The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Dogs are animals that many people wouldn’t want to live without. Your dog might be your best friend, and many people consider their dogs to be family members.
As much as you love your dog, it’s easy to see that your dog needs to be monitored so that it can live properly. Dogs aren’t always going to make good decisions and they will even sometimes do dumb things that can cause them harm.
For instance, you might catch your dog eating some of your mulch if you leave it unattended in the yard. Dogs will try to eat all sorts of stuff and sometimes this can cause them significant pain and other types of issues.
Curious why your dog is suddenly following you around? Find out the most common reasons.
Check the information below to learn how you can stop your dog from eating mulch. This should make things a lot safer for you so that you won’t have to worry so much about your dog when it’s outside.
Why Is Eating Mulch So Bad?
The first important thing to understand is why eating mulch is such a bad thing for your dog. If your dog decides to eat mulch, then it’s possible that it could get really sick.
Mulch comes in many different sizes and styles, but many people use wood chips. Wood chips look nice and they add a certain aesthetic appeal to your garden.
Your dogs probably like the wood chips as well since they smell nice. Dogs like to chew on wood chips because they think that it feels good on their gums.
That might seem kind of weird to you, but dogs look at things differently than humans do. You know that dogs like wood chips, but you need to focus on why it’s important to keep your dogs away from them.
When a dog ingests wood chips, it’s possible that it could get really sick. The dog is likely going to throw up, but it could wind up being much worse than that.
In some cases, dogs have had intestinal blockage issues due to eating wood chips. Wood chips can also carry different types of mold that could make your dog ill.
If you spray your garden area for bugs, then wood chips can hold trace amounts of pesticides that can be harmful to your pets. It’s easy to see why eating wood chips is a bad thing, and you need to endeavor to protect your dog from itself.
1 – Block the Dog From Having Access to the Wood Chips
One of the best things that you can do is to make an effort to block your dog from having access to the wood chips. There are actually many ways that you can approach this, but it isn’t going to be that tough no matter what you choose to do.
You could install some low fencing (like this) that will keep the wood chips from being readily accessible. This will make it so that your dogs would have to go out of their way to get to the wood chips.
Some people will make the wood chips completely inaccessible by creating a barrier between the garden area and the spots where the dogs roam outside. You might be able to ensure that your dog stays in a part of the yard that has no wood chips whatsoever.
For instance, you could use fencing to create a space in your backyard where the dogs can play when they need to get exercise. The dogs won’t be able to roam beyond that area, and this means that they won’t be eating wood chips when they go outside.
While it’s true that you’ll have to spend a bit of money if you go this route, it’s not going to be overly pricey in most cases. You can find fencing at low prices when you shop at many hardware stores.
You could come up with a unique solution to block your dogs from being able to get to the wood chips as well. It might be possible to think outside of the box and come up with an idea that is perfect for your situation if using fencing doesn’t appeal to you.
2 – Train the Dog
Have you thought about training your dog so that it won’t do things that it isn’t supposed to do? It’s possible to train dogs very well so that they will behave and not put themselves in bad situations.
You could use standard training methods to try to train your dog to stay away from things that it isn’t supposed to get into. People are able to use training to keep dogs from getting into the trash, and the same type of training can be used to keep your dogs away from your garden area.
Of course, not everybody is going to be very good at training their dogs. You might have problems with doing this because you just don’t know how to approach things.
You could send your dog to a training school or hire a professional who can help to train your dog. This could be a good thing to look into if your dog has other behavioral issues.
This might not be practical for everyone since it can cost a good bit of cash to hire a dog trainer. Remember that you should try to train dogs when they are just puppies to make it easier on yourself if you’d like to attempt to do it alone.
3 – Distract Your Dog
If you walk your dog in your yard, then you could simply try to distract the dog to keep it from trying to grab mulch. It’ll be a good idea to try to guide your dog away from the mulch when you’re walking it as well.
You can easily distract dogs with other things if you really try. Some people even carry chew toys and other things like that to keep dogs occupied.
Providing the dog with something that it enjoys chewing on more than the mulch will help. Your dog will likely go for its favorite chew toy instead of the wood chips.
Also, if you’re right there watching your dog, then you can stop it if it tries to eat wood chips. You’ll be able to keep anything bad from happening if you’re vigilant like this.
It becomes more of a problem when you let your dogs out in the yard without supervision. This is when the dog training mentioned above will come into play, but it might simply be best to supervise your dogs in the yard.
4 – Repellent Sprays
There are actually repellent sprays that can keep dogs from wanting to get near wood chips. You can spray stuff on the mulch that will change the way that it tastes.
You can find a nontoxic spray that will work wonders to keep dogs and other animals from trying to eat it. The spray will give the wood chips a very strong taste that dogs won’t find pleasant at all.
The sprays won’t harm your wood chips in any way, and they also won’t hurt your dog if your dog does attempt to put a wood chip into its mouth. This could be a perfect solution to your problem if you’re willing to take the time to spray your mulch.
Some people have developed DIY versions of mulch spray that work pretty well, too. You could mix up vinegar and water to make a spray that will also keep dogs from wanting to eat the mulch.
Even something such as a citrus spray will keep your dogs from eating the mulch. It might be better than using a vinegar spray if you hate the strong smell of vinegar.
5 – Give the Dog More Exercise
Did you know that dogs are less likely to act up and do bad things if they get enough exercise? You could make more of an effort to tire your dog out so that it will relax for you.
This isn’t a way to directly keep your dog from eating mulch, but it’s worth mentioning that exercise is important for dogs. When dogs have too much energy, they’re going to be more likely to misbehave.
You can turn things around by taking the time to play with your dog each day. Take your dog out for a run or play fetch with the dog.
This will ensure that the dog uses up a lot of energy and you won’t have to worry as much about it misbehaving. If you combine this with prevention methods like the one above, then you won’t need to worry as much about your dog moving forward.
Now that you know more about what you can do to keep your dog safe, it’ll be easier to move forward with confidence. You definitely don’t want to let your dog eat wood chips because it could wind up causing the dog many health problems.
You love your dogs and you want them to be able to stay healthy for a long time. They don’t understand the pain and sickness that can be caused by eating mulch, but you’re going to be able to help them avoid making that mistake.
Limiting the access that your dogs have to the mulch is a great place to start. You could block the mulch off so that your dogs can’t reach it when they’re outside.
It’s also going to be wise to look into training options for your dog so that it will know not to do things like that. Supervising your dog while outside is another option that will allow you to keep the dog from eating things that it shouldn’t eat.
Use whatever method you think makes sense for your situation. At the end of the day, your dog is going to be much safer and you won’t have to be nearly as worried.