Growing raspberries in your backyard and raising a dog can go hand in hand as long as you're prepared for the worst. Fido might decide to eat some of the berries, or he might trample, dig up and destroy the beds. The good news: raspberries aren't toxic to dogs -- Fido might be fine after eating them or he might feel slightly under the weather and vomit or have diarrhea. The bad news: you'll have to start growing raspberries all over again. With some clever steps you can prevent Fido from destroying your raspberry beds the second time around.
Block your dog's access to your raspberry beds. Grow your raspberries in raised beds and place a wire fence around their perimeter. Depending on the size of your dog, the fence could be anywhere from 2 to 4 feet high. Your dog will be able to see your raspberry plants, but won't be able to get to them.
Grow your raspberries in 3- to 5-gallon, plastic containers. The containers make the bushes harder to get to and might discourage your dog from destroying them. Containers are also portable so you can place them in an area of the garden that's out of your dog's reach.
Install a motion-detecting sprinkler system near your raspberry beds. When your dog goes near the raspberries, the sprinkler activates and your pet companion gets sprayed with water. This might keep him from going near the berries.
Create an area in the yard where your pet companion can dig and play all he wants. Select a shaded area of the yard and place a child-size sandbox in it. Fill the sandbox with sand and bury dog toys in the sand. Bring your dog to the sandbox and dig in it with your hands until you find a toy. Show him the toy and bury it again. When he starts digging and finds the toy, praise him to encourage him to keep using his doggie zone.
Correct your dog when he goes toward your raspberry beds or when you catch him trampling or eating the berries. Clap your hands and say "na-ah," and redirect him to his doggie zone. When he starts digging in the approved area, reward him with praise and treats. Do this each time you catch him, and over time, he'll associate the startling sound with the berries and getting praised with using his doggie zone.
Spice up your dog's life, because his destructive behavior might be his way of saying he's bored or lonely and needs more entertainment and interaction. Take your pet companion on daily walks and play a game of fetch so he can run and burn some energy. Schedule daily obedience-training sessions for mental stimulation and challenge your dog with food-stuffed dog toys.
Avoid punishing your dog after he's destroyed your raspberry beds -- it might worsen his behavior and he might start fearing you.
Until you're certain your dog is over his raspberry fetish, observe him closely while he's outside.
Items You Will Need
- Wire fence
- Plastic containers
- Motion-detecting sprinkler system
- Child-size sandbox
- Dog toys
- Dog treats
- Food-stuffed dog toys
- Blue Mountain Humane Society: Plants and Pets Non-Toxic Listing
- The Dog Friendly Home; Ruth Strother
- Smiling Gardner: How to Keep Dogs Out Of Flower Beds - 4 Sustainable Methods
- Partnership for Animal Welfare: Dog Tip: Garden Tips for Dog People
- Cape Cod Cooperative Extension: Growing Fruit in Containers
- Until you're certain your dog is over his raspberry fetish, observe him closely while he's outside.
- Avoid punishing your dog after he's destroyed your raspberry beds -- it might worsen his behavior and he might start fearing you.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.