You may have noticed that while walking your dog he pees several times, aiming at different trees, right? But do you know why they do it? In this article, we will explain why dogs pee on trees and give you some tips on how to protect your plants from dog urine
Why Do Dogs Pee On Trees?
During city walks, it is common to see dogs, especially males, urinating on plants, trees, and even objects along the way. But why do they insist on urinating on various things during the tour? Imagine that dog urine is like a social network, like Instagram. The places where they pee are like a “check-in,” just like you do on your social network when you’re in a coffee shop. Dog urine says to other dogs, “Hi, I was here,” This information is passed on to other dogs through their sense of smell. This form of communication between this species is essential because, in this way, dogs can exchange information and discover various characteristics of furry friends, such as health, stress, virility, and diet, all this just by smelling another dog’s urine. This behavior is what we know as “marking territory.” Did you imagine that dog pee was so crucial for the socialization of our furry friends? And it is precisely for these reasons that dog owners are wrong to think that only unneutered males mark territory. On the contrary, males, after the neutering procedure, can continue demonstrating this behavior. Although it seems strange, some females, after all, want to be part of this massive canine social network!
But, you might be wondering, is there an explanation for why dogs urinate vertically? This act can be explained by canine behavior. They like to leave the scent at a height that is perceptible to the nose of another dog, as if it were a “business card,” in addition when the urine flows to the floor, the area that gets the dog’s scent becomes more substantial, and the smell stays in place longer. Now, you know that the reason your dog stops to urinate on all the trees is nothing more than a way to “check-in” all the plants in the region. But have you ever stopped to wonder if this behavior affects plant life?
Is Dog Urine Harmful To Plants?
Sadly yes. Plants are harmed by urine, but only when it is in excess. For better understanding, let’s understand how urine is formed. As we all know, urine formation occurs in the kidneys and is composed of substances that the body does not need, fruits of the kidneys’ filtration, water, and urea. You may wonder, but doesn’t urea work as a plant fertilizer? Yes, urea is a type of fertilizer widely used to replace nitrogen in the soil, so plants absorb nitrogen and look more beautiful. But if it is used as fertilizer, why is dog pee harmful to plants? It happens because urine has a very high concentration of urea; as we know, nothing in excess is good, so it becomes detrimental to plants and trees. In addition to urea, urine is also composed of other mineral salts that, in excess, can also contribute to plant damage.
You probably noticed some areas of vegetation around your city, such as whitish or flawed lawns and even some bushes and trees with a burnt appearance. It is the direct damage that dog pee causes to plants. The amount of urea is so superior to what the plants need that it kills all the plant life in that piece. We can see that lawns suffer more from the action of urine. It is because females usually urinate sitting, and have the habit of always urinating in a single spot on the lawn, pouring the entire amount of urine in a single spot, leaving that region with a very high concentration of urea and minerals. But does that mean that female pee is more harmful than male pee? No, the ability to damage plants is the same for both genders. Still, as males demarcate a little in each place, the concentration of these harmful components becomes less concentrated compared to the amount deposited by females at a single point in the garden.
How To Prevent Dog Urine From Killing Plants?
If you were worried that you would never have a beautiful garden again, don’t worry! It’s possible to take some precautions to prevent the damage caused by dogs’ urine on plants, such as taking a bottle of water on walks to “wash” your dog’s pee and as soon as your dog urinates. Check out some tips here to prevent your garden from being harmed by dog urine:
- Spray your lawn with water: just like on walks, it is vital to water the plants and lawns right after your dog urinates because, in addition to diluting the concentration of compounds harmful to vegetation, water is necessary for the revitalization of plants. And by carrying out this management quickly, there is no time for the soil to absorb these compounds before dilution, preventing the absorption of the compounds from being in excess.
- Delimit the area your dog can use as a “bathroom,” and you can decorate it with stones or artificial plants.
- Educate your dog not to restrict the place: Some training can be done so that the dog does not perform this behavior of urinating in different places, look for a specialist trainer to guide you.
- Put a barrier in your garden: You can protect your plants from other dogs in the neighborhood using bushes or fences;
- Put repellent, especially citrus, which will scare dogs away from the garden. Caution, only use ingredients that are safe for dogs!
- Keep your dog well hydrated: hydration is essential to ensure the health of dogs, and this way, the urine will come out less concentrated and will harm your plants less;
- Remove the smell of urine with odor blockers: To prevent the dog from demarcating again, a good strategy, in this case, is to use sodium bicarbonate diluted in water to neutralize the dog’s urine on the ground;
- Use special products: There are currently some products on the market to reduce the nitrates in the dog’s urine. In other words, you supply the product daily in your dog’s water. The nitrogen content of the urine will be reduced because the water it will ingest will be cleaner without the presence of impurities (tin, ammonia, and nitrates) that are eliminated from the body through the urine. In this way, the pee will no longer be a problem for the plants, as it will not be able to burn. Don’t worry. The products are 100% safe for dogs!
Is it possible to revive burnt grass? Yes, it is possible. For this, you must remove the damaged grass with the help of a rake, remove it as much as possible, and then neutralize the urine. In these cases, limestone can be a good solution.
With all these tips, it will be easy to keep your garden beautiful and reduce the damage caused to plants on the street.