You probably won’t be impressed to see that there are holes all around the garden that took hard work to cultivate and nurture. If your pooch or the neighbor’s dog has been displaying unwanted behavior that’s taking away from your beautiful garden, then you’re in luck. This guide has everything you need to know about effective dog repellents, where we list both natural ingredients and commercial products that you can use, along with the 5 best dog digging repellents.
What are Dog Repellents?
As much as we love to see our pets healthy and happy, dogs can cause serious damage around our lawns when they start digging holes. For many pet owners, dog, and cat repellent can work as deterrents that stop their pets from causing harm to their plants in a safe and effective way. These options tend to be cost-effective and come in various forms — here are the different kinds of dog repellents.
- Spray Form Repellents: Liquid repellents like these are designed for indoor use, where a spray bottle is used to startle dogs and discourage their digging habit over time.
- Granular Repellents: This type of animal repellent is ideal for the outdoors to be placed on gardens and flower beds to stop dogs from going there. Their common ingredients will usually smell unpleasant to dogs and will drive them away.
- Ultrasonic and Sound Repellents: These offer a simple solution by emitting sounds that irritate dogs and stop them from going into certain areas of your home. The sound can’t be heard by humans and they don’t use chemicals that may harm the environment.
- Dog Diging Fences: An anti-dog digging fence line can be installed around your garden beds and other problem areas to stop your furry friend from digging around it.
- Sprinklers: A sprinkler can be used with a motion sensor to startle and stop dogs from digging in a specific area and can also be a great solution for plants on hot days.
- Spiky Mats: These can be placed around your dog’s favorite digging spot to create a surface that’s unpleasant for your dog to step on.
Best DIY Dog Repellents
As mentioned above, you can create your own homemade dog repellent using a wide variety of natural ingredients. Here are a few natural ways to encourage the right dog’s response whenever they come across your garden.
A dog’s sense of smell is highly sensitive and they hate this smell in particular, so you can use it in the form of repellent sprays to take off your dog’s minds from your garden or lawn. However, make sure that you only use it in small doses — mix this oil with 10 parts water to ensure it’s safe for pets.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A lot of store-bought dog repellents will contain this ingredient, and you can do the same for a fraction of the cost. To make your own solution, mix two cups of apple cider vinegar with a cup of white vinegar and place it in a spray bottle to mist desired areas.
Dogs also find the smell of citrus repulsive, so you can use this bright fruit to keep your garden safe. You can cut the citrus fruit itself into pieces and spread them throughout your garden, while citrus oil will work well on furniture that you want to protect. As an added bonus, you can also use citrus peels to keep aphids and ants away from your plants.
Use some chili pepper around your flower beds to keep your pooch at bay. You can also make a spray by mixing chili powder, chopped onions, and garlic with a quart of warm water and a teaspoon of dishwashing soap.
Rather than throwing away your coffee grounds every morning, you can use them as a great option for a dog repellent by simply spreading them around the desired area.
Black and Chili Pepper
Mix chili pepper with black pepper with oil and place it inside a spray bottle. This will help it release an active ingredient known as capsaicin — a powerful dog repellent.
Using essential oils is a great way to get discourage most dog breeds from digging around your garden. The most effective dog-repellent essential oils to choose from include the following:
- Sour apple
- Lemon Eucalyptus
Because cayenne can irritate the throat, nose, and eyes of dogs, this is the best option that will naturally drive your pup away from the garden. To make your own cayenne spray, simply mix 1 part of cayenne pepper with 10 parts of water.
Lime Juice and Vinegar
The smell of white vinegar is enough to stop your dog’s digging — all you need to do is to combine it with lime juice and have cotton balls soak in them. Next, place them around your problem areas where dogs will lose their instinctual behavior and stop digging.
The strong smell of ammonia is a huge turn-off for dogs and is among the best ways to stop your neighbor’s pet from digging around your fence. Funnily enough, dog urine also contains a high amount of ammonia, which is probably why they bury it.
Using your own dog’s poop will probably come as a surprise to you but it actually works well as a natural deterrent to stop digging breeds on their tracks. Place some of their poop around their favorite digging places to stop them from making other holes. Once your fur baby loses interest in the area, you can bury them to keep your garden looking pristine.
Best Dog Digging Repellents
Below are our top choices for the best commercial dog repellents should you forgo the DIY options above.
- Covers an area of 16″ x 13″ with 1″ spikes
- Made with flexible and durable materials
- With a breathable pattern that keeps plants safe
- Won’t harm your fur babies, offering a humane solution
This Scat Mat for Dogs by Homarden can deter a bored dog from digging around your home. These spike mats can be wrapped around trees or placed on top of the soil to provide the best solution against hole-digging dogs around your garden. Because it’s made from such durable and flexible materials it can be used both indoors and outdoors.
- Uses a patented design that’s made in the USA
- With easy installation and no maintenance required
- Provides further protection for your fence beneath the ground
- Seamlessly works with your existing fencing
With the Dig Defence Animal Barrier, you can protect both your plants and pets by strengthening the baseline of fences and stopping them from digging under your fence. Using galvanized steel rather than plastic netting like other solutions do, this option protects your pets and keeps predators away. Each barrier stretches 8” long and 32” wide with 2-inch spikes between spaces, which is why it’s considered the best dog repellent in the market.
- This ultrasonic pet behavior tool won’t emit loud noises
- Can extend up to 10 feet for outdoor use
- Won’t cause physical harm to your dog’s ears
- Can be used on cats, dogs, rabbits, and horses
When your pet has excess energy that it wants to take out on your vegetable garden, you can stop your dog in its tracks using the PATPET U01 Ultrasonic Pet Behavior Training Remote. With frequent application, this safe and effective solution won’t affect humans and can help train your dog to adapt to behaviors you want them to learn without any physical contact. The best part is that you can also use it on your other pets, so everyone can be well-behaved!
- A great solution for flowerbeds, yards, and gardens
- Designed to cover up to 500 square feet, and lasts even when it rains
- Smells good for humans but terrible for cats and dogs
- Contains an all-natural formula that’s harmless to animals and plants
Using the Zone No Holes! Digging Prevention Spray, you can easily protect your plants from dogs before they even make the first step to digging. With an all-natural formula, it uses oils that are highly repellent to a dog’s nose, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. When used according to the instructions, this spray will leave a nice scent to people and is also harmless for your animals and plants.
- A long-lasting spray that stops cats and dogs from digging
- Uses an all-natural solution with essential oils and herbal plants
- No unpleasant odors or harsh chemicals
- Proudly made in the USA
Using only natural ingredients such as clove oil, lemongrass oil, citronella oil, geranium oil, and more, the No Dig! Lawn & Yard Spray by NaturVet Pet Organics is the ideal solution for your plants. This harmless formula helps to train cats and dogs not to dig and can be simply sprayed one foot above your plants for lasting results. This effective spray uses a very little percentage of active ingredients, so it won’t hurt your pup’s sensitive nose but it will be enough to stop destructive behaviors.
Among the common reasons behind your dog’s digging includes separation anxiety. If you’re away a lot or don’t spend much time with them, be sure to give them more attention and mental stimulation, which might help to fix the problem. Otherwise, you may choose an option from the natural and commercial dog repellents we have outlined above.
If you’re working with a budget, a good place to start is to make a DIY formula using natural ingredients which can be as effective as a store-bought option. But if you want to get something fast, you can look into various repellents such as sprays, fences, and even training remotes.