10 Dog-Friendly Ideas for Apartment Balconies

  • 01 of 11

    Create a Balcony Fit for Your Furbaby

    balcony decor
    via KingsLane

    Awesome pet parents know a balcony is no place to leave a dog. But adding a few features that make a dog feel at home on a tiny terrace will make the time you spend there together better. The following ten ideas will turn your apartment balcony into a canine paradise.

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  • 02 of 11

    Create a Puppy Garden

    Doggie balcony

    Teaching a puppy to do its business on grass or pavement is particularly challenging when you live in a high-rise. Puppies process food faster than adults dogs, so they have to go shortly after eating or drinking. The problem is you can't expect a pup to hold it while you both wait for the elevator. At best, it makes the housebreaking process a stressful mess. At worst, your dog will become a nervous wreck whenever nature calls.

    One couple came up with a smart solution. They transformed their...MORE apartment balcony into a playground for their pup, Franklin. Along with daily walks and active play, their dog-friendly terrace took the stress and mess out of the housebreaking process.

    Everything they used to create this small slice of doggy paradise is easy to hose clean:

    • The fence was made using strips of pressure treated lumber. FYI, it's water resistant.
    • Afterward, it was given a couple of coats of exterior paint.
    • Next, they added a patch of weather resistant artificial grass. Most home improvement stores sell it by the roll or foot.
    • The fake plants and doghouse add a nice decorative touch.

    You can view more photos of Franklin's garden here.

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  • 03 of 11

    Grow Pooch Friendly Greens

    dog friendly grass

    Many dogs love nibbling grass. Unfortunately, the stuff they eat in the park may be loaded with dangerous chemicals from fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Also, while grass is known to be good for a dog's digestive health, it's not very nutritious. 

    Sprouts are a healthy alternative that you can easily grow. They're chock-full of healthful and easily digestible enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Will your dog like it? These pups can't get enough.

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  • 04 of 11

    Dress Up Your Water Bowls

    disguise dog water bowl
    via Pinterest

    A water bowl can stick out like a sore thumb on a tiny balcony. It's also something you can easily trip over. But you can disguise your dog's water bowl while making it harder to knock over using an attractive planter. Here's what you need to know:

    • Not all plant pots are safe for storing drinking water. Look for options where you can place a "drinkable" water bowl inside as shown.
    • Don't pick something that's too tall for your dog to use.

    Once you find that perfect...MORE planter, place it near a corner where it can't be easily knocked over.

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  • 05 of 11

    Dog-Friendly Furniture

    Outdoor Dog Bed for Balcony

    Dogs love kicking back with their humans. Making sure your pup has something comfy to stretch out on while you're enjoying time together on your apartment balcony will make things more relaxing. That's why it pays to be picky when shopping for an outdoor dog bed. Here are some tips:

    • Rainy days happen. So first and foremost, a dog bed should have a machine washable cover made of durable waterproof fabric. 
    • Avoid stinky mildew. The bed's insert should also be weather resistant. Look for...MORE materials that won't mold or harbor bacteria if they accidentally get wet. For example, plastic fillings are more gunk-proof than natural materials like cotton.
    • Don't forget comfort. What you pick should provide firm and even support while also being big enough for your pup to stretch out. 

    So, which outdoor dog beds are worth your hard earned money? The dog loving bloggers behind Kol's Notes say beds by Pet Play meet all of the above.

    Elevated dog beds, like these by Kuranda, are also an excellent choice. Not only are they chew proof, but they also provide pups with orthopedic support. Another great to know, their raised design doesn't obstruct airflow underneath, so dogs stay cooler in the summer.

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  • 06 of 11

    DIY a Pipe on the Cheap

    pvc pipe dog bed DIY
    via Pinterest

    It's a fact, stuff made for large dogs like toys, clothing, and even dog beds cost more. This tutorial shares how you can DIY an elevated dog bed for less than $20 using PVC pipe. That's not half bad considering similar beds found online cost up to $125.

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  • 07 of 11

    Dog-Proof Your Railings

    Pet and Child Proof Your Balcony

    While childproof balcony railings prevent kids from falling out, they don't stop small dogs from slipping through. Jennifer Nichole, the blogger behind Dogzar, came up with a nearly invisible solution that's also a cinch to DIY.

    She purchased the following at Home Depot to create transparent rail guards:

    • Twenty 12"-by-10" acrylic sheets
    • White nylon cable ties. 

    First, she drilled holes for the cable ties using a hobby drill (like this one) in each of the acrylic sheets. Next, she...MORE used the ties to attach the sheets to the railings.  

    Now she has dog-proof railings that her toy rat terrier, Rocco can't slip through. 

    You can see more photos here.

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  • 08 of 11

    Create a Chill Spot


    Just like people, dogs need protection from brutal summer heat. If your pup loves stretching out on a cool tile floor, give him a place to chill out on the balcony. Cooling mats or the Chillspot Cooling Station shared here provide hours of refreshing relief using pads or pods that you freeze overnight.

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  • 09 of 11

    Portable and Foldable Dog Pool

    Front Pet

    Most dogs love water. This portable and foldable pool makes it super easy to create a spot where your pooch can dip his paws. To set up, close the drain plug and fill with water. When it's time to put the pool away, just empty the water and let the pool dry. Afterward, you can fold it up and put it away. You can buy one on Amazon.

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  • 10 of 11

    Comfort Station

    fresh patch dog potty
    Fresh Patch

    You walk your dog at least three times per day. But some dogs, like puppies or pets with a medical condition, need to go more often. When either is the case, a grass wee pad can make life more convenient when nature calls.

    Dirt-free grass that's hydroponically grown like Fresh Patch absorbs urine and controls stinky odors naturally. Ever better, natural wee pads like these don't require regular maintenance because they're disposable. 

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  • 11 of 11

    Let's Go Glamping


    A teepee dog tent that you can buy or DIY is a stylish way to keep your dog cool.

    The handmade beauty shared here is by Huts and Bay. It's an indoor/outdoor tent for small dogs that's both washable and portable. Prices start at $195.

    You can save a bundle if you make a tent that your dog can enjoy. We found this clever DIY on BarkPost.