Sure, a dog is a man’s best friend.
But when it comes to taking care of your garden, you may want to learn these tricks to keeping your dogs from snacking on your vegetables or destroying your precious plants:
Find out why your dog loves to dig in the first place
In most cases, a dog doesn’t just start digging in your garden and eating up your foliage for no reason. In fact, a lot of dogs aren’t really interested in eating up plants and digging holes.
So when they do, you need to find out why they’re doing it in the first place. You can expect larger breeds of dogs like huskies to naturally love digging. But there are times when a dog digs because it is bored, it is looking for pests or it needs to beat the heat.
Observe your dog closely to understand why it digs in your garden when it does so you can address the problem.
Impose physical boundaries
The first step to making your dog understand that your garden is off limits to it is to set physical boundaries in this part of the house. One of the easiest ways to do this is through a fence that will clearly send a message to your dog that your garden is off limits to it.
This is also the perfect excuse to finally have that picket fence built in your backyard to add more life to your garden. If you don’t have the budget for a fence yet, you can also raise your flower beds a bit higher so your dog knows that it’s not allowed beyond that barrier.
If you’re willing to explore a bit more, you can construct a moat around your garden to keep your dog away from it.
Use sprays with bad odors
Dogs love to munch on plants and vegetables, but they will easily be turned off with bad odor. Spray your plants with apple bitter or white vinegar because they smell bad for your dog that it won’t even try to come near them anymore. These natural sprays are also safe for your plants so you don’t have to worry about them getting killed. You can also plant marigolds to not only keep dogs away but also other stubborn pests like aphids, whiteflies, beetles and bugs.
Use spices and bitter solutions
Dogs hate bitter stuff, so you can use this to keep your dog away from your garden. Most people use a concoction of ground coffee and bitter orange that’s safe for your dog to consume but it will taste so bitter that your dog won’t even bother to munch on your plants again.
The best part is, coffee ground is also a great fertilizer for your garden.
If your dog still loves to visit your garden after you already tried the bitter trick, it’s time to take the spice route by creating a mixture of equal parts powdered mustard and crushed dried peppers.
Then, you can spread this mixture around your garden bed to serve as a deterrent for your dog. This trick works well in drier climates because rain water could easily wipe off this spice mixture and won’t be as effective in keeping your dog away.
Use plants as barriers for your dog
If you already tried the tricks we mentioned above but your dog still loves to spend time in your garden to pester your plants, it’s time to use plants themselves as your deterrent.
Some plants smell bad for dogs but they are still safe for them to consume. You can use plants like lemongrass, onion, garlic, citrus and chili peppers as physical boundaries for your garden.
You can also use prickly plants like hollies, agave, aloe or huckleberry that your dog will surely find uncomfortable to step in because of their thorns.
Use balloons as a good dog deterrent
This trick might take some time and effort on your end, but it really does work, especially for very stubborn dogs. If your dog loves digging around your garden, blow some balloons and bury them in areas where your dog loves to dig.
Once it digs the balloons and they start to pop, the sound would easily startle your dog making it afraid to dig any more thinking that it might uncover another balloon bomb.
Use dog repellents
If your dog is too stubborn for simple deterrents, you can try using dog repellents or devices that could create an environment that your dog doesn’t like. Dog repellents usually come in three categories: water-based repellents, ultrasonic repellents and chemical or odor repellents.
Ultrasonic dog repellents have been used for a while now because they have been proven effective by a lot of dog owners. The idea behind an ultrasonic dog repellent is emitting shortwave high-frequency sounds or those over 20,000Hz that dogs find uncomfortable to hear.
The only downside to this method is that it scares your dog so much that it might not go outside anymore because of trauma. So if you have a small backyard space to work with, this is not the most ideal gadget to use.
You can also use a water-based repellent since dogs don’t love the water a lot. Here, you’ll be using a device that’s attached to a water hose and it will come off every time your dog is around.
Odor or chemical repellents are another option for deterring dogs. Just make sure that you’re using a chemical combination that’s safe for your dog, your family and your plants to avoid problems later on.
Train your dog
Finally, there’s always the option to train your dog to not go to your garden or dig up around your backyard. This technique may require a lot of patience, but it’s a great long-term solution to help your dog behave properly around your house.
If you don’t know exactly how to do it yourself, you can hire a trainer to teach your dog several tricks so it can stay away from your garden even if you don’t have any physical barriers.