5 Enrichment Ideas for Dogs That Dig

In an ideal world, the only thing your dog would dig is you but alas, no pup is pawfect. If you’re tired of saying R.I.P. to your favorite landscaping elements, or maybe you’ve fallen into one too many holes in your lawn, read on about your dog’s natural digging instinct and how to stop your dog from digging!

Why Do Dogs Dig?

Dogs have a lot of natural instincts–sniffing butts, barking at the mailman, and digging are just some of them. There are a ton of reasons that they may dig, like hunting for prey or making a cool spot in your yard to take a nap. Unfortunately for your flower bed, this may not be something a few stern no commands can train out of them.

How to Stop Your Dog From Digging

We don’t want to deny your dog from being his true self, but for the sake of your garden and maybe to save your floors from many dirty pawprints, there are things you can do to stop your dog from digging inappropriately. 

Start off by making sure your dog isn’t digging just because he’s bored. If you haven’t yet, try incorporating enrichment into his everyday routine to keep his mind on the games and off that sweet, sweet dirt. You could even take your daily training routine outside too, to change up what they associate your backyard for (less grass for tearing up, more “place I sit and then get the good snacks”). 

You also want to teach your dog when it’s okay and not okay to dig. If you catch them in the act, work on redirecting them to an appropriate activity, like fetching a ball. Don’t forget to reward them for stopping when you ask them to too! Another good option is to give them an appropriate outlet for their digging instincts.  

Best Toys for Dogs That Dig

Maybe your doggo heard about how you really need a vacation, because apparently he’s trying to dig a hole to China right now. Save yourself from one really awkward conversation with customs and hone his digging talents with some of these enrichment toys instead!

1. iDig Stay


X marks the spot, or in this case, the giant pawprint. Bury hidden treasure under the flaps of the iDig Stay and let pup tap into his natural digging instinct to find it! 

Get it on Amazon for $79.99.

2. iDig Go


Diggers gonna dig, including the digger on the go. The foldable, fabric base can attach to 3 different flap designs so you can customize the challenge and experience for your dog. This one is probably best for diggers who are a little less aggressive with their hunt.

Get it on Amazon for $79.99

3. Snuffle Mat


We can’t talk about enrichment without talking about the trusty snuffle mat! It’s the jack-of-all-trades for dog toys, letting doggos tap into their foraging, nosework, and digging instincts to find treatos.

If you’re feeling crafty (or just need something to do as you binge Bridgerton again), you can even make your own snuffle mat.

Get it on Amazon for $34.19.

4. Ball Pit


We know that ball is life, but what about the dogs that would rather dig than fetch? Get yourself a plastic pool or a soft-sided playpen and fill it up with plastic balls. Hide some of your dog’s favorite treats or toys on the bottom and let them dig ‘em out. A bunch of balls and treats? Call it doggie heaven.

Get it on Amazon for $36.99.

5. Dig Box


So your dog is such a digger that nothing but the real deal will do? Then let’s talk about dig boxes. Rather than letting your dog DIY his own spot in your favorite flower box or the middle of your lawn, get him a designated spot to let him get his ya-yas out. All you need is a sandbox or kiddie pool, fill it up with some sand, and before you know it, your doggo and perennials will be saying thank you.

Get it on Amazon for $109.99.

What enrichment ideas is your dog really digging now? Let us know in the comments and use #SidewalkDog on Instagram to show us them in action!

Featured photo by SabbraCadabra

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