Have you been frustrated by large brown spots that always seem to arrive on our lawn no matter what you do? We were too, so we talked with the experts to find seven ways to keep your lawn free from dog urine spots.
Urine marking is an intuitive exercise followed by dogs. Their urine can create brown or yellow spots of dead grass on an otherwise lush lawn.
7 tips for a greener and healthier lawn without brown spots from dog urine
Train your dog not to pee on your lawn
The first and most obvious way to keep your lawn free of brown dog urine spots is to not let your dog pee on your lawn. The best solution to prevent these urine spots is
to train your dog to pee somewhere else other than your lawn.
Urine training can be challenging and it takes patience, particularly if your dog has free rein in the yard. Designating an area for your dog to eliminate will save the remainder of your yard. You may consider training your dog to pee on a piece of fake grass that can be rinsed, washed and deodorized like this one from Amazon.
The process to train your dog to use an outdoor pee pad would be very similar to training your dog to use an indoor pee pad, when you let your dog out to pee you would take them to the outdoor pee pad and reward them when they go on the patch of grass meant for peeing. Crate training may help this process.
Dog supplements to balance the pH in dog urine
Certain canine dietary supplements bind with the nitrogen in the urine, making it less harmful to your lawn. Keep in mind that some supplements can be dangerous if they significantly change the pH of a dog’s urine and might have other negative health effects.
Talk to your vet before you add supplements to your dog’s diet. There are
some options available on Chewy like these Nutra Guard Grass Protect Biscuits.
They do have mixed reviews and seem to work for some at a higher than the recommended dosage and not for others. These Grass Saver Biscuits from Chewy have better reviews and seem to work better when given consistently to dogs to reduce the brown spots on lawns.
Increase your dog’s water intake
The more your furry companion drinks water, the less nitrogen will be concentrated in the urine. As a result, it will be less damaging to your lawn. Dogs should drink a lot of
water to maintain their health anyway.
The extra water may dilute your dog’s urine enough to reduce the nitrogen below the threshold where grass damage occurs. Of course, this approach will be healthier for your dog as well but that means your dog will have to urinate more often.
If you are looking for a tip to increase water consumption you can check out our article on how to keep your dog hydrated and make dog flavored water. Flavored water along with bone broth, like our recipe here are great ways to add liquids to a dog’s diet, reducing the overall concentration potentially reducing brown spots on your lawn.
Plant a urine-tolerant grass
The kind of grass you put on your lawn also determines how well it will tolerate dog pee. So, if you’re planting or replanting your lawn, choose a urine-tolerant grass type. Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, Zoysia, Paspalum, and Distichlis are the most urine
We have another great article on choosing the best grass for your dog lawn and dog friendly lawn varieties that you can check out here.
Use a low-nitrogen fertilizer
Dog urine is adding nitrogen to your lawn. One way to reduce brown spots from dog urine on your lawn is to add a low-nitrogen fertilizer to your lawn which may reduce the brown spots that are from the already nitrogen rich dog urine. Be sure that the
fertilizer that you use on your lawn is pet-safe.
Water the area to minimize pee spots
The most effective way to prevent dog pee spots is to water the area immediately after your dog urinates.
Daily watering can minimize these spots. You can use a garden hose or a rain barrel to immediately rinse off the area after your dog pees with the added bonus of keeping your dog cool in the summer when brown spots are more prevalent.
Dog Rocks for Dog Water
The inventor of dog rocks, available on Chewy here found that by adding dog rocks to his dogs water bowls caused the water to neutralize and resulted in less brown dog
pee spots on his lawn. The rocks are from a quarry in Australia and do
not add chemicals or other additives to your environment.
Final thoughts on preventing dog urine from killing your lawn
Although there’s no guaranteed way to prevent dog urine spots in the lawn, you can take these steps to minimize the damage caused by dog urine on your lawn. We recommend avoiding quick fixes and focusing on long-term solutions. The best approach is to guide your dog to appropriate places to pee with a pee mat or regularly water to reduce the concentration of dog pee on your lawn.
If you have any further questions about dog urine spots, don’t hesitate to ask.
Dog Urine on Lawn FAQs
Both genders of dog urine can kill grass and cause brown spots on your lawn equally. Females get blamed for grass spots more as they usually are peeing in more high traffic areas while male dogs are usually peeing on something on the edge of a lawn.
Yes, dog pee can kill grass and it will due to the chemical composition of the dog pee. Certain grasses will be more resistant to dog pee but in general dog pee does kill grass.
Male and female dog pee kills grass due to the high concentration of nitrogen, from urea in urine, and associated salts found in dog urine that essentially ‘burns’ the grass it directly hits.