Digging Doggie: How to Stop Your Dog from Digging 

Dogs and digging kind of go hand-in-hand. After all, their wild predecessors required good digging skills to pull up roots and other things they can eat. This necessary skill is not always appreciated when it comes to your dug up flower bed, however! Since your dog has the natural instinct to dig, it may begin in puppyhood and continue throughout their adult life, if not redirected. 

If you have a digging doggie, the team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital is sympathetic. We are here with some pointers on how to stop your dog from digging and improve their great behavior.

Digging Destruction

Chronic diggers not only destroy flowers and other greenery and create holes throughout the yard and garden, they can get into toxic plants as well. Digging can also impact flooring and carpet in the home and mangle houseplants and other foliage. Destructive digging can be a serious problem for some pet owners, and usually requires intervention.

One of the biggest concerns is that your pet will dig their way out from under the fence. This creates not only just an unsightly hole, but increases the risk of your pet becoming permanently lost

Why the Dig?

There are several reasons why your dog is digging, aside from their instinct to do so. You must first determine why before attempting to stop them. This root cause will help you figure out the right approach to curbing the behavior.

The common reasons for digging:

  • Your pet doesn’t have enough mental stimulation and is bored.
  • Your dog has separation anxiety, which causes destructive behavior like digging, chewing, and chronic barking.
  • Your puppy is still learning the basics of being a dog.
  • They like to bury things like toys and bones.
  • Some breeds, like labs, are more prone to digging.
  • Your dog is trying to eat roots and plants.
  • Your pet is an escape artist and likes to get away.

Finding the Solution

Once you know why your dog is digging (or even if you don’t), there are steps to take to alleviate some of the destruction.

  1. Supervise your pet when they are outside and redirect them to play a game whenever they attempt to dig.
  2. Make sure your dog has plenty of things to play with, including challenging puzzle-type games.
  3. Exercise your pet, especially playing interactive games like tug-of-war and playing fetch.
  4. Consider doggie daycare or a pet walker if your pet is spending too much time alone.
  5. Establish a dog digging zone by using a corner of the yard that is fenced in for playtime, or use a sandbox for kids filled with sand or dirt. 
  6. Fence areas that are off-limits to your doggo.

If your pet is digging out of anxiety, we recommend working with your veterinarian to treat the problem. 

Stop Your Dog from Digging

The team at Rocklin Ranch understand the woes of a digging dog. If we can answer any questions about why your dog is digging, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us. We may not be able to fix your garden bed, but we can definitely give you suggestions to stop your dog from digging.