Dogs eating hostas

Discussion in 'Pets' started by drgb, May 12, 2008.

  1. drgb

    drgb New Seed

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    Four years ago I acquired a retirement cottage in the Catskills in upstate NY. I inherited a well established garden with at least 20 varieties of hostas which I have moved successfully over the years to five separate shaded areas with excellent results, no deer or slug invasions.

    The first year I had one Miniature Shnauzer and acquired a second the next year. For the first two years they showed no interest in any of my plants. Last year the the senior male began to nuzzle but not eat one clump of the finest scented white flowered, medium light green leafed variety I have. Four days ago within an hour of dividing and relocating one clump after it had just sprouted (2"), Scamp, the senior, did not nuzzle - he totally destroyed 3 of 5 plants, dug them up and chewed the roots! An hour later he seemed to have taught his female mate to do the same thing!

    I immediately acquired and dispensed some Shot-Gun Repels-All animal repellent granules which claims to repel them by scent, touch and taste. My dogs happily ate the granules and more Hostas! They were the same variety but the next day they attacked an "unprotected" similar looking group, while ignoring "protected" survivors from the originals so I thought the stuff might actually be working. Today, however, they destroyed some "protected" plants from the second group and began an attack on another similar looking prophylactically "protected" variety which does not flower. I have protected one group with a wire fence but the remainder are unprotected. I have videotaped their behavior today as they began to feast on another similar variety. So far they have not touched yellow, blue, miniatures or giant types.

    I have searched for and discovered no previous reports of dogs eating Hostas. Has anyone had a similar experience? I would appreciate any advice on how I should best manage the situation. The dogs run free in our fenced 3/4 acre, cannot be trained or constantly supervised to keep them away from the diversified plantings. It seems I must either reassemble and fence the remainder or sacrifice my Hostas or the dogs. Needless to say I don't want to do either...

    HELP!
     
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads
    1. marlingardener
      Replies:
      5
      Views:
      317
    2. carolyn
      Replies:
      15
      Views:
      1,931

  3. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Messages:
    11,016
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    Location:
    Western Norway
    Oh, my, I've never heard of dogs eating hostas before! :eek: I guess the best thing is to fence them in and leave the dogs to play in the rest of the garden. I wonder what kind of substance in the hostas that attract them so.
     
  4. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    27,646
    Likes Received:
    4,017
    Location:
    Scotland
    The only other solution to fencing in your hostas would be to either make a raised bed for them or maybe transfer them to pots out of the dogs reach. I've never heard of dogs eating hostas either so I hope you can come up with a solution to your problem soon before any more get chewed on.
     
  5. travelingbooklover

    travelingbooklover In Flower

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    England
    I had a similiar problem years ago. I spent an entire day planting hostas, buddelias, and other plants in the backyard. The next day, our dog tore up and ate most of what I had planted. (He had never done anything like this before.) Our youngest insisted that he had watched how hard I had worked and decided to help me by redigging. It's hard to stay angry when an earnest eight year old is defending her dog. I had to stick to planting in the front and side yards until he was much older. I tried raised beds but he still managed to get in them.
     



    Advertisement
  6. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    19,220
    Likes Received:
    4,536
    Location:
    North Central Texas, Zone 8a
    Sometimes animals eat certain plants because their intuition tells them it has a medicinal quality they need. But I can not find any referrence to a medicinal value to Hosta's, maybe Biita will know.

    We had a dog years ago who ate rose bushes, thorns and all.

    Some sort of decorative fencing that is too high for the dogs to jump over might work.
     
  7. Chrismah

    Chrismah New Seed

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Dog's Eating Hosta's

    I had to laugh when I read this. Both of my Brussel Griffon's eat hostas and have since they were little. My one dog goes out in the morning and gets underneath the hosta and rips a leaf or several leaves off and eats it. I have hostas on both sides of my sidewalk and last year it looked like a tornado had passed through. I think they like the crunchy stalks. I let them eat all they want, with hope that someday it will wear off. The hosta aren't harmful to pets, so that's a plus.
     
  8. gardenmama

    gardenmama In Flower

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Vermont
    try using black pepper, pouring it down into the plant and around the base of the plant...The black pepper is more intense then the granules in the repel...Also try a hot pepper spray. I use the hot pepper spray to deter bugs but I have heard it will work on other animals. I normally use 2 tbls spoons of tabasco or hot sauce to a liter of water but I would use may 5 tbls for dogs. Mix in a spray bottle and apply to the plants then it isn't sunny.

    Maybe try it out of the dogs first by having they try it on something they like to chew on. It won't hurt them but they may not want it in their mouth! Experiment a bit on the intensity and see if it deters them.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. Labadorer

    Labadorer New Seed

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Dog eating hostas too!

    Okay - my girls are not the only crazed dogs in the world. The Hostas have been out in the open all season and just the other day I looked out to see the younger one running around with the stem in her mouth and the giant leaf up over her face......took it from her and the next time I turn around both are munching on
    another one. Now the little one did this in her first summer with us when she was a baby so I just figured it was puppy exuberance - now it is like she looked over there and said - whoa - I remember how to get everyone to play - let's snag one of those! My husband was out with them and he was working in another corner and turned to see both of them munching on them? Other than attention we can't figure it out.
     
  10. drgb

    drgb New Seed

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    Follow up on my Shcnauzers' behavior

    It seems that they confined their delinquent behavior to thin leaved, young, green leaved varieties. They did not find gold, blue, thick or ribbed varieties tasty. As the leaves matured they spontaneously stopped eating them and now confine their activities to chasing chipmunks and birds and eat only the occasional tuft of grass. The only effective defense was a fence!

    We'll see what happens next year.

    DRGB
     
  11. katryan1

    katryan1 New Seed

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    It must be a Catskill thing. My cocker spaniel started eating my hostas last year and then taught my Papillons to do it. I cannot even get them out of the ground this year. They start eating them as soon as the new shoots appear. At least the deer didn't eat them until they flowered. Liquid Fence works great for repelling the deer. I actually think that is what attracted my dog to the hostas in the first place. He is constantly in search of food, and I guess they smelled like the garbage can.

    I tried your suggestions for hot pepper. I used both Frank's hot sauce and red pepper powder. I hope it works.
     

Share This Page