Dear Dr. Fox: My male German shepherd’s urine is killing my grass. I’ve had four previous German shepherds, two male and two females, and none of them spotted the grass. Should I be concerned why this one does?
We try to water the area after he urinates, but that is not always possible as sometimes he has to go out in the middle of the night (and/or sometimes the hose will not reach; we live on an acre). This will probably be our last German shepherd, as we are in our 70s and have outlived the previous four. Our dog gobbles up Nutro Essentials, and we make sure that he always has plenty of water. — S.M. and M.M., Loxahatchee, Florida
Dear S.M. and M.M.: There are various quack remedies that will supposedly correct this problem. However, my remedy and advice for all dog owners is not to feed the dog only dry kibble. Feeding only dry kibble is not a biologically appropriate diet for dogs (or cats). Give him a small amount of kibble, along with a rotating variety of frozen, freeze-dried and canned dog foods. This will give your dog more moisture for digestion and metabolism, which in turn will change the acidity and concentration of the urine.
It is also possible that chemicals in the kibble passed in the urine act like an herbicide — residues of which, especially glyphosate, are present in most all commercially produced grains (which we also consume) when not USDA Certified Organic and GMO-free.
Read on for another issue from a longtime German shepherd owner.
Dear Dr. Fox: We have an 8-year-old male German shepherd who is not fixed. He has a constant drip from his penis, which leaves greenish markings throughout the house (quite annoying). He has had this since we got him at 18 months old.
He is the love our life. Best dog we have ever had. This is our fourth German shepherd, and our other dogs never had this problem. — R.B., West Palm Beach, Florida
Dear R.B.: I am surprised this problem has been going on for so long. Surely your dog had regular veterinary wellness evaluations, as well as anti-rabies vaccinations, heartworm tests and preventive medications. There are various glands and tissues in the sheath around your dog’s penis that can become chronically infected and inflamed, and he cannot clean himself thoroughly in this area. Horse owners will know what I am talking about.
I would waste no time and get a veterinary appointment for this condition, which is probably no less distressing for your dog than it is for you.
Send all mail to email@example.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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