21 November 2022
It can be frustrating to see dead grass where your dog has peed if you are a dog owner who takes pride in your lawn. Dead grass spots caused by dog urine can be unsightly. Dog owners may think this is just part of living with dogs, but it doesn’t have to be. Your dog’s urine can ruin your grass if you don’t take steps to prevent it.
Patches of grass can die due to high nitrogen levels in dog urine and turn brown or yellow. Nitrogen is naturally abundant in urine, and high nitrogen concentrations can cause grass burns. Nitrogen is also contained in lawn fertilizer. The fertilizing effects of lower nitrogen concentrations often cause the dead grass to be surrounded by a lush, green ring of growth.
The salts and other compounds in dog urine may also damage the grass. In areas of the yard where your dog urinates, highly acidic or alkaline urine may adversely affect the grass.
Some claim that female dog urine causes more damage to the lawn than male dog urine; however, male and female dogs’ urine have similar chemical compositions. It’s the way the dogs urinate that’s the problem. Female dogs are more likely to damage grass simply because they tend to squat and urinate in one place; male dogs lift a leg and mark upright objects multiple times. Furthermore, if a male dog pees on a tree trunk, not all the pee drips down the grass.
Brown or yellow spots on your lawn caused by dog urine can be prevented in a few ways. While you cannot wholly eliminate urine spots in the yard, you can minimize their effects.
Reduce the damage to your lawn by training your dog to urinate in one area or fence off a portion of your yard for your dog to do his business. Plants like tall grasses or low bushes can camouflage the dog waste site, making it less visible from other areas.
Your dog’s potty area should be covered with a urine-resistant ground cover. Clover, ryegrass, or fescue grass are tougher than the average lawn grass and can stand up to your dog’s urination.
The area of your yard where your dog pees should be landscaped without plants and in a dog-friendly manner. You can also do it throughout your yard, so it won’t matter where your dog pees; try bark or stone mulch. Make sure any stones you use are of a size and texture that your dog won’t mind walking on. Sharp or rough edges may damage a dog’s paws, or it may feel uncomfortable, and he won’t want to walk on it or use the potty area effectively.
Make sure your dog drinks enough water. Feeding wet food instead of dry is a simple way to accomplish this, though it can be expensive. Water is essential for dogs to maintain their health, and the extra water may dilute your dog’s urine to reduce nitrogen below the threshold that causes grass damage. This approach will require your dog to urinate more frequently, but the benefits may outweigh the inconvenience.
After your dog urinates, immediately rinse off the area with a garden hose. It would help if you encouraged your dog to urinate in a different location each time so that urine and watering can be spread out.
Consider switching to a low-nitrogen fertilizer since your dog adds nitrogen to your lawn. Also, ensure your fertilizer and other chemicals used on your lawn and garden are pet-safe.
Grass burns can be treated with supplements and products such as Dog Rocks. However, some products may be harmful if they significantly alter the pH of a dog’s urine or have other adverse health effects. Before adding anything to your dog’s diet, consult your veterinarian.