How to Keep Your Dog From Eating Plants

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How to Keep Your Dog From Eating Plants. Some dogs love to chew, eat and dig up house and garden plants. You can put up fencing and eliminate your dog's favorite plants, or you can undertake a program of behavior modification. Most dogs can learn rather quickly to stay away from the plants.

Crate the dog in the house while he is being trained to leave the houseplants alone. Monitor the dog carefully when not in the crate. Use the crate as you would use a playpen for a baby.

Keep a close watch on the dog and sharply admonish her when she approaches houseplants or outdoor plantings. Praise the dog immediately for moving away from the plants. Offer her an appropriate chew toy.

Use a foul-tasting spray (like bitter apple or bitter herbs), formulated to repel pets. Mist the leaves of houseplants and repeat per the manufacturer's directions. Try household vinegar in a spray bottle as a natural deterrent.

Fill a 12 oz. spray bottle with water and set the sprayer to a stream. Spray the dog in the face whenever he approaches the target plants, indoors or out. Add 1 to 2 tsps. of household ammonia to the water in the event the dog enjoys being sprayed with plain water.

Sprinkle dog repellent granules around shrubs, flowers and garden plants. Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Reapply the granules every few days and after it rains (see Resources).

Place a static pulse "shock mat" near the problem plant to discourage the dog. Make sure that everyone in the household is aware of its location and understands to avoid it (see Resources).

Be consistent in the efforts to break the dog's habit of eating plants. Continue using repellents and correction techniques until the behavior ceases. Resume the use of repellents and behavior modification as needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some houseplants are poisonous to pets as well as people when ingested. Choose plants carefully for a house with pets and small children.

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