7 Tips to keep your dog out of the garden and flower beds this Summer.
Updated: May 2019
We all have heard the saying, April showers, bring May flowers, and it’s true. May is a great time of year for every gardener. But as our flowers begin to bloom and the change in season breathes life back into our gardens, our dogs take notice too.
And while they may have the best of intentions, their pawing, nosing and gnawing can wreak havoc on our plants and lawns. Keeping your beloved pet out of the garden is no easy task, as their curiosity and determination usually far outweigh our own.
We have put together some helpful tricks that you can try below. So instead of feeling defeated and resigning to a Summer of looking out across holes and broken stems, try them out and let us know how it goes!
1. Create A Barrier
This works like a charm. Block off the garden area with chicken wire or consider installing a fence. Chicken wire is flexible and can be easy to cut. It might not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but it will get the job done.
If you are looking for something eye appealing, try creating a fence border. There are multiple types of fencing that you can use which can be found at your local home improvement store from bamboo, mesh, wood, or steel.
You can also try creating a barrier of some of the more prickly varieties of flowers. Or, if you have roses or holly, you can try using their trimmings to create a barrier. Your dog won’t like being poked by those thorns any more than you do and they should blend in nicely!
2. Give Your Dog Something To Do
Digging is oftentimes a sign of boredom in dogs. Having toys handy, taking your dog for walks, or playing a game of fetch will keep your dog occupied throughout the day and mentally stimulated, preventing them from getting the urge to dig.
We’ve all seen how our pups can crash and sleep for hours after a long walk and a good feed so this is a great way to keep them from digging up your garden flowers. Setting up a toy bin outside can also allow your dog to play with multiple toys so he doesn’t get bored easily!
3. Make A Dog-Friendly Digging Area
So some dogs dig because they’re bored, but others do it because they just love to dig! They do it because they think it is fun. Creating a dog-friendly digging area, like a sandbox, can let your pup enjoy his digging in peace without ruining your flowers or garden.
If you take the time to train your pet to dig in his/her designated area, it will be far more likely to stick, and you might just have some fun yourself!
4. Use Unfriendly Scents
A dog’s smell is about 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human, depending on the breed. With a nose like that, garden smells can be alluring! But unpleasant smells are amplified just as much as the sweet smells of your flowers.
Dogs dislike the smell of chili pepper, citrus fruits, coffee grounds, and vinegar (be careful where you put any vinegar, it can act as a weed and plant killer!). By sprinkling a little in the garden or flower bed, your dog might just turn the other way. Before using this method, it is best to do your research and pick a safe scent that will not harm your pet.
5. Don’t Leave Them Unsupervised
This is particularly true for puppies. Even older puppies! Left to their own devices, of course our pets are going to get a bit restless and inquisitive. It’s just their nature!
Destructive behaviour in puppies left unsupervised outdoors is very common. To them its not destructive behaviour, but a fun opportunity to learn and explore. So until you have time to train your pet not to pull out your prized plants and drag them around the garden, it’s a good idea not to give them the opportunity.
6. Use A Sprinkler
If you have a sprinkler system, this can be a great way to keep your pet out of your flower beds. Your dog won’t like being sprayed with cold water any more than you do. OK, maybe some dogs will enjoy this – but most won’t like it one bit!
A well placed sprinkler should convince your pet that there are more interesting, and more comfortable ways to pass the time than to pull up your hard work.
If you find your dog goes into the flower bed more when you have the sprinkler system running, they may be trying to cool down, particularly if they are a large breed like a husky.
7. Keep Toys Around The Garden
Distraction and misdirection both work great with dogs. If they have stimulating toys in the garden they’ll be too engaged to bother making a mess of your flower bed. There are plenty of rewarding toys now available for dogs, that are challenging and reward them with treats over a period of time.
You might be surprised how long your dog can be distracted by something as simple as spreading peanut butter inside one of their favourite chew toys. Just make sure to only give them peanut butter in moderation, and unsalted if possible. (NOTE: Make sure the peanut butter does not contain Xylitol – it’s safe for people, but toxic for dogs).
By taking the time to dog-proof your flowers and garden, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy watching them grow and flourish all summer long with no worries!
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