It’s not a nice feeling to walk out into your front or backyard, and be hit with a funky smell.
If you’re one of those people who’s 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.
b) 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.
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 regularly
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 guide is informational and educational only. Seek professional advice before taking action on anything you read, especially if it could impact the health & wellbeing of yourself, your animals or others).
My Yard/Lawn Smells Like Dog Poop & Pee: How To Neutralise Dog Urine & Poop Odor Outside In 9 Steps
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:
- 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
- You have a small yard and the pee or poop is concentrated in one area – in this case you need to be cleaning and disposing regularly or have a bigger area for your dog to do their business
- 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
How To Eliminate/Remove Dog Urine & Poop Odor Outside From The Yard – 9 Steps You Might Take
1. Use an organic masking spray for temporary relief
Before you do anything else, you can use a natural 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 NaturVet Yard Odor Killer (on Amazon) is popular.
It 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.
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
You definitely want your dog to feel comfortable doing their business in your yard.
But, maybe they are using the main lawn quite often and there are other areas of your yard such as gardens or soil patches on the side they can use to pee and poop.
If this is the case, consider learning how you can stop a dog from peeing and pooping on the lawn.
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 always be 100% organic and 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 vinvegar
- Peppers and Chilli Powder
- Baking Soda
- coffee grounds, moth balls, garlic power, Tobacco and detergents
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