Is your grass turning yellow because dogs are urinating on your lawn?
Perhaps you’ve had the unpleasant experience of a neighbor cursing you because your dog just urinated on his freshly manicured lawn. Or maybe it’s your own lawn that’s showing the effects from your dog’s urine. We can excuse our pet dogs for many of their little eccentricities, but when the result of your beloved dog urinating on your lawn is an unsightly mosaic of brown and green, it’s time to do something about it. Dog urine contains a high concentration of nitrogen and can leave unsightly brown “doggy spots” on your lawn. The urine is absorbed into the soil, which damages the roots of the grass, and the result is a patchwork of brown spots and green lawn. This is a frustrating problem for many homeowners, but there are some preventative steps you can take to keep your lawn green.
One alternative for preventing doggy urine spots is to plant a urine-resistant grass, such as fescue or ryegrass. These grasses are not as affected by dog urine as is Kentucky Bluegrass, for example. Another preventive measure you can take is to avoid using lawn fertilizers with nitrogen as an ingredient. If the fertilizer has nitrogen in it, your lawn will be getting a double dose wherever your dog urinates. What I have done at times is to use a hose and immediately flood the area where my dog has just urinated. This dilutes the nitrogen and spreads it over my yard so it’s not as concentrated in one area. This usually prevents the grass from turning brown.
Another treatment I have used and found to be very effective is Lawn Aid from Dogs Health. I’ve been giving it to my dog all this past year here in the desert where we have green grass all year-round (that is if you water the lawn every day during the triple digit temperatures).
Lawn Aid balances my dog’s urine pH and helps prevent discoloration of the grass. It’s a combination of Cranberry, Yucca, DL-Methionine and Brewer’s Yeast and it helps keep my grass green all year long. The Cranberry Extract also helps support good urinary tract health in my dog.
Urine, when produced as a waste product in animals, primarily removes excess nitrogen from the body via the kidneys. Nitrogen waste products are the result of protein breakdown through normal bodily processes. Dogs have a considerable protein requirement, and their urine volume varies due to the dog’s size and its metabolism. Urine becomes a serious problem for lawns because it hits the grass all at once, acting like a liquid fertilizer.
Most types of grass can handle dogs urinating on the lawn because small amounts of nitrogen as not as damaging as a heavy, sudden dose of fertilizer. Female dogs are more likely to squat when urinating and are the primary culprits of lawn damage since they will urinate anywhere on a lawn and usually all at once. The result is a single nitrogen dump concentrated on a small patch of grass. The brown spot that results often has a green ring around the perimeter. The nitrogen overload at the center causes the burn. This characteristic brown spot – green ring pattern has been called “female dog spot disease”.
You may live in a part of the country where you have green grass for only a few months out of the year and your lawn turns brown or is covered with snow most of the winter. If that is the case you may want to try Lawn Aid before summer ends, but for those of us who live in temperate climates, Lawn Aid comes in very handy all year-round.