How to stop dog urine from damaging your grass

Though dogs can destroy a lawn by ripping it to shreds when playing, the main cause of lawn damage comes from their urine.

This happens because dog urine is rich in nitrogen, which is known to kill grass when concentrated amounts collect on the ground over time. Do you love keeping your lawn looking fresh and green during spring and summer? Does your dog ruin it by leaving yellow patches everywhere when they pee?

The experts at tails.com have shared their top tips to help prevent dog urine from destroying your grass.

Why does dog urine damage grass?

Lawn damage from dog urine is caused by the high concentration of nitrogen and salts in the dog’s urine. While nitrogen is beneficial for your grass – it is the main ingredient in most common fertilisers – too much of a good thing can be bad for your lawn. When urine is deposited frequently in the same spot, it can discolour and kill your grass.

The level of nitrogen found in your dog’s urine can depend on a few different factors, including breed, gender and what it eats on a day-to-day basis.

Larger breeds will often pee more, thus causing more damage. Female dogs tend to cause more damage than male dogs, this has to do with the way in which they urinate. It’s simply because when they squat, the urine collects in one area, while male dogs spray all over.

How to stop dog urine from destroying your grass

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent yellow spots or patches of dead grass from forming on your lawn.

  1. Dilute the nitrogen with water 

When nitrogen is diluted it can act as a form of fertiliser for your grass, but in your dog’s urine, it’s too concentrated and can have an adverse effect. After your dog has urinated, pour water on the area, this will help to dilute the nitrogen within the urine and lessen the damage caused to the lawn by preventing the grass and soil from soaking up too much nitrogen.

  1. Create a designated toilet area 

To minimise the damage caused by dog urine, try encouraging your dog to urinate in the same place each time. Put your dog on its lead, take them to a specific part of your garden and encourage them to do their business there – this can be an area with stones or compost that won’t be destroyed with urine. You can establish the cue by rewarding your dog with a treat right after they have urinated in the designated area.

  1. Encourage your dog to drink more water 

It’s important that you encourage your dog to drink plenty of water throughout the day. It goes without saying that ensuring your dog is hydrated is the best way to keep them healthy. By consuming more water, your dog’s urine will dilute meaning there is less chance of your grass suffering from nitrogen burn and discolouration.

  1. Find a resistant grass 

If you want to keep your grass looking fresh for spring and summer then there are plenty of different types of grass available that are less sensitive to dog urine. You’ll need grass that is very absorbent, easy to grow and durable. Changing your grass alone will not prevent the long-term damage caused by dog urine. It will still burn and cause discolouration, but the grass will take longer to show the damage and it will be stronger at recovering.

Another alternative is to switch to artificial grass, it feels and looks almost identical to real grass and doesn’t get damaged by dog urination. It’s also beneficial to your dog’s health as the season changes, as it doesn’t attract the fleas, mites and ticks as that natural grass will.

  1. Apply a lawn repair treatment 

Using a lawn repair treatment will help to flush out the nitrogen and salts from the grass and stimulate root growth. Fertilisers will often contain enzymes and acids that will help to prevent lawn burns caused by urine, but some can cause an upset stomach if consumed by our pets

After you have treated your lawn, be sure to water the grass and leaves after the product application. This will make it safer for your pets.