How To Have A Happy Dog – And Protect Your Garden

You may be looking for ways to build a low maintenance garden, but you’re doomed if you don’t design your garden with your dog in mind.

How to keep your dogs out of your garden should be your primary concern when you start planning your garden.

But don’t worry.

In this blog post, we’re sharing 9 simple things you can do to keep your pet from mauling your plants.

They help preserve biodiversity because, without native plants, the wildlife, local birds, and insects that have evolved with them can’t survive.

Here is a list of the 7 best native plants that grow in that you should consider while making your landscaping decisions.


1. Encourage Digging!

This is the first tip on our list because of how easy it is to implement.

Your dog can’t wait to dig and trample everything you’ve worked so hard for. But instead of punishing your dog for digging, encourage it!

Create a designated digging area in your garden and cover it with sand and dirt that your dog will enjoy digging through.

You can even hide a few toys in the Dig-zone to make it more fun for your dog.

If your dog has a weird obsession with digging in places you don’t want them to, blow up some balloons and bury them in these areas.

When your dog digs, the balloon bursting will scare them off, and they’ll be wary of digging that area again. Of course, it may take a few tries before the message sinks in.

TOP TIP: Don’t run your reticulation system when your dog is in the yard. They can hear the water running underground and will want to dig to investigate – potentially damaging the retic along with your garden.

2. Garden Edging.

If you don’t want to build random cages and fences around your plants, you can go for a simpler option.

Decorative fencing may sometimes shade small plants that need the sun, so you can surround your flower beds with chicken wire, keeping your dog from ruining them.

Since edging creates a clear, visible barrier, it’s also easier to train your dog that stepping over the edging isn’t allowed – like stepping over the line from the living room to the kitchen!

3. Use Deterrents.

You can grow plants with strong scents that dogs don’t find off-putting to keep them away from your garden beds.

Or you can simply use animal deterrent sprays. Some scents that most dogs don’t prefer are:

Hot pepper sprays

Coffee grounds

Crushed red pepper

Orange peels


Tabasco sauce


Ground mustard

Black pepper

Apple bitters

Cayenne pepper 

You can also plant motion activated sprinklers that sprinkles water when your dog is in the area – this only works if your dog doesn’t like water! 

4. Dog-friendly features.

Instead of taking measures to keep dogs out of the garden, create a raised and shaded dog bed where your dog can relax while you work outdoors. 

Dogs love playing with water, so build an outdoor pet shower station or a dog fountain that will keep your pet cool, hydrated, and happy. 

If you have a large garden, you can even create a designated play area for your dog where they can run and play around. 

5. Raised Garden Beds.

Using raised garden beds is not only great if you want to build a low maintenance garden, but it also keeps your dog from ruining your plants.

Raised barriers are harder to reach and uncomfortable for dogs to stand on, so they are less likely to pee on your plants or dig into the soil. 

6. Plant Densely.

Grow your plants close together. This reduces the chance of your dog ravaging all over your plants.

Choose sturdy shrubs and hardy perennials that can withstand an occasional stomp from your dog. If you want to grow delicate plants, keep them in containers or go for vertical gardens.

One tip to avoid a mess when your dog overturns a potted plant is to cover the soil in your pot with cardboard and cut out areas for your plant to grow. 

7. Double-check the plants you choose for your garden.

While you may be worried about your dog ruining your garden, take a step back and ensure that the plants you choose to grow are not hazardous to your dog.

Common garden flowers like daffodils and tulips are toxic to all dogs, but there may be others that your particular pet may be allergic to.

One easy solution is to take advantage of Vertical Gardens to keep these plants out of your dogs reach.

8. Cover Ponds and Pools.

All dogs love playing and swimming in water. If you have a pond or a pool in your garden, it must be a common enough scenario for your dog to march into the house after a session in the garden pond.

To avoid this, simply cover the pool when not in use. This is also an added measure of safety if your dog is small or your pond big.

9. Protect your garden from your dog’s urine.

Your dog’s urine is high in nitrogen which damages plants.

Dead brown patches in your lawn indicate that your pup’s pee is destroying your lawn. But there are simple steps you can take to limit this damage.

Sow hard-wearing grass seed that can tolerate such treatment and recover quickly.

Another solution is to dilute the area with water when your dog is done peeing.

Always keep a water bowl outside and encourage your dog to drink more water since this dilutes your dog’s discharge and makes it less harmful to your garden.

Training your dog to pee in a specific spot in your garden will make your life easier in the long run.

And that’s it!

Those are our top 9 simplest ways for keeping dogs out of gardens.

If you would like help planning and building a dog-proof garden, we recommend getting in touch with our sister company, Landscaping Experts. From a Landscape Consultation to provide advice and create a plan, to the full construction, they can help create a garden that both you and your dog will love.