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How to Stop Dog Urine From Killing Grass Naturally and Organically

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As much as we adore our canine companions, they can leave our grassy areas looking bedraggled. And in a sorry state! Dog urine can be hugely detrimental to lawns, leaving patches of brown grass or bare earth. If you’re looking for natural methods to neutralize dog urine and save your grass or lawn, let’s examine how to stop dog urine from killing grass naturally.

These methods work even for large dog breeds that are highly active.

Want to go in for a closer look?

Then let’s continue!

Why Does Dog Urine Kill Grass?

To figure out how to fix something, it helps to understand why it happens in the first place! Dog urine contains a significant amount of nitrogen, primarily urea, which excretes from the body as a waste product. Urea gets produced when the body digests protein, and its presence in urine is the expected outcome of this metabolic process.

But while nitrogen in dog urine might be typical, it is a real pain if you want a lush, beautiful lawn! When dog urine comes into contact with grass, the high nitrogen concentration overloads the grass’s ability to absorb and process nutrients. This excess nitrogen dehydrates and burns the foliage, resulting in yellow or brown patches. Eventually, the grass can die altogether, leaving patches of bare earth on your lawn.

backyard lawn with many dry spots due to excessive dog urination
High nitrogen and salt levels in dog urine kill grass! And you don’t need fancy chemicals to help restore the lawn. All you need is a watering can. Indeed, we propose that water is the best method to stop dog urine from killing grass naturally. Start by following your dog around your lawn when it goes outside. Grab your watering can when you take it outdoors to pee. It’s time to water! Soaking the urine-soaked area immediately after impact should dilute the nitrogen so it won’t damage your entire lawn in the first place.

Will Grass Grow Back After Dog Urine?

How well your grass will regrow after dog urine damage depends on the severity of the lawn damage and the grass’s resilience. In many cases, if the urine burn is not extensive, grass can regrow. Reseeding and regular watering can help to speed up this regrowth process.

However, repeated exposure to dog urine or severe damage may make it more challenging for the grass to recover fully. Repeated urination by dogs in the same area can easily alter the nitrogen levels and pH of the soil, and grass will not thrive until these get rectified.

How to Stop Dog Urine From Killing Grass Naturally

Feel frustrated with all the brown patches on your lawn? Then let’s examine some organic strategies to minimize the damage caused by dog urine and promote a healthy backyard lawn.

Shall we?

Water, Water, Water

One of the best phrases I heard as a vet nurse was, “The solution to pollution is dilution!” And this applies when looking for a home remedy for dog urine-killing grass! In other words – after your dog has peed on the lawn, it’s time to act. Grab the hose and rinse off the area! 

Hosing fresh urine spots is particularly important during dry weather when rainfall will not rinse the excess nitrogen.

Ideally, we advise watering as soon as possible after your dog urinates, before nitrogen can soak into the soil. Saturate the spot thoroughly with water and allow it to drain away. We guarantee this method will help manage your lawn – and reduce dead grass spots.

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Create a Doggy Toilet Area

You can also help minimize the damage caused by dog urine by training your dog to use a specific area. Designate a particular spot in your yard, such as a patch of mulch or a gravel area, where your dog can urinate. The soil in this area will soak up the excess nitrogen, leaving the rest of your garden to grow lush and healthy.

To train your dog, take them to the designated area when they need to urinate. Use positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, to reward them for using the spot. It may take some time and consistency. But with patience and persistence, your dog will learn to associate that area with urination.

If you don’t have space in your yard for a doggy toilet area, ensure your hounds get out for plenty of walks. Dogs tend to urinate more frequently when exercising, so regular hikes and visits to the doggy play park will help to spare your lawn.

small dog pack running and playing in a park on a beautiful day
Here’s another little-known trick stopping dog urine from killing grass naturally. Take your dogs on long walks! Our editor, Mike, from New England (who has raised dogs since he was a kid – for decades), takes their dogs for long walks in the woods daily. Try finding a dog-friendly park, recreation area, abandoned beach, or wildlife conservation zone so your dog can run freely – and burn some energy! We guarantee the dog will have so much fun. The dogs also get healthy exercise and socialization. And they’ll likely urinate several times during the hike. That means there’s much less urine on your lawn. It’s the perfect solution!

Keep Your Dog Well Hydrated

When dogs are not well hydrated, their urine becomes more concentrated. And the probability of lawn damage is high. Encouraging your dog to drink plenty of water helps naturally dilute nitrogen concentrations in urine. And ensuring your doggies get plenty of water is also beneficial for their overall health.

Ensure your dog has free access to clean and fresh water, especially during hot weather or after exercise. Ensure your dogs have water access at all times. Period! Add water containers throughout your yard so your dog can effortlessly hydrate during outdoor playtime. Easy water access can also include providing water bowls or installing pet-friendly water fountains.

Another great way to keep your precious pooch hydrated is to supplement their diet with water-rich treats such as watermelon and other juicy fruits. The more your dog drinks, the more diluted the urine will be, resulting in less damage to your grass.

(We know. Not all dogs eat watermelon. But some do. Give it a try!)

lovely husky dog relaxing in the backyard next to a fresh water bowl
Rinsing fresh urine spots in your lawn isn’t the only way to dilute nitrogen. Ensure your dogs always have plenty of water in their drinking bowl. Remember that your dog urine’s nitrogen content is the number one culprit for dead patches in your lawn. If your dog drinks plenty of fresh water, it can help to dilute the nitrogen content in the urine. This water dilution seems the best and healthiest way to save your lawn. It’s natural water consumption! (You should always ensure your dog has plenty of water anyway. Never deprive your dog of fresh water, hoping it will urinate less often. It’s inhumane – and dangerous for your dog’s health!)

Check Your Dog’s Diet

Dog urine contains high nitrogen levels as a waste product from protein digestion. You can help to reduce the overall nitrogen levels by modifying your dog’s diet. Doing so helps to protect your grass from damage.

The first step is to ensure your dog’s diet contains balanced protein levels – the best way to do this is to feed a diet with a high-quality source of protein formulated for your dog’s life stage. Young dogs need higher protein levels than adult dogs. And your senior doggies will benefit from a highly digestible protein source.

If you feed your dog kibble, switching to wet food such as canned or fresh meat can reduce nitrogen levels in the urine. Your veterinarian or a qualified canine nutritionist can recommend a suitable diet that meets your dog’s nutritional needs while minimizing the impact on your lawn.

(Always seek the advice of your family vet when modifying your dog’s diet. They are the single best source for dog diet guidance.)

Supplements to Stop Dog Urine From Killing Grass

Natural supplements containing yucca schidigera extract claim to help reduce the nitrogen content in dog urine. These supplements add to your dog’s food and work by modifying the process of nitrogen metabolism. While results may vary, many dog owners report positive outcomes when using these supplements.

Follow the recommended dosage and consult your veterinarian before introducing new dietary supplements to your dog’s routine.

(We never use these supplements – and find that exercise, lawn rinsing, and training dogs to use a designated potty zone are adequate to save our lawn.)

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Protect Your Lawn

A healthy lawn is more resilient to high nitrogen levels and will better withstand an occasional sprinkling of doggy wee. Make sure your grass is well fertilized, and consider scarifying the lawn to remove dead foliage and improve drainage. When cutting, set the mower slightly higher to leave the grass longer.

Don’t panic if your dog-training methods aren’t going quite to plan. Motion-sensor sprinklers can be a genius way to keep your canine buddy away from your lawn. If your dog gets an unexpected shower every time it goes to pee on the grass, it’ll soon get the right idea! Plus, your lawn will certainly appreciate the additional water.

dog sitting next to brown spot on backyard lawn
Here you see one of our furry friends admiring their handiwork. Notice the dark spot in an otherwise lush lawn! This image reminds us of another trick to stop dog urine from killing turf grasses. The trick is to train your dog to urinate somewhere else. Do you have a rockery garden with lots of mulch? That might be the best place. Train your dog to urinate on the mulch! Tell them they’re a good boy (or girl) whenever they urinate in their designated doggy zone – and give them a treat after they void. This repeated training can take several weeks. But it won’t take long for the dog to learn that it should urinate in its mulched area. Providing a safe doggy pee zone is an effective method to stop dogs from urinating on your lawn. Give them a convenient alternative – and you’ll have much less dead grass.

Dog Urine Killing Grass Home Remedy – Myth Busting!

Unfortunately, there is no magic cure to stop dog urine from killing grass – all of the methods listed above will help, but you may have to accept that some brown patches on your lawn are a small price to pay for the pleasure of owning a dog!

However, you may come across some home remedies for stopping dog urine from killing grass, but do they work?

Does Baking Soda Stop Dog Urine From Killing the Grass?

We don’t recommend baking soda to stop dog urine from damaging grass. Sodium bicarbonate will not prevent or repair the damage caused by dog urine on grass and may even risk making any existing damage even worse.

hungry beagle dog exploring in the woods and grazing on tall grass
One myth we’ve heard is that only large dogs can burn grass with their urine. But it’s not true! Our team at Outdoor Happens has raised a massive variety of dogs over the years of all sizes – including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Corgis, Shih Tzus, Pit Bulls, Chihuahuas, plus many mixed rescue dogs. We can confidently posit that all dog urine (if concentrated on a small part of your lawn) will cause dead spots. Even the tiniest dogs can do a number. As always, thoroughly soaking the grass after they urinate or training them to urinate elsewhere (in a dog park or on a mulchy spot of the lawn) is the best way we’ve found to mitigate the issue.

Do Dog Rocks Prevent Lawn Burn?

Dog Rocks are lumps of igneous rock put in your dog’s drinking water. They help absorb nitrate from the water, reducing nitrate levels in your dog’s urine.

While many pet owners have seen good results when using Dog Rocks, unfortunately, the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this product is not yet available.

What Supplements Reduce Nitrogen In Dog Urine?

Certain products can help break down or reduce nitrogen levels in dog urine, reducing its impact on your lawn. However, most veterinarians advise steering clear of these products, as they may alter the pH of your dog’s urine. This pH shift can leave your dog susceptible to various medical problems, such as urinary tract infections, bladder stones, or digestive upsets. We’d suggest steering clear of shady miracle cures and sticking to using more natural methods instead.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our guide on how to stop dog urine from killing grass naturally.

Many of the writers on Outdoor Happens have years of experience raising dogs. And we all try to keep our turf (and clover) lawns fresh and tidy. So – we know your pain if your dog is ruining your green, lush lawns!

Our advice is simple. Take your dogs for long walks. Give them plenty of water. And encourage them to urinate in designated areas – either a mulched part of your yard or at a dog park. And if all else fails, rinse the urine spots on your lawn with water soon after your dog uses the bathroom.

These methods work. And they’re all 100% natural.

Thanks again for reading.

And have a great day!

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