How to Stop a Dog From Eating & Digging Outside Plants

by Tammy Dray
    Doggie getting too comfortable in the garden?

    Doggie getting too comfortable in the garden?

    Jupiterimages/ Images

    Is Doggie redoing your garden by digging, chewing and, well, destroying everything in sight? If you'd rather fire the furry gardener but he won't take the message, you can try a more subtle approach. Barriers, safe --but offensive-- odors and other tricks can send puppy packing and away from your beloved plants.

    Step 1

    Let Fido out in the garden only when you can go along for the "ride." During outdoor time, keep a close eye on him and say "No!" as soon as the digging or chewing starts. Puppies are stubborn creatures, so don't be surprised if you have to say this a couple hundred times before it sinks in.

    Step 2

    Mist the plants he's using as a chew toy with something safe but with an unpleasant taste. Try bitter apple spray, some chili pepper sauce mixed with water or a pet deterrent found at vet clinics or pet stores. Vinegar and ammonia will also send puppies running for cover, but you can't spray those directly on your plants or you'll kill them. You can, however, spray the ground around them and hope the smell is strong enough to send doggie packing.

    Step 3

    Cover the ground around the plants with something Fido will find unpleasant to step on. Chicken wire, broken pinecones or aluminum foil all work. Chicken wire is especially helpful because it will stop the digging and also prevent Doggie from walking on it so he can't get near the plants he wants to chew.

    Step 4

    Create a barrier around the plant. While you're training doggie not to chew on them, try using bird netting to cover smaller plants and bushes. Polypropylene netting is cheap and found at farm and home supply stores. Simply throw the next over the plant --It will make it too inconvenient and not so much fun to chew on it anymore, and he'll move on to something else. Use chicken wire to create a small fence around a particular plant or set of flowers.


    • No yelling, screaming or throwing a tantrum next time you go outside and find more holes or chewed-up plants. You can't yell hours after something happened and pretend the puppy to understand what you're going on about.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/ Images

    About the Author

    Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!