Dog Urine killing grass and creating brown spots
Dog Urine killing the Grass
Brown spots from dog pee / urine in your grass
Here is what is happening.
- Dog urine killing grass.
- Dog urine and poop is high in nitrogen.
- Too much nitrogen will burn and kill the grass.
- Nitrogen is the metabolized byproduct of a high protein diet.
- Best solution to prevent dead / brown spots in your lawn is to dilute the urine by pouring water (3 time the amount of urine) over the urine spot and removing the poop as soon as you can.
- Train your dog to not urinate on the grass and to clean up after it’s self.(good luck)
- In general, water more often
- Reduce protein intake (consult a vet)
- Increase the amount and number of urinations by adding more moisture to solid foods or having the dog drink more water.
Dog urine killing grass. Dog urine and poop is extremely high in nitrogen. Nitrogen is good for your grass and it produces a very nice dark green lawn. When looking for a fertilizer to green up your lawn you want one with a high nitrogen level. If you accidently pour or drop too much fertilizer with a high nitrogen level in one spot, it will burn that spot and cause a brown / dead spot. Dog urine / pee and poop /feces have the same effect. You will notice that the spot where the dog urinates there is a dark green faster grown grass ring around the brown dying spot. The dead spot has too much nitrogen and the surrounding area got a very high dosage of nitrogen but not enough to kill it. Just like us, dog urine is more potent in the morning during the first urination than urine later in the day. Some people claim it is just the female dogs are the problem and male dogs urine is not. This is true most of the time but not for the reason you think. Female and male dogs’ urine is not different. Remember that the problem is that the grass burns and causes a brown / dead spot because of too much nitrogen in one spot. Male dogs tend to pee / urinate all over the place marking their territory and thus not urinating too much in one spot. Female dogs squat and tend to urinate all at once in one spot resulting in too much nitrogen in one area causing the unwanted burn. The next logical question is where is all this nitrogen in dog urine and poop / feces coming from? Dogs are carnivores and they have a significant protein requirement. Therefore most dog foods are high in protein. Nitrogen is a waste product that is the result of the dogs metabolism breaking down the protein. Remember this because we will refer to it under the solutions section.
Dog Urine killing grass and creating brown spots
If you are one of those that have an indoor dog and you take them out side to urinate and poop, the solution is simple to fix the dog urine killing grass. Pick up the poop right afterwards. As for the urine, the easy thing to do is pour water over it thus diluting the high concentration of nitrogen in one spot. Water volume should be about three times that of the amount of urine and studies show that it should be done within 8 hours. If you see it then do it right then. If you dilute the urine 3-to 1 studies have shown that the nitrogen is at a good fertilizer levels and will actually benefit the lawn.
If you are like me and have two female Labs outside roaming around the yard all day, the solution is not so simple and easy to fix the problem of dog urine killing grass. I will give you the generic solution that will work for more of you and then I will tell you what works for me. Your options are limited but basically the concept is the same. You need to dilute the potency of the urine and pick up the poop / feces daily. Encourage your dog to drink more water by keeping it fresh (good healthy thing to do any ways) so the urine is not so concentrated. Add water to the dry dog food or feed your dog canned dog food. This will add more moisture and fluids to the dogs diet in the same way they would drink more. Use a dog food with lower protein levels. Add salt to their diet will cause them to drink more.(Be careful changing a dog’s diet. You may want to check with your vet.) Apply water as soon as you can to the urine spots even if it is hours later. Remember, 3-1 ratio of water to urine to adequately dilute the urine within eight hours should do the trick. You know the area they like to go so just give an extra watering. When you catch the dog in the act, use it as an opportunity to train your dog. My dogs don’t pee in the grass in front of me anymore. It helps! Like most people, I can not stand out in the yard with a hose waiting for my dogs to urinate so I can dilute the pee. The best I can do is to try and reduce the damage and fix the spots that I could not save. So here is what I do. Knowing the worst urination is in the morning, I set my sprinklers to run after my dogs have been awake for a while (hour after I feed them). This helps to dilute the urine. I pick up the poop daily. I give them fresh water at night and encourage them to drink. As mentioned before I train them when given the opportunity. Lastly, I use a triple 15 (15-15-15) to fertilize my lawn most of the time instead of a (29-0-0). If the lawn is not as green as I would like it, I throw down some iron and that usually does the trick. It is not the perfect solution and some times I have some brown spots that take a couple of weeks to fill in. It is all about finding the balance. After all the dogs are not going any where and I enjoy a green lawn. Read on and I will list some other things that I have tried and read about. I am extremely cheap and busy so buying and doing a bunch of extra things is not for me.
Other helpful aids to stop dog urine killing grass
- If you believe that the dog urine kills the grass because of the PH level(acid level) then using lime on you lawn will help because its alkalinity will reduce the effects of the acid in the urine.
- Spreading powered Gypsum will do the same as lime.
- Some people say baking soda will work like Gypsum and lime.
- Many believe the PH level has nothing to do with the burning of the grass and baking soda, Gypsum, and lime just improve the quality of the soil which aid in the dilution of the urine.
- Try altering the PH (acid) level of the dog’s urine (pee) by adding a supplement of Brewers Yeast to their diet. It is in most dog food but just not enough. Try adding a teaspoonful.
- Give your dog Harpers Turf Saver Anti-Lawn Burning Dog Treats (basically Brewers Yeast) which is said to be 100% natural.
- There are a bunch of dog treats that claim to help. Do a search on “dog treats that save lawn”.
The acid PH levels and Nitrogen levels info on dog urine killing grass
When I first started having this problem, I did a bunch of research and was confused. Many people claimed the problem to be a high acid level in the dogs urine and others claimed it was the high nitrogen levels. Based on theirs claim to the problem, they had solutions that were directed at fixing it. So if they thought the problem was a high acid / PH level they recommended solutions to neutralize the acid like adding brewers yeast in the dogs diet or using lime on the grass. So because of all the Speculation on the actual cause of the lawn burn, Dr. A.W. Allard, a Colorado veterinarian, examined numerous variations in dog urine and the effects on several common lawn grasses1. His results support the fact that volume of urine (nitrogen content) and urine concentration had the most deleterious effects on lawns. The pH of the urine did not have any variable effect nor did common additives designed to alter the urine pH. So my approach to the solution is to address the high nitrogen levels and not the PH levels.
Fix Problem Areas from Dog Urine Killing Grass
If the problem area is not recovering on its own, reseeding or putting new sod down is what most people do. Keep in mind that new seeds will not grow in soil that is too high in nitrogen but once the seed germinates and you start to see grass, some nitrogen will aid in the growth. So make sure to dig out a little of the soil from the dead brown spot before seeding and add some mulch to reduce the level of nitrogen and give the seed what it needs to grow.
Key Information on dog urine killing grass
- meat or protein products will contribute to increased nitrogen content in the urine
- Consult your veterinarian before making any dietary modifications
- The pH / acid level in the urine has little to no effect on the damage to the lawn from dog urine
- Altering the dogs diet to change the PH levels in the dogs urine could have negative effects like bladder stones
- Examples of safer ways to dilute urine include using canned dog food, adding water to dry dog food, and adding salt or garlic salt to the regular food. Warning!! You should not alter your dog’s diet without consulting with a veterinarian.
- Reduce the nitrogen in the urine by lowering the protein intake. Most house dogs and back yard dogs do not need the amount of protein in their diet that we feed them. Warning!! You should not alter your dog’s diet without consulting with a veterinarian.
- Exercise is a great way for the dog to burn the protein instead of passing it in urine and feces waste. It is both physically and emotionally healthy for the dog and owner not to mention connecting with your loved pet. If your are having trouble with walking your dog, check out this link. If your dog is pulling you and causing you not to go for a walk, you have to read this.
Remember to not drive yourself crazy over dog urine killing grass and resent the dog. Find a balance and enjoy life. Its should be one of those easy things to do.