Unfortunately, if one dog urinates on your fence, it seems to send a message to all the other passing dogs that they should do the same. Eventually, this habit can get smelly and annoying, and over time, the caustic urine can even cause the finish on the fence to start to wear down. Here's a few ways to deter dogs away from your fence and prevent damage from their urine:
1.. Clean the fence thoroughly.
To convince passing dogs that your fence is not a toilet, you need to remove the smells that are already there. Use a cleaner made for dog urine or a mixture of vinegar and water to clean your fence, and then, rinse it thoroughly.
If you have a wooden fence, use a pressure washer and focus on the areas between the slats where crusted bits of urine may be hiding. For metal fences with lots of ornate detail work and nooks where urine can hide, set aside some time to scrub out those areas with an old toothbrush.
If your fence has a warranty on it, check with the warranty holder to make sure the cleaners you are using don't negate the warranty. For example, some anti-graffiti cleaning agents negate certain warranties while other cleaning agents are fine.
2. Polish your fence with homemade doggy deterrents.
After cleaning your fence, consider polishing it with a homemade polish designed to repel dogs. You can make a natural polish for wood fences out of olive oil and lemon juice or lemon essential oil. This can help keep dogs away, as they don't like citrus-based odours. Alternatively, if you have a steel fence, make a polish out of baking soda, vinegar and lemon essential oil -- this both cleans and polishes metal. You simply spray it on and wipe it off. Options like these give your fence an extra shine while also helping you achieve your end goal of keeping dogs away.
3. Plant deterrents around the fence or train thorny vines to climb it.
Once you remove old odours, you should also make the landscaping around your fence less attractive to dogs. To that end, plant marigolds or other plants that dogs don't like around the fence. Alternatively, train climbing roses with lots of uninviting thorns to grow around the slats of your fence.
Consider surrounding the plants with mulch that won't feel pleasant to dogs' feet. Effective options include wood chips with cut up rose stems mixed into them or gravel with lots of sharp stones.
4. Make the fence inhospitable to dogs.
If re-landscaping doesn't appeal to you, make the fence temporarily inhospitable to dogs. You can wrap some of its slats in barb wire or string a line of electric fence tape or wire around your fence. Keep in mind that the rules on these materials vary depending on where you live. For example, in Brisbane, you can only use electric fencing if a barrier or setback separates your fence from public areas such as walking paths.
5. Consider replacing your existing fence.
If you have a lot of stray dogs in your area or a lot of owners who simply don't care that their dogs are urinating on your fence, it may be difficult to stem the flow of urine. If cleaning, landscaping and other deterrents don't work, consider minimising the potential for damage by replacing your fence with a sturdier alternative.
Unfortunately, certain types of fencing absorb more damage from dog urine than others. For example, old wrought iron fences are more susceptible to rust and wear from dog urine than new steel fences are. Similarly, wood fences that are not sealed well may absorb the urine, making the odours a permanent fixture of your yard. Ideally, you want a sturdy, weather-resistant, corrosion-resistant steel fence like a Colorbond fence that can resist damage from dog urine effectively.
For more tips on keeping dogs away from your fence, cleaning your fence or general maintenance tips, contact a fencing expert from a company like Amazing Fencing.