This Is the Number One Thing People Are Designing Their Backyards Around in 2024

Hint: It’s not their children.
Julie Vadnal Avatar
Backyard with trees and sitting area
Photography by Madeline Tolle; Styling by Jessica Hansen

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Obviously we all want our backyards (and even our front yards) to be beautiful spaces where we can relax and entertain. But there’s more that goes into deciding how exactly you’ll outfit your outdoor space. According to a new Thumbtack survey of 1,000 homeowners, the top consideration that people had for designing their backyards wasn’t aesthetic. In fact, it was their dogs.

Dog peeking out from door in a backyard
Photography by Elizabeth Messina

Forty-three percent of respondents said their puppers influenced them the most, followed by kids (42 percent), beautifying their spaces (41 percent), and hosting (39 percent). The stat is surprising but not completely: A separate study from 2017 found that millennials were buying homes because of their furry friends. 

Dog in a dog pool in a backyard
Photography by Meghan McNeer

And when it comes to outdoor spaces, there are plenty of ways to make your backyard canine-friendly—in fact, 39 percent of homeowners said their dream yard would have a fenced-in space. There are also dog pools, dog houses to give shade—or if you’re like Paris Hilton, you can build your best friends their own backyard mansion. And then when it’s time to head back inside, you can even add a paw-washing station to your mudroom. That’s what we call paw-ractical. 

Dog hanging out in a backyard with a barn
Photography by Brittany Ambridge
Julie Vadnal Avatar

Julie Vadnal

Deputy Editor

Julie Vadnal is the deputy editor of Domino. She edits and writes stories about shopping for new and vintage furniture, covers new products (and the tastemakers who love them), and tours the homes of cool creatives. She lives in Brooklyn.