Your whole family–including the four-legged members–loves to spend time on the sundeck together. So when you’re planning your new deck, you naturally want to consider what’s best for your furry companions, too.

While your pets can’t always tell you what they want, we’ll help you figure out which type of decking makes the most sense for you and your pal.

sad dog on worn wood deck with green blue paint

Scratch Resistant

Pet owners often deal with destruction caused by their buddy’s claws on flooring and furniture. To avoid your deck having the same fate, choose scratch resistant decking.

Capped composite has a hard plastic shell around a wood/plastic composite core. The shell makes it durable and resistant to rot and warping along with scratches. Composite decking mimics the look of natural wood, but without the upkeep. While it’s much more scratch resistant than wood, it’s not totally scratch proof. With enough gusto, your pooch could still leave permanent marks.

Vinyl decking is another durable solution to ward off a claw-tastrophy. This walkable roofing membrane is made to stand up to the elements while waterproofing with a low-maintenance, attractive finish. It’s also pretty difficult to scratch or tear this engineered material with anything short of a sharp tool.

brown and white short haired puppy on green wood deck

Potty Proof

If your pup has a tendency to have accidents on your deck, easy clean up is a priority. Both vinyl and capped composite decking are stain resistant and can be easily hosed down to clean up a mess. Wooden decks can be stained easily, so avoid this type of decking if your pooch is prone to piddles.

dog paws with long claws on deck



Paw Friendly

If a deck is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for little paws too. Decks built where they’ll absorb a lot of sunshine can get toasty on clear summer days. Choosing a lighter decking style for these areas can help reduce heat make it easier for all family member to walk on.

Slivers can also wreak havoc on paws of all types. Luckily, both vinyl and composite decks are totally splinter-free.  

golden retriever on shady deck with awning

Permanent Shelter

To help combat the heat, a patio cover is a smart addition. Not only will your pet enjoy the shade, but it makes for a more usable space year-round. When it’s pouring rain in the winter, a patio cover crates a dry outdoor space for you and your animal to take cover. You can get more use out of your deck and everyone will be more comfortable.

smiling dog with wooden railings and aluminum gate on wooden deck

Smart Railings

Railings make a huge difference in the look and safety of a deck. While you can often reinstall old railings on a new deck, consider if they make the most sense for your current needs. Custom aluminum railings are fabricated uniquely for each deck, so you can get exactly what you want. For smaller dogs and cats, you can choose a style with closer spindles and include a gate in the design so their chances of escape are slim. Glass railings are modern, safe, and allow uninterrupted views–but tend to be a magnet for nose smudges.


puppy dog on wood deck

Consider these expert tips when you’re planning your new outdoor space and you’ll feel good about your deck decision, knowing it’s pet-approved.  For more information on what decking is right for you (including costs) check out our blog on the pros and cons of popular deck types.

If you’re ready to chat with an expert about your deck project, our team is here to help. Fill out the form below or call (604) 786-3325 to get started.