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How To Stop Dog Urine from Killing Grass

Updated on November 15, 2009

Lost Your Lawn to Dog Pee?

The Easiest Short Cut? Paint the Lawn!

You spend countless hours a week taking care of your lawn: you mow it, use fertilizing products, refrain from stepping on it too much and then, out of the blue, your canine friend sprinkles a few drops of pee on it and ruins your beautiful grass. In short, your once beautiful Kentucky Bluegrass has now mutated into unsightly brownish- yellow patches. The name of such damage has a name, it is called ''lawn burn''. The name of your dog's behavior has a name too, it's called ''territorial marking''. The two obviously do not get along.

Of course, you must consider taking some serious steps in order to stop this from happening. Telling your dog to stop dribbling urine all over your lawn is like talking to deaf ears: urine marking is a natural instinct in dogs and even if you scold him or her (yes, females may do it too) it will still happen just as soon as you turn your back.

But why does grass react like that to a dog's urine? The answer comes from a close analysis of the  dog urine's components. The main trigger appears to be the nitrogen content found in the dog's urine. While nitrogen is generally good for lawns, the main problem is the quantity. The high concentration found in the dog's urine is just too much too assimilate at once. The higher in protein the dog's diet is, the more nitrogen will be released in the urine.

Some owners have noticed that the worst areas are caused by female dog urine. The reasoning behind this is not because a female dog's urine contains more nitrogen, but is more a fact of the quantity dribbled. Male dogs tend to dribble a few drops in different spots causing minor damage or let's say damage here and there, whereas female dogs that are often less inclined towards territorial marking, will simply squat and urinate large puddles of urine, therefore causing much more visible damage.

There are several solutions to stop lawn burn in the tracks,: getting rid of the dog or removing the lawn and turning it into a desert landscape. Of course, nobody would resort to such drastic measures, so following are some more approachable ones.

How to Reduce Lawn Burn and Keep Your Dog

  • Hose down the areas your dog likes to urinate on the most. This will dilute the nitrogen making it less harmful.
  • Encourage your dog to drink more, this may produce less concentrated and therefore less nitrogen rich urine.
  • Go for premium kibble. This food may cost more but it is ultimately good for your dog and good for your lawn because the protein will be assimilated better and there will be less waste and therefore, less nitrogen in the urine.
  • Try to train your dog to go to a specific area only and praise lavishly when he or she uses it.
  • There are several supplements that can be given to dogs that will effectively bind and therefore neutralize the excess nitrogen.
  • As a last resort, simply paint your lawn green, nobody will notice the difference! There are special professional lawn paints designed for golf courses or simply people with unsightly lawns.
As seen, there are several things you may do to get your Kentucky bluegrass looking like a lawn again. It just may take a little while, a touch of patience and sooner than later the ugly yellow brown spots will be a memory of the past.

For The Dog....

Green UM Treats (70 g)
Green UM Treats (70 g)

This is now available in a tasty new snack formula - a cereal based pillow containing a unique cream filling. These have no vitamin additives. Helps to eliminate the damaging effects of your dog or cat's urine and feces on your lawn.


For the Lawn...

Simple Solutions Lawn Spot Away Instant Lawn Repair with Sprayer Attachment, 64 Ounce
Simple Solutions Lawn Spot Away Instant Lawn Repair with Sprayer Attachment, 64 Ounce

nstant lawn repair for pet urine burns on your lawn. This lawn colorant and grass restorer helps grass grow back by using natural enzymes to accelerate the breakdown process of pet urine. Instantly colors brown spots with a natural green coloring agent. Safe for use around pets and safe on all types of grass and plants. A wonderful product to have on hand to keep your yard looking its best.



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    • Didge profile image

      Didge 5 years ago from Southern England

      Really beautiful and well written.

    • marimccants profile image

      marimccants 6 years ago

      Thanks for more information, I really to read your article. I've learn something new.

    • varkjie profile image

      varkjie 7 years ago

      I enjoyed reading, thanks for the entertaining and oh so informative hub!

    • receptionist profile image

      receptionist 8 years ago

      I really love dogs... This is such a great hub you have here... Unique info about pets... Great Job...

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I always enjoy a new phrase like "lawn burn". The preventive techniques are good tips too.

    • Suzanne Alicie profile image

      Suzanne Alicie 8 years ago

      Excellent info!