Some of our best memories with family and friends are made on our patios during warm summer nights or brisk fall evenings. Those memories are even more special when our four-legged family members can be a part of them.

Here are five simple ways to make your family’s outdoor haven pet-friendly.

1. Choose Durable, Easy to Clean Furniture

You will be more inclined to let your canine and feline friends stretch out on your patio furniture alongside your human family and friends if you have chosen easy-to-clean options such as chairs with removable, waterproof covers. Choose cushions and rugs that are made of fabrics or materials that are easy to wipe clean so that removing pet hair and dander is a simple chore. You may want to avoid wicker furniture if you plan to share your patio with cats. For some felines, wicker chairs can seem like a tempting scratching post.

2. Temperature Control

If you are too warm or cold for comfort, chances are that your pet is too. On hot summer days, remember that if your patio is uncomfortably warm to your bare feet, it feels that way to their paws too. Consider using umbrellas or sun shades to create cooler shaded areas on your patio.

3. Creature Comforts

Create an enjoyable oasis for your pets by keeping some of their favorite toys on the patio. In addition to having pet-friendly furniture, provide a dog or cat bed that serves as an outdoor napping place of their very own. Make sure that a bowl of fresh water is available at all times and doesn’t become overheated or frozen in extreme temperatures. Stainless steel pet water bowls are a durable and easy to sanitize option.

4. Choose Pet-Friendly Plants

A patio can be a great place to experiment with your green thumb. Plants can make your patio an even more attractive and inviting space. If you are sharing your patio haven with a dog, choose from the many plant options considered safe for your canine friends. Dill and rosemary are safe options for those who want to try their hand at growing herbs. Surrounding your patio area with magnolia bushes or sunflowers are decorative dog-safe possibilities. Other dog-friendly plant options can be found here. If you have a feline family lounging on your patio, try growing catnip or cat grass for your kitty to enjoy.

5. Safety and Mobility

If an indoor cat will be sharing your patio, you’ll want to be sure that the space is safely screened in to keep them from roaming into off-limits areas of the yard. For pets who are free to go on the patio without human supervision, consider installing a pet door in the doorway leading to the patio. If your patio is not screened in, be aware of local wildlife in your neighborhood that may pose a safety risk for your pets.

By considering your pet’s safety and comfort in your patio planning, you can create an outdoor haven where both the two and four-legged members of your family can make memories for years to come.