While wild animals are a garden scourge, even household dogs can wreak havoc on flower or vegetable beds. The savvy gardener can try out several different natural remedies to keep animals out of the garden bed. Some remedies work better for small critters like rabbits or gophers, while others target larger pests, like deer.
Gardeners can erect a simple fence to keep dogs, cats and wild animals out of the garden. Fence styles range from elegant picket fences, natural bamboo, invisible wire mesh and small metal fences. Raised garden beds are another natural barrier gardeners can use to restrict animal access to the garden. Raised container garden beds have walls that are too high for small animals to scale, though cats may jump into the garden.
Hobby Farm recommends planting plants that are unattractive to critters to keep animals away from the more desirable vegetables. Thee plants include daisies, poppies, narcissus, rudbeckia, aster, lupine, coreopsis and echinacea. Hobby Farm also notes that prickly plants will deter animals. Cardoon and sedum are common prickly plants that can protect your garden.
With a little effort, gardeners can fool wild animals into thinking there is a human presence in the garden. Collect clippings of human hair and scatter them around the garden bed, suggests the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture. Place worn shoes near the garden to achieve a similar effect.
The scents of household pets can help keep other pets out of the garden. Sprinkle used kitty litter along the garden bed, or collect dog urine and water the grass near the garden bed. If your dog uses pee pads you can place the used pads near the garden. For large dogs, hold a container underneath the dog when he's urinating and collect urine in this manner.
The South African marigold Tagetes minuta naturally repels deer with a minty odor, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The plant grows in sun or shade and can reach up to 6 feet. Tagetes minuta can spread rapidly but planting it in a container can prevent this.