Your dog might be your furry best friend, but he can be your plant's worst nightmare. If you do not want to choose between growing plants and keeping your dog, building a fence around your plants creates a barrier that protects them both. If fence building is not an option, then applying repellents can protect your plants.
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A dog can destroy your plants. Some dogs munch on leaves and stems. This can interfere with the plant's ability to photosynthesise enough nutrition. There is also a risk that the plant could be toxic to your dog. Even if the plant is not poisonous, eating a large amount of green leaves can result in gastric upset, leading to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea. Some dogs dig in dirt and end up damaging plants incidentally rather than purposefully. If you are trying to grow flowers or vegetables, the last thing you want is your dog urinating in your garden.
Natural repellents to deter dogs from coming near plants include citronella and pennyroyal oil. These essential oils have a strong odour that a dog will avoid. Sprinkling red chilli pepper flakes around a plant can keep a dog from coming too near. You can make a hot pepper spray by pouring 1 pint of boiling water over 1/2 cup of sliced hot peppers. Once the liquid has cooled, strain it into a spray bottle. If your dog is more interested in digging than in plants themselves, spread out chicken wire around the plant and stake it down.
To use essential oils to repel dogs from plants, place a few drops on the plant's pot or container. If the plant is outside, add three or four drops of oil to a spray bottle full of water and spray down the plant. Shake red chilli flakes into the soil around plants to keep a dog from digging into it or approaching the plants. Spritz down plants with homemade hot pepper spray. Both the odour and the burning sensation from the capsaicin from the peppers will persuade a dog to leave the plant alone. Spreading chicken wire will prevent a dog from digging near a plant until it loses interest in the area.
Citronella and pennyroyal oils are natural insect repellents, so using them in your garden could deter some helpful insects like bees from approaching your plants. Pennyroyal plants can cause miscarriages if ingested, so to be completely safe, do not use this oil if anyone in your family is pregnant. Hot pepper spray will also repel insects. Wear gloves when applying it and take care not to spray it into the wind, because the same capsaicin that repels dogs will make your skin and eyes burn if it gets into them.
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