Preventing Dogs From Entering, Leaving Yards

Plus Tips on Preventing Dogs From Doing Damage or Getting Sick

Small dog walking on leash next to landscaped area

Lempelziv/ Getty Images

The resources below deal with the impact of dogs (your own or other people's) on landscaping, which I've organized into four separate issues. Almost all of us deal with one of these issues, whether we be dog owners or not: many folks who do not own dogs are confronted by the problems posed by other people's dogs entering their yards. Even in cases where we can't prevent dogs from entering the yard, we will probably wish, at the very least, to stop other people's dogs from defecating in our yards.

Preventing other people's dogs from entering your yard may mean either building a fence or applying canine repellents, while preventing dogs that you own from leaving the yard entails constructing some sort of dog fence, visible or otherwise. I deal with each of these matters below.

But this topic calls for the discussion of two other issues pertinent to dog owners. First of all, even if you're successful in keeping your canine friends within the confines of your own yard, the fact is that dogs can create "dog spots" in your grass or cause even more significant damage to a property, tearing a lawn to shreds and leaving behind a muddy mess. The second issue also has to do with damage; but in this case, I'm referring not to damage caused by dogs, but the damage caused to dogs through the ingestion of plants toxic to pets.

I address all four of these problems in the resources below.

Dog Repellents

Tired of having other people's dogs using your yard as their own personal toilet? Dog repellents come in many forms, ranging from products whose smell keeps dogs away, to devices that emit sonic and ultrasonic sound waves that dogs find offensive.

Plants Poisonous to Dogs

The chances that you have a plant growing in your yard that is at least mildly toxic to dogs are very good. Don't believe me? Check out this list, which links to resources telling you more about the plants in question. While it's hardly exhaustive, I think the list will give you an idea of just how many different types of plants are poisonous to dogs. Note that these are common, not obscure plants!

Underground Dog Fences

I mentioned above that there's a device that emits sonic and ultrasonic sound waves designed to drive canine intruders away. But a similar technology exists to keep your own dog from leaving the yard. Don't worry: neither of these gizmos is in any way harmful to dogs. And the beauty of underground dog fencing is that it can be kept invisible. You can read about underground dog fencing in the following article, based on an interview with an expert in the field:

Landscaping to Prevent Dog Damage

This article explores how to balance two pursuits that aren't always compatible with each other:

  1. Maintaining a dog-friendly yard
  2. Keeping the yard clean and aesthetically pleasing to humans​