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Keeping Dogs Out of Your Garden

A dog sitting in a 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.


Solutions: Keeping Dogs Out of Your Garden

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Tip: Keeping Dogs Out Of Flower Beds

Having four dogs running around my garden, I found that the best way to avoid the trampled plants, bent branches, and other fun stuff that happens in a garden when pets run rampant is to work out where they like to run and make them their own racing track.

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Here are questions related to Keeping Dogs Out of Your Garden.

Question: Keeping Dogs Out of the Garden

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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Most Recent Answer

By Robyn 369 748 04/19/2013

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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Question: Keeping Dogs Out of the Garden

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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Most Recent Answer

By Jackie 14 41 05/28/2011

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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Question: Keep Dog Out of Plants

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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Most Recent Answer


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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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Keeping Dogs Out of the Garden


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!


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RE: 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)


RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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.

RE: Keeping Dog Out of Vegetable Garden

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

By TXBetty

Archive: Keeping Dogs Out of the Garden

How can you keep dogs out of the garden?

Hardiness Zone: 3a

By Dorothy M. from Derwood, MD


RE: Keeping Dogs Out of the Garden

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

By kffrmw88

Archive: Keeping Dogs Out of the Garden

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. Anyone know what I can do?