How Do I Protect My Vegetable Garden from My Dog?

Having a dog and having a garden is usually considered the best combination, as your dog will have a bit of outdoor space within the house, allowing for some extra play-time.

However, dogs can very easily take over the entire garden, turning it into their own space, and making it so that your hopes of a perfect dream garden vanish away.

For example, if you have a vegetable garden where you grow your own plants, a dog is likely to chew on them and pretty much destroy the whole set-up. From the dog’s perspective, it’s basically a salad bar with a free for, located within the play area, so you can’t really blame them!

But don’t worry, it’s not impossible to have a dog and to keep your vegetable garden safe at the same time. It just means you have to take a few steps to protect your garden, so your dog doesn’t mess it up.

There are a few different things that you can do in order to protect the vegetable garden from your dog, here are a few of our top suggestions:

Divide the garden:

One of the most basic but effective ways to keep your dog away from your vegetables and plants is to divide the garden into different sections. You can organize the available space into a section for your vegetables and plants, a section for your dog to play in, and even a section for you to put out a chair and relax.

There are different ways you can divide these areas, with fences or walls, or even with different floor types that will teach your dog where he is allowed and where he isn’t allowed. It’s all about setting the right boundaries!

Use fences:

Fences are super easy to put up and incredibly effective. If your dog keeps getting into the vegetable patches within your garden, just create a safety border around them with a fence, so that they’re out of reach.

You can paint the fence in a color that matches the garden design, and you can even use the fence to place decorative elements too. Plus, fences are very easy to remove when they are no longer needed.

Spray the vegetable garden with something smelly:

One of the reasons dogs like to chew and have a go at the vegetables in your garden is that they can smell nice and be fun to eat. (Amongst many other reasons). But if you want your dog to leave them alone and not go near them at all, one of the solutions is to spray them with a bad odor.

Spray some smelly white vinegar or similar, and the vegetables will smell far too strong for your dog’s taste, which will keep them protected.
Alternatively, you can plant certain dog repellent plants, such as Marigolds. And that should effectively keep your dog away, so your vegetables can have some peace.

Sprinkle the vegetable garden with something that tastes bad:

If your dog is prone to chewing and eating vegetables, then one of the best solutions is to sprinkle them with something that tastes bad. Just add some red pepper flakes or some powdered mustard, and the result will be super effective.

After a few licks and tries, your dog will realize that the vegetables now taste bad, and he will no longer want to eat or chew them, keeping them safe.

Use raised beds for your vegetables and plants:

Most dog owners will highly recommend the use of raised beds for all your vegetables and plants. This means that you can grow them with ease, and as they are out of reach from your dog, they will be completely safe and unmolested.

Plus, there are also other benefits to having raised beds. For one, you will no longer have to bend down to take care of the vegetables, which is ideal if you suffer from back problems or joint problems. And raised beds can also look really nice, and it keeps the garden all the more organized.

Make sure your dog has space:

Sometimes, if your vegetable patches cover most of the garden space, it isn’t really your dog’s fault for messing them up, because that’s the only place where your dog can play around. This is why you need to make sure that your dog has plenty of space, away from the vegetables and plants. Maybe a designated part of the garden, where you lay down the dog toys and a blanket, so your dog knows that it’s the dog area.

Train your dog:

A solution that takes a little more time and effort, but that can be the most effective, is to train your dog to not bother the vegetables in the garden. Because sure, fences and raised beds and other methods similar to those can help keep your dog away from the vegetables. But when dogs put their minds to something, they can find a way, so there’s always a risk of the dog getting to the vegetables regardless.

However, if you train your dog to understand that messing with the vegetables is bad behavior, then your dog will likely leave them alone and find other distractions. After all, most dogs want to please, and if you associate good behavior and rewards with them staying away from the vegetables, then they will do so happily!

This will take time, patience, and a lot of consistency. You will have to slowly associate the vegetable patch with negative consequences, and play in the rest of the garden with treats and praise. Slowly, your dog will instinctively leave the vegetables alone, and will just chill in other parts of the garden!