How to Keep Dogs and Cats Out of the Garden

Wire fence keeps dog out of garden

A sturdy fence keeps a dog from a flower garden.

Man's best friends can also be your garden's worst enemy. An untrained dog can maul plants or dig up freshly planted bulbs, flowers or your lawn. Cats won't do as much digging and damage in general, but they love to lie on freshly turned earth where your vegetable seeds were just planted. Both animals can use a garden and lawn as a litter box, making for dead spots in the lawn and very unpleasant surprises for you in the garden. Another concern is that male dogs need to "mark their turf". If your lettuce or greens have a strange ammonia smell, think twice about eating them. Dogs are usually responsible for brown spots on the lawn.

Prickly mat to repel cats

A prickly mat keeps cats out.

Prevention and Control

  • The best control is to give pets their own yard or train them well.
  • A patch of catnip planted at a distance may lure felines away from your yard.
  • To protect newly planted areas, lay down bramble stems, or prickly mats to prevent cats from using the area as a litter box.
  • Specially formulated repellents, sprayed on prized plants, may teach cats and plodding dogs to go elsewhere.
  • For sure-fire protection, erect a sturdy barrier or cage, anchored with stakes.

Last updated: 03/13/2024