We often go to a lot of trouble to make our homes dog-proof. But we sometimes neglect to do the same thing with our garden.
Here are some simple ways to keep your garden both safe from your dog and safe for your dog.
1. ESTABLISH A PLAY AREA
Make sure your pet has an area where he knows he can let loose and have a good time. Set aside some space for him to run, or dig, or do whatever doggy mischief comes to mind.
2. AVOID POISONOUS PLANTS IN YOUR GARDEN
You might be surprised how many common plants are deadly to pets. The list is decently long and includes plants such as the iris, begonias, lily of the valley, foxglove, azaleas, tulips, aloe vera, and many vines.
If you have a green thumb, educate yourself on what’s toxic to your dog, because there’s always a chance he’ll get into the garden.
3. BE CAREFUL WITH FERTILIZERS, INSECTICIDES, AND PESTICIDES IN YOUR GARDEN
Just like you want to avoid poisonous plants, you also want to avoid poisonous chemicals on your plants and in your garden.
Dogs use their wet noses to investigate things and explore their environment. When they’re outside, it’s very easy for them to breathe in, absorb, or consume fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides.
There are a lot of non-toxic options available. Research what’s out there and see what might work for your specific needs. You may be surprised how well some non-toxic options work!
Although toxins can take years to accumulate in your dog, enough exposure can cause issues with their liver, central nervous system, lymph nodes, and kidneys.
4. USE SHORT FENCING OR CHICKEN WIRE AROUND YOUR GARDEN
Dogs can have a hard time understanding that some areas are off limits to them. If this is the situation with your dog, a visual remainder may be helpful.
A small fence or barrier may be enough to keep your dog out, depending on the breed and size. Chicken wire is handy because it isn’t permanent—it’s very easy to put in place and remove.
5. GARDEN FURNITURE
Many preservatives used in outdoor furniture can be poisonous to your pet. If your dog tends to chew on wood, avoid furniture with teak oil, arsenic, formaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals.
6. KNOW YOUR BREED
Some breeds are instinctual diggers. When you leave them alone, they’ll try to dig their way to China.
If your dog falls into this category, don’t leave them alone near your garden, or exercise them heavily first and make sure they always have toys to distract them.
7. USE DOG REPELLENTS
There are a number of really neat devices on the market that can help deter your dog from going in your garden.
There are motion triggered devices that spray water, scent-based repellent sprays, and sound-based ultrasonic devices.
They all have strengths and weaknesses you’ll want to consider. And you may want to consider the impact it will have on animals other than your dog.
Also, if your dog is easily frightened to struggles with anxiety, this may not be an ideal solution fo you. You don’t want to create a situation where your dog is afraid to go outside.