Image by Kevin Luu
By Heather Rhoades
Dog urine on grass is a common problem for dog owners. The urine from dogs can cause unsightly spots in the lawn and kill grass. There are many things you can do to protect grass from dog urine damage.
Is Dog Urine on the Grass Really the Problem?
Believe it or not, dog urine is not as damaging as many people believe it is. Sometimes you may blame the dog for brown or yellow spots in the lawn when in fact it is a grass fungus causing the problem.
To determine if dog urine is killing the lawn or a grass fungus, simply pull up on the affected grass. If the grass in the spot comes up easily, it is a fungus. If it stays firm, it is dog urine damage.
Another indicator that it is dog urine killing the lawn is that the spot will be a bright green on the edges while a fungus spot will not.
How to Protect Grass from Dog Urine
Potty Spot Training Your Dog
The easiest way to protect grass from dog urine is to train your dog to always do her business in one part of the yard. This will make sure that lawn damage is contained to one part of the yard. This method also has the added benefit of cleaning up after your dog easy.
If your dog is smaller (or you can find a really big litter box), you can also try litter box training your pet.
You can also train your dog to go while you are on a walk in public areas, such as parks and dog walks. Remember though that many areas have laws about cleaning up after your dog, so make sure to do your civic duty and clean up your dog’s doody.
Changing Your Dog’s Diet to Stop Dog Urine Killing Lawn
Modifications in what you feed your dog can help reduce damage from dog urine on grass. Adding salt to your dog’s food will encourage him to drink more, which will dilute the chemicals in the urine that are harmful. Also, make sure that you are providing enough water for your dog. If a dog does not get enough water, the urine becomes concentrated and more damaging.
Reducing the amount of protein in the food can also help keep dog urine from killing the lawn.
Before making any changes to your dog’s diet, make sure to talk to your vet. Some dogs cannot take in too much salt while others need extra protein to stay healthy and your vet will be able to tell you if these changes would harm your dog or not.
Dog Urine Resistant Grass
If you are re-seeding your lawn, you can consider changing your grass to a more urine resistant grass. Fescues and perennial ryegrasses tend to be hardier. But be aware that changing your grass alone will not fix the problems from dog urine on grass. Your dog’s urine will still damage urine resistant grass, but the grass will take longer to show the damage and will be better able to recover from the damage.