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How Do I Stop Dogs From Fouling in My Garden? 7 Vet-Approved Tips

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

How Do I Stop Dogs From Fouling in My Garden? 7 Vet-Approved Tips


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Sharing your garden space can be pretty annoying, especially when your dogs tend to use the space as their bathroom. If your dog has access to your garden space in the backyard, you’ll probably be looking for ways to protect it.

Here, we’ll cover exactly the methods you can use to deter dogs from using the bathroom where you grow your veggies. While this can be a real pain in the neck, whether it’s your dog or someone else’s, your plants and canines can coexist.


Dogs Fouling in Gardens

There’s nothing like taking pride in your luxurious garden space only to have a dog come and muck it up. Specific solutions will work better than others for a variety of living situations. For example, if you live in the city, you might need a different approach than if you live in a rural setting.

But below are a few ideas you can combine or use by themselves.

chow chow dog in the grass
Image Credit: Flower_Garden, Shutterstock


The 7 Ways to Stop Dogs Pooping in Your Garden

1. Fence the Garden Off

As if you didn’t already think of this one, proper fencing of your garden is one of the primary ways you can prevent your dog from fouling it up, as well as prevent other animals from coming and using it as a smorgasbord. Some fencing might actually surprise you and be relatively cheap to make.

Plus, there are several DIY projects online that you could make from materials you might already have at home. Fencing doesn’t always have to be complicated, even novice folks can whip a garden fence together.

There is a little manual labor that is involved here. You can hire someone to build a fence for you, or you could save a lot of money by learning to do it yourself. Regardless of your chosen method, it will take a day or two to accomplish the task.

Naturally, this won’t be in the budget at all times. If you are low on funds right now or just don’t like the look of having a fence around your garden, we have other options for you.

2. Use Dog-Repelling Formulas

Dogs may defecate on surfaces with attractive smells to them. If your dog smells something that doesn’t sit right with his or her nose, he or she will likely try to stay away from it. So, use a combination or a single one of the following to deter them from getting in the vicinity of your garden space:

  • Commercial Repellent

Commercial repellents will have different ingredients from formula to formula. However, all of them have the same goal—to make a dog think twice about being in the area. If you spray or scatter these repellents around the perimeter of your garden, it will lessen the offenses.

It’s important to check the label. Some repellents can be very dangerous to wildlife, insect life, and even small children and other humans around the backyard. Always make sure the particular brand you get is the right one for your yard space.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a very pungent smell. It is so distinct that it’s overwhelming for most dogs. Since it’s overwhelming to the senses, they will want to stay as far back as they can from it. If they smell vinegar sprayed in your vicinity, they might just backtrack their steps.

  • Citrus

Dogs really don’t like the strong, bitter smell and taste of citrus. The best method to keep them away from your garden space is to scatter the peelings around the perimeter. You can also spray citrus essential oils for more potency, but do be careful with this method as some can be very dangerous.

  • Spicy Pepper

You can sprinkle a variety of different types of pepper, including black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, and more! No dog wants to inhale a lung full of peppery air. It might cause discomfort and some sneezing, but these methods are safe.

  • Coffee Grounds

Not only are coffee grounds an incredible nutrient to add to your fertilizer and compost, but it also works wonders to keep away unwanted pests. Start saving every morning’s coffee filters, and add these grounds to the soil and the perimeter of your garden space.

dog sniffing flowers
Image Credit: Sergej Razvodovskij, Shutterstock

3. Buy a Repelling Device

Companies make actual repelling devices that are supposed to ward off certain types of animals. You can buy a repelling device that has a very high pitch frequency that we cannot hear, but our dogs can. This loud noise will make them shy away as it is uncomfortable for them to endure.

Generally, dog-repellent devices emit an ultrasonic sound. It is important to get one at the proper frequency. If the device is too powerful, it can cause damage to your dog’s hearing.

You aren’t going to want to create any long-term damage. You’re simply going to want to make it uncomfortable enough for them to vacate the premises.

4. Install Cameras

There are tons of options when it comes to viewing your home in a remote location securely. If you’re at work, no worries. Your latest gadget has you covered. You can have an application on your phone to view all the cameras you have installed at any time.

If you have a particular problem dog and you want to catch them red-handed, there’s nothing like having visual proof. You can tell the dog to scurry away yourself; there are even cameras that allow you to speak into them like an intercom.

You can find really affordable cameras on the market these days. Some quality cameras are as low as $20, but they can cost several thousand on the high end. It just depends on what you’re looking for. This might also double as a security system for your house if you’ve been looking to invest anyway.

It’s a nice safety measure to have, regardless of whether it’s a dog sneaking into your garden or a potential intruder sneaking into your home.

Outdoor CCTV security camera installed at fence of house backyard garden.
Image Credit: Torjrtrx, Shutterstock

5. Rely on Lawn Sprinklers

If you want something to be effective and vindictive simultaneously, you can install timed lawn sprinklers that are motion activated. There’s nothing like Fido coming to drop a nice log on your freshly tilled soil and getting a surprise bath instead.

Even though some dogs love water, most will shy away from it initially, especially if it’s unexpected. And let’s face it, no dog likes to do their business in the rain. This works well to keep the dogs away and give your vegetable garden a little drink.

You can find some really terrific deals for brand new in-the-box items. This option can get a little pricey, but you can also find used motion-activated lawn sprinklers on online marketplaces for secondhand stores. Also, check local auctions in your area that sell outlet items from stores.

6. Put Up Signs (If It’s Not Your Dog)

You can passive-aggressively put up signs to let those around you know that you prefer a poop-free garden zone. You can write something creative like “We have all the fertilizer we need here, thanks.“ Or you could do the sensible thing and post a small acknowledgment request. Hopefully, anyone walking their pet or targeted neighbors will see the message.

7. Talk to Neighbors

If your neighborhood dogs are giving you all the trouble, it might be time to talk to the neighbors. If you know where a dog lives that is soiling in your soil, you have to let their human mom and dad know what they’re up to. After all, some people might not realize that their dogs are doing this, especially if there’s no barrier where they live nearby. Sometimes all that’s needed is a little friendly conversation.


Final Thoughts

You’ll want to keep anything out of your garden space, whether a dog, cat, deer, rabbit or another vegetable destroyer. Pee and poop can destroy the area, certainly. But so can things like digging, chewing, and eating all of your resources without permission.

So always make sure to put out the proper reinforcements to ensure that your plans can grow beautifully while the neighborhood ruffians stay out.

Featured Image Credit: lucianaeris, Pixabay

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