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Dog-proofing a garden

(9 Posts)
EauRouge Tue 16-Apr-13 15:33:33

Hello, dog-gurus,

We're planning on getting a rescue dog later on in the year, it will be our first dog. I've been out in the garden a lot the last few days doing jobs here and there and it's made me think of the home checks that rescue places do before you can have a dog. We have 6 ft+ fences all the way around our garden and a gate with a padlock, which is the only way in and out.

Is there anything else I need to do to make the garden dog-friendly? I'm concerned about digging, will planting shrubs close to the fence help to prevent that? I'm not precious about my plants, I'm more concerned about potential escape. I have no idea how long it would take for a dog to dig its way out but it wouldn't be unattended outside for long anyway. Are some dogs more Steve McQueen than others?

Also I have some rhubarb in the back garden which I know is poisonous. Should I move it to the front garden to be on the safe side?

Thanks for any tips you can give me!

Lilcamper Tue 16-Apr-13 15:40:09

Terrier types are more tunnellers generally.

mind77 Tue 16-Apr-13 16:46:18

Fantastic of you to be giving a rescue dog a chance of having his/her own loving forever homesmile Your fencing sounds fine for most dogs,although be aware that some determined buggers can still clear 6ftgrin Digging and tunnelling is a whole other problem!!Terriers are reknowned for digging!! I fostered a Jack Russell a short while ago who was a nightmare for digging. I actually couldnt leave him outside by himself as he could dig a hole big enough for himself to get under my fence within about 30 seconds( as I found out one morning when I looked out my window having literally let him out 20 seconds earlier to see just his backside sticking out of a freshly made hole under my fenceangry.
I would also say to look for any holes in fencing etc. Small holes that you may think don't pose a problem. I had one of about 3cms in my fence to which foster dog very determingly shoved his snout through once and would have chewed through to have made the hole to escape if I hadn't been out there with him. (Had learnt by then not to trust him for even a second out there on his owngrin )
I would say that 99% of dogs aren't quite that bad though so don't want to alarm you, foster dog was a law upon himself bless him, but it is a good idea to go around your garden looking for small,less obvious potential problems alsosmile

mind77 Tue 16-Apr-13 16:48:17

Forgot to say, in my experience,shrubs next to a fence will not stop a determined diggergrin They will be dug up and tossed to one side with the rest of itgrin

PurpleFrog Tue 16-Apr-13 16:52:06

Our lab doesn't dig - but does eat anything vaguely organic he can get his paws on - cat poo, sticks etc.. It would be a good idea to check all your plants. It is amazing what can be poisonous to dogs. I removed the rhubarb and foxgloves before we got him as a puppy, but we still have lots of other slightly iffy plants I keep an eye on. For example we have 100s of daffodils flowering at this time of year and it would be impossible to dig up all the bulbs.

EauRouge Tue 16-Apr-13 17:04:09

Foxgloves and lily of the valley have already gone after an incident with DD1! I'll move the rhubarb to the front garden then to be on the safe side. Most of the things in my back garden are edible anyway, I'll google to see if any are OK for humans but poisonous for dogs. I've heard onions and garlic are bad for them so maybe those need to go too (not that I've ever had any luck growing the damn things).

Thanks so much for all the tips!

Scuttlebutter Tue 16-Apr-13 23:00:00

There's a very useful checklist on how to poison proof your home on the Vet Poisons Info Website - well worth a look - see here

AdoraBell Wed 17-Apr-13 02:29:46

We had a pair of diggers, OH and step-son dug down inside the fence -about a foot down- to put wire fencing under the garden for 1 metre in front of the fence all round, ran the fencing up and connected with the existing fence, which is wire too. Bloody hard work, but it worked.

Of course if the rescue isn't a digger then you won't need to go to such lengths. Good luck with whatever dog you get, and well done for giving someone a much needed home, and being chosen.

EauRouge Wed 17-Apr-13 14:38:45

Thanks Scuttle, that's a very useful website. All the garden chemicals are locked up in the shed (I only have plant food, I don't use slug pellets or anything like that). I've got a child lock on the cupboard under the kitchen sink already and we're planning to not let the dog upstairs so hopefully that will be safe. I think we'll have to do something with the power cables for the TV etc though.

Adora, that does sound like hard work! I'll have a look at the bottom of the fences. We're on a slope so the fence is deeper in our garden if you see what I mean. Might be something to consider if we do end up with a digger!

Thanks again smile

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