Ask A Dog: Will dog pee kill my plants?

Ask A Dog: Will dog pee kill my plants?

If you have a lawn, you've probably noticed that your plants and grass keep on dying. And as a dog parent, you may feel like your pup has something to do with it. Dog pee contains some waste products that are harmful to your plants, causing burnt, wilted leaves and, in some instances, the death of the plant itself.

You need to know and understand what type of chemicals in your furry friend's pee is causing damage to your lawn so that you can tackle the problem accordingly.

Facts about dog urine:

Dog pee is rich in urea and alkaline salts. Our canine friends eat meat-based proteins, so they result in nitrogen-based waste products and salts when their stomachs break these proteins down. These wastes are eliminated from your dog's body through the urine.

A large amount of nitrogen in dog urine dries out the plants and leads to leaf burn, all the while diseasing the plants themselves. Dog pee salts can also alter the pH level of the plant's soil and make it more alkaline hence damaging the roots of the plants.

Important nitrogen facts:

Nitrogen is technically one of the primary plant nutrients in most fertilizers, along with potassium and phosphorus. Inappropriate amounts, nitrogen helps bring plants to maturity rapidly, increase plant growth, and improve fruit and seed production.

While the nitrogen amount in dog urine will not do too much harm to a plant only one time, many dogs often return to the same place to mark their territories. Hence continued dog pee on grass and plants leads to a dangerous nitrogen overload for your plants.

The importance of urine dilution:

After your dog pees on any plants in your lawn or yard, douse the spot with water from the garden hose to neutralize your dog's urine in the garden. Extensive rinsing of the area within around eight hours of the urination dilutes the pee enough to prevent any damage to the plant. If you wait for more than 12 hours to rinse, it could increase the damage to your plants.

Keep your doggo hydrated and provide them with plenty of water to drink. Doing this will dilute the pee even before it ends up in your garden. Avoid giving home remedies or supplements that claim to dilute the pee without consulting with your vet first. These remedies might contain certain ingredients that can harm your pup.

Solutions for dog parents:

If you're wondering how to save your plant from dog urine, there are a couple of steps you can take immediately. Make an area in your yard, far away from your garden, covered in pebbles, filled with soil and sand where your pup can go to pee without harming your lawn or any of your plants. Plant salt-resistant grasses and greenery near this spot in case there are any accidents. These are generally more urine-resistant than other plants.

Avoid using nitrogen-rich fertilizers in places that your dog frequents to prevent a nitrogen overload. Discourage your dog from entering the areas with sensitive plants by fencing.

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