Well after spending all spring and early summer to work hard to get rid of all of the weeds, crabgrass, and thin areas in our lawn now we have a new problem. We have had record heat this summer with very low rain fall which in it’s self has been very tough on our lawn. We have tried to keep up with watering and have had luck in areas that get some shade but in our back yard where our Beagle, “Suzie”, likes to pee all of the time and we get lots of sun and heat our lawn looks crappy.
Here is what it looks like from dog damage.
We have had some problems with this in the past but never this bad. So after doing some research about this I understand it better now. Here is what is happening.
First, you have to understand that dog urine is high in nitrogen. Nitrogen is normally great for your lawn being that it is the main ingredient in most lawn fertilizers. That being said you would not dump a big pile of lawn fertilizer in one spot on your lawn. Especially over and over again every day. Nitrogen is very acidic which will burn your lawn if the concentration level in any one spot gets to high. Some dogs out of habit like to pee in the same general location every day. Second, even if your dog does change location often the nitrogen in their pee mixed with regular lawn fertilizing may still be to much concentration and you will suffer from a burnt lawn.
You may see more of a problem with female dogs. This is only related to the way that they urinate. Male dogs do not get as close to the ground as female dogs so the concentration of nitrogen is not as heavy in one specific area.
Here are some tips to help you with this problem
- Encourage your dog not to pee in the same spot every day.
- Water down the area where your dog has urinated as soon as possible to dilute the high concentration of nitrogen.
- Use some form of supplement for your dog to change the pH balance and lower the nitrogen level in their urine. (Make sure to check with your vet first to ensure the safety of your pet)
Dogs diets normally consist of a high protein balance. When their bodies break down the protein, the byproduct is a high concentration of nitrogen in the urine. High protein level are a necessary part of a dogs diet, so it is better to try to encourage your dog to drink more water to help dilute this concentration. We have seen over the last year, as Suzie has become older, she has been moving around a lot less and in-turn not drinking anywhere as much water. If you can work with your animal and try to get them as much exercise as possible this will help with the amount of water that they take in and as a result help control the nitrogen level in their pee.
To fix the areas of the lawn that are damaged is no different then any other damaged area
- With a rake clean-up the area and loosen the top soil.
- Add some new grass seen to the area.
- Lightly cover the grass seed with some top soil.
- Water regularly for at least 2 weeks, until the grass get to around 4 inches.
- Most importantly, keep your dog off of this area. Try a temporary fence if needed.
Here is a video on how to repair dog damaged lawn spots:
Good luck with your dog pee damage lawn and keep loving your pets.
Here is a picture of Suzie, our spoiled beagle.
This article originally post in late summer 2012. Sadly, over the winter of 2012 our little “Suzzie girl” became very ill and she had to be put down. So I wanted to re-post this article in her memory and for all of the people that are dealing with this lawn problem. Have a great summer!
2015 update: We did finally get a beautiful looking lawn again after 1 season of no dog peeing on it. Well now it is the spring of 2015 and we finally got a new pet friend,Thea. Here she is:
We did not know if we would again have pee spot problems but, we did. After doing more research we are going to try this product: NaturVet Grass Saver Plus Enzymes Dog Soft Chews (we do not make any money from this link). We will post another update after giving it a try for the early fall.