How To Stop Pets from Pooping In Flower Beds
Pets are one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind, but that doesn’t mean they come without any problems. Every pet is likely to have one or two habits that make living with them difficult. One of the most common issues you’ll run into is your pet pooping or peeing in places where you don’t want them to go—like your flower bed!
If your pet (or a neighbor’s pet or even a stray) is using your flower bed as a litter box, you want to do what you can to deter them. Animal poop is acidic and can carry parasites and germs that are bad for the soil, especially if you’re growing anything edible. If you need help ending a pet’s practice of pooping in your flower bed, here are a few tips.
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Methods to Deter Pets from Pooping in Flower Beds
There is a wide variety of methods you can use to deter pets from pooping in flower beds. Generally, all you need to do is add a deterrent in the form of a fence, barrier, or scent that pets dislike. However, there are other methods if those fail. Here are our top suggestions.
1. Use a Scent They Dislike
Depending on the type of animal you’re trying to keep away, there are certain scents that will really throw pets off.
Cats hate the smell of citrus, so throwing scraps of oranges, lemons, and limes in your garden could work. However, raw citrus could potentially be harmful to dogs, so avoid scraps if you know your dog or a neighbor’s dog will be in the garden. You can try sprinkling a citrus essential oil on the ground instead.
Some scents that cats and dogs dislike include:
You can either sprinkle these directly in the soil or soak cotton balls or similar products in the scents and plant those near where your pet likes to poop. Ideally, the scent will repel the animal from taking the time necessary to do its business.
2. Use a Fence
Placing a fence around your garden may or may not appeal to you. You can do it tastefully, but it is also likely to be fairly expensive and a bit of a pain. However, a small fence is a great way to keep dogs out of the garden!
If you’re struggling with cats getting in and they can get right over a fence, you may want to consider chicken wire. Place chicken wire around your plants so cats can’t get through or lay it flat on the ground so that cats have to walk on it—something they’ll hate because their paws are sensitive to the texture chicken wire will bring.
3. Use Textures
Depending on what type of animal is using your garden, you can use different textures to keep them from spending their time in the flower bed. Cats hate the feel (and smell) of coffee grounds, so you can sprinkle those around your flower bed if you have a problem with cats.
Dogs may not mind coffee grounds as much (and could get sick from eating the caffeine in them), but they will dislike gravel, pine cones, and pine needles. Thankfully, these are also irritating to cats’ more sensitive paws, so adding a layer of poky plants or gravel to your garden is a surefire way to end pet poop in its borders.
4. Use Sprinklers
Cats are especially prone to dislike water, but no animal likes being sprayed in the face! There are many sprinklers on sale that you can purchase and plant in your garden that will go off when they sense the presence of motion and heat from your pet.
For cats, you might also consider an ultrasonic cat deterrent, a tool that emits a high, piercing sound that cats find intolerable but humans don’t notice. Placing this in your garden should prevent a cat from approaching too often!
5. Keep the Garden Clean and Watered
Animals are prone to return to the same spot over and over again to do their business. If a cat or dog poops or pees in your flower bed, clean the area immediately by picking up the soiled dirt and hosing down the garden as thoroughly as possible.
Keep any food (animal or human) out of the garden area. If you’re using an organic fertilizer that could be attractive to dogs, consider purchasing something else—most fertilizers are poisonous to dogs anyway.
Animals are also not fond of wet soil, so if you can, keep your flower bed well-watered to deter pets from entering it as a potential bathroom area.
6. Create a Better Space
In general, pets are not using the flower bed as a bathroom simply because they want to annoy you. Most of the time, they’re just looking for a safe, quiet space to do their business. The flower bed is appealing because it’s easy to hide in and convenient for repeated visits.
A great way to deter pets from using the flower bed is to provide another space for them to use as a bathroom. Create a corner of your yard and take your dog there regularly to use the bathroom (you can check out our post on how to train a dog for more tips).
Cats are harder to train, but if you provide a litter box and use one or more of the suggested repellents, you should be able to keep them out of your flower bed. You can also try placing some catnip and bird feeders in a designated litter area to attract your cat more readily.
Keeping Your Flower Bed Clean
Each of these options is great to get a good headstart on keeping cats and dogs from pooping in your flowerbed. Ultimately, one of the best tactics is to simply keep your garden clean and provide your pets with better places to do their business.
If you’re still having issues with animals (especially neighbors’ pets or strays!) using your flower bed, we can help! We’ll come and clean up any poop in your yard—even if it’s not from your pet. Our team loves keeping yards and gardens clean to provide safe spaces for our customers and their precious pets.