Part of the way dogs establish their presence is by marking their territory. For most pet owners, this practice occurs outside on neighbor’s lawns or on their daily walks. Rarely does this function become a problem for a pet owner, when the dog is well trained and past the puppy (accident-prone) stage. However dogs tend to urinate in the same areas over and over again, which can be discouraging if they are targeting prized plants. Urinating repeatedly on any object has proven destructive enough to erode metal, so imagine the damaged it does to delicate plants. Dog owners get frustrated when they watch their flowerbeds and bushes withering away their dog is watering them with ammonia-high pee-pee. Learn some of these tricks to draw your pup away from your petunia patch, and over to the dry grass bed where he won’t do any harm!
Tips for Keeping Your Dog From Urinating on Plants
Disable the dog’s access. One of the simplest ways to help your dog avoid your blooming garden, is to redirect him elsewhere. Our dog-free gardening guide not only applies to warding off destructive digging, and plant eating, but pee-pee prone pups. Whether you add sound-barriers, physical barriers or merely accompany your pup on every trip outside, this guide will have helpful tips for you to implement to protect your garden from your pup.
Erase every trace. Dog noses are so sensitive that not much escapes them. Many canines use scent to remind them where they eliminated last time (and where they will most likely repeat the offense.) While you are in the process of discouraging your dog from wreaking havoc on the same potted plants or mini pomegranate tree, try using a spray deterrent. These come in several options: either you can choose a deterrent that merely smells awful and will make the area unbearable for your dog to be near, or you can use urine-neutralizing spray. Spray the tree trunk, flowers or leaves with a plant-safe urine scent remover will reinforce your training to avoid eliminating there. Using even a combination of the odor-eraser and the scent deterrent will keep your puppy trotting along to a better pee-pee zone.
Offer a preferable place for your dog to urinate. Choose an area of your backyard where your dog can claim his own space. (You can even put a tiny flag there!) Whenever he starts doing his business anywhere else, interrupt him and take him to the designated area. When he is finished reward him with a treat. Whenever you let your pup outside to “go” take him to the flagged area and wait for him to go, always ready with a dog chew in hand! Dogs learn the fastest when they are rewarded consistently.
Training, training, training. If the pee-pee problem persists, no matter how hard you have tried to help your dog un-learn bad habits, recognize that it might be time to enroll you pup in a review training course. Hire a professional pet trainer to help you correct the behavior, and teach your dog where to go! They might be able to do more in clicker training, and obedience training than you might be able to accomplish solo. Once your dog seems to have a good grasp on the idea, learn the trainer’s tactics so you can have the same success in the future!
Alternative methods of protection: There are other ways to protect plants from dog urine. Balance the pH levels of canine waste with a raw-food diet to minimize the withering effect on your plants. For those that are not able to make the switch to a raw food diet, there are urine pH balancing supplements for sale at pet food stores (such as oral pills, or products like “Dog Rocks” that will dissolve into water and remove nitrates, tin and copper that make urine high in ammonia), which will protect against the plant-killing effects of dog urine.
*NOTE: If your plants need a little rejuvenation after undergoing regular canine rainfall, spray them down with plant fertilizers that will neutralize the ammonia and encourage growth. Some pet owners have applied ground drywall sprinkled on plants to revitalize them, while others swear by Epsom salts, and products like Dog Urine Grass Repair spray.