If you’re tired of watching your canine companion unintentionally kill your shrubs, flowers, and lawn, try these tips from the Turf Resource Center and Lawn Institute (www.lawninstitute.com):
• Keep dogs away from taboo locations with strategically placed motion-activated sprinklers, available at many garden centers.
• Train your dog to eliminate in a specific part of the yard. This area should be landscaped for the dog’s use, with a ground cover such as pea gravel and a marking post of some kind. Take your dog to the spot on a leash, and give him praise and a treat every time he urinates there. You’ll need to keep up the routine for 2 weeks to several months, depending on how fast Fido learns.
• Dilute your dog’s urine by increasing water intake; add water to canned or dry food.
• Think twice about commercially available dog repellants. Some odor repellants may encourage dogs to “overmark” the strange new scent with their urine. Others discourage dogs from eating plants, but not from urinating on them.
• When you see your dog using your prized peony as a potty, water the spot immediately to dilute the urine. When diluted enough, the nitrogen in urine can actually be a beneficial fertilizer for plants.