How to Stop Dogs From Digging Up Tree Roots

Spotted: Sparky behind a tree giving into his digging fetish.
i Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images

If Sparky has a talent for digging, your backyard might fall victim to his skills. If he's digging up tree roots, he might be chasing animals or craving comfort and attention. To save your yard and maintain your sanity, find out what's up with Sparky and stop his digging.

Critter Control

If Sparky is consistently digging up the same tree roots, he might be chasing a burrowing animal, such as a mole, squirrel or woodchuck. To stop his behavior, make your yard unattractive to uninvited animals. Fence off your yard and bury the fence at least 1 foot below the surface, making sure the bottom of the fence flares out into an L-shape. Use squirrel-proof bird feeders, cover plants that can double as critter food with bird netting and use pet-safe repellents geared toward deterring the animal in question.

Prioritize Comfort

Sparky might just be looking for a shady, comfortable spot to rest in if he settles himself in a self-made hole under the tree's canopy. To save your yard and keep your pet companion comfortable, provide a dog house, water with ice cubes and a kiddie pool filled with water. These can all contribute to keeping him cool on a hot day. If all else fails, keep Sparky inside so he can enjoy the luxury of air conditioning.

Provide Entertainment

Boredom is the root of all evil when it comes to Sparky's behavior. Lack of mental and physical stimulation and pent-up energy is sure to result in crater-size holes below the trees in your yard. To avoid this, spend time with your furry friend. Take him for walks, go jogging with him, play games such as fetch and tug-of-war, practice obedience training and give him toys to play with when he's in the yard by himself. Keep your dog active, so by the time he's alone in the yard, he's too tired to dig up tree roots.

Allow Digging

When you compromise everyone wins, and in the case of your digging pet companion, it might just save your yard. Surprise Sparky with his own digging pit. Place a kiddie sandbox in the yard, fill it with sand or soil and bury dog toys and treats in it. When you catch your pet companion digging up tree roots, clap your hands or blow a whistle and say, "No dig." Take him to the digging pit and pretend to discover a buried treasure to get him to start digging. With consistency, he'll soon forget all about digging up tree roots.

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