Does Dog Pee Kill Grass?

Dog owners love their dogs, and their dogs most likely love them back. So, it’s not a bother when the pooch pees on the grass during playtime. Most dogs have a designated spot to answer their nature calls. But sometimes, dog pee becomes a nuisance. 

Dog urine kills grass. The severity of urine burn on the grass varies depending on diet, water intake, and peeing mannerisms. However, the dog pee might harm the grass worse if the pee is nitrogen-rich. 

We’ll let you in on how your dog’s pee can affect your lawn and how to fix and prevent grass damage from the urine.

Is dog urine harmful to grass?

Dog urine is harmful to grass. The urea in dog pee is nitrogen-rich. Therefore, you will notice urine burn when the pooch pees on the grass. Mostly, dogs will pick designated areas to pee. Over time, the brown patches from the dog urine will form patches all over the grass lawn.

Dog urine can be harmful or beneficial to your grass, depending on the nitrogen content of the ground. If the soil is nitrogen-rich and your dog often pees on the same spots, the urine will damage the grass. However, if the soil has little or no nitrogen, the dog pee will bless the grass.

Dog pee has high nitrogen levels in the form of urea because their diet consists of high proteins that release nitrogen into their wastes. The grass gets damaged if the soil is highly fertilized and the dog adds more nitrogen by peeing.

Dog peeing on nitrogen-rich soil is similar to adding more fertilizer to fertilized soil. As a result, nitrogen saturates the ground, forcing the grass to lose water to the soil. Therefore, the grass turns yellow and develops brown spots of dying grass.

Meanwhile, when your dog pees on lawn soil with little nitrogen, it fertilizes the ground instead of burning or killing the grass. As a result, the area with the pee turns greener than the unaffected areas. If you notice dark green grass where your dog often does its business, know the soil is depleted of nutrients and needs replenishing.

Why does dog pee kill grass?

Dog pee kills grass because of the excess nitrogen content in its urine added to nitrogen-rich soil.

When your dog relieves itself in one spot severally, it supplies more nitrogen to the ground, saturating the soil. The grass loses its water to the ground, turns yellow, and dries out.

Higher nitrogen levels in the soil cause the grass to turn into brown spots of dying or dead grass.

Does dog pee kill grass?

Dog pee can kill grass if the pet often relieves itself in the same spots in nitrogen-rich soil. Excess nitrogen added by the dog’s pee harms the grass by turning it yellow and brown spots consisting of dead grass.

Can I neutralize/ prevent dog urine from killing grass?

It can get frustrating when you constantly have to deal with urine burns from your dog’s pee. Still, there are remedies to correct the problem. Here’s how to fix a dog’s urine damage on your lawn.

Water the affected part immediately.

If you are chilling with your pet and it pees on the grass, water the area immediately to save your lawn from urine damage.

Watering helps to wash off the salts and nitrogen content from the soil. Apply plenty of water, more than twice the amount of the dog’s urine. Use a garden hose or turn on your sprinkler to rinse the area.

Fertilize the lawn

Dark greener grass on areas where the dog often pees shows the soil lacks essential nutrients like nitrogen.

Perform a soil test by taking samples from different spots on the lawn to a nearby university extension laboratory. The soil analysis would reveal other nutrients lacking. A suitable fertilizer rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium will enrich the soil.

Designate a spot where the dog can pee. You might have to potty train the dog to only use the designated spots. 

Reseed the area

It’s challenging to save lawn with brown spots since the grass is dying or dead. But, you can get a lush green property by reseeding the area with new grass seeds. Here’s how to reseed the site:

1. Rake the brown dead grass using a trowel to remove them.

2. Rinse the soil with plenty of water to wash the salts around it.

3. Rake the soil to loosen it.

4.  Add 2/3 of topsoil and 1/3 of peat moss to enrich the affected soil with nutrients.

5.  Spread grass seeds over the area with a spreader and cover them lightly with soil.

6.  Water the seeded area lightly twice daily to encourage germination.

7. Restrict movement into the seeded area to allow the grass to establish its roots.

Apply lawn repair treatments

Lawn repair treatments contain cleaners and enzymes that feed the grass with nutrients and flush the salts from the dog urine. Commercial lawn repair treatments labeled for neutralizing dog pee are available in garden stores near your location. Apply them in the affected areas to encourage grassroots healing.

You cannot prevent your dog from peeing. However, you can prevent grass burn caused by dog pee. Here are the best ways to avoid dog urine from killing your grass:

Train your dog to pee on selected spots

Clear sections in your yard where your dog can pee. Use positive reinforcement during potty training to make the dog adapt faster to peeing in those sections. It would be great if the areas are farther from the house. 

Alternatively, add mulch or gravel to a yard section suitable for peeing. Train your pet to pee on these areas often to avoid damaging the grass. Give treats and rewards to the puppy whenever it does its business at the correct spot to motivate it to use the sites.

Give your dog less processed food

Typically, dog food is heavily processed. Processed food will only add more nitrogen in the dog’s waste. Switch to a heavily organic diet for the dog. It should cut out some of the nitrogen content. 

Give your dog more water

Giving your puppy more water helps dilute its urine. The water reduces the amount of nitrogen and makes dog pee less harmful to the grass. Add more water to its food and train it to drink water often. Place the bowl of water in the puppy’s feeding area.

Purify your dog’s water

Rock salts purify the water by removing ammonia and nitrates from it, ensuring the dog consumes low levels of nitrogen. There’s less grass damage when your puppy drinks rock salt purified water and pees on the grass.

Plant urine-resistant grass

Grasses have different tolerance to dog pee. While Bermuda grass and Kentucky bluegrass are vulnerable to dog urine, others like fescues and ryegrass are more tolerant.

You can replace your lawn with fescues or ryegrass, so the grass doesn’t get damaged when your dog pees on it.

Mow the grass higher

Tall grasses survive dog urine better because of their deeper grassroots. They also hide the urine better since they have high grass blades. Raise your mower deck higher to cut the grass taller to develop more robust grassroots that help it stand the dog’s pee.

Fertilize less often

Adding little fertilizer to the soil ensures the ground doesn’t have excess nitrogen. When your dog pees, it doesn’t harm the grass but adds more nitrogen to the soil for healthy grass growth. Fertilize the lawn less often, but be sure the amount is enough to help it grow healthier.

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