You have put a lot of effort into taking care of your plants.
You have taken care of them with great affection and care to ensure that they grow healthy and beautiful…
All to discover one day that your dog has become hungry and has eaten them.
What are you doing?
You're not going to be mad at him, of course. With the innocent puppy face that makes you, impossible… but you have to do something to solve it and prevent it from happening again.
Well, don't worry, because here we are going to give you a hand.
In this post we explain.
- Why does your dog eat plants?
- When is it dangerous and what precautions should you take?
- How to avoid it.
Let's go there!
Why does my dog eat plants?
To prevent the dog from eating the plants, we must first understand why it does so.
These are the most common reasons.
IMPORTANT: the advice that we are going to give you here is indicative, but in no case replaces the assessment of a professional veterinarian.
1. Because your stomach hurts
This is the most well-known reason.
It is generally believed that when a dog eats grass, it is because his stomach hurts and he wants to purge himself.
The idea comes from the fact that wolves use this system to expel parasites from their bodies, and it seems that dogs have inherited this same instinct.
Sometimes some dogs eat grass to themselves vomit, but it is not the most common.
2. To supplement his diet
Eating plants could be a way for your dog to tell you that there are deficiencies in his diet.
For example, a low-fibre diet may cause your dog to seek out this nutrient in other ways (ie, by eating grass from your garden).
If you think that this may be the case, check with your veterinarian about the type of feed or food you are giving him to check that he does not have any deficiencies.
3. Due to anxiety
Many times we think that dogs are naughty and that they break things because they feel like it, when what actually happens to them is that they are stressed or anxious.
- They don't get enough exercise.
- They spend a lot of time alone and suffer from separation anxiety.
- There has been a sudden change (a move, a new member of the family) to which it is difficult for them to adapt.
In these cases, it is normal for the dog, to relieve stress, to end up destroying things… and if it has access to the garden, it is very likely that “something” is your plants.
4. Because they like them
Sometimes the reason is as simple as this.
If for us the flowers have a very pleasant aroma, imagine for a dog's nose.
Our furry friends are attracted and, in some cases, end up trying to see how they taste and end up liking them.
It is dangerous? Precautions that you must take into account
Sometimes the fact that your dog eats your plants is just a simple inconvenience.
A couple of broken blades of grass here and there, a pot with bites from time to time...
But is there any risk in this behaviour?
Well, the reality is yes. In particular, there are two important aspects:
1. Watch what kind of plants are eaten
In general, the dog eating the grass is not dangerous.
The leaves of the lawn do not contain any harmful substance for the animal, and the only thing they will do is pass through its body and provide it with some fibre.
The problem comes with other types of plants.
And there are certain species that are dangerous for our pets, and can even be toxic if ingested in large quantities (such as oleander, aloe vera, some varieties of daffodils...).
2. Be careful when applying phytosanitary products
But the only risk for our furry ones is not the substances generated by the plants themselves.
Some of the chemicals we use in our plants (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.) can be harmful to dogs if ingested.
If you have applied any phytosanitary product on your plants, keep your dog away from them for a few days until you are sure that it has completely disappeared.
You already know why your dog eats plants, but what can you do to prevent it?
Finally, let's look at some solutions to prevent your dog from biting the plants in your garden.
1. Look for the origin of the problem
Of course, the first thing is to try to understand why your dog has this behaviour and try to solve it at the root.
- If it is a problem in his diet, you will have to consult with your veterinarian to offer him a more complete diet.
- In case it is lack of exercise, plan to take it outside more time, or to play with it in the garden actively.
- If he suffers from anxiety stress, take him to a canine ethologist.
But what if it turns out there's no problem, and your dog just eats the plants because they like the taste of them?
In that case, there are other measures you can take.
2. Spray an anti-bite spray on your plants
In pet stores they sell organic sprays to prevent animals from eating plants.
These sprays give off a strong odor that is unpleasant for them, so it prevents them from eating the plants. Also, in the event that they are ingested by mistake, these sprays are generally safe (and won't harm the plant itself, either).
3. Install protective barriers
You can also put metal mesh or wooden fences around the pots that your dog is most fond of.
This will not only prevent you from accessing them, but they can become a very interesting decorative element.
What if you design a gluttonous dog-proof garden?
If you want to make sure forever that:
- Your dog is not going to eat the plants.
- Even if he does, there won't be any that can harm him.
In that case, it is best to start from the beginning by designing a “pet-friendly” or pet-friendly garden.
With this, we can help you.
At Viveros González we have a garden design and execution service, which means that we can help you create the perfect environment for you and your pet.
If you want us to help you, you just have to enter here and contact us.