How to Keep Your Dog Out of Your Garden

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How to Keep Your Dog Out of Your Garden

How to Keep Your Dog Out of Your Garden

We have a large organic vegetable garden at home. Like many of you, we also have a few precious fur babies who are part of our family! They go outside with us when we are out gardening.

Of course they get curious about the garden, and will all eventually wander into where our vegetable plants are, if we aren't looking. They do know better– we will shoo them right back out if we see them in there. However, we aren't always right there to tell them which parts of the yard are theirs. LOL. Nothing like finding dog poop right by your fresh tomatoes later on!

No thanks!

So we had to figure out a few good ways to deter our dogs from getting into the garden, without risking their health or that of our organic plants. We don't use chemical sprays around the plants and of course don't want to just buy something off the shelf that may also expose our pets to unknown chemicals. We like to stay with natural products if possible!

How to Keep Your Dog Out of Your Garden

What to Do:

Visual Barriers

The first and most obvious solution is surrounding your garden with either a fence or blockade of some sort. For smaller dogs like ours, it's a bit easier. Short garden edging works, or you can do bricks lined up and leaning on each other (caddy-corner).

This creates a visual block and also something at least 4″ off the ground they have to step over.

If you don't want to create your own barrier, you can use a brick border from Lowe's for this purpose.  They have a lot of options.

You can also add chicken wire over the top, if you really need to deter dogs, cats, and other animals. But the only downside of this is that you have to remove it for yourself any time you're going into the garden.

Garden Trellis Fold Chicken Wire


Fencing is another option. With a fencing kit you can have this assembled in about one day. This is ideal for smaller gardens, since the expense can really go up if you're fencing around a much larger area.


For the most delicate plants, we actually recommend container planting. This works great for herbs, and a side benefit is just that you can also bring them up and out of the garden when severe weather comes in (we have a lot of that right here in Oklahoma!)

Container planting for delicate plants keeps them free of dog poop and of course urine which can be bad for sensitive plants.

How to Keep Your Dog Out of Your Garden- Dog sniffing out tomato plants

To keep your dog off the majority of the garden, you can consider planting barrier plants around where they normally enter the garden. They will naturally avoid spiky or rough plants.

Personally I won't plant anything that could actually hurt them if they fell or bumped into it though! It could happen! I would not plant rose or cactus plants for the sole purpose of keeping them out of the garden.

DIY Spray to Keep Dogs Out of the Garden!

My last tip and the primary one I use for this post is to make your own Pet Deterrent Spray. This is an easy mix you can make with just a couple dollars worth of ingredients! And, the best part is that it's all natural.

plastic bottle

You will need a plastic spray bottle, I use the large ones but any size will work.  You can find these at Walmart or Target, or buy on Amazon.


To make your own spray, you will add jalapeno peppers right into water. For this amount I used 7 medium sized jalapenos.

We always have these on hand since we love our salsas, and also toss them on the grill to flavor foods. I just got some extra peppers at the produce section of the store the last time I went shopping. Super easy.

Sliced Jalapenos

I just cut them up into medium slices, saving the seeds.

How to Keep Your Dog Out of Your Garden - Garden Spray

Add the slices one by one into your plastic spray bottle. Remember, wash your hands well after handling these peppers!

How to Keep Your Dog Out of Your Garden - Jalepeno Garden Spray in bottle

Fill to the top with water, about 1L. It doesn't have to be distilled water, tap water works just fine!

Garden Spray for Pets

Spray around the base of plants, right onto the dirt. You might notice the jalapeno water spray will actually deter pests too! Animals dislike the scent of the peppers, so will find another area of the yard to make their bathroom hopefully! Remember to keep pets and kids away from the garden area while you're spraying this, to prevent any accidental contact.

Safety note: Store out of reach of children, and be sure to be careful when spraying so that the jalapeno water spray doesn't end up close to anyone else. It can be bad if it got in your eyes or on your face.

Yield: 1 Liter

DIY Jalapeno Spray for Garden

Jalapeno Spray

Spray around plants in the garden to deter animals, rodents and more.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost Under $10


  • 1 Spray Bottle- Plastic 1L volume works well.
  • 7-8 Medium Jalapeno Peppers



  1. Slice Jalapenos small enough to fit in the bottle mouth- this will vary
  2. Add Jalapenos into bottle
  3. Add water up to 1L mark.
  4. Shake gently
  5. Let sit for 1 hour to allow to jalapeno to mix with the water.
  6. Give another shake before using.
  7. Spray around the base of plants, keeping away from the leaves.
  8. Let sit, keeping children and pets away from the garden while the spray settles.


Animals do not like the scent of the jalapenos.

Store this in the fridge for up to 1 week before replacing.

Keep spray away from face and especially eyes! Keep out of the reach of children, and always label as a non-food item.

Do not ever spray pets! And do not spray this while pets are nearby.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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How to Keep Stray Cats Out of Your Garden

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