If you happen to take a stroll through Prague 8’s recently renovated Karlínské náměstí, be careful not to kill yourself by tripping over one of the barely-noticeable steel poles sticking out of the ground, which dot the park’s pathways.
What are these 40-centimeter stainless steel poles, with tiny slits cut into their sides?
They’re dog urinals – Psí pisoáry, as termed by their manufacturer – and they’re popping up in numerous locations around Prague.
The urinals are designed to curb long-term damage to park grounds from urine. The small slits on the poles, meant to absorb most of the dog discharge, are connected to underground piping leading to the city’s sewer system.
It’s a unique, patented invention from the Czech company DOG production s.r.o. More information about the dog urinals, along with a variety of models, can be found at their website.
In theory, the urinals will dispose of most of the urine while maintaining the scent to attract canines to make use of their services.
But in practice, the waste stations may not be completely effective.
“They are not being used, we will definitely not implement more,” Prague 3 spokesperson Iva Vojtková told Blesk. “Dogs did not learn to use them.”
Žižkov had implemented the urinals at a number of locations. According to Blesk, the stations can also be spotted at Smetanově nábřeží and Jindřišská in Prague 1 and Na Slupi street and Folimanka park in Prague 2.
At Karlínské náměstí, which had undergone a 6-month renovation at a price tag of 50 million CZK (the majority of which was covered by EU funds), I counted eight dog urinals during a recent stroll.
Prague 7 is currently testing the implementation of the dog urinals. “We are considering where these dog urinals could be located,” spokesperson Martin Vokuš told Blesk. “For tips, we welcome suggestions from our citizens.”
As a longtime traveler through Karlín’s streets, I’d like to humbly suggest some accessible toilets for humans, too.