How to Keep Dogs Out of Flower Beds

You can prevent dogs from rooting around in your flower beds by employing one of the following methods.

No matter how much you love your dog, you don’t want him or her rooting around in your flower gardens. The digging can destroy your beautiful blooms, plus create a big mess. But you can prevent dogs from rooting around in your flower beds by employing one of the following methods.

Five Tips for Keeping Pets Out of Flower Beds:

  1. Fence them in. Prevent dogs from entering your flower beds by installing decorative fencing. Or, create a temporary barrier out of chicken wire. Drive a few stakes into the ground around your flower beds, then roll the chicken wire around the stakes. When you don’t want the wire visible, roll it up and remove.
  2. Create a play zone. Dogs often dig due to boredom. To prevent your pet from heading to your flower beds for some fun, create a play zone all their own. Dig out a shallow area in your yard, then fill with sand and some toys. This play pit should be much more enticing than your flower beds.
  3. Use dog repellents for flower beds. Dogs don’t like spicy or bitter flavors, so mix up a homemade repellent using these flavors and sprinkle it on your flower beds. An easy spicy dog repellent includes equal parts of red pepper and powdered mustard. For a bitter dog repellent, dissolve bitter orange, an essential oil used as a flavoring agent, on spent coffee grounds. Bonus: The coffee grounds also help fertilize your garden.
  4. Use prickly brush. Not surprisingly, dogs don’t like to get poked. Save all of your prickly clippings, such as those from rose bushes, hawthorns or barberries, and toss around the edges of your flower beds. If you don’t like the “rustic” look of branches strewn about, tuck the branches under the bottom leaves of your flowers.
  5. Train your dog. Just as dogs can be taught to sit or roll over, they can be taught to stay out of flower beds. It takes some time and consistent reinforcement, but once your dog learns that your flower beds are off-limits, you should never have problems again.

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Melanie Radzicki McManus
Melanie Radzicki McManus is an outdoors enthusiast specializing in travel. She has won many awards for her writing, most notably four prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards, considered the Pultizers of travel writing. McManus is the author of "Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail." Her work has appeared in Backpacker, the Chicago Tribune, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, How Stuff Works and dozens of other publications.