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How to Stop Dogs From Digging in Flower Beds

By S.F. Heron ; Updated September 21, 2017

Fido has decided to expend his energy digging up your flower beds. Dogs exhibit this natural behavior for exercise, to bury toys or bones and to create a cool spot in the soil for resting. Curbing this instinct to dig can be difficult for dog owners. It's often necessary to find a happy medium between letting your dog dig and protecting your landscape investment. Altering your landscape and garden beds can deter a dog from digging in flower beds and ruining your garden.

To minimize your dog's opportunities for unrestrained digging, avoid leaving it unsupervised in the yard near a flower bed.

Place large rocks in any spaces between plantings and inside any favorite digging holes. Aim to eliminate the available surface area of the garden to reduce digging space. Pile bricks in a hole and cover with dirt to discourage digging the next time the dog visits the flower bed.

Make the flower bed areas as uncomfortable as possible for the dog by placing a 2-inch layer of gravel throughout the garden. Gravel can be used in place of mulch as a permanent landscape solution. Gravel mulch helps reduce weeds and keep soil temperatures lower just as well as regular pine bark mulch.

Install a low-lying sectional fence around the perimeter of the flower bed. Sometimes simply making things a little harder for the dog will discourage digging.

Cut and place sections of chicken wire 2 to 3 inches beneath the garden soil. Dogs can't dig through metal, and an successful digging attempt may help prevent further incidents.

Save clippings from rosebushes, holly and other thorny plants. Sprinkle these clippings around the open sections of the garden bed. Tender dog paws won't stay in your garden long after stepping on a thorn. Make sure you wear protective shoes when working in the garden.

Provide another activity for the dog—such as a Kong dog toy filled with dog chow—or create a space in the yard where it's okay for the dog to dig. Paw-Rescue.org maintains that some dogs dig out of boredom; new toys and the fun of playing fetch may refocus the dog's attention away from digging.

Fill empty 2-liter plastic soda bottles with water and pull off the labels. Place them at various spots throughout the garden, laying them sideways for best results.


Things You Will Need

  • Rocks
  • Bricks
  • Gravel
  • Garden fencing (low sectional variety)
  • Dog toys
  • Empty 2-liter soda bottles
  • Water