How to Keep your Dog out of your Garden

Three Minutes
Apr 12, 2022

Dogs can be curious.

This has never been truer than when you have just planted a garden. Whether it be flowers, fruit, veggies or new saplings, some dogs just can’t resist that newly turned soil and all those fresh scents. So what’s a pet parent (and gardener) to do?

In this post, we will explore some highly effective and canine-friendly ways on how to keep your dog out of your garden.

The Bitter the Better

Did you know dogs detest anything bitter?

To keep your dog out of your garden simply take your morning coffee grounds and mix them with a dissolved bitter orange capsule/pill. Sprinkle this mixture around the perimeter of your garden.

Bitter orange is made from the peel of the orange and processed into a highly-concentrated oil. It has many medicinal uses but when used with coffee grounds, it becomes an all-natural deterrent for keeping your dog out of your garden. And since cats detest citrus, it may also work to keep Fluffy from using that freshly turned soil as an outdoor litter box. 

Spice It Up!

Like bitter scents, our canine companions also don’t like the smell of anything too spicy. For this DIY doggy deterrent mix equal parts of powdered mustard withcrushed dried peppers. Sprinkle liberally around your plants, flowers, and veggies. This method works particularly well in drier climates as rain will dilute its effectiveness.

The Marigold Solution

These boldly colored flowers aren’t just beautiful to behold, the odor they give off can be offensive to dogs. Try planting these flowers between the rows of your vegetables or as a part of your flower garden’s overall appeal. Plus, as an added bonus, the marigold will also repel those nasty pests such as whiteflies, aphids, squash bugs and Mexican bean beetles.

Add a Prickly Barrier

Some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful plants come with their own prickly defense mechanism. These include rose bushes and the leaves of the Holly shrub. To deter your dog and other critters from entering your garden, plant these (then trim back) to serve as a natural reminder that your garden is off limits.

Use Fencing

Erecting a barrier fence around your garden can be an inexpensive way to keep Fido out of your garden. For small dogs, you can use 16-inch fence borders that can be purchased at most hardware or building supply stores. If you have a larger canine culprit try using chicken wire around the border and even over the top for those more persistent pups. Or you may use invisible fence to keep your dog in a specific area.

The Pinecone Moat

Pinecones can be found in abundance in coniferous forests. Collect these fallen “seeds” to build a “moat” around your flower/veggie garden. This all natural bedding material is not pleasant to walk on and will keep Fido and Fluffy from entering into your garden.

Wear Em’ Out!

Dogs dig for a reason and often times it’s just out of boredom. To help wear off some of Fido’s excess energy take him for a long walk or jog or play fetch with him in the park. A well-exercised dog is less likely to want to get into your garden. 

Keeping Your Dog Out and Your Plants In!

If you have tried one or all of these methods and nothing seems to be keeping your dog out of your garden, then it may come down to good ole’ fashioned supervision. Being with your dog when he’s outside in your backyard will give you the opportunity to correct him when he approaches your sweet little seedlings. 

Keeping your dog out and your plants in can be a chore but with some persistence and patience you, your dog and your garden can all live in perfect harmony.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.