How to Prevent, Repair Dog Pee Spots in your Grass

Your lawn looks beautiful! Well, almost. Some of the grass is thick and green, but unfortunately, some of it shows signs of Spot’s spots. Your dog’s urine has left a number of brown patches, dog-gone-on-it.

It’s a problem all dog owners face, but a little know-how and work will fix those dog pee spots in the grass.

Dog urine is rich in nitrogen content, which kills grass when concentrated amounts collect in your turf over time.  A small amount of lawn fertilizer makes your yard healthy and gives you a nice carpet of green grass, but too much will create urine burn and kill grass. 

The problem of dog spots is worse in female dogs, puppies, and older dogs, all of which tend to squat and concentrate pee in one spot. Healthy males and some females will move around more, marking trees and shrubs in their territory. 

Benefits of Dog Urine Spots

While there’s nothing beneficial about dog pee and marking inside your home, there’s a reason your dog marks its territory in your yard. Those yellow spots and the scent let other dogs know who owns this yard. It can also discourage rodents and other predators from entering your yard. (Some dogs — terriers in particular — are excellent mousers!) 

The waste stream from Fido and Fluffy also keeps pesky squirrels out of your garden. The Old Farmers’ Almanac suggests dog urine as a free version of pricey squirrel-deterrent sprays. “These are meant to be sprayed around gardens to keep squirrels away.” Why buy packaged products when you’ve got the real thing? “A dog or cat is a great squirrel chaser if that’s an option.”  Just the sound of a squirrel is enough to get some dogs running. The Almanac goes on to suggest, “Scatter dog or human hair around your garden.”

7 Ways to Prevent, Repair Dog Urine Damage to Lawns

  1. Always keep your dog’s water bowl full. Water intake dilutes its urine.
  2. Keep a watering can handy and quickly pour water over the pee spot. This also dilutes the nitrogen content.
  3. Using treats and praise, train your dog to use a non-grassy area of the yard. A mulched area will absorb urine harmlessly. 
  4. Walk to the park.
  5. Every fall, overseed the area where your dog pees frequently.
  6. Don’t fertilize urine-soaked grass areas. They already have too much nitrogen.
  7. Keep soil healthy: Break down toxins with compost, water, and aeration. 
A typical dog urine brown spot will have a circle of dead grass surrounded by a dark green ring. In the center, too much nitrogen killed the grass; in the ring, a lesser concentration helped the grass grow.

Even though your dog creates dead spots in your lawn, he still deserves praise for peeing outside. A few brown spots on your otherwise green grass are easier to repair than a soiled carpet or sofa. Don’t punish your dog for doing what comes naturally and don’t be fooled by products you can add to the dog’s water, and that claim to neutralize the problem. Your dog’s diet isn’t killing your grass. By adding pH-changing supplements to his diet, you may be subjecting him to bladder stones and other health problems. And if you’re trying to stop him from peeing on the grass, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

Training your dog to urinate in one specific area can help limit damage.

Give your pooch a special marking post such as a boulder or fake water hydrant to entice him to only pee in one place. A word of caution: Don’t use a strongly scented repellent to keep him away from other areas. This will only encourage him to try to mark those areas more often to overcome the scent.

Dead turf is easy to replace. Remove it along with some of the soil underneath. Add fresh soil and seed or install a patch of sod. Make sure you’re the one watering it this time, not your dog. 

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Written by Tina Hill

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

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