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Is Dog Pee Toxic To Plants?

A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Published on
Monday 13 June 2022
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Is Dog Pee Toxic To Plants?
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Playing fetch with your dog is best done in your backyard, with ample space and fresh air. However, it is also where your plants are, which can be your furry friend’s potty area in some situations. Let us know if dog pee is toxic to plants.

Is Dog Pee Toxic To Plants?

Dogs’ urine is rich in alkaline salts, and a nitrogen compound called urea, which are waste products of their canine digestive system. An excess in the nitrogen component of urine can cause leaf burn and dry out plants. However, in the right amount, nitrogen can help increase plant growth.

Also, the salts in their pee can affect the soil’s pH around your plants by making them more alkaline-rich, damaging your plants’ roots. Unlike human pee, dogs’ urine is highly concentrated, making it devastating to greenery and your yard.

How Does Dog Pee Damage or Kill Plants

Unlike other animals’ urine, dog pee has unique characteristics that are harmful to your plants. Take a look at some of these traits below:

Urine Volume

The main factor that makes dog pee damaging to plants is its volume. It is especially true for large dogs as they deposit more urine.

Female dogs tend to urinate in one location. Male dogs deposit easier on grass, and their urine gets filtered to the roots, killing the entire plant.

Urea Concentration

A dog pee contains a nitrogen compound. It is one of the chemical products of your dog’s digestive system, which is a result of protein metabolism. Since dogs consume so much protein, it translates to high urea concentration in their pee, causing devastating effects on plants. 


Nitrates are one of the essential elements plants need to photosynthesize properly. Without it, your plant will not grow. However, a high amount of nitrates coming from your dog’s pee can cause nutrient burn on plants’ roots and can be detrimental to their growth.  

Salt and other compounds

Dog’s pee contains salt and acid that can kill plants. These components can bleach your plants and turn grass brown, like a fertilizer burn. It is primarily because dogs tend to urinate in one area repeatedly, increasing soil concentration and causing damage to plants

How to Save Your Plants From Dog Pee

Pee-proofing your plants is hard when you have a stubborn pet, but remember that it is not impossible. Here are a few tips to keep your greeneries safe from your four-legged pal:


If you cannot build fences around your yard, you can simply create a ground that is not desirable for your dog to pee on. You can try to mulch your plant beds with materials that are less inviting and will keep your dog away.

You can use clippings from thorny rose bushes as well as junipers. These types of ground cover will poke your dog’s soft pads on their feet and make them stay away from your plant beds. Although mulching requires a little work, it is a good deterrent for dogs. 

Urine Dilution

Diluting your dog’s urine is the easiest way to neutralize it. It will decrease the concentration of the damaging compounds, which will minimize the damage to plants.

However, this method is a bit labor-intensive since you have to dilute your dog’s urine immediately after peeing. Of course, it is inconvenient to follow your dog around in the garden, but you can do urine dilution as much as you can.

You can use a garden hose to sprinkle water on your dog’s pee. You can also pour a mixture of white vinegar, baking soda, and water to neutralize the dog urine on plants. 

Urine Burn Application

Different options in the market are formulated to break down ammonia better than water. You can consider carrying a bottle of pee-weakener whenever you go on walks with your dog. 

Although the effectiveness is not guaranteed, it will show your effort and save you from hot arguments with your gardening neighbors. You can either look it up in stores or buy a tablet and make the solution yourself. 

Use Robust Grasses

One of the most widely used lawns is Kentucky bluegrass. It has shallow roots and is easier to establish and transport. However, it is also a sensitive variety and is more prone to urine damage.

You can try using ryegrass or Bermuda grass in your yard. As a matter of fact, dog urine has less impact on these robust grasses. Although they are harder to establish, labor-intensive yet green grass is still better than brown and dry grass. 

How to Stop Your Dog From Damaging Plants

If your pup is an active one, it’s quite difficult to prevent them from damaging your plants. Here are a few tips to keep your furry friend away without compromising their comfort:

Designated Potty Area

The best way to keep dogs from peeing on plants is to provide their own bathroom area. Make sure the space you will use has urine-resistant grass or is covered with sand, dirt, or gravel. Train your dog to “go potty” in that area by giving them treats every time they do. 

Deterrents or Fencing

Preventing your own dog from peeing on your plants is much easier than dealing with some random dogs. In such a case, you can use deterrents or build fences. You can buy spray-on deterrents from pet stores, or you can just use motion-activated sprinklers in your yard.

Feed Your Dog Healthy Food

Your dog’s diet affects the concentration of compounds in their urine. Since nitrates come from protein metabolism, avoid feeding your dog with too much protein. It is also best to keep them hydrated to improve the quality of their urine and make it less damaging to plants.

Dietary Supplements

Although we do not recommend feeding your dog with things that are not necessary, we still believe that nitrogen-binding supplements are safe for dogs. We strongly advise that you seek veterinary advice before trying out any additive. Do not use pH-changing products as it is not the cause of the problem.

Now that it has come to light that you have to keep dogs from peeing on plants, it is best to do the tips we mentioned above. As long as you take good control of your furry friend, playing fetch in your garden will be as fun and worry-free.

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