Dog owners face an ongoing struggle to keep their gardens safe from their canine companions, while still allowing the dog to enjoy the outdoor space. Fortunately, through careful planning, you can create a garden that both you and your dog can enjoy. For further ideas for making your garden dog-friendly, get in touch with a gardener who is an expert on dog proofing.
A Playhouse Of One’s Own
Creating a playhouse for your dogs can help keep them entertained while keeping them away from your precious plants. A well-designed playhouse is a place for your dogs to sleep and also a place where they can dig and play without irritating you. Because dogs like to remain close to their human friends, you should choose a site that is not too far from your house. Build a snug and homely kennel for your dogs to sleep in. There should be a patch of ground close to the kennel that gets the sun, so the dogs can soak up the sun’s heat. There should also be a patch of rough ground where the dogs are allowed to dig. You can encourage your dogs to dig in the right place by burying doggie treats just under the surface of the soil. Praise the dogs for digging in this area, and shoo them away from other areas of your garden if they begin to dig in the wrong place. Your dogs will soon learn where they are allowed and not allowed to dig.
Dog-Proof Your Beds
Raised beds are less vulnerable to digging by curious dogs. They also have the added benefit of being easier to tend as you don’t have to bend as far to reach them. You can raise up your beds using treated wood, old wheelbarrows, large plant pots, barrels or drums.
Secure Your Garden
An effective way to keep your dogs away from parts of your garden that you don’t want them digging up is to use a secure fence to keep them away. Check that the dog cannot squeeze through the fence, burrow underneath, or open the latch of the gate (some dogs are smarter than you think!). Burying chicken wire or concrete under the fence is an effective way to prevent determined diggers from slipping under your defenses.
Protect Your Dog
Dog-proofing your garden isn’t just a matter of protecting your garden from your dog – you also need to protect your dog from your garden! Many of the chemicals you use on your plants, and even some of the plants themselves, are harmful to curious dogs who love to lick and eat whatever they find. Use natural alternatives to chemical gardening products, such as compost instead of commercial fertiliser, and choose your plants carefully – tulips, ivy, holly, oleander, ferns, and orange daylilies can all harm your dog if eaten.