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Lawn Care and Dog Urine!




lawnmower What does lawn care and dog urine have to do with spoiling your dog you ask? Good question - easy answer!

The lawn's the perfect place for having some fun with your dog. It's right there - no need to get dressed up to go anywhere. And your dog loves getting your one-on-one attention whether it be a little training time or just some outdoor play. The thing about fun and games though is that they can be rather "stimulating" and this leads to...you guessed it...dog urine!

You love your lawn. It's a dreamy place to kick back in your hammock on a summer's day, until...you spot those pesky brown patches in the lawn. You need some solutions to bring back the green ...f-a-s-t!

Lawn care will be next on your agenda - forget the hammock!



What to do?

Finding Harmony Between
Lawn Care And Rover's Urine!

I know you're gonna give it your best shot, because your dog enjoys the lawn as much as you do. Hopefully one of the several solutions I'm going to suggest will at least make a doggone improvement!

Some of these solutions are focused on dealing with the lawn care while others are related to adapting Rover's routine.

So here goes, let's start with the main thing that spoils your landscaping - the dog urine and grass damage.

First of all, if you don't already have a well-established lawn, you might want to consider planting one that is more resistant to dog urine spots.

Some that fall into this category are fescue and perennial ryegrass, but do some research with your local experts because water and soil conditions in your geographic area may impact the choice.

Some grasses that are best avoided are Bermuda or Kentucky Bluegrass. Studies have shown these grasses to be very sensitive to dog urine damage and result in harsh burning.

If you already have a decent lawn and don't want to change it, then we'll just tackle the problem of the dog urine spots themselves.

Understanding the Chemistry of Dog Urine

test tubesFrom your basic chemistry, many of you most probably know that the lawn damage is a result of the nitrogen content of the dog's urine. The burn reaction is similar to when you over-fertilize your lawn.

Speaking of which, be sure you're not fertilizing too often. If you are, this could add more nitrogen that the lawn can handle in addition to the dog pee, with the result that it will be even harder to repair!

Who's to blame, Max or Molly? Aside from the possibility of too much lawn fertilizer, female dogs - sorry Molly - tend to cause more damage because they generally empty their entire bladder in one place. That's means a heavy saturation of nitrogen in that spot on the lawn. Whereas male dogs tend to "mark" areas of the lawn with a little here and there.

You've probably seen the results of heavy nitrogen deposits in your own neighborhood where "innocent" dog owners have let their female furbabies go in the same place every day! Much to the dismay of the homeowner.

So on with the story...


What About The pH Factor?

To begin with, don't believe those stories about the urine's pH factor being the culprit behind the burnt grass. Lawn experts agree that the pH level of a dog's urine is not the cause of the lawn damage.

So, remedies aimed at neutralizing the acid by applying baking soda or lime to the burned area, wouldn't be of help.

Likewise, remedies to reduce the pH of your dog's urine internally, is also off-target for the same reason.

Though these things would no doubt reduce the uric acid in the urine, they won't do anything to stop the burn effect caused by the nitrogen.


Help In A Jar!

On the other hand, Zesty Paws Stay Green Bites are chewables for your dog that are targeted at lawn protection. They have a special formula that can really help control lawn burn quickly and naturally.

These tasty chews, include Cran-Max, a blend of DL-Methionine, Digestive Enzymes, Yucca Extract, Apple Cider Vinegar and more. These ingredients provide support to the GI and urinary tract and are designed to promote balanced nitrogen levels.

Thus, giving your dog the Stay Green Bites is a great way to benefit both your pet, your lawn and your shrubs at the same time.


Lawn Care Tips - Target the burn!

Continuing to address the nitrogen-overload problem, here are some other remedies you can try:

Improve the drainage of the damaged area so that the nitrogen can be carried down below the roots of the grass.

  • Applying readily available Gypsum, is one way to do this that has the added benefit of improving soil quality.
  • Alternatively, you can sprinkle brown sugar on the affected areas and water lightly. The sugar will attract worms which in turn will aerate the soil - leading to better drainage.
  • Another simple approach for handling lawn damage from the urine is to flood the area with water. Not just a bit - a lot, otherwise the nitrogen will only go down so far and end up leaving a green ring.

I personally like the water treatment because it has worked for me, but there is a slight drawback. You have to act quickly.

For this method to be effective, it's critical to water the area right after Molly or Max have just deposited their urine on the grass!


How to Protect The Lawn From Future Urine Damage

After you have repaired your lawn and want to protect it, try keeping your dog away from certain areas of the lawn by using a motion activated sprinkler.

This clever device, gives off a short spray of water when approached and can be very helpful in training your dog where you don't want him to go for his/her potty trips.

Adding a second sprinkler of this type to your front landscaping is also a harmless way to startle neighboring dogs away, keeping them from choosing your place as a "watering hole" and leaving brown patches in the lawn there!





Contech Motion Activated Sprinkler


But wait, there's more we can try...

OK, aside from addressing the urine damage to the grass itself, what can we do about Molly's or Max's routine to give the lawn a break and still spend some special time with our best friends?

For one, take them on more frequent walks to local parks or just around the neighborhood. Getting some fresh air and extra exercise will do you both some good! Or....





Section off a piece of your property for your pets' "own" use. Plant a couple of trees and perhaps a fire hydrant garden statue, placed within a patch of pet-safe artificial grass or some gravel.

Initially you may want to treat the area with a pheromone spray to attract your pets to the spot and encourage them to eliminate in the same place you've choosen. Ultimately, their own urine will be the "scent-sation" that brings them back there!



fire hydrant garden statue for dog training


For the first few times, you'll want to take him on a leash to the place you set up, but after that, his own urine odor should do the work. Of course it can't hurt to give him a lot of praise for going where you want him to go, too!

Here a couple of starter ideas for your dog's special space.

back yard fenced area for dog fenced area for dogs



Dietary Help

Lastly, keep your dog on a well-balanced, premium dog food diet. This will help to maintain your dog's chemistry at a "normal" rather than "high" nitrogen level. Remember, Nitrogen is at the heart of Lawn Care and Urine damage solutions.

Try some of these suggestions with your own grass challenges. They worked for many and could well lead you to greener pastures!


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