My Yard/Lawn Smells Like Dog Poop & Pee: How To Neutralise Dog Urine & Poop Odor Outside



We have already put together a guide on lawn/grass care for dog owners (dealing with grass urine spots, digging, etc).

We also wrote a guide on how to stop a dog from peeing and pooping on your grass, and how you might manage dog urine grass burn.

But, in the guide below, we specifically discuss dog urine and poop smells in the yard.

If your yard smells like dog poop or urine, your main options to consider to identify and try to eliminate odors are probably:

a) Making sure it’s pet odors that are the cause of the bad smell and not something else

b) Double checking that your dog is healthy and that their poop or pee isn’t too pungent because of sickness or a health condition. 

c) Train or deter your dog from peeing or pooping on the grass, and get them to use a specific spot in the garden, dirt or another gravel area instead. Making a designated outdoor potty area for your dog to go potty is a good option

d) Allow your dog to do their business on the grass/lawn, clean it regularly and pick up dog poop, and apply a dog odor eliminator spray or natural smell masking agent such as:

*Note – make sure you always spot test them first though on a surface to make sure it won’t damage it.

Also, note that that these sprays are usually only temporary ways to mask to smell – they don’t get rid of it


We look into those options in this guide, paying particular attention to odor eliminators and yard sprays you can use to cover over the smell.

Let’s look at them now…


(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)


My Yard/Lawn Smells Like Dog Poop & Pee: How To Neutralise Dog Urine & Poop Odor Outside

Below we’ve included:

– A summary of main solutions to neutralizing outside pet odor

– Potential reasons your yard might be smelling

– Other options to consider if your yard smells


Summary – What Might Be The Best Ways To Neutralize Outside Pet Odor Outside?

For most people, the issues to do with pet odor are related to pet poop and pee.

The best long term way to manage this might be to isolate the area of your yard where your dog pees and poops to one area that you don’t walk past or traffic past frequently.

You can do this by training your dog to go potty on an outdoor potty area that you make for them

(There’s also additional tips in this guide on the basics of how to train a dog)

Make the area comfortable and accessible for you and your dog.

You might want to make the area in the corner on your yard, and away from your house front and back doors (and any side doors), as well as away from any footpaths in your yard.

It’s a good way to concentrate the smells to one area where they likely won’t be smelt as much, and it’s easier to manage the smell this way with cleaning and potty area maintenance.

With a material like pea gravel, you can very easily swap out the filler when it gets too smelly, or clean it. You can also mix, blend, remove and refill the soil beneath if it gets smelly.


Other main options might include:

– Fencing off/putting a barrier in between your dog and the area of your yard that smells from their urine and poop. 

With this option, you still need to provide an area on the dog’s side of the fence for them to go potty

– Using an outside pet odor deodoriser (although, this is only a short term masking spray option, and wont’ get rid of the odor long term)

– It’s very possible that something else other than your dog is creating the unpleasant smell. Investigate the true cause of the odor before proceeding with any solutions


My Yard Smells Like Dog Poop Or Dog Urine – Why?

There could be several reasons as to why your yard smells like dog pee or poop.

A few of these could be:


Pet Related

– You have a small yard and the pee or poop is concentrated in one area

– You walk past a path next to a patch of dirt where your dog goes potty often i.e. you traffic often the areas of your yard that your dog goes to the toilet often in

– Your dog has an imbalance, sickness or health condition which makes their pee or poop smell strong. See a vet if you think this is the case

– It’s been excessively cold or hot lately and the temperature is causing the smells to be magnified

– You don’t pick up your dog’s poop regularly enough and the smells are lingering

– A neighbor’s dog or cat might be using your yard to do their business


Non Pet Related

– The smell could be caused by the manure or fertiliser you are using

– You could have an overflow or leak in a sewer system or septic tank

– You could have soil on your property which is always wet/damp and isn’t getting enough oxygen and aeration – usually caused by leaks or swampy areas.

– The smell could be caused by an issue on your neighbor’s property and it could be wafting across onto your property


Other Potential Solutions On Neutralizing Pet Smells In The Yard 

1. Use an organic masking spray for temporary relief

Before you do anything else, you can use a natural outdoor odor eliminator yard spray to get some temporary relief from bad smells.

Be careful of anything that isn’t 100% natural or organic – it can kill your lawn and harm animals

Something like Angry Orange or NaturVet Yard Odor Killer is popular:

They can be used on grass, artificial grass, plants, shrubs, patios, patio furniture, kennels, dog runs, swing sets, fences, block walls or any other surface where odors arise due to pets.

It masks the smell, leaves the lawn or yard smelling like pine clean, and is safe to use around children, plants, grass, and pets.

It’s very simple and quick to use too – simply attach any standard garden hose to the bottle attachment, and spray.

Make sure you spot test both products on new surfaces first, so you know how they will effect them.

Read more in our guide on the best outdoor odor eliminator yard sprays here.


2. Make sure your dog is healthy

Overbearing smells can be caused by a number of health related issues going on with your dog.

Always see a vet is you suspect a health related issue. Examples might include:

Make sure your dog is drinking enough water so their urine is so concentrated (more dilution means less burn to your grass)

Make sure your dog has a balanced diet of nutrients, and is eating properly and often

Doesn’t have some sort of health condition or infection which is causing infected urine or diarrhea


3. Make sure your neighbour’s pets aren’t using your yard as a potty ground 

It’s worth setting up a cheap security camera (you can buy them online quite cheaply) or monitoring your front and back yards if you suspect your neighbour’s cat or dog are using your yard to pee and poop.

If you find this to be the case, and you’re getting a double case of pet waste, maybe have a friendly conversation with your neighbour to see what they can do to stop it.


4. Consider whether you want to train, or re-train your dog to use a specific part of your yard to do their business

This is suitable when your yard is small or your dog is going potty in an area right next to where you are walking often.

Choose an area away from where you walk frequently, and an area far enough away from the house, and the doors you walk in and out of frequently.


5. Clean up dog poop weekly (or more if it’s a big enough problem), and put it in a poop containment bin

Maybe the odor is around because the poop is staying out in your yard too long and you just need to start cleaning up your dog’s poop more regularly.

Picking up the poop with a pooper scooper, and containing it and the smell to a little pet waste bin is a good idea.

Waste bins like the Behrens Locking Lid Pet Waste Can (on Amazon) are popular.


6. Consider swapping lawn or garden fertilisers and manures for ones that don’t smell so bad

You can usually tell if your fertiliser or manure smells terrible.

If this is the case, try swapping to something else which doesn’t quite have the same smell.


7. Check you don’t have an overflow or leak problem with the sewerage or septic tank system

This can be a hard one.

Maybe there’s an overflow or leakage problem on your property, or in some cases outside your property.

If you’ve exhausted all other options and you are getting poop smells on your property still, your sewer system could have backing up or overflow issues.

Getting a professional like a plumber in to inspect your system is best in this case.


8. Inspect the soil on you property to check that is it either dry or damp, but not swampy/wet. Resolve any aeration and water draining issues

You might have aeration or drainage issues for the soil on your property.

One of the dead giveaways for this is soil that is always swampy or sloppy looking.

Soil that can’t get any oxygen has bad bacteria that emits a rotten odor which signifies it’s bad for plants.

If you can’t figure out how to get better drainage or aeration to the soil, consider getting a landscaper in to help you out.


9. Consider issues and odors coming from your neighbour’s yard

You neighbour could be causing the odor with either their pets or any number of the issues mentioned above going on in their yard.

Keep this in mind.


Using Lime On Dog Poop – Does It Work and Is It Safe?

For some people they will tell you lime works to eliminate pet odors and some will say it doesn’t do a heck of a lot.

The idea behind sprinkling lime/limestone on your grass or garden is that contains calcium carbonate which creates an environment in which bad bacteria, and particularly bacteria found in pet waste has trouble surviving and reproducing.

You have to be very careful with picking lime to use though. There are two main types of lime:

Hydrated Lime, also known as “burn lime”, “quicklime”, and “calcium oxide”. This lime can burn, and be dangerous for humans and pets

Agricultural Lime, also known as “aglime”, “biolime”, “dolomite”, “garden lime”, and “calcium carbonate”. This is a safer lime to use


You can check out some of the available agricultural dolomite limes like Espoma or Grow More for example.


Are There Any Homemade Yard Odor Eliminators I Can Try?

An example of a natural homemade yard odor eliminator might be citronella oil.

Some owners have reported success with mixing citronella oil like NOW citronella oil (on Amazon)  with water in a spray bottle, and spraying their grass evenly with it.

It leaves a citronella smell, but it also might dissuade pets to use the grass – so only try this if that’s your intention. Otherwise – you might want to stick with the organic yard spray we mentioned above.

Anything you spray or apply to your garden, plants or grass/lawn should probably should be organic and/or natural.

The reason for this is two fold:

Non organic products can kill grass and plants

Non organic products can harm animals and people


Examples of homemade yard odor eliminators you probably don’t want to use on plants or grass, or allow animals to get near are:

Vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Peppers and Chilli Powder


Baking Soda

coffee grounds, moth balls, garlic power, Tobacco and detergents 


How To Keep The Inside Of Your House Smelling Nice When You Have A Dog

A good complimentary guide to this one might be this guide on how to keep the inside of your house smelling nice and also clean when you own a dog.



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1 Comment

  1. Regarding the following category:
    “Are There Any Homemade Yard Odor Eliminators I Can Try?”

    I did not see a mention of salt.
    Please advise.
    Thank you, B.

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