How to Cure Dog Urine Spots on Lawn
Dead round spots on the lawn may come from a variety of different causes. The four most common ones are caused by overwatering, chemical spill (gas or fertilizer), Fungus or dog urine. This article will concentrate on spots caused by pet urine.
You can recognize this type of spot as the area in the middle of the spot will be dead but the grass surrounding the dead area will be extra green and tall. This is because dog urine has a high concentration of nitrogen in it. Too heavy a concentration will kill grass but a smaller dose will boost grass growth.
Female dogs seem to cause this problem more than male dogs because they tend to squat and empty their bladder in one dump. Male dogs of course lift their leg here and there to mark territory. Both male and female dogs have the same amount of uric content for the most part it’s just how it is spread that makes the difference.
There are a number of things that can be done to prevent or lessen the damage done to a lawn from dogs. First of all is to dilute the urine as quickly as possible. Pet urine is good for the lawn in small doses it’s the heavy concentration that is bad. If you are aware when your dog goes out to do her duty have a watering can close by and immediately pour water over the area. It needs to be done quickly. It will not work to water the whole lawn later such as once a day as too much water is not good for the lawn either. The first pee of the day will have the highest uric concentration so diluting that first morning release is the most important.
Another way to dilute the urine is to make sure the dog is very hydrated. Dogs that drink a lot of water may urinate more frequently but it will be less concentrated. Keeping their water supply clean and full will help a lot.
A third cure is to have a designated dog patch for peeing. This will take some training but dogs like to please so it can be done. Starting as a puppy makes the training easier but any age of dog can be trained that certain areas are acceptable and others not. In the designated area you can plant clover which is resistant to dog urine or some other material such as bark, rock, sand, fake lawn turf, etc. My next article will be Creating a Dog Safe Spot for your Lawn which will go into more detail on how to create this area and train your dog.
The type of grass you plant will also help with lawn areas that have heavy pet traffic. Grass seed that has a mixture of perennial ryegrass and fescue will handle urine spots better.
Finally it’s a good idea to take your dog for an early morning walk to do their duty. Of course you don’t want to use your neighbor’s lawn but areas such as parks, sandy or uncultivated areas that have large areas are ideal.
Once the damage has been done and you want to “fix” the spots then I recommend using our Grass Stitcher to do the job. It was for just such problem areas as this that it was designed for! You can work on small spots without having to reseed or dig up your entire lawn.