Does your dog love to chew, bark at, and dig out your sprinklers? How do you dog-proof your sprinklers if your pup is interested in them? It can be a frustrating problem, especially if you want to leave your dog outside unsupervised with the sprinkler system. Plus, type of system matters. Drip irrigation is typically a bigger problem, with its exposed, soft water lines that just seem ripe for dogs to chew. So, what do you if you have a drip or other irrigation system your dog just can’t leave alone? Here are some strategies.

Why Do Dogs Attack Sprinklers?

As with many other dog behaviors, understanding why your dog is doing what they are doing can help you prevent the behavior. There are a handful of reasons that your dog might attack a sprinkler. Usually, pups are just having fun. They like the water on hot days, and they like having something to bark at or chase. If your dog is actively chewing the sprinkler head, then they may be bored. If they are digging the lines up and trying to drink from them, they may be thirsty or itching their natural urge to dig. Try to intuit what is motivating your dog and as you work through the following solutions.

Make the Sprinklers Gross

To some degree, your dog is chewing the sprinklers because it’s enjoyable. You can apply bitters (you’ll find them as a spray at the pet store) to the sprinkler heads to help dissuade them. Let your dog out to try to chew the heads while they are off, so the bitter spray stays on the heads long enough for your dog to experiment and find out they’re gross. Once the association is created that sprinklers mean gross, few dogs will venture chews down the line.

Offer Alternatives

There are some things worth chewing through grossness for. If your dog really wants the water or is really bored, then he or she may be willing to attack your sprinklers anyway. Here are a few things you can do about that:

  • Water: Some dogs are very picky about how fresh their water is and prefer to drink water that is actively flowing. You can provide them with a water dish that flows to give them an alternative. These are sold in pet stores and are a little more common for cats.
  • Chew toys: If your dog loves to chew, they’ll chew the most appetizing thing available. Provide them with a different chew toy to keep their attention off the sprinklers.
  • Exercise time: A tired dog won’t want to attack your sprinklers. Plan your walk for before you let the dog into the yard.

Keep Your Dog Away

If nothing else works, you can keep your dog off the lawn when the sprinklers are running. A smart sprinkler system may really help you here. You can set the system to run before you and the dog are up, so there’s no potential for overlap.

Your sprinkler technician can help you protect your sprinkler system from the dog. Give them a call for practical and personalized suggestions.