Whether it's an expensive indoor plant or a prize-winning rose bush in your yard, getting your dog to stop eating plants can be tricky. On the one hand, you need to deter them effectively so they don't eat or ruin the plants. But on the other hand, you don't want to put your dog in harm's way with any dog repellents.
We wanted to explore exactly how to stop dogs from eating plants and the different options available.
Why does my dog keep eating my plants?
It's helpful to know why your dog feels the need to play and eat with plants. There could be a few potential reasons:
- Taste and Texture
Your dog might enjoy the taste or the texture of leaves. Dogs are natural omnivores, so they are naturally inclined to eat greens and meats!
If your dog enjoys the taste or texture of leaves, consider adding dog-friendly herbs and vegetables into their diet!
If your dog is bored all the time, they will look for things to do. Playing with and eating plants could be a way of occupying themselves.
Make sure your dog has plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
Like eating grass, some dogs will eat leaves to alleviate their nausea by inducing vomiting.
This should not be a regular occurrence so if you notice they are vomiting excessively, seek professional attention.
- Nutrient Deficiency
Most dog foods on the market are made to provide a balanced diet for your dog. However, some dogs might have an underlying condition that prevents them from absorbing all the nutrients from their food.
Seek professional advice if you think this is the case for your pup!
If you think your dog is consuming plants, it's best to discuss with your vet to ensure no underlying medical causes and to ensure the plant they ingested won't harm them.
How to Stop Dogs Eating Plants
Below are five easy ways to stop your dog from eating your plants. We've provided various options to suit varying budgets, living arrangements and options available.
1. Move the Plants
Moving the plants to an inaccessible spot will quickly stop them from being eaten. You can do this with plant stands, tables, or other tall pieces of furniture.
It's a quick solution to get your dog away from indoor plants. But this option isn't a viable option for everyone, and it doesn't teach your dog to stop eating your plants.
The best long term solution is something that will teach your dog this behaviour isn't okay.
If your dog is ingesting plants, please talk to your vet. Ensure they aren't harming themselves and that no underlying medical issues are causing this behaviour.
2. Exercise - Use Their Energy
If you think boredom is a factor, you'll need to be consistent in exercising your dog and releasing all their daily energy.
You can take your dog out for a walk, play a game of fetch or let them run around in a dog park. Taking them to the dog park also allows them to socialise with other dogs. These activities are exhausting and mean your dog will be snoozing to recover for the rest of the day.
3. Dog Puzzles and Enrichment
Enrichment toys and puzzles are a great way to challenge your dog mentally. They are great boredom busters since they stimulate your dog's brain while trying to solve these puzzles.
The dog puzzles usually have treats for them, so they'll be happy to have some snacks during the day. The key is to lessen their meals to compensate for all their treats.
It's all about timing to ensure they have something to play with all day.
A great idea is setting up a few puzzle toys for your dog, and whilst they're occupied, a frozen KONG is slowly defrosting and ready for their afternoon!
4. Invest in an Electric Dog Fence
An Electric Dog Fence or e-fence is an excellent option if your dog is eating plants from a large area. Over time, it will train your dog to stop going to that area altogether.
An e-fence is a system where you place a wire around the garden area (or area you wish your dog to stay out of). You can place it around a garden bed, or if your dog is an escape artist, you can place the wire around your entire property.
The wire forms a loop and syncs to a collar that your dog wears. If the dog comes too close to the loop, the collar will distract your dog. This allows you to reward other behaviours. Over time, they will learn not to go to those areas as you will reward other behaviours. It's a great long term solution to really teach your dog that these garden beds are off-limits.
5. Use a Dog Enclosure
Dog enclosures are an excellent tool with so many uses. You can place the enclosure over your garden bed to keep out your dog (and other pests), or place your dog in the enclosure so they can't reach your garden bed.
Long-term, investing in a dog enclosure is a smart choice for dog owners as they will always come in handy. If your dog is unwell or has had an operation, putting them in an enclosure where they can't move much will help them heal faster.
It can be customised to suit your future needs, whether that be protecting a new garden bed, broken gate, or as housing for some new chickens.
We've even had customers use our dog enclosures as temporary fencing when their fences have been torn apart from a storm.
A dog enclosure is a handy piece of kit and is an effortless way to block off an area of your garden quickly.
More Tips to Stop Dogs Eating Plants
Tip 1: Is it Your Dog Eating the Plants?
Firstly, make sure it's your dog who is eating the plants. It's not uncommon for cats or other native animals to pop into a garden and eat something that looks tasty.
Before you go to all this effort, make sure you're protecting your plants from the right animal.
Tip 2: Are Your Plants Pet Safe?
If you do find that your dog is eating your plants, you need to act fast to make sure the plant isn't toxic for dogs.
Use the ideas above to separate the plant from your dog, or if possible, remove the plant altogether and replace it with something pet-friendly like a Parlor Palm or a Calathea.
Tip 3: Avoid Chemical Dog Deterrents
If you can avoid using a spray dog deterrent or dog repeller, your plants and dog will thank you.
Protect your plants from having unnecessary substances on their leaves, and in case your dog does try to eat the plant, you're preventing them from consuming unnecessary chemicals.
Talk to your vet about other natural deterrent options that are plant and pet friendly. Others commonly use diluted lemon juice or diluted apple cider vinegar.
Stopping a dog from eating plants will not be easy with just a spray deterrent alone. Training your dog to not go near the plant or physically block them from the area will be key.
Are you wanting to stop your dog from eating plants today? Browse our range of electric dog fences and dog enclosures for a quick and easy solution to stop your dog from eating plants. If you aren't sure which option suits you best, contact our customer support team! We love to help and will work to find you the best solution.