Gardening And Your Pet

Posted on: February 26, 2019

Hey Green Thumbs! 9 Tips for Dog-Friendly Gardening


All this rain is about to pay off! Gardening time is officially approaching! Does living with a four-legged friend mean forfeiting your love of gardening? No way! Dog-friendly gardens are possible. Follow these tips to get you, your dog, and your garden off on the right foot or dare I say paw?


  1. Prepare Your Dog

General obedience basics never hurt. If your dog understands your commands to stop, heel, sit, etc. they’re less likely to go nuts in the garden. Puppies can start learning as early as six weeks, and old dogs can learn new tricks. If they learn the garden is off limits, you’re off to a fantastic start.

Before you start a gardening session, take your dog for a walk. They’re less likely to dig like crazy when tired. A long walk and plenty of water after is a good start.

  1. Know Your Dog-Safe Plants

Make sure to ask at the nursery or garden store before buying, and do your research. The ASPCA website is also a good go to when researching pet friendly plants.

  1. Use Sturdy Border Plants

In your garden design, line the exterior with large plants that provide a natural barrier and dissuade your dog from crossing the line. Sturdy border plants provide a buffer and will be the first line of defense for a dog-proof garden.

  1. Start with Larger Plants

You’re off to purchase a large quantity of plants. Why not make sure those plants are established to begin with? Starting with larger plants will help discourage your dog from trampling them in ignorance. The bigger they are, the harder it is for your dog to make them fall.

  1. Fence Off No-Go Areas

It might be the simplest option to put up a barrier. Small dogs can be stalled by affordable 16-inch fencing, and even for larger dogs, it creates a boundary that makes training easier. Certain plants—particularly vegetables you don’t want the dog to dine upon—may need a chicken wire fence to encase them against unwanted eating.

  1. Use Containers and Raised Beds

Container gardening is a good option for small spaces or for dogs who just can’t resist digging. By putting your plants in big containers or planters, you can elevate or otherwise strategically place them so your dog can’t have access. Hanging baskets or plant shelves help keep pots away from digging paws, as well.

  1. Give your Garden a Perimeter and Dog Paths

Simply creating a clear, dog-friendly perimeter can help give your dog a job. With dog-designated paths and a well-identified border, your dog may very well feel it’s their duty to patrol the border. In fact, they may be very useful in warding off squirrels, rabbits, or other vegetable raiders. Make sure it’s a pathway with a paw-friendly surface for your dog, like small cedar chips or appropriate gravel.

The perimeter might also be enhanced with driftwood or other forms of edging that communicate the boundary clearly. This same material can cut through the garden in various sections so your dogs are more likely to stay on-path.

  1. Create an Alternate Digging Area

Dogs generally love dirt, and digging, so give them a place of their own to dig up. Think of it like giving a little kid a sand box, same applies for your fur child. Designating a spot in the yard that’s just for their needs, a dog sandbox might be the ticket to ensure you’re the only one who digs your daffodils.

  1. Strong Smells Deter Digging

Spices can be used around particular plants or garden spots where Fluffy isn’t welcome. Dried mustard or crushed dried peppers are effective deterrents.

The Bottom Line

Have fun and be safe, your fur babies will appreciate the one on one time with you and your garden will look FABULOUS!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns or your pet ate something he or she probably should not have, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 859-781-2577.