Judy Chews

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Judy Chews

Why Do My Pets Dig Up My Backyard?

animal, dog, close-up

Animals are ruled by their id and DNA. But once domesticated, communication may be established because of the hints that pet owners get in understanding their pets’ specific type of behaviour. While their pets are driven initially by instinct, they adapt to their pet owners, through training them every now and then.

A simple example is a reward that comes right after a trick. There’s a common understanding between owner and the pet that if the pet does the trick right, it will be rewarded of something the pet heeds. As the pet develops cognitively, association with verbal commands corresponding to certain tasks become possible.

In line with this, it is safe to say that pets act according to want or according to a whim. The pet wants the reward, so he does the task. It does the tasks because it senses that they can please their owners in doing so. This pattern is also observed when they do something like digging. It usually is because they want something.

While their digging could go as small as damaging the flowerbed to something huge like destroying a whole landscape, it is important to understand what it is that they want to be done. In understanding the reason why, they dig comes ways on how to keep them from doing so.

  1. Usually, animals dig to keep or hide something.

This is mostly observed among canines. When they have a bone, they would want to save it. So, they dig thinking that they would just come back for it later. It’s possible to make them stop once you introduce, by training or habit, that they have a place for stashing what they want to save. You can also use items such as mesh tree guards or a selection of other garden wire products if the digging persists.

Also, they do it before they defecate. If you would observe the natural way of them going for it, they dig, do their thing and bury it after using the hind legs to put back the soil they have dug. It’s all purely instinct that they have to hide their faeces afterward. If this is the case, take your dog for a walk to encourage it to do the deed afterward and not in your backyard.

  1. Animals dig because they are looking for something.

Besides the idea that they might be looking for the bone as mentioned earlier, they might just be looking for their prey. Chickens and birds dig for worms. So do the pigs and squirrels. Therefore, if you could find a stash for them inside a perimeter part in the backyard, it could be a great help. Also, feeding them the right amount may lessen it since they would feel no deprivation, therefore, no need to dig for food.

  1. They dig for habitat purposes.

Turtles dig sand for its eggs to hatch in a safe place. This instinct pertains to that of the animals’ search for a comfortable habitat. While turtles only dig when it’s time to lay the eggs, canines dig when the weather is too hot. There is somehow relief when laying down semi-dry mud soil.

puppies, outside, flowers

Also, squirrels, skunks, and raccoons dig holes for a habitat. Though they may not necessarily be the pets you would usually have, they are the usual culprits of damaging a well-manicured backyard. Belonging to their family though are your rabbit friends which, most often than not are harmless and do not spray off the stink that would last for days but are habitual diggers.

What is there to do? Keep their area blocked off as this could help. You may use chicken wires in fencing your backyard. In planting rabbit-deterring plants, consult a landscape designer to incorporate these plants aesthetically and effectively into your garden.

Examples of the rabbit-deterring plants are annuals like goat-weed, verbena, and impatiens, you may also use echinacea, and honeysuckle which are perennials. And there’s big periwinkle and bougainvillea as a ground-cover. Combine perennials and annuals with shrubs to offer extra deterrent. Examples of shrubs are rhododendrons and camellias.

These are the common reasons why pets dig into your yard. With the corresponding solutions, you can keep them from an almost unsolvable dilemma.

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