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How to Keep Dogs Out of Your Garden

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Are you looking to keep the neighborhood dogs away from your precious garden plants? Or, is it perhaps your own domestic furry letting loose in your garden? There are many ways to do so.

Like it or not, this is a prevalent problem, especially since gardens are very attractive to dogs. To stop them from going there, knowing why they do it is necessary.

The Why

Your dog's love for the garden could be for many reasons.

Firstly, the soil in the garden is looser than in other parts of your home or outside. This feature makes the perfect spot for the snout, paws, and claws to dig in.

Secondly, a garden houses a wide range of pronounced and subtle scents. These scents are very capable of arousing the curiosity of their very sensitive noses taking it as an invitation to sniff around.

Also, a dog likes birds, rabbits, and other little animals that may be residents or occasional visitors to your garden. Their presence essentially makes it a perfect playground and could be why it makes constant and repeated visits.

Further, your garden may also serve as a place for free snacking for them. So, if a dog repeatedly visits and wreaks havoc, it technically isn't their fault – it is difficult to resist! So, how do you keep them out? Here are a few tricks you can employ efficiently and at almost no cost.

3 Easy Ways to Keep Dogs Out of Your Garden

First, you have to check if your dog loves the gardens as a fun spot to play in or if it is just the means to an end. Does it eat your vegetables, or is it a route to a destination? Simply making a path for it should be a good action if it's the latter.

However, if it's the former, below are steps to take;

Method 1: Odors and Tastes


To stop a dog from entering your garden, you can use its acute sense of smell and taste buds to your advantage.

Thus, many chemical deterrents at your local garden center will work well to deter them. You can also make a more natural and less invasive version of these yourself.

Having a few commonplace mixtures of ingredients in the home handy will deter their garden advance. They are:

Keep it Spicy

Most dogs will forgo spice if possible. For example, mustard and black pepper are a combination not to miss out on. A simple mix of both in equal amounts is guaranteed to keep them out.

Spread this around your garden bed, and it should last a while. You can also use one without the other.

Of course, the mustard should be powdered, and it works best where it's not rainy to avoid frequent reapplications. Simple and cheap!

Bitter is Best

While some dogs may enjoy finishing the last bits of your sweet coffee brews, enjoying the taste and smell of coffee grounds is a big no. The same goes for the citrus family. 

Oranges, lemons, grapefruits peels, etc., are things a greater percentage of dogs find repulsive. To get them off your garden, a mixture between this two becomes a mighty help.

Melt a bitter orange pill and mix in some coffee grounds to make a mixture. Then, spread this mixture around the garden bed. It is oil dense and more reliable for rainy areas.

However, you can easily make a close relative if you do not have a bitter orange pill. Get some orange or lime peels (the bitter skin).

These peels contain a lot of bitter juices and oils. Grind, squeeze them out, and use them for the mixture.

Furthermore, it can serve as good fertilizer – double rewards for the trouble.

An Aesthetic Solution

An addition that will serve the purpose of keeping out the dogs is the Marigold flower. While pretty, its smell is offensive. 

A few among your plant rows can help reduce your dog's curiosity in drastic measures. At the same time, it improves the view of your garden while driving away many garden pests.

Other nasty odors you can use are strong vinegar(white) or apple butter. However, do not spray these directly on plants or garden beds. Spray along the outside perimeter, where it will form an invisible barrier.

Method 2: Barriers


A Poke Here and There

Prickly plants and fences are a go-to for most outdoor gardeners.

You can cultivate rose bushes, for example, to keep dogs out. These plants have thorns that do not make for a pleasant experience.

Another option is pinecones. You can collect these and spread them on your garden bed, making it a pain to walk on.

Although many may not like this option as there is the possibility of a bit of possible pain, using these can help your dog remember not to go there for fear of being pricked.

Fences and Mesh

An excellent barrier is fences which can be of any material and size. Still, depending on the size of the offending dogs, a particular style may be more helpful.

An example, for smaller dogs, the fence spaces will be smaller. Using chicken wires as a mesh to cage in the plants is also an excellent option to add to the fencing, especially for big or unrelenting dogs.

Method 3: Training

This option is good if you are a seasoned dog trainer and the trespassing pet is yours. It works the same way you may train a dog not to enter the kitchen.

You can train your dog not to go into the garden. Of course, there will be a lot of treats and positive reinforcement. While this may require your time and dedication, it is a one-time venture with huge gains.

Another method under training would be tapping into a dog's fears. This is especially good for wild dogs. Does it hate water? Spritz it a little whenever it comes in.

Like a scarecrow to birds, you can also opt for some devices on sale that mimic predators. This presence will signal to them that the place is out of bounds.


Make the dogs dislike their experience in that environment, and you get a dog-free garden. Relatively easy to do, right? A good thing about these methods is that most are easily accessible, and you can switch easily.

If one doesn't pan out as you expect, try another. With a little effort and persistence, you can get dogs to live peacefully and separately from your garden.

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