Gardens and the Pets Who Trounce Them

It’s time to get on those gardening gloves and get busy out in the yard. If you’ve got both a garden and pets, then you know that they’re both wonderful things, but they often don’t mix well unless you take some precautions.

Cat eating cactus

As discussed in a previous post about suitable punishments for your dog, if you show your canine friend where he can safely practice his natural tendencies, then he/she is more likely to leave your precious tomatoes alone. Set up an area outside where your dog knows he’s allowed to dig and romp around or whatever he wants. Put his chew and play toys here so he understands that this place belongs to him. This will be his territory, his “sandbox.” This is a good start.

However, unless you have an extremely well-behaved dog, this probably won’t be enough. Fences are always an option, although the first thing some dogs want to do when they see a fence is dig under it. If a fence doesn’t stop your dog from burrowing and trouncing your garden, then try a simple solution of water, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pour or spray this around the perimeter of your garden plots for a good, homemade dog repellant. Vinegar might also work here, but you should probably stay away from mothballs – these can be poisonous to pets if they should decide they want to eat enough of them.

Surrounding your garden with sharp, decorative stone rocks can also keep some dogs at bay. They don’t like walking on the pointy rocks, so they find somewhere else to play. And if you’re willing to spend some money, you can try out some of the commercial dog repellant powders and granules on the market. Not cheap, but worth a shot if nothing else is working for you. Motion activated, ultrasonic emitters work on most dogs and other critters that might want to tear up all your hard work, too.

Remember that dogs are curious creatures and they are only following their natural tendencies when they investigate what’s under your garden. It’s your job as the homo sapiens of the family to convince Fido that his time is better spent elsewhere.