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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Dogs, Seriously?
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:03 AM   #1
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Default Dogs, Seriously?

So I want to grow my own hops, like every good home brewer should, but I need to know from the dog owners here. Do the dogs go after them? Do you fence them off? What do you do?

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Old 05-16-2012, 08:18 AM   #2
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Honestly, don't worry about it. This is a trending topic right now, but the danger is overstated.

I've heard from just about everyone it seems that some breeds of dogs can get fatal hyperthermia after eating hops. Does your dog typically eat your garden plants? If not, then you don't have any worries.

I would be careful to dispose my hot break / hop material from my boil in a dog-free zone. At this point, the hops are covered in sugar and might be tasty to a dog. The dog + hops issues is really about cleaning up after the boil, not about growing.

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Old 05-16-2012, 02:34 PM   #3
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+1 on drummstikk's comments...don't dump your hot break in the yard but don't stress too much about growing hops with dogs. My biggest concern is for the hops, honestly, since my dogs like the tender shoots and leaves when they're grazing. Once I get the bins on the lines, though, they don't mess with them. Mine don't touch the hop cones, even when I'm harvesting and the fallen ones are scattered on the ground.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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Agreed, the danger is when the spent hops are covered in sweet, sticky wort. Then they're irresistible.

Remember a dog's nose is crazy strong - so the plant itself & the bitterness in the cones must be pretty pungent to a dog's nose. My dog stays away.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:45 PM   #5
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Agreed on all points, my dogs could care less about eating them. My biggest concern is them breaking a bine by stepping on them. My German Shepherd doesn't really pay attention to where he's going, especially when he is in hot pursuit of a bug.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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My dog has never touched my hops plants, except for peeing on the ones growing up a telephone pole.

By the time they flower, they are 10-25' tall so there aren't any hop flowers in dog reach anyway. But he's never shown an interest in them at all.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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I had to fence mine this year. The puppies at my house like to play chase running between the ropes. That was beating up the plants, and I lost a couple of plants to the "traffic". One puppy also chewed off a couple of bine tips. Also, they chewed off a couple of the ropes near their base. All this was before I put up a fence. I just used some old metal fence posts and chicken wire I had around. It's not pretty, but the plants are doing well now without the abuse.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:33 PM   #8
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My dog is interested in eating the steer manure compost, he does not care about the hop plants.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:42 PM   #9
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I was having a fire in the backyard with friends, when my unchained devil beagle (if any of you have beagles you know its best to keep them on a tight rope) decided it was time to go play in the garden where my fresh rhizomes had been planted. It was dark and I caught him in there and got him out. Didn't realize until the next morning he had gotten a nice hole started, fortunately he missed the rhizome by about an inch seen some greenage and roots so carefully buried her back up. Lucky for the dog I didn't have to beat him unmercifully that day . So yeah if your dog likes digging holes that soft fresh potting soil and compost may just be irresistible to them.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:39 PM   #10
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The only danger is if you toss the spent hops on your compost heap. Dogs will eat them because they are sweet and have gastric problems. Hops can also have a sedative effect and trigger odd reactions in some breeds.

Hop plants are in more danger from dogs.

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