Dogs and Flower Beds
Here are some pet-friendly suggestions for garden care.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
Q: Do you have suggestions for making lawns, gardens and flower beds reasonably compatible with two healthy, active young dogs? I love my dogs and they need all the space they can get to play. However, I like my yard and flowers also. I'm not terribly fussy, but I would like some decent landscaping especially perennials and something green that resembles grass. One dog in particular loves to dig.
—A.W., Lexington, KY
A: Many dogs love to dig, sometimes just for fun, sometimes to excavate a place to curl up in the cool soil.
Have you considered an invisible fence? You could then decide what parts of your yard you want dog-accessible and what you want to protect. It does require some work to train the dog, but it's doable.
Otherwise, you can do things like lay chicken wire over the beds to make digging difficult (this works for cats too) or install traditional fencing. If you are willing to take some time to train the dogs — and they are willing to obey — you could install some low, temporary fencing around the garden and train the dog to respect the contained areas as off-limits. Problems usually arise because dogs can't distinguish what's okay to dig and what's not okay to dig — and they have to dig!
—National Gardening Association