How to Deal with Dog Urine Burns in the Grass
Your beautiful, pristine lawn suddenly has yellow, dry patches of grass. Oh no! You’re battling dog urine burns!
As a dog poop company, we spend a lot of time educating the public about the dangers of dog poop… But it’s not just dog poop that can damage a yard. Dog pee can burn the grass and leave it looking less than its best.
If this is something you are struggling with, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn why this is happening and how to deal with it.
Why Dog’s Urine Burns Grass
First things first, dog urine burns are totally natural and normal. It is not a sign that there is something terrible going on with your dog.
Lawn Love explains, “Your dog’s urine contains urea, a form of nitrogen that results from digesting proteins. Dogs have a lot of protein in their diet, so they have a lot of nitrogen in their urine. This high nitrogen content is completely normal and nothing to worry about as far as your dog’s health goes. […] A little nitrogen fertilizes lawns, but a large amount of nitrogen concentrated in a small area (like when your dog pees in the same spot over and over) burns the grass, killing it.”
Signs Your Dog’s Urine Has Damaged Your Lawn
If your dog’s urine is affecting your lawn, it will be pretty easy to tell. It tends to create a ring of dark brown or dark green.
If you see a brown spot (like a dead patch of grass) with a dark green grass ring surrounding it, this is a dog urine burn.
Lawn Love explains, “Grass turns brown because dog urine adds excess nitrogen to the soil. As the urine flows away from the spot where your dog went to the bathroom, the nitrogen becomes less and less concentrated. So, the area around the dead patch doesn’t get too much nitrogen to turn brown. Instead, it gets just enough to get a little boost and grow greener than before. It’s like you used fertilizer in that one spot.”
If you only notice dark green patches of grass where your dog pees, it means the soil is getting the nitrogen it needs. You may need to use nitrogen-rich fertilizer for the rest of your yard.
How to Deal with Dog Urine Burns
Fortunately, there are many ways to address dog urine burns that won’t harm your dog or your lawn.
- Water the patch of grass after your dog pees using the water hose.
- Train your dog to pee in a special area of the yard, such as one with mulch. If you have a male dog, consider adding a pee post.
- Give your dog more water to drink. The more water he takes in, the more diluted his pee will be.
- Maintain your lawn. Regularly water and fertilize your lawn.
- Walk your dog regularly so he can take potty breaks in different places.
- Change your dog’s diet. Processed foods cause more nitrogen content than fresh foods.
- Use special lawn treatments for urine burns.
- Raise the mowing height on your lawnmower.
- Use dog-friendly fertilizer.
- Re-seed dead patches using more urine-tolerant varieties. According to The Wildest, “Fescue and perennial ryegrass are the most urine tolerant, while bluegrass and bermudagrass seem to be the most sensitive. There are also several species of taller grasses (used in meadow cultivation) that are salt tolerant and fairly urine resistant including Zoysia, Paspalum, and Distichlis.”
A Warning About Supplements
You may have heard about supplements you can give your dog that will help reduce urine burns. You want to avoid these supplements.
The Wildest warns, “Nothing you give your dog internally will safely stop urine from damaging grass […] These medications work by either changing the pH of the urine, or by adding salt to the body. And it should be reiterated: urine burn is a nitrogen problem, not a pH problem. When you use medications that alter the pH of the urine, you run the risk of causing urinary crystals or bladder stones in your dog. Certain types of crystals and stones thrive in the altered pH environment, which will create a much bigger problem than a lawn blemish.”
Keep in mind that dog poop also damages lawns. If you are struggling with poop taking over your yard, sign up with Super Scoopers today!