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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!


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 monica

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 Kim Churchman

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 Betty

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