How Your Dog’s Pee is Affecting Your Lawn (and How to Fix It)

Your puppy is finally potty-trained and not having any accidents on your living room rug –– but now your once-perfect lawn seems to have developed Dalmatian spots. What’s causing these dead patches of grass? Your dog’s urine. Read on to find out exactly what is causing it and how to stop the pee patches.

What’s Causing the Spots?

Dogs produce nitrogen as a byproduct of digesting protein. The more protein they eat, the more nitrogen they produce. And if you have a large dog –– you guessed it: More urine means more nitrogen.

Doesn’t grass need nitrogen to grow? Yes, it does –– nitrogen is a crucial component of chlorophyll, but in this case, too much of a good thing is harmful.

And if your four-legged friend is female, she’ll cause even more damage than a male dog. Why? Since females squat and stay in one place for the whole performance, the damage is concentrated in one spot, whereas males tend to lift their legs to pee on a tree or a fence, making their impact on the grass less damaging.

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How to Repair Urine Spots in Your Lawn

See spot? Now see spot gone. Here are a few ways to turn that yellow and dead-looking grass green again, starting with increased watering at the scene of the spot.

Water your lawn frequently to wash away the excess nitrogen. The water not only needs to wash away what’s on top of the grass, it also needs to get down into the roots and soil to dilute the nitrogen that’s already been absorbed.

Feed your dog food with lower protein content to reduce the amount of nitrogen in its waste. PetMD says most dogs need between 18-22% of their diet to be protein, yet many dry foods contain 23-27% protein, and wet food contains even more.

Specify a designated area for your dog with mulch, gravel, or rocks instead of grass. You can also use this area to play with your dog, build a dog house, and plant other dog-friendly plants and landscaping. Alternatively, plant a more resilient grass like ryegrass or fescue in areas where your dog does his business.

Out, Darned Spot

The challenge with having a dog and a yard are that your BFF (best furry friend) can damage your yard with their urine. The good news is that once you notice the spots, it’s easy to fix and get your yard looking great again for you, your family, and your pup.

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Guest Author:
Alissa Cassidy

Alissa Cassidy lives in Georgia with her three boys, her husband, and their beagle harrier, Daisy. She’s an amateur photographer and is working on her master’s degree.

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