If you have dogs, especially large female dogs, then you probably have yellow or dead spots in your lawn created by their urine. It’s worse with female dogs that typically have stronger urine, and also squat in the same spots, but happens with male dogs too. (Life note: male dogs just lift a leg wherever they are at the moment, but the ladies try to remain a bit more organized in their elimination rituals…hmmm?!?!)
Your dog’s urine is highly acidic and can kill the grass it comes in contact with, similar to burning a lawn with over-fertilization. There are products, like dogonit lawn treatment that help to counteract the effects of dog urine on lawns, but if you don’t want to go that route, here are some home remedies for dog urine lawn burn.
4 Ways to Combat Dog Urine Burn in your Lawn
The most common treatment is to saturate the urine spot with water. Enough water has to be used to dilute the urine or even completely wash it away. If you don’t use enough water, you may save the lawn from burning, and instead have lots of very dark green spots where the urine was diluted to the point of actually helping the grass… just not evenly!
This approach to control dog urine problems takes a lot of time and is difficult to get right.
Another way to combat urine burn is to train your dog to do his business in one area of the yard that has been designated as his personal bathroom. It’s a good idea to segregate that spot with river pebbles, sand or even artificial turf. This way, you can clean it up easily. This one shouldn’t be too difficult; afterall, you trained the dog not to pee in the house, and this is just another step along those same lines.
If you like science, another method is to alter the pH of the urine, which can be done by modifying your dog’s diet. Brewers Yeast is found in most dog food, but it’s not at a level that has enough effect on their urine acidity. Some say an additional teaspoonful of Brewers Yeast added to the dog’s daily diet, can reduce the pH of the urine enough to prevent lawn damage. Some folks purchase Brewer’s Yeast in tablet form as well.
(use the safe search tool in the sidebar with keywords “brewers yeast for dogs” to find tablets or prescriptions)
In addition to altering the pH or the dog’s urine, you can alter the pH or your soil by adding lime. If there are common areas on the lawn that are affected by the dog’s urine, sprinkle them with lime. If you are unsure, you can perform a soil test prior to utilizing lime as a neutralizer.
Just remember, if you can train the dog to go in one central area, the lime idea works well. Many folks have asked me if it is possible to burn your lawn with lime, and the answer is “no” you can’t burn your grass with lime. A 25lb bag of lime is available at Menard’s for $2.98. It’s cheap and works! You just have to stay consistent.
If you already have areas that are damaged, the best bet is to saturate the spots with water, and read this article on seeding barespots in your lawn. Just remember to rake out the dead lawn areas prior to seeding.
You can also try dogonit lawn treatment spray if none of the above seems to be to your liking.
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