You ideally want your flowers, plants and grass outside to look nice, whilst also not dying or burning if your dog urinates on them.
In this guide, we’ve tried to outline:
– Plants that might be more resistant that others to dog urine
– Grasses that might be more resistant than others to dog urine
– What it is in dog urine that actually kills plants and grass
– As well as other helpful information you can use for finding plants and grasses
Let’s jump into it this guide…
– No plant or grass might be completely dog urine proof. Some might just be more hardy and durable than others for various reasons.
– This is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
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Dog Urine Resistant Plants: What To Know, & Which Are Best?
What Causes Dog Urine To Kill Plants, Grass and Other Organic Material?
As we discussed in an earlier guide about lawn and grass care as a dog owner …
The nitrogen and salt in dog urine is what causes plants to die, and grasses to burn and die.
Nitrogen is critical for plant growth, and it is naturally available in plant soil subject to temperature, condition of the soil and numbers of natural micro organisms in the soil.
But, too much nitrogen kills plants by burning the roots and changing the pH level of the soil.
It’s the same principle as applying too much fertiliser on plants – fertiliser contains nitrogen too.
Too much fertilizer can burn or kill grass too.
This creates issues with the roots’ ability to uptake other nutrients and also water – when the roots aren’t functioning properly the plants suffer and die.
So, What Are Some Plants That Like Nitrogen, or Might Be Dog Urine Resistant?
Plants that have a reputation of being heavier consumers of nitrogen than others are roses, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, citrus plants and cabbage.
Other plants that might be dog urine resistant are:
Bears breech – although they don’t cope well with too much fertiliser
Feather reed grass
Japanese spindle tree
New Zealand flax
If the above list isn’t enough, here are 10 more plants that are hard to kill, are low maintenance or work well in harsher conditions or climates.
Where To Check Out Dog Urine Resistant Plants?
If you want to check out plant seeds, you might like to start with Bear’s Breech plants seeds (on Amazon), and search for others from there
Check that a particular plant is suitable for your location and garden conditions before ordering – along with making sure the plant is not toxic (see toxic plants links below).
It should be noted with plants that direct urination on a plant is going to have a more damaging effect than an indirect nitrogen overload from the surrounding environment.
You can very easily go to a local gardening and home/outdoors center to ask about flowers, seeds, and so on too. It can even be more beneficial than shopping online.
What Are Some Potential Dog Urine Resistant Herbs and Groundcover/Shrubs?
Some herbs you can use in the kitchen that might be more dog urine resistant than others are:
Ground cover and shrubs that might be more resistant are:
Snow in summer
What Plants Are Toxic For Dogs?
An animal health expert can provide you with professional advice on this – you may want them to check over your list of plants before you buy and plant them.
But, some general information about toxic plants might include:
You can check out a list of the 12 most toxic plants for dogs here.
A full list of toxic plants for dogs can be found here.
Garden Plants Are Great, But What About Indoor House Plants?
Indoor house plants are generally more susceptible to dog urine damage due to a range of factors.
What you can do though is look for the tougher and lower maintenance plants so that if you do experience urine damage, the cost and time you put into the plants isn’t massive.
One tip we found for indoor plants is also to put them in a gravel filled saucer instead of directly in just water, as it helps filter the salt in urine which can kill plants.
For ideas on the toughest or lowest maintenance indoor house plants, check out these guides:
5 of The Toughest Indoor Plants
25 Indoor Houseplants That Are Sturdy and Can Handle Some Neglect
Further Resources On Plants and Nitrogen
1. Plants and Nitrogen, and Nitrogen Sources
2. ‘5 Plants That Are Close To Dog Urine Proof’ on landscape-design-in-a-day.com
What Is A Dog Urine Resistant Grass, and What Are Some Examples?
Dog urine resistant grass are not immune to grass burn or damage from dog urine.
They are simply grasses that are seen as more durable and able to withstand tougher conditions and climates than other types of grasses.
The most resistant grasses tend types like the perennial ryegrasses and fescues. As an example of their durability, some people report these types of grasses cope better in hotter and sunnier climates like places like Texas and Florida.
A Perennial Ryegrass or Fescue grass might take longer to show damage from dog urine, and also might recover more quickly from lawn burn than a more sensitive grass.
Check out fact sheets on each of these types of grasses here:
Fescue and Tall Fescues
How Does Dog Urine Resistant Grass Differ To Other Types Of Grass?
The more sensitive types of grass tend to grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda.
These are the types of grasses that don’t necessarily do well in harsher conditions or locations.
They might need cooler and more shady climates for example where there isn’t as much stress on the grass to stay looking healthy and green (compared to some types of fescues).
Check out fact sheets on each of these types of grasses here:
Where Can I Find Dog Urine Resistant Grass Seed If I Want To Check It Out?
If you want to have urine resistant grass in your yard, you have to dig up the old grass and re-plant/re-seed the soil with the new grass.
Be aware that introducing a new lawn type to your soil might require the following in order for the seeds to germinate and grow properly:
The right weather and temperature conditions
A pH test of the soil, and the use of soil additives and amendments like fertiliser and lime to either reduce or increase the acidity or alkalinity of the soil
Consistent watering and following the installation/germination instructions of the seed manufacturer/supplier
Pennington Smart Seed Sun and Shade Mix (on Amazon) is an example of a seed mix you can use for regrowing bare spots or growing need lawn that contains fescue type grass.
Scotts EZ Seed Sun and Shade Dog Repair Spot (on Amazon) is an example of a seed mix with nitrogen and salt neutralising compounds, but also water absorbing material and new grass seeds. It’s unclear what sort of grass seed they use in this mix.
It’s important to do your own due diligence when planting new grass and lawn seeds in your yard to make sure it’s suitable for your individual situation.
What Are Some Alternatives To Dog Urine Resistant Grass For My Lawn?
Some quick things you can do to protect your existing grass are:
Ensure your grass doesn’t have any existing problems such as irrigation and drainage issues, anaerobic soil issues, soil pH level not matching what the grass needs, lawn diseases and fungi, insect infestations etc.
Ensure your dog is drinking enough water so their urine is healthy
If your dog is on a high protein diet – consider speaking to your vet about this. Protein breaks down as nitrogen and is excreted through urine
Train your dog to stop peeing on the grass and pee on another area of the yard (make sure it’s soft and natural feeling such as dirt or a garden bed)
If you see your dog peeing on the grass, pouring a jug of water on the urine can dilute it and wash it off the grass immediately, but this isn’t a long term solution
What Are Other Sources Of Nitrogen To Be Aware Of, Apart From Dog Urine?
If you have dogs who are urinating in your yard and excreting nitrogen, you may want to be aware of overloading on nitrogen by minimising the following nitrogen sources:
Leguminous cover crops like alfalfa, clover, hairy vetch, or peas
Organic amendments like grains, seeds, legumes, and animal by-products (manure, fertiliser and bone meals)
Plant meals and soluble mineral salts like chilean nitrate
Compost (although scientists say that the carbon to nitrogen ratio in compost should be around 30:1)
Temporary Odor Relief From Dog Urine Smells Outside
Some products such as outdoor pet odor eliminator sprays can help temporarily mask urine and other pet odor smells (although they won’t permanently remove or mask them).
Some of the more common sprays people use might be:
- Angry Orange Odor Eliminator (on Amazon) (8 oz of solution)
- Angry Orange Odor Eliminator (on Amazon) (1 gallon of solution)
- NaturVet Yard Odor Eliminator (on Chewy)
- NaturVet Yard Odor Eliminator with Citronella (on Chewy)
- NaturVet Yard Odor Eliminator (on Amazon)
*Note – make sure you always spot test them first though on a surface to make sure it won’t damage it
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