How to Stop Your Dog From Digging Up Your Garden

January 25, 2024by Nicole Tengco0

If you’re a dog owner, you likely have encountered your furry friend trying to dig up your beautiful garden — or maybe even into your furniture! This can be frustrating, as it can sometimes be destructive and may just ruin your beautiful property. So, it’s important to understand why your dog is digging and implement strategies to curb this behavior.  Luckily, PetPal is here to help — we’ve gathered some helpful tips to stop your dog from digging up your beautiful garden.

how to stop your dog from digging
Photo by Sabbra Cadabra

Understanding Why Dogs Dig

Before we discuss how to prevent your dog from digging, it’s best to understand why dogs dig in the first place. Dogs may dig because of various reasons, such as boredom, excess energy, hunting, comfort-seeking, or even escaping. 

Some breeds, like Terriers, are more prone to digging because humans have bred them specifically to dig and hunt. As such, their instincts kick in and get the best of them sometimes.

With that said, let’s get into some helpful tips to prevent this behavior.

1. Provide Your Dog with Enough Exercise

One common reason dogs dig is due to excess energy. Regular exercise is crucial for dogs, especially for high-energy breeds like the Belgian Malinois or the Jack Russell Terrier. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog. So, make sure your dog gets enough physical exercise, including daily walks, playtime, and fetch games. 

Mental stimulation is equally important — your bored dog may begin to dig if they. Puzzle toys, obedience training, or even hide-and-seek games can help keep your dog mentally stimulated.

2. Use Deterrents to Stop Your Dog from Digging

You can try sprinkling deterrents, like citrus peels or vinegar, in the areas your dog likes to dig. Dogs don’t like the strong smell of these substances, so they can discourage your dog from digging. Alternatively, you can use commercially available deterrent sprays. Always remember to use humane and pet-safe deterrents. When in doubt, ask your vet for recommendations.

3. Keep Your Dog Comfortable

Sometimes, dogs dig to escape discomfort. For instance, they may do so to create a cool spot to lie down during hot weather. If this is the reason, ensure your dog has a shaded area and plenty of water.

4. Correct Your Dog’s Behavior

If you catch your dog in the act of digging, a firm “no” might discourage further digging. However, never punish your dog! They may not understand why you’re punishing them, and they may grow anxious or fearful of you.

5. Designate Dedicated Digging Zones

If your dog loves to dig and you can afford to sacrifice a part of your garden, consider giving them a dedicated digging zone. This can be a sandbox or a specific area of the garden where your dog is allowed to dig. Bury some toys or treats in this area to make it more appealing. Train your dog to understand that this is the only place where digging is permitted.

6. Get Help from a Vet

If all else fails and your dog’s digging behavior is causing serious issues, it might be a good idea to seek help from a professional. Vets and professional dog trainers can provide helpful advice based on your dog’s breed, age, and personality.

The Takeaway

While stopping your dog from digging up your garden might seem hard, it’s still possible. Remember, consistency is key, and changes won’t happen overnight. A little patience, persistence, and love will go a long way.

For more personalized advice on managing your dog’s digging habits, download the PetPal app from the Google Play Store or the App Store today to chat with an expert vet! Our experienced veterinarians are available to chat online and offer tailored solutions to ensure the well-being of your furry friend.

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