Dog Gardening Services

People are more important than things (I include animals with people in this statement).

This is my mantra.

I repeat it over and over as I look over my wrecked garden. The garden that was once a vision of loveliness to my neighbors and me. The garden that recently became a playground to Honey and her canine friends.

The garden is pretty in the spring before being wrecked by dogs.

Looking into the garden in the spring – before dog gardeners arrive.

But instead of feeling heartsick, I’m going to look at the positive side of having dog gardening services.

Benefits of Dog Gardening Services

1. I’ll learn which perennials are truly hardy. 

If they can survive to come up again in the spring, I’ll know I’ve chosen a winner.

Honey the Golden Retriever sits on a strawberry plant next to an uprooted hosta.

You picked the strawberries already. And hostas make great tug toys.

2. Claws break up soil regularly so it doesn’t become compacted.

No worries about compressing the soil too much while weeding. One game of bitey face will turn that soil loose in minutes.

3. The strong doggy scent in the garden means that for once, neighborhood cats won’t use it as their litter box.

Now I just have to worry about stepping in little puppy surprises.

4. I don’t have to cut back my spiderwort after blooming.

It seems that they’ve somehow all been chopped short without me and my pruner.

Honey the Golden Retriever sits in front of the squished spiderwort.

They’re not blooming anymore. What good are they? Besides, who calls a plant spiderwort?

5. I can see that the dogwoods I planted last year have really taken root.

If not, being crashed into by 150 pounds of combined canine mischief would certainly have knocked it loose.

6. That thistle I didn’t get to remove before it got too big has no chance of surviving now.

If only dogs did as good a job with Bermuda grass, we’d be all set.

7. The slugs that were doing a job on my marigolds have moved on.

Apparently thundering paws frighten slugs away. Or they’ve trampled all the tastiest morsels.

8. The mulch that makes its way from the flower beds into my yard add some much-needed compost to my lawn.

Maybe it will be enough to plant some grass in the spring to compete with the skunk cabbage.

Honey the Golden Retriever sits next to some perennials protected by a fence.

I think you’re supposed to put fencing around the garden BEFORE we start playing, er I mean, gardening.

9. And the best reason for having dog gardening services? Once the dogs have finished their gardening, they settle in for a nice long nap.

Your Turn: Do you try to keep the dogs from playing in your garden? Or gave you given up? Any tips you can share for combining a garden with puppy play time?




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  1. I can relate to this! I enjoy having a small vegetable garden, and to spare it from thundering puppy paws, we put a small fence up to discourage the dogs. It’s not foolproof, but I did get a few tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers from it this year before Thumper picked them. I have given up on having nice flowerbeds in the back yard. Thumper has dug giant holes behind my gardenias to make himself a cool hiding spot, and there are paths beaten down through my flower beds where he goes in search of whatever he smells. On the bright side, they are good at keeping vermin away – moles don’t stand a chance and snakes prefer my neighbors yard! :)

  2. After spending two hours double digging a small flower bed, I threw down some wildflower seeds and waited patiently for my garden to grow. I put a little chicken wire around it to keep my then-3-month-old pup out of it. Well, the chicken wire was no match for Bailey and digging around in my flower bed was her new favorite thing. I became so frustrated (I also wasn’t getting much sleep with a 3-month-old dog running around) I gave up and began sulking. My dog had ruined my flower bed. My husband, convinced that nature was stronger than my dog, bet me $1 that in a few months, I’d have a beautiful garden. Nope. Bailey ruined it, I said.

    Well, my husband was right. A beautiful flower garden emerged and has been quite the attractor for bees, butterflies and humming birds.

    Maybe Bailey didn’t ruin my flower bed, but when we finally construct a vegetable garden, I can assure you, there will be a fence around it. She has the rest of our 3/4 acre yard to romp in.

  3. We don’t have a garden, just flowers in pots which we leave alone. If we did have a garden it would most likely be trampled on several wild occasions, though.

  4. Except for the bigger bushes, all of our plants are in containers. And it’s taken 2 summers of the Badger for those potted plants not to be pulled out of their containers when he gets his gardening whim on. Not all is lost though – after YEARS, the dogs are finally only digging in one corner of the yard and not in the middle. It’s a spectacular hole & makes them very happy (seriously, it’s like the water cooler of the backyard. They gather around it every morning).

  5. Ha ha, I have so many little wire wiener proof fences the place looks like a gulag for rabbits. Once in a while they get in anyway, they are, after all, dachshunds, and I have to go around filling in holes for a couple days. It looks like little backhoes went berserk. Next time they do it I’ll take pictures, just before I kill them. 😉 Good post! She doesn’t look too guilty though lol!

  6. We have a small back yard so we try to keep it from getting totally wrecked by the dogs. Not so successful. It looks like Honey does a great job helping you garden. And I like your way of looking at the positives!

  7. In our old house, the grass was completely destroyed, and we just let it go. We did, however, manage to eke out a small vegetable garden by building a raised bed that we surrounded with a decorative fence. It was mostly successful, though we never got any tomatoes… Until we realized that several tomato plants were sprouting in Emmett’s poop spot, we hadn’t put it together that he was climbing up there and biting off the babies!

  8. Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says:

    When Callie and Shadow were much younger, and spending their days in the yard, they totally destroyed our two young dogwoods…out of pure boredom I’m sure…So at that point we just gave up. Now half our back yard is dirt or mud (depending on the weather) and half weeds. The front and side yards look pretty good despite being neglected 75% of the time.

  9. At one time, there was a garden however, now it is just a bed with a few shrubs in it. It is no longer a garden because it has become my lizard hunting ground (and sometimes bunny hunting ground since the bunnies like to hide in the shrubs). It is mine…all mine!

  10. Toby is a good gardener too…which is why Nick had to fence in all the vegetables. Anything beyond the fence is fair game.

    Great list of reasons, especially that last one. Nothing better than a tired dog! :-)

  11. Blueberry is not allowed in the garden unless I am in there with her. Otherwise she feels free to “pick” the veggies on her own. It’s just a small area of the yard – so the rest she is free to run around in. It’s really no fun having a garden anyway without dogs to make it entertaining and challenging at the same time. 😉

  12. We have a large backyard. The dogs have plenty of room to romp and play. It’s the chickens who’ve destroyed the gardens. My Hunny is not so kindly disposed toward them as you are to dogs.

    I was at the blog paws site and today’s topic is How to Handle Controversial Blog Topics. For some reason I thought of you immediately and popped over. 😉

  13. I think my dogs do pretty well with the gardens in my backyard especially considering I live with 3 terriers. I try to keep the beds along the fence and then they have the whole middle of the yard for wrestling. Any plants I worry might not be able to handle being run over by dogs, goes in the front or sides of the house which are dog free territories. Plants in the backyard have to be able to stand up to puppy paws or they won’t survive. I’m not too into coddling my plants.

    For the most part they don’t do too much damage to the vegetable garden, but I am planning to fence off that part of the yard, mostly because it’s an area where we can’t see the dogs when it’s dark out. They go back there and get busy sniffing and not hear me calling them. Then I have to trek down the yard in my pjs to make sure they are really back there and didn’t escape.

  14. Our yard isn’t fenced in, so it’s not an issue here. Most of my “pretty” gardening is in the front where the yard wouldn’t be fenced anyway, and the back is more natural, so I think we’d be okay… I think…

  15. I love how you’ve put a positive spin on the garden disaster! There’s a silver lining to everything! I don’t have a garden but I do grow potted veggies & flowers and each year the dog digs up the pots on the ground and the cats knock over the ones up high and they all feast on the tattered remains of whatever green is on the ground.

  16. My lawn is total crap and I’d love to get it rotary hoed and start again but it’s huge so that won’t be happening … so I’m thinking of having a Greyhound party here. Watching the clods fly that just 2 GH’s tearing around the lawn produce I’d imagine about 10 of them would have the lawn ploughed up for me in about 5 minutes :) I don’t do much weeding because the dogs like to eat a bit of grass quite often, not lawn grass though. What annoys me is that if do get out in the garden Frankie and Beryl just sleep inside. They’re not good company :( I like some sort of company when I’m gardening, lol.

  17. haha our garden is a complete mess too, but mummy and daddy have given up caring :-)

  18. We have a pretty relaxed attitude towards gardening – if it lives, it stays. If it doesn’t, it just wasn’t meant to be. So that includes anything that dies of natural causes, our error or our terror (Bella).

    We have very little lawn and what we do have has been torn to shreds by little Miss Speed Demon doing her best Indy 500 impression around the turns. We enjoy her running more than the lawn. Bella loves to dig as well but we try to direct her efforts to less obvious areas.

    When all is said and done though, she’s really pretty good about the actual garden beds. Although I was showing off a particularly charming mini Hosta to some friends recently only to have Bella step right on it and break off most of the leaves. Oh well, it’ll grow back. 😉

  19. I’ve been gardening for my humans! Take a look at my blog to see how I’ve been lending a helpful paw! :)
    (Bambi Boodlington’s Dog Blog)

  20. I moved all of my gardens to outside of the dog pen. We have a separate fenced in area for the vegetable garden, and for some reason the dogs get so excited when I go down there! They aren’t allowed in early in the season, when we’re waiting for seeds to sprout, but once everything is up they just love to come in and sniff around (with us only). I have raised beds so they mostly stay out of them. I used to tough it out when we only had Kobi and Maggie, but when three puppies came along all at once, it was more than my flower gardens could take! So we made a new one in another area. Having said all that, we are lucky that we have almost 2 acres of land, so we are able to do it all separately!