While we love our dogs like family members, no one is a fan of brown “burn” spots our dog’s urine leaves on the lawn. Urine burns leave the yard unsightly and seem nearly impossible to prevent or eliminate. In families with multiple dogs, a dead lawn can occur quicker than you may realize. There is hope, however, and here, we will explore some solutions:
First, understanding why our dog’s urine burns the grass is important. Denise Petryk, DVM, Trupanion’s Director of Veterinary Services explains, “The lawn turns brown primarily because of the nitrogen content in a dog’s urine.” According to Dr. Petryk, “The safest approach to stopping those brown spots, is to focus on the lawn and give it all the TLC it needs to be resistant to the urine. Focus on the soil pH levels, a watering schedule, aeration, fertilizers, and the type of grass you have.” Dr. Petryk also suggests that you:
- Use a leash to control where your dog urinates
- Water the lawn right after your dog urinates to dilute the nitrogen on the grass
- Dilute your dog’s urine by encouraging them to drink more water. You can use ice cubes, very dilute juices, diluted coconut water, or watered down food. However, the more your dog drinks, the more it will have to urinate, so beware of accidents in the house!
- Try a different high-quality dog food. Sometimes this helps, as it might alter the pH or nitrogen content of the dog’s urine. Talk to your veterinarian about which diet could be best for your dog.
- As far as removing the unsightly brown spots from your lawn goes, it is best to wait until the grass grows back on it’s own while avoiding letting your dog go in the same place. Trying to use fertilizer to get your grass to grow back actually makes it worse since fertilizer contains, even more, nitrogen.
- One idea is to train your dog to urinate somewhere else. You can create a patch of an area with gravel or mulch in your backyard that serves as a spot to train your dog to go on. This prevents any future dog spot issues in the lawn.
- There are products available on the market that go into your dog’s water bowl, contain no chemicals and prevent urine burns. Carina Evans, CEO of Dog Rocks, explains how this naturally occurring rock works
Originally discovered by an Aboriginal gardener, Dog Rocks®are 100 percent natural rocks mined from a deep Australian quarry. To use this one-of-a-kind product, just drop a few rocks in your dog’s drinking bowl, and it filters out impurities such as nitrates, which is the cause of lawn burns. Laboratory testing proves this product is safe for dogs. While Dog Rocks can’t reverse the damage already done to the lawn, one bag will safely prevent new urine burn patches from appearing for two months.