There’s nothing more frustrating than when your pooch decides to unleash its inner archaeologist and dig up your well-manicured yard. This is frustrating not only because it’s an act that seems totally senseless, but it also makes an eyesore of your yard. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind your dog’s digging habits, offer solutions to repair any damage and share valuable tips to prevent future excavations.
Why Do Dogs Dig in the First Place?
Understanding why our canine friends dig up our lawns is the first step in finding a solution. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why your furry friend may decide to torment you with their digging.
- Digging is an instinctual behavior. Dogs are descendants of wolves, and digging is a natural behavior deeply ingrained in their DNA. Digging provides them with an outlet for energy, helps them cool down in hot weather, and satisfies their natural denning instincts.
- Digging out of boredom or anxiety. Dogs may resort to digging when they’re bored, seeking stimulation or attention. Similarly, anxiety or stress can trigger digging as a stress-relieving coping mechanism.
- Digging to hide or store objects. Some dogs dig to create hidden treasure stashes, burying toys, bones, or even themselves for safekeeping. They do this as an expression of their basic instincts, which includes protecting themselves and their possessions.
How to Repair Any Digging Damage
While having to repair holes in your yard is nothing short of a nuisance, the good news is that fixing the damage is relatively easy to do. Let’s look at how:
- Fill in the hole(s) with soil. The first step to fixing any digging damage is to fill the holes with soil. Make sure that the soil is packed down firmly and that all edges are smoothed out to avoid any further digging.
- Add compost. Adding a layer of compost helps the soil retain moisture while also adding valuable nutrients.
- Re-level the lawn. Once the compost is added, you’ll need to level the lawn to ensure grass grows even and without bumps.
- Seed over affected areas and water regularly. When watering, remember to water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep roots.
Tips to Prevent Future Digging
Once you’ve repaired any digging damage, it’s time to start thinking about how to prevent your pup from digging up the yard again. Here are a few different things you can consider trying to nix the digging habit in the bud.
- Supervise them when outside. Make sure you are actively supervising your pup when you are outside with them. As soon as you see them begin to dig, calmly move them away and redirect their attention to a different activity.
- Give them more exercise. A pup who is well-exercised is less likely to have extra energy to spend on mischievous activities like digging.
- Provide toys and distractions. Make sure that the yard is filled with stimulating toys and distractions. The key here is to make digging the far less appealing option for your pup. Similarly, depending on the size of your yard, you can also create an area where digging is allowed, such as a sandbox or a wooded and grass-less area. Keep in mind, however, that it can often be easier to train your dog to stop digging altogether rather than training them on dig-safe boundaries.
- Use deterrents. Particularly if your pup has a favorite digging spot, consider spraying the spot with vinegar. Vinegar acts as a safe deterrent and that will discourage digging. If this doesn’t do the trick, you can also consider buying a commercial dig deterrent product from your local pet or hardware store.
While there’s no denying that your dog’s digging can be an utter nuisance, the good news is that the repair and preventative options to curb their nasty habit are relatively easy to implement.