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Why Your Dog Likes Fire Hydrants So Much

a lot of dogs peeing on a fire hydrant

You must have noticed that dogs have always been fascinated by red fire hydrants in cartoons and movies. Like most things in art and TV, this unique characteristic stems from real life. You must have seen your furry friend seeking a hydrant to pee.  Like most dog behaviors, this classic behavior can be challenging to understand. However, this article will list a few reasons why your dog likes fire hydrants so much. 

Red Paint

Most fire hydrants are painted red, and many vets believe that this paint or dye might be enticing for your furry friends. The dye’s sweet smell can also be reminiscent of dog urine. So even if no other dog has peed on it, your dog might think it has regardless. This has been considered one of the more scientific reasons your dog likes fire hydrants. 

dog loving fire hydrant

Marking their territory 

When dogs pass certain spots and some objects, they tend to mark them for other dogs.  This lets other dogs and animals know that this is their spot. Some female dogs that haven’t been spayed and are on heat might mark the hydrant to attract suitors.

It is a way of communication that has been observed for centuries now. The hydrant provides a well-liked spot for dogs to engage in innate behavior. Some alpha dogs also tend to use fire hydrants to mark borders. They are marking their territory as effectively as possible. 

Smells like other dogs

As mentioned before, dogs frequently use fire hydrants to mark their territory. The smell that accumulates over time attracts your dog to the hydrant. It can also smell like other animals like cats, who tend to leave their mark on hydrants (Wonder why?) 

Color and Shape

Another factor that might play in the love of hydrants for your dog could be the color and shape. Apart from the smell, the bright color is just visually attractive amongst the dull surroundings of buildings and trees. Dogs tend to gravitate towards brightly colored objects, making fire hydrants perfect! 

Fire hydrants are also upright objects like trees that are very attractive to dogs, especially in the cities where there might not be many trees on the streets. It has been observed that dogs instinctively are drawn to vertical objects to pee on. 

dog sitting by a fire hydrant


You might observe your dog spraying rather than peeing on every hydrant it passes by. If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, this might be more excessive. This type of urine contains pheromones that are needed to attract mates. This spray is more concentrated so that other dogs can smell it from quite a distance. Getting your dog spayed or neutered can help curb this behavior. 

You might wonder if the love for hydrants is dependent on the gender of the dog. According to research, although dogs tend to spray on various objects more during heat, both males and females engage in this behavior. Male dogs tend to urinate more to assert dominance and mark territories, whereas females do more to release pheromones.

Is Dog Peeing On Fire Hydrants Bad?

In all cases, what you should know is that your dog’s love for fire hydrants is not harmful. Fire hydrants are just another object like trees or plants, where dogs relieve themselves because of various motivations. Reprimanding your dog from displaying this behavior might be futile as they won’t understand the difference between a hydrant or any other outdoor botanical object. 

However, if you feel that their love of hydrants might be hindering their daily activities, especially walks, you could try out a few ways to curb it. 

Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered. This can calm their hormones and lead to less spraying and even urinating.

You could also avoid places with fire hydrants; even if your dog doesn’t intend to pee on hydrants, the smell of other animals, especially other dogs, will attract them. 

Bladder issues can also be why your dog is engaging in this behavior; if you notice your dog frequently licking their sensitive areas, this might be the case, and it’s best to take them to the vet to be appropriately diagnosed. 

You can also try distracting your dog with treats around the hydrant. They will develop a positive association with avoiding the hydrants over time.

Lastly, if you feel none of those solutions has worked on your stubborn furry friend, you can resort to doggy diapers. Doggy diapers don’t restrict your dog’s movement. They also come in various sizes, so you’ll find the right fit for your dog!

You have seen countless TV programs and cartoons with dogs having a positive affinity with fire hydrants, so you shouldn’t worry. Dogs engage in several weird or strange behaviors that don’t make sense to us. In the end, it’s best to let dogs be dogs, as long as they are not engaging in anything harmful to them or others around them. 

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