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Keeping Dogs Out of Your Garden

Keeping your own dogs or wandering neighborhood dogs out of the garden can be frustrating. This is a guide about keeping dogs out of your garden.

A dog sitting in a garden.
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February 29, 2016 Flag

The neighbor puppy is digging in our big potted plant, what can I do to get him to stop?

Discouraging Dog from Digging in Potted Plant
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    March 1, 20161 found this helpful

    Placing several large bricks or decorative rocks on the soil won't hurt your plant. Just leave spaces between for water to get in.

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    March 6, 20161 found this helpful

    Sprinkle a little chili powder on the dirt.

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    April 18, 2013 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    Do marigolds and coffee grounds keep dogs away from the garden? And what else can I put down or do?

    By Liz B from Mexico, ME

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    April 19, 20130 found this helpful

    I like to put temporary chicken wire or a temporary fence around the garden with temporary green metal stakes. I can move these at will.

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    June 19, 20160 found this helpful

    A method I came across to keep cats away is to sprinkle orange peels and coffee grounds in the garden. Cats apparently hate the smell of citrus. Other types of citrus peels will probable work too, and there are some citrus sprays on the market as well. Dont drink coffee? Stop by Starbucks*  most branches give away free used coffee grounds for composting purposes, but they will work for this method as well. My favorite thing about using the peels and coffee grinds is that not only do they keep the animals out, but they also provide your garden with a fertilizer boost!

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    June 28, 20160 found this helpful

    The dog always walk over the plants and destroy them and lay over the hole area

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    June 1, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    How can I protect my plants from my 1 year old dog? I cannot plant in the ground because he digs them up. He has destroyed my tomato plants, which were doing so well! He pulls plants out of pots if they are too low. I have come outdoors to find my plants all over the yard, big palms, ivy, anything.

    I do not want to plant anymore if he will take them out, but I would love to start my veggie garden, in pots right now, before the heat really comes in. And because of the heat, my dog stays inside, so I want to take advantage of this to plant. Please help.

    Hardiness Zone: 9a

    By Isabel from S. TX

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    June 1, 20100 found this helpful

    I would probably try to do the hanging tomato thing. And is there a place where the dog is not at that you could make your garden? In other words what about the front or the back yard? Is it fenced in? How big is the dog?

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    June 1, 20100 found this helpful

    I would get a large dog run and make a greenhouse out of it, it is easier than doing a fence around it, and it would be fun!

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    June 29, 20100 found this helpful

    My dog's leash cannot reach the garden. She does not dig, she will eat the green beans and peas all gone if she got near! Shorten up the leash.

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    May 28, 20110 found this helpful

    I put cayenne pepper around my plants after planting. Seems to work, until it rains that is!! I also heard that dogs don't like mint. I am growing some peppermint so I took some leaves, broke them up and scattered them on an area that I had just seeded. I can't guarantee that that's what worked but our puppy didn't dig them up as she had before. I also heard that you can put branches from rose bushes on the ground to discourage animals from digging. It didn't help with our chickens though.

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    Read More Answers...

    June 28, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    How can I keep our new puppy out of my Hostas? We tried a wire fence, but he laid on it and flattened it. We also tried a granule from the pet store, but that didn't affect him. Any ideas?

    By Lisa from Silvis, IL

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    Anonymous Flag
    June 29, 20100 found this helpful

    A fence is about the only option that will work. You could try a stronger fence that he can't knock over.

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    April 27, 2013 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    This is a guide about keeping dogs out of flowerbeds. It seems that despite having all of the rest of the yard to lie in, dogs love to snooze or dig in the flower garden.

    dog in flowerbed

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    June 1, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I have a pest that keeps getting in my garden. It is an 8lb longhair miniature dachshund. No matter what I do to fix the gate on my fence this pest keeps getting in. I have heard there is something that can be sprinkled on the ground that when he smells it he will not try to get in. Anyone know what I can do?

    Hardiness Zone: 9a

    By Slingshot_317 from TX


    Keeping Dogs Out of the Garden

    Sprinkle a liberal dose of cayenne pepper where he is going under, that usually works. (04/16/2010)

    By kelreg

    Keeping Dogs Out of the Garden

    I tried cayenne pepper flakes. My dog ate it. Will try moth balls next. I hate to, but my husband is getting impatient with the dog digging up tomato plants! (05/25/2010)

    By sexton68

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    April 11, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    How can you keep dogs out of the garden?

    Hardiness Zone: 3a

    By Dorothy M. from Derwood, MD


    Keeping Dogs Out of the Garden

    Try hot pepper sauce. Most animals do not like hot stuff, good luck. (10/23/2009)

    By kffrmw88

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    October 23, 2009 Flag
    0 found this helpful


    How do you keep a dog out of a vegetable garden? It's a very small
    garden, and not worth the cost of fencing it in. If I fenced it, I'd
    have no room for the plants.

    Holly from Richardson, TX


    Hi Holly,

    This question comes up a lot. Here are some ideas:

    Talk to the owners-If the dogs invading your garden are not your own, have a talk with their owners. Gently remind them of local leash laws (nearly every city or county has them), and that you would really like to avoid having to call animal control.

    Citrus rinds-Grind them up and spread them over the soil. Apparently, dogs (and cats) don't care for citrus.

    Calendula (pot marigolds)- Planting a border of Canendula (assuming you have the room) supposedly repels dogs.

    Prickly branches-Scatter the trimmings from prickly canes like roses, holly, raspberries, or blackberries around the garden. Dogs are protective of their paws and don't like walking on thorns.

    Pepper repellent-Grind up an assortment of fresh black peppercorns and dried hot peppers and mix them together in a plastic bag. Then spread these on the top of the soil around your garden. Dogs use their sense of scent to determine where to go to the bathroom. Once they get a whiff of the hot peppers, they are more likely to move on.

    Garden hose-Use a strong spray from the garden hose to modify the dogs' behavior each time they go near your garden to dig or do their business. This method works best with your own dogs, since you are around to monitor them when they are in the yard. Motion activated devices are also available that sense approaching animals and scare them away with a short, strong burst of water.

    Wire clothes hangers-Cut some old wire hangers on one side of the hook. Unbend the hanger and stick the straight side into the ground so that the hooked remains at a height low enough to make it difficult for the dog to navigate around it. (In a similar way, plastic silverware stuck in flowerpots will act as a deterrent for cats).

    Commercial products-There are several products available in garden stores, as well as on the web, designed to repel dogs. Some are in spray form, and others come in the form of pellets.

    Border fencing-You don't always need a big fence to keep dogs out. Try small, collapsible border fencing. You can usually get a 20 ft roll of 14" high fencing for under $10, and the small gauge of the wire won't take up any of your valuable planting space.

    Good luck!


    About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


    Keeping Dog Out of Vegetable Garden

    I've read that orange peels keep animals away. I've put them around my trees to keep the dogs out and have had success so far, although it's only been a month or so. Worth a try and cheaper than a fence. (03/12/2008)


    Keeping Dog Out of Vegetable Garden

    My mate has a shade cloth border around her small veggie patch. She just used tomato stakes and nailed the shade cloth around. I'm pretty sure any heavy cloth would work, or chicken wire would be the same. Her fence is only about 40cms high and keeps out the nosy pets.

    Dogs really like the smell and taste of certain fertilizers, (my dog seeks out blood and bone). A liquid fertilizer might be less attractive to your dog. (03/13/2008)

    By moncarroll

    Keeping Dog Out of Vegetable Garden

    The citrus peels do work, but must be replaced periodically (when they dry out and are no longer aromatic). I have kept my neighbors dog and 2 cats out of my small garden for 2 years using orange, lemon, and lime peels. I just automatically throw all peels into the garden, and it keeps them "fresh". (03/14/2008)

    By jsham

    Keeping Dog Out of Vegetable Garden

    What worked for me was using rocks as mulch. The ground is full of stones and I used baseball to melon size rocks in a complete blanket of stones. They are close-packed and touching their sides together, with plants tucked between. They stopped using the garden for a traffic lane. When I top up the compost I move the rocks a few at a time and dump compost from a bucket. The stones look really nice with their different colors and they do not decay like bark or other mulches. They shade the dirt and help keep watering needs lower. I'll never need to redo it. (03/16/2008)

    By kimhis

    Keeping Dog Out of Vegetable Garden

    I use cut up chives and coffee grounds for keeping animals and pests out of garden and I also tell my hubby and son if they are going to go out side do it on edge of garden. I also read this in organic gardening and it works. (03/22/2008)

    By Denise W.

    Keeping Dog Out of Vegetable Garden

    Please don't put out coffee grounds. They are poison to dogs. (03/27/2008)

    By TXBetty

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    Home and Garden Pest Control DogsDecember 27, 2012
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