How to Get a Dog to Stop Digging Up Potted Plants

by Amy Hunter
Some dogs have an affinity for the loose dirt and fresh leaves of potted plants.

Some dogs have an affinity for the loose dirt and fresh leaves of potted plants.

Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Whether your potted plants are inside or outside, you don't want your dog burrowing into them. The fresh soil and interesting smells may attract your dog to the pots, where a few swipes of the paw will leave your deck or rug covered in soil. Even the most hardy plant will not survive too many of these forced evictions. You can pick up your smaller pots and put them out of your dog's reach, but this is a short-term solution. By teaching your dog to leave the potted plants alone, you can enjoy them displayed wherever you like.

Step 1

Dip cotton balls in oil of cloves and bury them just under the soil in your potted plants. This acts as a repellent.

Step 2

Place pine cones on the surface of the soil. The pine cones will make it less enjoyable for your pup to dig in the planter.

Step 3

Play with your dog several times a day. Digging is often something your dog does when he gets bored. You may find that if your pet is getting enough physical activity and mental stimulation, he doesn't bother your plants.

Step 4

Supervise your dog. If he has shown a tendency to dig in your potted plants, your dog needs supervision around the plants until he is trustworthy. If he starts nosing around a pot, give him a firm "no," so he will understand he isn't allowed to bother them.

Items You Will Need

  • Cotton balls
  • Oil of cloves
  • Pine cones

Photo Credits

  • Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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