If you’re anything like us, then you love your dog and want to include them in as many of your daily activities as possible. Every dog owner has experienced the joy, frustration, and laughter caused by our four-legged friends who decide to help us complete a task and, in most cases, create even more chaos as a result.
This is especially true when gardening with dogs. From trying to escape, to going on an adventure, to ‘helping’ by digging up or eating your plants, our little furry friends can be quite the handful. By following this guide and taking some small precautions, you and your dog can both enjoy a relaxing time in the garden.
1. Close your gate
Most dogs are inquisitive by nature and will view an open gate as an invitation to go on an adventure. Make sure that all gates that lead in and out of your garden have strong latches or locks so that your little explorer can’t get out.
It is also a good idea for your dog to wear a collar with an ID tag at all times, which should also be microchipped. This way, if your dog does manage to get out, you will stand a better chance of finding them.
2. Build a fence
If your dog keeps helping you by digging up, eating, or ‘watering’ your plants despite being told that their help isn’t needed, consider building a fence around your plant beds or vegetable plot. The fence does not need to be reminiscent of a demilitarised zone. A picket fence the height of your dog’s chest is enough of a visual deterrent.
3. Provide water
It is very easy for dogs to overheat, especially in the warmer months. So, it is important to make sure that there is clean water for your dog to drink when they get too hot.
Arguably, one of the best ways to prevent fatal heat stroke in dogs is to supply them with enough cool water to keep their body temperature regulated. It’s never easy to walk around with a thick winter jacket all the time, especially when the summer’s excruciatingly hot.
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4. Create pathways
Building paths out of brick, gravel, or mulch will not only keep your dog’s paws dry (no more muddy paw-prints) but will also teach your dog how to navigate through the garden using these paths, instead of going straight through the plant beds.
Most of all, dogs love running. Long curvy paths around the plants will create perfect conditions for your dog to spring merrily and get its daily dose of exercise.
5. Barrier plants
Tall, fragrant, and thorny plants are great alternatives to fences. Even the most adventurous dog will think twice about running wild in your garden if they have to cross through something spiky, like rose bushes.
6. Container gardening
If you can’t stop your dog from trampling your plants no matter what you try, it may be time to consider container gardening. Most types of plants, be they edible or decorative, can flourish if placed in the right container and your dog won’t be able to get to them. Check out our article “Your Guide to Successful Container Gardening” for more information on how to build a container garden.
7. Avoid dog-toxic plants
Dogs are curious creatures and will explore their surroundings in much the same way as toddlers by trying to put everything in their mouths. In most cases, this doesn’t pose a problem. But there are some plants which are highly poisonous for dogs, so it is best to either remove them completely or plant them in an area of the garden that your dog cannot reach. Plants which can be fatal for dogs include Lily of the Valley, Sweet Pea, Oleander, and Yew, so it is best to just avoid them altogether.
8. Dog wee solutions
Dog urine is very bad for plants because it contains high levels of nitrogen and alkaline salts, which can, in turn, cause leaves to wither and may damage roots. This leads to an increased chance of the plant contracting a disease or even dying.
The best way to prevent this is to create a designated area in your garden where your dog can go to relieve themselves. This area should be clear of plants to avoid confusing your dog and should be covered in sand or gravel for easy drainage. If your garden is not big enough to include a dog-only area, fencing off no-go areas can stop your dog from damaging plants.
9. Pepper and chilli deterrent
If you would like to add an extra deterrent, crush black peppercorns and then mix these with mixed chilli flakes and chilli powder. Spread this mixture over the areas you want the dog to stay away from. Since dogs sniff an area before doing anything, they will get an unpleasant nose full of spice and will, eventually, learn to stay away from specific areas.
So, there we have it, nine tips for gardening with dogs. With this guide and a little thought, you and your most important friend will be able to enjoy the garden in harmony!
Did we miss anything? Do you have any tips for gardening with dogs? Let us know by commenting below or give us a shout on social media!