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Why Do Dogs Pee on Tires? Dog Behavior Explained

Written by: Genevieve Dugal

Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

Dog Pee Tire

Why Do Dogs Pee on Tires? Dog Behavior Explained


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Dogs have sometimes maddening habits that test their owners’ patience. If you landed on this page, chances are peeing on the tires is one of them. We’re guessing that during your daily walks with your doggie, you have noticed that he particularly enjoys urinating on car tires, if not your own car tires at home. But why? In short, dogs pee on tires because it’s a way to communicate with other dogs and leave a record of their “visit.” Let’s take a deeper look at this quirky canine behavior.

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The 3 Main Reasons Why Dogs Pee on Tires

1. Dogs Like to Mark Their Territory

For a dog, marking his territory is a fundamental way of communicating with his canine companions. Therefore, when a dog notices that another dog has urinated in a place, he can’t resist leaving his mark too! He takes the opportunity to leave his scent which carries a lot of information for his congeners.

For example, a dog can determine if a female is in heat, if a dog is neutered, healthy, or anxious, all from a single urine mark.

So, smells are hugely important to dogs, and if your dog has gotten into the habit of depositing his scent in certain places during his walk, like the neighbor’s tires, he’s likely to want to continue doing so.

Dog Pee Tire
Image by: KANUT PHOTO, Shutterstock

2. Dogs Prefer to Pee on Vertical Objects

There’s another simple reason why dogs pee on car tires. For many dog ​​breeds, the wheels are the right height for them to aim and fire away!

Dogs prefer to urinate on vertical objects, like poles and tires, as this allows them to leave their mark at nose height. So, leaving their mark in this way communicates a lot of things, but also the size of the dog. In fact, a very large, long-legged dog may find it more comfortable to urinate on a tree trunk than on a tire, the latter of which may be too low for him.

But in general, the tires are the perfect height for medium and small dogs to relieve themselves and leave their mark after smelling the scent of the dogs that came before them. Also, a vertical object like a tire will retain the smell of pee longer than a puddle of urine on the lawn.

3. Dogs Love the Smell of Rubber

Dog Smelling Tires
Image By: Damix, Shutterstock

Another reason for the powerful attraction of tires to dogs is the overpowering smell of rubber. Indeed, rubber is a material that absorbs other odors, much more than the metal of a car or the concrete of the sidewalk. Thus, a dog that pees on the tires of a car will leave a very fragrant trace for the following dogs, which will have an additional reason to do the same.


How to Stop Your Pooch from Urinating on Tires

It’s quite possible that the behavior of your best furry friend is bothering you, or is perhaps ruining your relationship with your neighbors! In this case, a few solutions are available to you:

1. Use Dog Repellent

Many vehicle owners, tired of dogs relieving themselves on their rims, buy dog repellent for their cars. This kind of repellent is sprayed or sprinkled on the tires, covering the smell of rubber with an unpleasant odor for the dog, without being dangerous for the animal.

You can also make it yourself, by mixing ingredients such as mustard, coffee grounds, or even pepper with white vinegar, which is particularly fragrant and effective in disinfecting and masking the powerful smell of dog pee.

Another good option is an enzyme cleaner:

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2. Use Avoidance-Based Strategies

If it bothers you that your dog urinates on the wheels of cars on your walks, you can use avoidance strategies. It’s very simple: you just have to avoid walking your dog near parked cars, preferring places like parks. Also, you should always keep your pet on a leash.

However, don’t scold your dog when you catch him in the act. If you strongly reprimand your dog when he leaves his mark on the tires, he may believe that you are punishing him for urinating. Misinterpreting the message could cause your dog to refrain from peeing, leading to anxiety and accidents around the house.

  • Quick Tip: Always carry a bottle of water with you, so you can quickly rinse the rims and tires of the car your dog has chosen to mark!divider-dog

Final Thoughts

Dogs don’t discriminate where they pee. Any place can do the trick, but when it comes to car tires, it’s like a big feast of smells that tickle your pooch’s nostrils! Impossible for him to resist, he must leave his mark so that his canine companions know that he has been there too!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Sanit Fuangnakhon, Shutterstock

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