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How To Prevent Dog Urine From Killing Grass: 6 Natural Methods

Dog in the lawn

Dogs pee—it’s what they do. Unfortunately, dog pee can have some serious consequences for your lawn. Repeated exposure to dog pee can lead to grass dying. If you see large brown spots cropping up where your dog likes to do its business, it is likely that the urine is hurting your grass.

This can be a frustrating occurrence. Obviously, no one wants their dog to pee inside, but they also don’t want to see their dog’s pee killing grass either. Here is how to stop dog urine from killing grass naturally.

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The 6 Natural Methods to Prevent Dog Urine From Killing Grass

1.  Keep Your Dog Hydrated

dog drinking water
Image Credit: 584652, Pixabay

One of the easiest and most natural ways to keep dog pee from killing your grass is to make sure that your dog is hydrated. Dogs with good hydration have more dilute urine. The more dilute the urine, the less potent the grass-killing capabilities are. Concentrated dog urine kills grass far faster and is a result of a dog not drinking enough. Be sure to keep your dog’s bowl filled with cool, clean water around the clock. Better yet, this method is entirely free.

The only problem is the more hydrated a dog is, the more they are going to have to urinate. Better hydration can sometimes cause dogs to have accidents inside because their routine is going to include more frequent bathroom breaks.

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Pros
  • Easy to do
  • Free
  • Less potent urine
Cons
  • Can lead to accidents
  • More frequent urination

2. Keep Your Lawn Hydrated

Watering Lawn
Image Credit: creative2usa, Pixabay

The next best thing to keeping your dog hydrated is to keep your lawn hydrated. A vibrant, healthy lawn is much more robust and able to withstand the adverse effects of dog urine over time. Grass that is already dry, unhealthy, or dying will react much more strongly to repeated exposure to dog urine, accelerating the process. A hydrated dog plus a hydrated lawn should take care of the issue naturally.

But not everyone has the time to water their lawn regularly, and while filling a dog bowl doesn’t use that much water, soaking a lawn does. The extra water usage and time required to keep a lawn green and healthy might be more than some can handle.

Pros
  • Easy to do
  • Grass will look and feel great
Cons
  • High water use
  • Time-consuming

3. Plant Hardier Grass

Lawn Yard
Image Credit: ArtisticOperations, Pixabay

If adding water to your dog and lawn is not doing the trick, it might be time for a new lawn. Not all grasses are created equal. Some grass is far hardier than other types. Changing to a more robust species of grass can solve a lot of these issues, but it is not necessarily easy to do.

Ripping out a lawn and replacing the grass can be done by professionals for a high cost, or you can try and reseed the dying patches with new grass seed. But the new grass might not take right away. If you can successfully pull off the transfer, the results will be worth it.

The best grasses for dog yards are Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and Bermuda grass. The problem is none of these grasses are particularly soft. They will live longer, though.

Pros
  • Can eliminate all dog-lawn problems
  • Will make your lawn more resilient in general
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Difficult

4. Create a Designated Doggy Area

Dog Playing in Yard
Image Credit: Nata-Ap, Pixabay

One way to eliminate the problem of dog pee killing grass is to simply contain it. Dogs have to pee, we know this. Why not direct them to a specific area to take care of business? Creating a designated doggy zone or dog yard will help keep you and your dog happy. While the dog yard might not look amazing, the damage will be contained to one manageable area leaving you to create the lawn of your dreams everywhere else.

Dog yards can feature artificial turf to keep it looking green. You can put down rock or sand in an area to catch the urine. You can even add a bush, tree, or fake fire hydrant to entice them to do their business on something other than your beautiful lawn.

This method is natural and effective, but it will require some training. You will have to teach the dog to use the dog yard, or you will have to take them to the designated area every time they have to pee.

Pros
  • Contains the damage to one area
  • You can be fun and creative with the design
Cons
  • Can be expensive
  • Requires training the dog

Related Read: How to Treat Dog Urine Spots on Grass: 5 Practical Options


5. Avoid Using Fertilizers

Lawn Fertilizer
Image Credit: Mariakray, Pixabay

Fertilizer is not something that people often think about when they are grimacing over a dog pee ravaged yard, but it can play a huge role. Fertilizer contains high nitrogen levels, which is the same material in dog pee that harms grass. Nitrogen fertilizer plus nitrogen canine urine leads to nitrogen overload, killing the grass. If you find that your dog’s urine is causing brown spots on areas that you keep fertilized, reducing the use of fertilizers might help the nitrogen balance return to a healthier state, saving the grass.

However, this method comes with some mixed results. Some people have reported it working fabulously, while others have said that removing the fertilizer didn’t help at all. Results may vary, but it is worth a shot.

Pros
  • Saves money on fertilizer
  • Subtracting something is easier than adding
Cons
  • It might not be super effective

6. Immediately Rinse The Area

Watering Lawn with hose
Image Credit: 3345557, Pixabay

The last thing to try, if all else fails, is to immediately rinse the areas that your dogs pee on regularly. If you let your dogs out every day after dinner, follow them outside with a hose and soak the areas they are peeing on. The water will help drain the urine into the soil faster, which will help disperse the harmful effects.

This method returns good results, but it is very labor-intensive. Rinsing is most effective if you catch the area immediately, meaning you have to follow your dog around every time you let them into the lawn. Some people might find that fun and doable, but others are going to find that this method is a chore not worth pursuing.

Pros
  • Very effective
  • Helps keep the lawn hydrated
Cons
  • Labor intensive
  • Requires daily upkeep

divider 1Why Is My Dog’s Pee Killing My Grass?

Now that we have covered some excellent methods on how to stop dog urine from killing grass naturally, the question is, why does dog pee kill grass at all? The answer lies in the chemical composition of canine urine. A dog’s pee is super concentrated compared to other animals, and it is very high in nitrogen. For their size, dogs pee an awful lot, and all of that nitrogen overloads the grass and kills it. The grass is made up of thousands of tiny stalks. The plants themselves are not very resilient, and they thrive only in large numbers. It does not take much nitrogen from dog urine to kill individual pieces of grass. Over time, this effect spreads and leads to the dead brown spots that people hate so much.

Should I Give My Dog Additives Or Supplements To Help?

Consult your veterinarian. It is ill-advised to take nutritional and medical advice from online sites that aren’t run by certified vets. Not all dogs are the same, and no one will know your dog’s health better than your vet. There are a lot of people online who say just add this or sprinkle that into your dog’s diet, but unless they’re veterinarians, it is risky to trust their advice.

Veterinarians know dog pee. They also know about dog nutrition. If there is something you can give to your dog to help mellow out the destructive effects of their urine, the vet will know.

Conclusion

With a little bit of strategizing and a little bit of work, your lawn should begin to bounce back. Whether you create a new doggy oasis for them to do their business or simply give them more water, there is an effective strategy that will fix your lawn woes. And don’t get frustrated with your beloved pet; they’re just trying to do their business in peace. They don’t know any better.


Featured Image Credit: MolnarSzabolcsErdely, Pixabay

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