A designated digging spot will keep your dog away from damaging your vegetable garden, flowerbeds, and it will also keep your dog safe. This will be a defined area of your yard where it is the one and only acceptable area for your dog to dig. There are different inexpensive ways to construct a special dog-digging “sandbox”. Let’s create an easy DIY sandbox for dogs.
How To Create A Sandbox
1. If you have enough room in your yard, you can easily construct a sandbox simply with some wood products, nails, construction glue, loose sand, soil, or dirt (can be found in most hardware stores).
Depending on the size of your yard, you want to create a box that is big enough for your dog(s) to fit in. You can either nail in or use construction glue to put the wood panels together. The box created from the wood products provides borders and barriers which provides a visual area for the dog to see. Inside the bottom of the box, attach a landscape fabric so that you can easily pour out the sand onto the fabric. You can also pour damp sand as some dogs have more fun digging in damp surfaces. To ensure that the sandbox stays in place, you may want to bury the walls of the sandbox slightly into the ground. This will prevent the sandbox from moving around and spilling sand everywhere. Additionally, you can add a layer of gravel at the bottom of the sandbox to aid in drainage. A well-drained sandbox will not only be more comfortable for your dog but will also prevent the sand from getting moldy and smelly
Additional Instructions: Make sure to cover the top of the sandbox at night; preventing any outdoor animals such as stray cats that may want to use it as a litter box.
2. Purchase a kids plastic pool and fill the inside with clean and safe sandbox quality sand. If it is safe for children to play with, it should be safe for dogs too.
3. Dig a large shallow hole in your yard and fill it with sand or dirt.
Once you have created an approved digging area, present and introduce this new specific spot to your dog as the area where he or she can have fun digging.
Let your dog watch you bury his or her treasure(s) inside the hole or sandbox. Rewarding treasures can include favorite squeaky toys, food stuffed chew toys, or high value treats that are delicious and smelly.
Encourage your dog to dig out the rewards and praise him or her when they do find them. When you are first teaching this to your dog, try and make it easy for them to find by hiding the rewards at the top of the hole. Throughout the week, you can hide new toys and tasty treats so your dog doesn’t get bored and can find fun magical surprises. This will encourage them to only look inside their sandbox or hole you have designed for them.
You can also make the sandbox more attractive to your dog by burying different types of smells in it. For example, you can bury bacon bits, liver treats or chicken pieces. This will make the sandbox more exciting and encourage your dog to dig more. Additionally, you can make the game more challenging by making it harder for your dog to find the rewards. You can do this by burying the rewards deeper in the sand or by covering them with a layer of leaves or grass. This will make the game more interesting for your dog and give him or her a sense of accomplishment when they finally find the rewards.
The sandbox should be located in an area where it is easily spotted and can be seen from the inside of your home so you can supervise your dog.
It is best to station the sandbox in a slightly shaded area of your yard to protect your dog from heat exhaustion during playtime.
The designated digging hole or sandbox should be placed at a far distance away from your garden.
Additional Ways to Protect Your Garden
Put up a fence or plant coverings such as netting, garden fabric, or chicken wire around your garden to prevent your dog from damaging it. Dogs find digging on rocky surfaces to be an uncomfortable feeling on their paw pads; it may be helpful to put rocks or coarse gravel around your fence in the garden or inside all the holes that your dog should not be digging in.