20 Tips for Gardening with Dogs in the UK
Owning a garden with a cheeky dog can be a daunting situation...
After all, dogs love digging, running around, pooping, and playing in any plot of land they find themselves in, and as much as we love them it can sometimes be detrimental to some of our more fragile plants.
However, keeping a dog while owning a well-put-together garden is very much possible.
If you want to learn 20 tips on keeping a nice, safe garden while owning dogs, stick around and keep reading...
1. Pick Your Breed Carefully
Of course, this only goes for those that have not yet got a fluffy companion. But unsurprisingly, some breeds are a little harder to control around gardens than others.
For example, terriers are known to love digging holes in their backyards and gardens, which may be a habit that’s a bit harder than expected to break.
If you own a garden, it’s best to gravitate toward dogs with lower energy levels who are gentler in disposition and less likely to have a high affinity towards digging.
One such dog is the English Labrador, whose gentle nature and low energy level would mesh perfectly with garden handling.
However, this isn’t to say that you can’t have a garden with a breed like a terrier. You’ll have to put in some extra training to break those bad habits before they take over the garden.
2. Start Young
It’s easier to get a dog used to different scenarios, situations, and commands when they’re young.
Therefore, you should start your garden while your dog is still young so they can easily grasp what they can and can’t do in it.
However, don’t be fooled. It isn’t impossible to teach your old dog new tricks, and you will still be able to teach an older dog the dos and don’ts in your garden!
3. Teach Your Dog Basic Obedience
Remember, an obedient dog is always a more manageable one.
Teaching your dog basic commands like sit, stay, come, or down can make it easier to manage them in situations where they may put your garden in danger.
This is especially important for larger dogs, which can make a chaotic mess if they aren’t trained to listen to commands.
4. Try Not To Leave Your Dog Alone
No matter how trained and poised your dog is in your garden while you are in front of them, there’s no guarantee they will be that way once you leave the area.
Your dog can easily become bored while you’re gone, and digging will 100% be the go-to to appease that boredom, even if that means digging up your beloved plants.
5. Make Sure Your Garden Gates Are Latched
If you’ve converted your backyard into a garden and have a gate that latches surrounding it to keep your plants and dog safe, ensure that gate stays latched.
An unlatched gate can quickly lead to your dog getting out while you're not looking.
6. Put Up A Fence
One way to separate your garden from your yard and keep your dogs out of it is by enclosing their area in a fence.
However, some breeds are master escape artists who can easily find their way to the other side of any fence with easy.
Therefore, the type of fence you'll need will differ depending on your dog's breed, temperament and size.
Nonetheless, it can still provide decent protection to your plants.
7. Get Your Dog An Outdoor Kennel
If your dog prefers to be outside while you’re away, a kennel may be the best bet to keep your plants safe.
However, your kennel doesn’t have to be a plain chain-linked fence.
In most cases, you can make beautiful ornamental kennels with the proper instructions and materials.
8. Try To Create A Designated Play/ Poop Space
Not all of your outside space has to go to the plants.
There should be a section of it that you can reserve as your dog’s play/ poop area to keep them from playing and pooping anywhere they want in the garden.
Teaching your dog where this area is and reserving it for them can help keep them out of the garden.
9. Put Up Barrier Plants
Barrier plants can provide protection to your more fragile plants within them.
The tall or fragrant ones are the best ones to plant and will deter your dog from venturing into them.
Bamboo is an amazing and non-toxic barrier plant to consider.
10. Utilize Your Deck
If your dog wants to be outside and you have a large garden deck, this can be an amazing place for them to stay while you garden.
Make sure this deck has sturdy railings that they can’t easily get their heads stuck in and toys for them to enjoy.
11. Keep Toys Around
Having toys in the garden to keep your dog occupied can provide an outlet to get their energy out that aren’t your plants.
These could be a set of special toys that your dog only gets to play with while they’re with you in the garden.
12. Create Pathways
To keep your dog’s paws out of the garden and dry, you could consider creating or paving a pathway in the garden for them to walk on with gravel or brick.
Your pathway will become routine for your dog, and with time they will learn to stay on it.
13. Try Putting Your Plants In Containers or Raised Beds
Putting your plants in containers or raised beds can keep shorter dogs and animals out of them.
For large breeds, ensure you put a fence around the beds to deter them further.
14. Select Mature Starters
Mature or already established plants will have a better chance of surviving their canine mates due to their stronger roots and larger size.
You should especially consider mature starters if the plant in question takes a long time to grow and develop.
15. Make Them An Outdoor Shelter
If you don't have room for a kennel in the back garden for your dog, a simple dog house should do the trick.
As long as your dog feels he has a spot to relax and go to that's 100% his, you should find him in the garden less while you're working there.
17. Provide Them With Water
While you’re busy gardening on a hot day, your dog can easily overheat without you noticing.
Therefore it’s always important to have a fresh source of water for your dog to access in your garden.
18. Keep Toxic Plants Away
The best canine-friendly gardens are ones that aren’t toxic to your dogs.
There are a lot of plants out there that are toxic to dogs that should be removed or placed in areas where your dog can’t reach them. A couple of toxic plants for dogs include:
19. Use Strong Smells To Deter Them
There are some smells you can place around your garden that dogs simply don’t like.
Here are a couple of scents that can be effective at deterring your dog from entering your garden:
- Bitter orange
20. Have Fun And Roll With The Punches
Lastly, you should always just have fun and acknowledge that you won't always be able to keep your dog out of your garden.
Mistakes are going to happen. However, you should never blow up at your dog over them.
Just keep pushing and try to show your dog the right way to act around the garden.
Preventing your dog from destroying your garden can be difficult.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with some interesting ways to keep your garden and dog safe.
If you have other interesting remedies and ideas for keeping your dog out of the garden, leave them in the comments below!