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Why Does My Dog Dig Up My Garden?

Dogs love to dig for a variety of reasons.  By nature, dogs are omnivores; they can eat a variety of plants, fruit, veggies as well as meats too. Your dog likes to forage for grass, weeds, worms, lizards and all sorts of things in your garden. It is their instinct; in the wild a dog in a pack would forage to survive between successful hunts. Ensuring your dog has a holistic nutritious raw food diet may reduce this, however again it is important to note that this is instinctual to your dog.

Dogs also like to dig dirt in the warmer months. You may see your dog dig away the top layer of dirt and then settle themselves to sit on top of it. This moves aside the warmer layer and reveals the cooler moist earth underneath  which is more comfortable for your dog in the heat. You can help this by providing more shade such as a kennel for your dog; with a paddling pool to cool off or you can bring your dog inside where possible and turn the air conditioning on for them.

There is also behavioural reasons that your dog digs up your garden – they can be bored and restless if they are alone for long hours ad don’t get a lot of exercise. Dogs can dig for hours to release pent-up energy. Separation anxiety and fear for their safety can also cause a dog to dig along the fences, and ultimately try to escape. You can alleviate these issues by taking your dog for more exercise such as longer walks, running, and swimming. You can also try leaving some of your dog’s favourite toys outside before you leave so he is distracted and entertained. We can resolve separation anxiety with a consultation; we can ask the dog what are they anxious about and help resolve it with the relevant methods.

 

Finally at the end of the day, your dog likes to dig because its fun! A lot of dogs tell me that they believe their owners have fixed the garden for the dog to play in – how kind we are! So maybe we need to loosen up a little and have fun too.

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