We’ve already put together a guide on how to keep your grass/lawn nice and green if you’re a dog owner.
We’ve also written about how to prevent your dog peeing and pooping on your lawn, and how to manage grass burn from dog urine.
In this guide, we summarize some points specific to dog urine and grass damage (but, it’s worth reading those two guides for an overall picture of grass care as a dog owner)
Let’s jump into it …
(NOTE: 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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How To Stop Dog Urine From Killing & Burning Grass
Firstly, What Causes Dog Urine To Kill Grass and Lawn?
You can read more about what causes dog urine to kill grass in this guide about lawn care for dog owners.
Grass and lawn are killed by the nitrogen and salts in your dog’s urine – it impacts the roots’ ability to uptake nutrients from the soil.
What Are The Best Options For Stopping Dog Urine Killing Grass?
The best options to stop grass damage from dog urine are probably:
1. To prevent your dog from going potty on the grass in the first place.
Making an outdoor dog potty area for your dog is one way to do this. You will have to train your dog to use the potty area though.
2. Fencing off the lawn or grass, or putting a barrier between your dog and the lawn/grass you want to protect
You will still need to make sure your dog has somewhere to go potty though if you pursue this option
Other options might include:
– Using a citronella mix repellant spray
Mix citronella oil like NOW citronella oil (on Amazon) with water in a spray bottle
– Providing a disposable dog potty patch for your dog
A real disposable patch of grass you train your dog to pee on like the DoggieLawn Disposable Dog Potty Real Grass Patch (on Amazon)
– Use a vinegar repellent mix
– Install a pet sprinkler deterrent system, or some type of other deterrent system in your lawn or grass area
– Switch fertilizers
– Use some type of other dog repellant spray or product
Make sure you aren’t using any chemicals or substances that are going to harm your dog, or damage your lawn.
Examples of natural remedies that ARE NOT a good idea for using directly on grass are:
Vinegar – a natural herbicide and weed killer – it can kill grass and plants.
Peppers or chilli powder – don’t use this – it can kill grass and plants.
Coffee grounds, moth balls, garlic power, Tobacco, and detergents
Some options that people have tried that might produce inconsistent or ineffective results for preventing their dog peeing on the lawn are:
The little yellow pee posts – such as the Simple Solution Pee Post (on Amazon)
An artificial grass patch of grass you train your dog to pee on like the PetSafe Pet Loo Portable Pet Potty (on Amazon). They tend to be hard/unhygenic to clean, and some dogs don’t like the artificial grass feel
Baking soda also tends to be ineffective
How To Bring Back Dead Grass From Dog Urine
Does Tomato Juice Change Dog Urine pH?
Some people have reported feeding their dog tomato juice which in turn changes the pH balance of their dog’s urine to make it less acidic.
It’s an over concentration of nitrogen that kills the grass, not the pH of the urine.
The best way to make sure your dog’s urine is healthy and normal is to make sure they are drinking enough clean water, and to see a vet for their professional advice of whether your dog is healthy, and whether it’s worth altering their diet.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Change Dog Urine pH?
The same principle applies for apple cider vinegar as for tomato juice.
Make sure your dog is getting enough clean water, and see a vet for professional advice about health and diet.
Do Dog Rocks Work?
They work for some people, but for most people they report no difference.
Dog rocks are designed to be a natural water filter/purifier for your dog’s water.
We wouldn’t rely solely on dog rocks to solve our dog urine/grass problems.
Does Spot Gone Lawn Treatment Work For Dog Urine?
Spot gone lawn treatment is designed to be either sprinkled or sprayed on the area where your dog pees.
It is supposed to supply minerals for lawn growth to allow it the best chance to recover and regrow quickly from grass burn.
The results for most spot gone lawn treatments are inconsistent at best.
You might be better off trying an organic fertiliser or lime powder, with a regular dose of watering.
Natural, Homemade & Non-Commercial Options For Grass Burn
Water might help in two ways:
Firstly – making sure your dog is drinking enough water will ensure your dog’s urine is more diluted and overall more healthy. Diluted urine isn’t as concentrated,
Secondly, if you pour water on a spot your dog has peed immediately after they pee, you are diluting the urine and washing it off the surface of the grass into the soil – which might reduce the burn
If you want to know how much water your dog should be drinking, your vet is the best person to ask.
2) Monitor Protein In Dog’s Diet
Making sure your dog is eating a balanced diet (balanced nutrients and minerals) can help in minimising grass burn.
Something in particular to pay attention to is how much protein your dog is eating.
Protein when broken down in the body turns into nitrogen compounds. That excess nitrogen is excreted in the urine.
So, a dog on a high protein diet might have urine that is more concentrated in nitrogen and salts that is more likely to burn grass.
If your dog is on a higher protein diet, it might be worth speaking to your vet to see if altering the diet will help in lowering the nitrogen and salt levels in their urine, and in turn help the health of your grass.
3) Baking Soda
Baking soda is commonly used inside the house on carpets to neutralise urine odors, as it is a sodium bicarbonate, a salt, that can dry out the urine spot.
However, pouring baking soda on the urine on grass neutralises neither nitrogen nor salts in the urine.
In addition, baking soda can create phytotoxic conditions (conditions that injure the grass) for lawn and grass due to it’s alkaline and salty nature.
Pouring water on the urine is a better option.
4) Tomato Juice
There is a gardener’s myth that adding tomato juice to a dog’s food alters the pH level of a dog’s urine and makes it less acidic, or even balances the nitrogen levels in the urine.
Because there is no solid or consistent scientific evidence tomato juice alters pH or balances nitrogen levels, tomato juice is probably not a solid option to stop dog urine killing grass naturally.
5) Apple Cider Vinegar
Also similar to tomato juice, there’s very little solid or consistent scientific evidence to support this – at least that we could find.
If you are thinking about feeding tomato juice or apple cider vinegar to your dog, speak to a vet first.
6) Look At Natural Fertilizer, Dolomite Lime, Soil Amendments For Microbes, Or Urine Resistant Grasses
These options won’t save your grass immediately once urine is on it. But, they can make good long term strategies to combating urine:
Natural fertilisers contain more organic ingredients than commercial fertilisers, and minerals to support grass growth (be careful of too much nitrogen from both urine and fertiliser though)
Dolomite lime – doesn’t assist the lawn directly, but adds calcium and magnesium to the grass soil to potentially make acidic or sour soil more neutral and better for lawn growth
Soil Amendments – can increase the population of beneficial microbes in the soil, so it can more efficiently break down the salt and metabolize the excess nitrogen in dog urine
Urine Resistant Grass – Grasses like Fescues and perennial rye grasses are said to take longer to be damaged by urine, and will grow more quickly and recover quicker when damaged
8) Make Sure Your Lawn Doesn’t Have Lawn Diseases, Or Isn’t In Poor Condition
Your lawn turning brown or yellow might have nothing to do with dog urine at all.
Grass dying can be related to excessive fertilization, irrigation water being high in salinity, or dense clay soil for example.
It may be worth getting a landscaper or gardening expert in if you suspect your soil, lawn, plants or water drainage may be experiencing issues.
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