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Pet Friendly House

How To Keep Your Dog Out of Your Garden

Picture of a muddy dog on grass in the backyard

If you are a dog owner who loves to garden, you know how frustrating it is when Fido decides he’s going to “help.” Some dogs seem to be dirt magnets, and the opportunity to forage in some fresh earth is just too great a temptation for many to resist. Better still if there are some treasures (also known as your newly planted flowers or seedlings) for your dog to find. It’s a grand day of fun for Fido all in the comfort of his own backyard!

Though you love gardening, you don’t love planting and re-planting the same flowers and plants over and over and over again. More than that, some of them get damaged beyond all repair, necessitating another trip to purchase more. And just when you think you’ve finally got everything back where it should be, you realize that Fido is covered in fresh, black soil, and he needs a bath. There has to be a good solution to keeping Fido out of your gardens! 

Keeping Your Pets and Your Plants Safe

There are a variety of different options available to homeowners that want to protect their gardens from “animal attraction.” When selecting the method that is best for you, it is always wise to err on the side of caution and choose a course of action that keeps Fido’s safety at the forefront. Thankfully, today, there are many natural alternatives that keep gardens free from predatory insects as well as household pets.

Here is a list of seven great pet-friendly ways to keep your dog out of your garden:

Household spices can help.
Since dogs dislike any foods that are hot, making use of a potent spice blend to line the perimeter of your garden is a great means to keep Fido out. Some owners recommend a mixture of dry mustard with crushed chili flakes sprinkled liberally throughout garden beds. Though this method is highly effective, it is best used in areas that see little rain. After a rainfall, it is necessary to reapply the blend for for maximum potency.

Bitter tasting items are a natural deterrent.
Not only do dogs dislike hot and spicy items, they are also not fans of anything bitter-tasting. Since most homes have old coffee grounds to dispose of, they make an ideal bed for spraying with bitter orange oil. This mixture can then be placed throughout your gardens to keep your dogs at bay. The oil in the coffee/orange blend is resistant to being washed away by rain, meaning it lasts longer in your garden. Best of all, coffee grounds act as an excellent fertilizer, so you get the added bonus of feeding your garden while safely repelling your dog.

Water keeps dogs away.
Most dogs are not fans of getting wet, so when it comes to your garden, a sprinkler system can be your best friend. Available on the market today are several different types of sprinklers that function on motion detectors. When your pet nears your garden, the sprinkler will be triggered and act as  a powerful deterrent for even the most persistent of pets.

Decoys help keep animals at bay.
A tool that works best at night, red LED lights imitate the eyes of a predator which is often sufficient motivation to keep Fido far away from your garden. Since rabbits, raccoons, and other creatures also enjoying feasting on your garden’s foliage, red LED lights have the added advantage of keeping rodents out of your garden as well.

Barriers protect your garden.
Whether you make use of the more conventional chicken wire or stakes throughout your gardens, barriers are a great way to keep dogs away from your beloved plants. Some owners prefer chicken wire as it ensures complete access is restricted. Others favor stakes placed randomly throughout the garden bed where dogs quickly learn that they’ve entered a booby trap! This also prevents dogs from making a bed in your gardens, an activity which can trample and even kill delicate plants. 

A dig pit of his very own will help to appropriately redirect Fido’s attention.
It has been said, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Sometimes the best course of action is to provide a place where Fido can dig to his heart’s content. If you use the same soil you use for your garden beds, you may soon find that instead of digging up your flowers, Fido is quite content to play in his very own pile of dirt. In the initial stages of introducing your dog to his new dirt pit, you may need to use a clicker and some treats to reward him for playing in his own dirt area, but your dog will soon learn how much fun it is to have a space of his own and will begin to favor it over your gardens. A win-win! 

A tired dog has less energy to get into trouble.
A good long walk before you begin your gardening for the day may be just what the doctor ordered. Often dogs get into nuisance behaviors because they require more physical and mental stimulation than they have been receiving. Taking the time to go for a walk with Fido where he is allowed to engage his senses by smelling new smells and taking in new sights will go a long way to helping him feel satisfied and thus less likely to attack your flowers.

If you find that your dog loves to dig in your garden, you are certainly not alone! Follow these great tips to help Fido to safely learn his boundaries and keep your plants securely where you placed them.

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