterns will be an immediate change for your dog yard.
But, don’t forget to make sure the rug is comfy on bare feet. If you’re like me, you like to kick off your shoes as often as possible. So, the rug should feel nice on your feet and not irritating. This will also feel good to your dog.
2. Patio furniture
If you’ve been searching for the perfect furniture, now is the time to act. You’ll find lots of great deals at just about all stores. Also, look for patio furniture on Craigslist, OfferedUp, Facebook Marketplace, or even an old-fashioned yard sale. Patio furniture tends to take up a lot of space, and when it’s time to put it away for the season, people will often sell it thinking they’ll get a “new and improved” version in the Spring. Their loss is your gain.
3. Furniture cushions and outdoor pillows
Just like rugs, furniture cushions and pillows (although, make sure the fabric is outdoor rated) can make a huge impact and relay your style to your guests immediately. Personally, I like very comfy cushions and pillows. I figure, if I’m going to sit outside and enjoy an evening looking at the stars with Henry, I want to be comfy. Additionally, I make sure they can be hosed off or the covers removed and washed.
Every dog backyard needs shade. You can find different style umbrellas on sale in the off-season. You may even opt to buy more than one for your yard, which can create shade in the dog space as well as shade in the people section. But this also depends on the size of your yard.
My mom and I were pushovers for twinkle lights. But as time has passed, I’ve begun to appreciate a variety of lights. I especially like the larger twinkle lights like what you’d see on an outside restaurant patio. No matter what kind of lights you like, twinkle, tiki, Moroccan, or something else, you’ll want to get them in the off-season as well.
Flower pots have come a long way from the basic terra cotta type. Although, terra cotta is being molded into some amazing designs. You can find flower pots in different colors, sizes, and designs. You don’t have to fill them. In fact, you probably won’t want to fill them now. However, the price at most places will be more affordable in the off-season.
Do you live next to a noisy neighbor? Or maybe even near an airport? Perhaps you just love the sound of running water? The off-season is the time to get a great deal on a water fountain. Or you could even purchase the parts and DIY your own fountain. Either way, the Fall or Winter will be the time to make a fountain purchase. However, you may want to wait until Spring to set it up depending on your zone.
NOTE: Be cautious about the size of your water fountain and where you place it so that it’s always safe for your dog, pets, and kids.
8. Artificial turf
I have to admit, I hadn’t thought about purchasing artificial turf for a dog yard in the off-season until I was recently at my local hardware store and saw a huge section of it on a great markdown. There are a few great things about artificial turf. One, you don’t have to water. Two, you can easily clean it with a hose and environmentally friendly soap like blue Dawn.
I know what you’re thinking, “will my dog like fake grass?” I wasn’t sure Henry would use artificial turf either to potty, but he actually has no issue with it at all. Well, except for the fact that he can’t eat a fake lawn.
In my opinion, artificial grass in your dog yard is a great addition. It’s budget and environmentally friendly. That’s a win-win!
A great place to add artificial turf is in your dog space or your dog run area. Remember as I mentioned, it’s easy to spray off and clean this type of lawn.
It will depend on how big your yard is if you can install a canopy or not. A great aspect about canopies is that they provide a lot of shade over a much greater area than a traditional umbrella. Some canopies may cover your entire concrete patio and create shade for most of your dog friendly backyard. Whatever the size it is the off-season will allow you to afford more of a shady spot with the purchase of a canopy. Another great idea is to install a canopy over your dog space or dog run for an additional shady spot for your furry friend.
Tip: Another great place dog parents can to look for canopies in the off-season are the big box stores. They bring in holiday items and need to move out summer items. That means even bigger discounts for customers. This all translates to stylish shade for your dog friendly yard
10. Flower bulbs and plants
I just love the surprise of seeing flowers push their way through a patch of snow in the Spring. It gives me hope that summer is coming. Many years ago, my mom bought 300 bulbs in the Fall. Yep, I planted them! It was a chore. They were a variety of different flowers friendly for dogs. The problem was I didn’t account for the squirrels and chipmunks digging them up and eating them or “replanting” them in the sagebrush. It’s still a sight to see a flower in the middle of the wild sage.
Since then I’ve learned a few tricks to protect the flower bulbs.
The general rule is to go 3 times as deep as the bulb. I’m pretty sure I did this part.
Put smellier plants around the bulbs
You can use plants or flowers like Garden Marigolds or Basil Nope, I didn’t do this part.
NOTE: Don’t let your dog eat more than a leaf or two of basil as it can cause issues
Plant in pots with chicken wire.
I didn’t do this either.
NOTE: If your dog is a digger or a pot digger, don’t use this option. You don’t want to damage any dogs paws.
This basically means don’t leave the outer layers of the bulbs laying around on the ground leading critters to the yummy bulbs. I probably left a few crumbs.
This stuff will stink!!!! Seriously, you could probably scare away a skunk with it. And no, I didn’t use this because it stinks!!!
DIY bulb baskets
The idea of a bulb basket is that it will prevent the bulb from being eaten, but not the flower. I didn’t even know about these then.
Here’s a tutorial on how to make your own bulb basket. I would recommend omitting the smelly fish food which can attract rodents.
Gravel or even pea gravel
The addition of gravel in any form can deter rodents and others from digging up bulbs. No, I didn’t do this part either. Honestly, it just didn’t occur to me.
I didn’t use it either. Actually, it’s a fairly new creation. If I’d thought I needed extra measures, I definitely would’ve taken some to protect all the bulbs and my hard work. Although, it’s still fun to see a flower poke up through the snow in the middle of the sagebrush. So, maybe this is exactly the way it was meant to be for this property?
Dog friendly bulb deals
However, mom did have the right idea. Fall is the time to buy and plant flower bulbs. You can find great bulb deals online here:
Flower bulbs toxic for your dog yard
Remember you want dog friendly landscaping. Whether you chose bulbs for the surprise or perennials, which come back each year with a little TLC always remember safety first. So, select dog friendly plants and flowers.
With this in mind that some bulbs are toxic to dogs. These bulbs to avoid include:
- Daffodil and Jonquil
Safe flower bulbs for a dog friendly garden
However, there are many flower bulbs that are safe to use in your dog friendly yard. These bulbs include:
- Lily of the Nile
- Blazing Star
- Asiatic Lily
- Easter Lily
- Oriental Lily
- Species Lily
- Tiger Lily
- Grape Hyacinth
Note: From my research, all bulbs appear to be toxic to cats. Thus, if you own, live with, or are around cats, I encourage you to rethink your flower selection. There are many flowers and plants you can add to your dog yard that will add color without being toxic to any pets. You may want to consider at some gorgeous perennials for your dog friendly garden, which can also be pet friendly. Or even some lovely flowering ground cover, which is not toxic to pets.
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If you’re someone like me, you love a great deal, no matter if it’s for you or your best furry friend. I learned from my grandparents, that you shop for what you need when the demand is low and supply is high. I loved this part of my economics classes. Sales are more favorable in this type of environment. It’s as if it’s a game, and you figured it out. With that in mind, off-season purchases to style your dog yard are definitely a wise budget move.
Summary of off-season affordable ways to style your dog yard
There’s nothing like taking pride in your yard and being able to share it in a stylish way with your furry friend. Your dog backyard becomes your sanctuary yard. You may even find more of your friends and family who want to hang out in your yard. Or your dog may even like his/her backyard more than the dog park. Yes, a dog owner can have a stylish yard that is dog friendly too.
While your dog friendly garden may take a bit of planning, it all pays off. You may have to plan your dream dog yard in segments. But grabbing off-season deals is a terrific way to get a paw up on great style for your dog friendly backyard. I bet you’ll be shocked at some of the deals you find. I know I was surprised. I’d like to think Henry was too, but he’s a small dog. You know, the short, silent type.