Dogs love to dig. Unfortunately, they seem to love digging in flower beds and around shrubs more than anywhere else. In addition to causing frustration and aggravation, digging can severely damage the roots of your plants and lead to their death. If your pup is driving you crazy with his digging and dirt piles, encourage him to choose a new spot for his favorite activity. If his digging seems excessive or destructive, speak with your veterinarian.
Rule out underlying problems that may be contributing to your dog's digging. Although most digging is normal, some dogs may dig to ease anxiety or alleviate boredom or loneliness. Offer him extra attention, address any health concerns and provide him with toys and stimulation.
Lay chicken wire on the ground around and under your shrubs to discourage digging. Once your dog realizes his attempts to dig are getting him nowhere, he'll likely stop and move on to something else.
Fill beds around shrubs with large rocks, thorny cuttings or other items your dog won't like touching or digging through. These should keep him out of the area and away from your plants.
Install motion-activated sprinklers near shrubs to scare your dog away when he comes close. These sprinklers shoot water when activated by your dog's movement.
Try a commercial dog deterrent. Sprinkle granules under your shrubs or spray the deterrent in a perimeter around off-limit areas. These are available in most pet stores and should keep your dog away from your plants.
Provide your pup with a designated digging area. Dogs need to dig, and if you don't offer them a space for doing so, they'll dig around your shrubs instead. Choose an area large enough for your dog to dig several holes, mark its boundary with a border or rope, and then bury some treats a couple feet below the surface. Your dog will be rewarded for digging in his special area. If you don't have an existing area to offer your dog, build him a sandbox to play in.
Give your dog a shady, cool place to hang out in your yard. Sometimes, dogs dig to create a cool place to lay. If your dog is overheating, plant a shade tree, install an awning or fill a child's pool with cool water and let your dog play in it.
Items You Will Need
- Chicken wire
- Lava rocks
- Motion-activated sprinklers
- Dog deterrent
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."