Outdoor Repairs for Dog Owners

Find practical solutions to common outdoor repairs that dog owners deal with.


Sure, your dog has made his mark on your heart. But chances are he’s also made his mark in your backyard – holes, deck scratches, and damaged fences are common but less-than-welcome parts of dog ownership.

Read on for some fast fixes for these backyard booboos, courtesy of Amy Matthews, licensed contractor and host of DIY Network’s “Sweat Equity.”

Damaged Fence
Time: 30 minutes.
Skill level: Easy.
Stuff you’ll need: Hammer; nail puller; nails; new fence board; primer; paint.

1. Remove damaged slat. (Use nail puller, if necessary.)
2. Cut identical piece of wood to fit the space. (Most home-improvement centers will cut the board for you. Just take the old board to the store.)
3. Nail the new board in place.
4. Prime and paint the board.

Deck Scratches
Time: 30 minutes.
Skill level: Easy-medium.
Stuff you’ll need: Medium-grain sandpaper; mineral spirits; clear, tinted, semi-transparent or solid stain deck sealant to match your deck.

1. Rub sandpaper over scratches in the direction of the wood’s grain.
2. Clean any wood dust off the deck with mineral spirits. Let dry.
3. Finish the area with a clear, tinted, semi-transparent or solid stain deck sealant.

Time: 1 hour.
Skill level: Easy.
Stuff you’ll need: Shovel; dirt; sandbox; special dog treats; squeaker toys.

1. Fill yard holes when your dog is in the house so he can’t see you. (Otherwise, he’ll think digging is just a wonderful game.) Don’t add wire mesh or bricks to the holes – they may hurt tender paws.
2. Create a digging zone: Set up a children’s sandbox or separate digging-approved pit and bury several dog treats and squeaker toys. Take your dog to the area and ask him to locate the buried treasure.
3. Replace the treats regularly and continue to encourage – and reward – digging in the spot.

Maureen Kochan is a DOG FANCY contributing editor.

For more fixes for dog-related damage to your
home, pick up the July 2009 issue of DOG FANCY.


4 of 8 Comments View All 8 Comments

Give us your opinion Give us your opinion on Outdoor Repairs for Dog Owners

User Avatar

Laurie   Waukesha, WI

6/16/2009 6:59:49 AM

These are all great suggestions. One common problem dog owners complain about are brown spots from urine. I've overcome this problem by providing a dog food that has the proper pH balance. The brand I use has no artificial fillers, but is considered holistic.

User Avatar

fred   crewe, BC

6/16/2009 6:42:03 AM

thanks for the tip on digging I have holes in my dogs pen and did not know what to do

User Avatar

Tamara   Nampa, ID

6/15/2009 8:53:26 PM

Doesnt the sandbox encourage digging-which isnt the best behavior to reinforce is it? Just curious

User Avatar

Amy   Buffalo, NY

6/15/2009 8:13:06 PM

a neighbors dog scratched the paint on my car. Anyone have any ideas how to fix that?

Login to get points for commenting or write your comment below

First Name : Email :
International :
City : State :

Captcha Image

Get New Captcha

Top Products