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How to Treat Dog Urine Spots In Your Grass

Lawn Basics
7 min read

Nothing beats coming home from a hard day at work and spending time on your lawn with your dog. From chasing your canine companion around the yard to spending hours playing fetch, it’s the perfect place to create lasting memories with your pup. 

While your lawn may be your favorite place to play with your dog, it may also be your dog’s favorite spot to relieve itself. This may leave your yard littered with unsightly urine spots that damage your grass. You can treat dog urine spots on grass by flushing the area with water or repairing severely damaged areas by reseeding them. To make sure your playful pup and your pristine lawn coexist in perfect harmony, follow these tips to repair and prevent dog urine spots. 

How Dog Urine Damages Your Grass

Even though your dog may love using your lawn for playtime, its urine can wreak havoc on your grass. Dog urine contains high amounts of nitrogen, uric acid, and salt. While nitrogen is an essential nutrient for healthy grass growth, the high amount of nitrogen in dog urine causes a reaction similar to the “burn” from the overapplication of fertilizer. The salt in dog urine dehydrates and kills the grass, resulting in burned, bare spots, and spots of discolored grass in your yard. 

The severity of dog urine damage can also depend on the size and sex of the dog. Dogs that squat to urinate (young, large, or female dogs) primarily cause the most damage, as they deposit a large volume of urine in a small spot. Male dogs, on the other hand, tend to “mark” their territory and urinate in small amounts in several different locations. 

How to Treat Dog Urine Spots

Treating dog urine spots in your grass is simple with the right tools and information! The two most common dog urine spots you will find are green spots and brown spots

How to Treat Green Dog Urine Spots

Example of grass with green dog urine spots.

To fix this, you should fertilize the rest of your lawn to ensure all of your grass is an even green color. First, test your soil to determine what nutrients your lawn needs. An unbalanced soil pH can prevent a plant’s ability to absorb necessary nutrients, such as nitrogen, for healthy growth. Apply a nitrogen-enriched fertilizer, such as Veri-Green Lawn Fertilizer, to give your lawn a quick, deep greening and a boost of nutrients. To balance soil pH, use Mag-I-Cal or Mag-I-Cal Plus to correct soil pH and loose hard compacted soil.

For more fertilizing tips, here is a full guide to feeding your lawn

How to Treat Brown Dog Urine Spots

Brown dog urine spots usually indicate severe urine damage and result in areas of yellowing or dead grass. Thoroughly flush brown urine spots with water when they first appear to remove salt from the affected area. This will prevent the damage from traveling further to the lawn’s root system.

Example of a brown dog urine spot

To repair severely damaged spots:

1. Mow the lawn

Mow the lawn on the lowest mower setting before seeding to allow the seed to reach the soil. 

2. Remove dead grass and loosen the soil

Use a metal rake to remove dead grass and debris and loosen the soil. Add additional topsoil to fill in holes and level the ground.

3. Spread grass seed

Spread Black Beauty Patcher Lawn Bare Spot Repair or Black Beauty SeedRoll on loosened soil to quickly repair bare spots and pet damaged areas. Make sure to wait and seed only once the soil temperature reaches 55°F and air temperatures are consistently warm. Pay close attention to the product label for full application instructions.

4. Water the new seedlings

Keep the seedbed consistently moist for a few weeks while the grass seed germinates. Plan to water the area daily and possibly twice a day (unless it’s raining) until the new grass is two inches high. Make sure to keep your dog off the grass while the seed germinates to avoid further damage. 

How to Prevent Dog Urine Burn 

Flush the affected area with water immediately

A great way to prevent damage from dog urine is to water the affected area immediately following the act. You can follow behind your dog with a hose when it urinates to ensure you catch it in time. Flushing the urine spot with water will help to dilute the salts in the urine and prevent damage to your grass.

Train your dog to pee in a specific area

Another way to prevent dog urine spots in your grass is by training your dog to go in a specific area of your yard with gravel or mulch. Mulch a designated spot in your yard with natural wood mulch to help it blend in with your grass. You can also include a fun marking post, such as a boulder or a lawn ornament, to help them to remember to use that spot.

The Big Takeaway

You don’t have to choose between keeping your furry friend happy and having a lush, green lawn! With the correct knowledge of the types of urine damage and the right tools, you can simply repair the damaged areas to restore your lawn’s appearance. You can also keep your grass green by training them to pee in a designated spot in your yard. Just make sure to reward them with plenty of praise and treats afterward!

Want to try a Fido-approved organic lawn plan? Jonathan Green organic lawn products are made with all-natural ingredients and safe to use around kids and pets! Here is an organic lawn care guide to help you get started.

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