Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dog pee etiquette

While dog poo etiquette is well established - if your dog poops in a public area, clean it up, dog pee etiquette isn't clear at all.  Mick the wonder dog loves his walks; they are a continuous series of going a few feet, sniff, pee, repeat.  Yes, Mick likes to pee about as often as a 60 year old diabetic.  But one needs to ask themselves, what is expected in regards to dog pee.  Are you expected to bend over and make a cursory motion to "clean it up"?  I experienced an incident about a year ago when a real butt head, who's home abuts (couldn't help myself) the Crossings Park off Knauf Lane continued to yell from his home in response to Mick squatting and marking his sniff points.  Either this individual needed better binoculars or felt that if your dog squats, the owner should squat as well.

Aside from the question of whether doggie pee clean up is expected, there is likely a more basic question.  Where should you permit your dog to pee?
Mick the wonder dog peeing on fire hydrant
Mick checking out a hydrant - yes, OK to pee
Is it OK to pee on a paved path?  MyTurnQuips says "no" to this one, although I will remark that sometimes Mick wants to make an effort when he smells poo left by an errant dog owner on the paved path OR by one of the many migrating fowls that have fouled (yup, I'm on a roll) up the pavement.

Is it OK to pee on flag poles, paver bricks, memorials or monuments?  MTQ says absolutely not!

Is it OK to pee on small trees and shrubs?  Hmmm, I have to wonder if maybe frequent dog urine is killing some of the trees in the park, but on the other hand it does seem to be a much better option than peeing on the pavement.  Also, I suspect that there are much worse plant predators out there than urinating canines such as clueless parents who think it is cute when their child breaks large limbs from the vegetation.

Is it OK to pee on small flowering plants such as tulips, geraniums, etc?  No.  From my vantage point, small flowering plants seem more vulnerable than small trees and shrubs (bushes).  I suspect that the acidity of the dog urine may have a bigger adverse impact and dogs may do additional damage by inadvertently pawing up delicate roots.

Is it OK to pee near a playground?  Based on my preceding comment, one might think I'd be good to go on this one... and might even be up for Mick urinating on a parent or two, but MTQ is a believer in the Golden Rule.  No, I wouldn't want a dog peeing near where my child plays and rolls around on the ground.  Letting your dog pee near the playground is a NO GO.

Is it OK to let your dog pee near other dogs?  Dogs like to sniff each other, no doubt about it...sometimes you have to wonder if they're into golden showers as well as it seems that all the excitement makes them want to pee... and sometimes they come darn close to peeing on their doggie friend.  As if peeing on your friend wasn't sufficient, these dogs also seem inclined to scuff dirt and debris over their pee spot so look out doggie pals...  MTQ says, "let your dogs sniff and pee within reason, but be alert to pull back on the reigns if needed."

Is it OK to let your dog pee at the shore of the pond?  MTQ initial inclination is to say definitely not, but then again if it is a non-swimming area and already fouled by birds it might not be a big deal.

So where else is it OK for your dog to pee?  Well, your backyard is always good.  Yes, it kills your lawn, but then again, it is your dog.  Fence posts and fire hydrants are always a favorite for Mick the wonder dog.  Peeing off the walkway is certainly acceptable and is nicer if you can make sure your dog doesn't squirt another passing park visitor.  It is always good form to try to strategically position your dog to satisfy his needs while being a good steward of the park.

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