When dogs urinate on your lush green grass, this can result in dead brown spots on your beautiful lawn. This is sometimes referred to as “lawn burn” since the nitrogen in the dog’s urine “burns” the grass. More specifically, it is the urea in the urine, a type of ammonia, that converts to nitrates and burns the grass. While this can be frustrating, there are some simple solutions to this problem. Below, you will find several methods on how to stop dog urine from killing grass.
1. Dilute the Urine With Water
One of the simplest and most effective techniques you can use is to immediately dilute the urine with water. Keep a watering can or a garden hose nearby to the water the area after your dog(s) urinates. In fact, just keeping your grass watered more on a regular basis can often take care of the problem.
2. Train Your Dog To Urinate In One Specific Spot
This works really well with some dogs. Teach them to urinate in a specific spot where you do not care if it turns brown. In this way, you don’t have to worry about brown patches over the rest of your lawn.
3. Humanely Chase Your Neighbor Dogs Away
Sometimes it isn’t your dog that is causing the problem. We’ve all had a neighbor dog that likes to wander around whizzing on other people’s lawns. There is a two part solution to this. First, talk with the dog’s owner about keeping the dog out of your yard and explain why. If that doesn’t work, you can humanely chase your neighbor’s dog away with the water hose. Water will not hurt the dog but it will scare them away. If you can’t always catch them in the act, you can place a motion detector water sprinkler near the spot where they are urinating.
4. Do Not Over Fertilize Your Lawn
A little dog urine will actually make your lawn greener because it contains nitrogen, the same active component found in most lawn fertilizers. While some nitrogen is good for your grass and will make it greener, if too much nitrogen is added to the grass, you will end up with dead brown grass. It’s the classic case of too much of a good thing! Therefore, if you have dogs urinating on your lawn, you may want to cut back on your lawn fertilizer or not even fertilize at all. Consider the dog urine free fertilizer!
5. Make Sure Your Dog Is Getting Enough Water
It is natural for dog urine to produce a brown patch if your dog keeps urinating in the same spot. However, if you notice that your dog’s urine is burning the grass the first time he or she urinates in a specific patch, this may be sign that your dog’s urine is too highly concentrated. This is a potential sign for chronic dehydration. Unfortunately, this serious dog health issue is easy to miss since your dog won’t usually complain too much about it. The solution is to encourage your dog to drink more water and always make sure they have plenty of water available. Also, change the water frequently because dogs will avoid their water if it becomes too dirty or stagnant. This is especially important in the warmer months.
6. Feed Your Dog a Higher Quality Food
If your dog’s food contains lower quality protein, they will produce more nitrogen in their urine because there will be more waste product. Switching to a higher quality food can make a big difference in the urine they produce. Not only will this help keep your lawn green and nice, it will also improve the overall health of your dog.
7. Plant a Different Type of Grass
If all else fails, you can consider planting a different type of grass that is more resistant to grass burn. Before you do so, however, take a close look at the grass and make sure it is actually dog urine causing the problem. If the grass is actually loose in the soil and lifts out of the ground, roots and all, with only a gentle tug, you may actually have a grub or mushroom problem instead of a dog urine problem. If, however, the problem is dog urine related, you can look at switching to a hardier grass variety. Fescue grasses and rye grasses tend to be the hardiest type of lawn grass to plant while Bermuda grass and Kentucky bluegrass tends to be the most sensitive to grass burn.
There are seven natural solutions for how to stop dog urine from killing grass discussed above. While there are products you can add to your dog’s food that are supposed to reduce grass burn, they usually don’t work and can have negative side effects on your dog’s health. For example, they can cause bladder stones in your dog. For this reason, they are not recommended.