Although dogs can be really destructive around a garden, you need to find ways of using non-toxic gardening chemicals and pet-friendly plants in order to make the garden a safer place for your dog.

You can also place dividing barriers and build dog-specific zones to prevent the dog from moving to areas you do not want it to go. In this article, you will be shown specific steps to take to maintain your garden while also keeping a dog as a pet.

Step 1

Keeping Your Dog Away from Your Garden

1. Sprinkle red pepper flakes or mustard powder around your plants.

Just like humans, dogs find bitter, sharp, and spicy flavors very unpleasant. If your dog gets to smell these unpleasant flavors on your garden plants, it will always avoid the plants and the garden. You can also try using orange peel, which is a natural deterrent for dogs.

2. Drop cider or vinegar around the plants.

Vinegar has a very offensive smell and taste, so that it will serve as a natural deterrent for your dog.

  •  Pour apple cider or distilled white vinegar from your kitchen into a bottle.
  •  Place drops of it on the plants as often as you can, and it will prevent the dog from coming near it.

3. Keep a close eye on the dog.

If you have to allow your dog into your garden, ensure never to leave it unsupervised. Ensure to keep a watchful eye on the dog whenever you are together in the garden. Also, prevent the dog from going to undesirable areas, and with time it will learn not to do so.

4. Use barriers to protect delicate plants.

Most dogs are really stubborn and might find a way into your garden on their own; you have to build a strong and long-lasting physical barrier around delicate plants and flowers to prevent the dog from destroying them.

  •  You can purchase a metal or wooden garden fence from a home improvement supply store.
  •  If the dog finds its way through the erected barriers, then you can consider building elevated beds for the plants.

Step 2

Selecting Non-Toxic Plants

1. Grow safe vegetables and fruits like carrots, cucumbers, and strawberries.

Making a healthy lifestyle change by growing safe vegetables and fruits will be beneficial to the health of your dog. You can grow fruits and vegetables like celery, pears, blueberries, and broccoli.

Some of the vegetables that are toxic to dogs are mentioned below.

  •  Mushrooms
  •  Cherries
  •  Asparagus
  •  Garlic onion
  •  Grapes.

2. Plant edible flowers such as Roses and butterfly iris.

Usually, dogs hardly consume plants in the garden, but in the event that they decide to eat any of those plants, you would want to make sure that they don’t come in contact with toxic plants or flowers.

Some of the toxic flowers you should avoid growing in your garden are listed below.

  •  Flowers from the buttercup family
  • Rhododendron
  • Foxgloves
  •  Azaleas

3. Sprinkle castor oil pest repellant or canola oil on the plants.

Castor oil pest repellant and canola are natural and oil-based solutions; they would be the best to pick over chemical pesticides that might be dangerous for your dog. These natural pesticides will repel pests and will not be of any harm to your dog.

4. Use pet-friendly mulches and organic blends for fertilization.

While you are purchasing mulches and fertilizers to help your plants grow, ensure to purchase the ones that are pet-friendly and do not contain toxic chemicals that can harm your dog.

When making a purchase, ask the salesperson for pet-friendly mulches and fertilizers.

  •  When applying these fertilizers, ensure to keep your dog away while it is still fresh because it might result in stomach upset if ingested.

5. Plant a lot of herbs in your garden.

Herbs like parsley, thyme, oregano, and rosemary are all very safe for your dog to consume. They have a powerful smell and taste, which your dog might not find pleasing to eat.

6. Be cautious while using night-shade vegetables.

Plants that are of the nightshade family-like Tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants are all safe for your dog’s consumption, but their leaves contain harmful chemicals that your dog should not consume. You have to be careful when growing such plants.

  •  An alternative preventive measure you can use is to erect a pet roof over these plants.

Step 3

Ensuring the Garden is Safe for Your Dog

1. Include therapeutic and naturally-calming plants in your garden.

Certain plants like hops can go a long way in improving the health of your dog, and so you have to consider adding such plants to the ones in your garden.

2. Place sandboxes where dogs can dig.

Some dogs dig because they might be seeking cooler temperatures, while some dig to find edible attractions. If your dog likes to dig, ensure to place sandboxes where the dog can see them in the garden; this will prevent them from digging random places in the garden.

3. Provide chewable things it can play with.

If you want to discourage your dog from going near your plants, you should consider providing them with chew toys that can keep them entertained.

4. Lay pathways that the dog can use.

You can restrict your dog’s movement in the garden by constructing special paths that it can use in moving around the garden.

  •  You can use brick or gravel to make these pathways.

5. Mark defecation and urinating posts in the garden.

A dog’s urine contains salt and nitrogen, and these chemicals can cause damage to your garden plants. You can prevent this damage by marking areas where the dog is allowed to defecate or urinate.


Dogs can be very stressful to take care of, and having a garden alongside a dog will be more stressful. In a case where you cannot ordinarily tame your dog from going close to your garden, ensure to use the tips mentioned in this article to reduce your stress and prevent damage.

An extra tip you should take note of is, when you are not sure if a plant in your garden is toxic or not, ensure to look through the internet for a comprehensive guide. 

Thank you, everyone. I hope you enjoy your time reading this article, and if you have some questions about please leave your comment below, and I will be happy to write back to you.