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Gardening with Fido

May 1, 2016

Do you enjoy gardening? More to the point: does your dog enjoy gardening? Fido can definitely add some extra challenges to your gardening plans. Man’s Best Friend has been known to trample a few plants in his day! We can help! Below, an Oconomowoc, WI vet offers advice on gardening with dogs.

Planning Your Beds

Before planting, watch what your furry pal does when he’s in the yard. Does he run back and forth in one area when he’s on squirrel patrol? Work with your canine buddy, rather than against him by incorporating Fido’s doggy highway into your garden design.


One way to keep your plants safe from your four-legged pal is to create barriers around them. For borders, you can use low stone walls, fences, logs, or even thick plants. (Don’t pick anything with thorns or prickly parts that could hurt your pooch.) Create pathways between the beds, so Fido has a ‘road’ to travel.

Fido Fun Zone

If your playful pooch has lots of entertainment options, he may not bother your plants as much. Consider making Fido a fun outdoor play zone. You can incorporate a doggy agility course, or make your pup a sandbox to bury toys in. Your canine pal may even enjoy a kiddie pool to splash around in on hot days.

Choosing Your Plants

Be sure to only plant things that are safe for Fido. Some common garden plants that are dangerous for dogs include tulips, tomatoes, daffodils, and azaleas. Check the ASPCA site for a full directory of toxic and non-toxic plants.

Planting Arrangements

When planting your garden, put the most delicate plants in the center of your bed. Put tougher plants around the outside, so they form a natural barrier. Raised beds can also help.

Box Gardens

If none of the above options will work for you, consider box gardens. You may be surprised at how much produce you can get from them! Container gardens or even hanging gardens are also good options, and can be very attractive.


Play with Fido every day. A fun play session will amuse Fido and get that tail wagging. It will also burn off his excess energy, leaving him a bit tired. Tired dogs are much less prone to destructive behaviors, such as digging.

Does your dog need vaccines or an exam? Call us, your Oconomowoc, WI animal hospital, today!