The Q&A Archives: Planting with Dogs

Question: I have three dogs and they spend a great deal of time in our backyard in the summer. I'm looking for plants and trees that can withstand urine, as the dogs love to water my plants for me, and we have lost many in the past from this habit. Thanks!

Answer: Unfortunately, three dogs are going to take their toll on your plantings as you have seen. The best approach for the shrubs and trees would be to fence them off so the dogs can't access them. There really are no dog urine tolerant shrubs. With regard to the lawn, the steady running compacts the soil and tears up the grass. The urine "burns" the spots. (These can usually be prevented by rinsing the spot with plain water from the garden hose to dilute the urine. However, it may not be practical to do that.) So growing grass is really difficult. The options would be to fence a run area just for the dogs, or to use gravel or mulch rather than grass. I hope this gives you some ideas.

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