Dog pee can be a real problem for lawns. Because dog urine is high in nitrogen, in high concentration and over time, constant peeing can leave brown spots in your previously green yard. Fortunately, there are ways that dog urine killing grass can be prevented and fixed.
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1. Fertilize Less
Most fertilizers also contain nitrogen, the agent responsible for killing grass. Reducing the amount of nitrogen-infused fertilizer you use on your lawn, especially in your dog’s favorite relief areas, will help reduce those unsightly “doggy spots.”
2. Hose It Down
It takes time for a dog's urine to kill grass. So after your dog has relieved himself, take the hose and saturate the area with water. This helps to dilute the amount of nitrogen soaking into your grass and eating it up.
3. Encourage the Dog to Drink More Water
Since diluting the nitrogen with water on the outside works, encouraging your pet to drink more water will dilute it at the source. Provide constantly cool, clean and fresh water for your dog. If your pet is picky, try a drinking fountain. These units constantly filter and circulate the water, enticing dogs to drink more.
4. Use Urine-Resistant Grass
If you can afford it, replace your natural grass with one that is better equipped to handle dog urine. Fescue (festuca) and ryegrass (lolium) are two hardy species that are more resilient to nitrogen in urine, while Bermuda grass (scutch grass) and bluegrass (poe pratensis) are the most sensitive and will die quicker.
5. Train the Dog to “Spot Pee”
Whether you have a puppy or adult dog – go back to housebreaking basics. Choose a designated spot for the dog to relieve himself in. If you need help in this area, there are products available that will encourage your dog to pee in one spot, like pee posts. Some are even infused with pheromones or shaped like a fire hydrant.
6. Replace the Grass
If not planting different grass, then you may want to consider replacing an appropriate-sized patch of grass altogether. Use fine gravel, natural wood mulch or earth that your dog can “safely” pee on. This method won’t require fertilizers, won’t turn brown, and is easily hosed down.
Do not use any specialty mulch types made from cocoa bean hulls. While these may smell delicious and look fantastic, cocoa bean hulls are toxic to dogs and can cause a serious health problem if ingested by your pooch.
7. Use a Dietary Supplement
There are pet supplements that will bind up the nitrogen in your dog’s urine, making it less concentrated and harmful to the lawn. Some better known are Grass Guard, VetIQ Green-um, and Drs. Fosters and Smith Lawn Guard. Ask your veterinarian before using these products, especially on health compromised older dogs, nursing females, puppies.
8. Use a Lawn Repair Treatment Product
Other products can be used directly on the newly formed brown patches on your lawn, such as Simple Lawn Solutions or Scotts EZ Seed. These pet-safe organic alternatives use enzymes that react to the nitrogen, flushing it from the roots, which will allow the grass to grow in a healthy environment, and also fertilizing the soil to speed up growth.
9. Use a Pet Loo
Instead of letting your dog pee on grass, provide them with a “toilet”. Not only are these products great for small spaces, but these artificial “pee turfs” will save your lawn from all those ugly brown spots. Portable and replaceable dog loos turn your pet's pee into a gel or channel it away into a removable collection bin that can then be easily disposed of.
10. Use Dog Rocks
Dog Rocks is a brand name for a natural grass burn prevention product. They are made from organically occurring paramagnetic igneous rock mined in Australia. When placed into your dog’s water bowl, they act as a sponge, absorbing excess nitrates and other chemicals found in tap water, which would normally cause urine to burn the grass. Dog Rocks do not affect your pet’s natural pH balance and are safe for animals.