You should realize your dog won’t dig holes all over your yard deliberately or merely to ruin your landscaping; they’re likely, to do it for entertainment, attention, escape, prey, comfort, or protection.
In this article, we will answer all the most commonly asked questions about how to stop a dog from digging holes, why they dig holes and much, much more so that you can manage this behaviour with your dog the best way.
Table of Contents
- How Do I Stop My Dog Digging Holes?
- Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?
- What Smells Do Dogs Hate?
- Do Dogs Grow Out Of Digging?
- How Do I Make A Dog Digging Area?
- What Breeds Of Dogs Dig The Most?
- How Do You Stop Dogs Digging Under The Fence?
- Why Do Dogs Dig At The Bed?
- Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt?
- Is it Safe For Dogs To Eat Dirt?
- Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
- Do Dogs Dig Holes When They Are Dying?
How Do I Stop My Dog Digging Holes?
There is a range of different ways you can stop your dog from digging holes; here are some of the best tips:
- Use scent deterrents
- Create a digging barrier underground
- Provide them with a designated area to dig and train them to use it
- Exercise your dog a lot
- Provide your dogs lots of toys and entertainment when they are left alone
- Give them adequate shelter in the year
Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?
When deciding what to do to stop your dog from digging holes, you first need to know why they are digging. Finding the reason for the behaviour will allow you to quickly and effectively solve the issue.
Here are the most common reasons dogs dig holes:
- Boredom – dogs, especially young and high energy dogs, need lots of mental and physical stimulation. Without, they may take to digging holes to keep them busy and amused.
- Too cold or too hot – wild dogs dig holes to burrow into to sleep. These holes keep them out of the elements, whether it is the heat or cold. If your dog is overheated or too cold, it may dig holes in the yard.
- Scared – holes provide a sense of security for dogs, so them digging holes can indicate they feel scared and are looking to hide.
- Hiding food is another natural reason for dogs digging to hide excess food, so others cannot find and eat it.
- Trying to escape – if your dog hasn’t been spayed or neutered they may be trying to escape the yard if they smell a suitable mate for them, the urge to breed is strong enough for them to want to run away.
What Smells Do Dogs Hate?
Dogs do not like the smell of citrus, coffee and vinegar. Using these scents you can make natural dog deterrents to stop them from digging.
Do Dogs Grow Out Of Digging?
Dogs are natural diggers so won’t always grow out of the behaviour of digging. If the digging is due to an excess of unused energy, they may leave their digging days behind as they grow out of the hyperactive puppy stage.
How Do I Make A Dog Digging Area?
The use of a sandbox can help here. Make your dog’s exploration more fun by burying rubber bones and other treats in the sand. Digging in this area will be more rewarding than digging anywhere else in the yard. You need to gently redirect your dog when they dig somewhere other than their digging spot. Any digging in their preferred spot should be rewarded by you.
What Breeds Of Dogs Dig The Most?
All dogs will naturally dog to some extent. Breeds that were purpose-bred for hunting small animals like to dig the most as this is how they hunt, by digging into burrows. These breeds are most often terrier breeds and also the Dachshund.
Also, dogs bred for cold climates such as Huskies and Malamutes tend to dig more and they will be searching for a cooler place to rest.
How Do You Stop Dogs Digging Under The Fence?
Dogs who are digging under fences are usually trying to get out of the confines of the yard. You can use the methods used above to help stop the digging and in addition, use some of these tips especially for fence digging:
- Bury large rocks around the fence line
- Install wire dug into below the fence
- Use an invisible dog fence to train them to stay away from the physical fence
- Strategically plant bushes around the fence line – the roots will stop digging
Why Do Dogs Dig At The Bed?
On the bottom of their feet, dogs have scent glands that secrete a distinct pheromone. By scratching at something, your dog can let others know that their bed is theirs.
It also is due to their natural instinct to dig a burrow to create a safe, warm place to sleep in the wild. Digging into the bed, your bed or some blankets is the equivalent of them fluffing their pillows and getting comfortable.
Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt?
Boredom, stress, or simply the smell of something tasty mixed into the dirt may be responsible for the urge to eat dirt. Whenever your dog eats dirt, you shouldn’t ignore the behaviour since it could indicate a bigger problem, such as:
- Low red blood cell count (anemia)
- Mineral deficiencies or nutritional imbalances
- Poor quality of food
- Stomach upset
Or simply, the dirt may just taste good to your dog! But is this okay?
Is it Safe For Dogs To Eat Dirt?
Dogs shouldn’t be eating dirt! Eating too much dirt can cause some serious issues such as:
- Damage to the teeth
- Impaction of dirt in the intestines
- Ingestion of parasites
- Poison – the dirt contains fertilizers or pesticides
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Eating grass might help calm a dog’s upset stomach, according to most veterinarians. Dogs may benefit from eating grass like a ‘natural antacid’. Generally, after eating grass, dogs feel improved, but this relief is mostly temporary as they tend to vomit afterwards.
Do Dogs Dig Holes When They Are Dying?
Dogs have survival instincts that tell them to isolate themselves to protect themselves if they cannot defend themselves from injury or illness. It provides them with a feeling of safety and coolness when it gets too hot by digging a hole.
However, they do not realize they are dying, they are just trying to find a way to keep themselves safe when they are vulnerable.