Does Dog Pee Kill Grass? And How To Fix It

Everybody loves when their dog enjoys the lawn and plays in it, but sometimes it becomes the opposite when their pet’s urine turns into a dangerous substance for their lawn and makes it look ugly. 

Does dog pee kill grass? Yes, a dog’s pee can kill the grass. When a dog urinates in the same area of your lawn it can provide an excess amount of nitrogen and salts to the soil which can burn the roots of the grass and the grass will die. It’s the same as over-fertilizing your lawn and burning it. 

So how can you avoid it without stopping your dog from playing on your lawn? Let’s discuss these things in detail:

does dog pee kill grass

Why Does Dog Urine Kill Grass? 

The reason why dog urine burns grass is because of some mineral content in the pee. Nitrogen available in your dog’s pee is a very essential component for your grass to grow and be healthy, but can be harmful and can cause yellow and brown patches in the lawn if provided in high concentration. So whenever your dogs pee in the lawn it provides a high level of nitrogen to that area and causes the grass to burn and die. 

Salts and other components available in a dog’s urine can also cause the grass to die. Dog urine can alter the pH level of the soil and make it highly alkaline or acidic which can block essential nutrients of the soil and make serious damage to the lawn.

Oftentimes you see dead grass surrounded by green and healthy grass. This is due to the nitrogen getting from the dog urine in the soil and providing essential nutrients to the surrounding grass just like fertilizer in lower quantity. 

Spots From Dog Urine And How To Fix It

There are three kinds of spots found on the lawn after your dog pee there.

Green Spot
Yellow spot
Brown spot

Let’s talk about these spots in detail and how to repair them.

  • Green spot – the green spots you are seeing in your lawn are not a bad thing but a good thing for your lawn. Your dog’s urine naturally contains nitrogen in high quantities which is an essential nutrient for your plant. So when your dogs urinate on a spot in your lawn it provides that essential nutrient to the soil. If you’re seeing that area of the lawn becoming greener then it’s a sign that the soil lacks nitrogen and needs fertilization. To see if your grass lacks nutrients or not you need to do a soil test of your lawn. If the test shows a low percentage of nutrients in your soil then apply fertilizer to your lawn. After fertilization, your whole lawn will look greener and more beautiful. 
  • Yellow spot – The yellow spot you are seeing in your lawn is a sign that your lawn is suffering because of excessive nitrogen or the soil is becoming acidic due to your dog’s urine. These yellow spots are a signal that you need to water the area to reduce the concentration of all the components. These damages will eventually fill in with the surrounding grass if you flush it regularly and you don’t urinate on that area again.
  • Brown spot – The most severe case of lawn damage from your dog’s urine is brown spots, which are areas of dead or dying grass. A dry or weak lawn that is already thin is very prone to this kind of lawn damage. To prevent your grass from dying from the dog urine, flush that area of the lawn with water thoroughly to reduce the salts and acidity of the dog urine from the soil. Minor damage or a small patch will fill itself but if a big area of the lawn is becoming brown then you need to take precautions.

To repair the brown spot from your lawn you need to first remove all the dead and brown grass from that area and clean it up and then reseed that area. Make sure that you don’t go to that area for strolling or for peeing because new grass seed needs time to grow and establish itself in the lawn before it can handle any kind of foot traffic.

How To Stop Dog Urine From Killing The Grass? 

The saying that prevention is better than cure is what we are going to discuss here. Instead of repairing a burned brown patch of your lawn, let’s prevent it. So what are the ways?

  • Tip 1 – Spray water Spray water in the area where your dog has peed so that the concentration of the minerals can be reduced with the dissolution of water in it. Flushing water will spread the nitrogen and other salty components in the lawn and make it useful for your lawn to grow. 
  • Tip 2 – Make an area for the dog – You can create a section of your lawn for the dog to pee. Mulch that area with softwood and put some attractive things for your dog and whenever your dog goes to pee in that area reward him so that it becomes a habit. 
  • Tip 3 – Increase water intake of your dog – Increasing the water intake of your dog will make a low concentration of nitrogen and other components in the urine and which will help the soil 
  • Tip 4 – Fertilize with low nitrogen – if you see an area where your dogs regularly pee, then don’t fertilize that area with nitrogen or do it with a very low amount of nitrogen. The nitrogen needed for the grass to grow and be healthy will be provided by the dog’s urine. 
  • Tip 5 – Apply a lawn treatment – if you are seeing some part of your lawn become dull and yellowish then apply a lawn treatment to reduce the effect and revive that area before it even becomes brown. Some treatments, like Dogonit Lawn Repair Treatment, contain organic enzymes with soil cleansers to flush the nitrogen and salts from the root zone.

If you do not want to do all these things then there is another option of making a pee post for your dog. Simple solution’s pee post (available on Amazon) uses a simulated pheromone scent that tells your dog to pee “here”. You just need to put the stake into the ground showing only the upper part of the pee post.

For the starting two or three times, you can take your dog to this post and reward him after he pees there. This will build the habit of only peeing in the pee post and not on the lawn.

What Is The Best Grass For Dogs?

The best lawn grass for dogs is fescue grass. Fescue grass is hardy and does well with dogs running all over it.

This grass variety is very absorbent and can handle a dog’s urine very effectively. If you have a dog that is very active in the lawn and has a habit of urinating in the lawn then you should choose fescue grass for your lawn as it is very easy to care for and does not require much nutrients and maintenance.

The other good thing about fescue grass is that it can tolerate drought well so you don’t need to worry about irrigation as well.

The other grass which can do well with dogs is Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, zoysia, and Bermuda grass.

Does All Dog Urine Kill Grass?

There is a belief that only a female dog’s urine kills grass and not a male dog’s urine. But the chemical content of the male and female dog’s urine is the same. But female dogs’ urine does more lawn damage due to the way they urinate.

All dogs who squat to urinate like females, elderly dogs and some adult males can burn grass as they are urinating in a small area and bringing up the concentration of the urine in that area.

On the other hand, male dogs lift a leg to urinate and spread their urine in a bigger lawn area to mark their presence which reduces the concentration of the urine in the soil and does less harm.

Best Dog Urine Neutralizer For Grass

If you want to neutralize dog urine on your lawn, the best way is to apply garden lime to that area. Your dog’s urine has salts and other components which alter the pH of the soil and makes it acidic or alkaline.

What garden lime does is neutralizes the pH of the soil and make the soil healthy for the grass to survive.

Will Baking Soda Neutralize Dog Urine On Grass?

No, Baking soda can’t neutralize dog urine on grass. Applying baking soda will harm your grass rather than neutralise it. The myth that baking soda can neutralize dog urine was started because it can remove the smell of dog urine. But applying it to the lawn will do more harm than removing the odour.

Does Lime Neutralize Dog Urine? 

Yes, garden lime can neutralize dog urine as it is very good at stabilizing the pH of the soil. Your dog’s urine can alter the pH of the soil by making it acidic or alkaline due to the salt contents in the soil which can be neutralized by applying lime to your lawn.

How To Reduce Nitrogen In A Dog’s Urine?

To reduce nitrogen in a dog’s urine you can start by changing your dog’s diet. Feed your dog food that is low in protein so that there is less protein which means less nitrogen output from the urine.

If you are using packed dog food from the market, it usually has more protein in it than an average dog requires, so check before you buy dog food.

Will Grass Grow Back After Dog Urine?

Yes, If you are seeing yellow spots or small patches in your lawn due to the dog’s urine then you don’t need to worry as it will grow back and repair itself eventually.

But if you are seeing big brown spots in your lawn that means the grass is dead in that area and it will not come back anymore. You need to think of reseeding that area again and take proper care of it until you mow it two or three times.