Dog Urine Spots on Lawn - The Facts and Myths
If you have a lawn and a dog, you may have struggled in the past to maintain the lush green look of your lawn. If you’ve dealt with dog urine spots in your yard, you’ll already know about the huge volume of misinformation about them online. In this blog we are going to help you separate the truth from fiction so that you can treat the problem and uncover all the myths surrounding dog urine spots on your lawn.
Only Female Dogs Cause Spotting On Lawns - FALSE
While it is true that female dogs do more damage to your lawn while urinating, male dogs still cause spotting on lawns. Females do more damage because they squat to urinate, leaving a large, concentrated volume of dog urine in one spot. Alternatively, male dogs urinate on lawns by lifting their back leg and spraying, meaning the urine is spread around the lawn more and the damage to the grass occurs less quickly.
Dog Urine Spots Are More Common With Certain Breeds - FALSE
There is nothing that proves different breeds of dog do more damage with their urine to lawns. While it is true that larger breeds of dog will cause more urine damage, this is only because larger dogs have larger bladders and thus produce more urine, causing more damage to lawns in a shorter space of time. Similarly, to the issue of gender, breeds are not a significant issue except for where they affect the volume and concentration of urine on the lawn.
Yellow Spots Occur When Dog Urine Is Alkaline - FALSE
pH is actually not a major factor in how dog urine spots on lawns are formed, though being particularly acidic can be a smaller part of the problem. It is primarily due to the high nitrogen content of their urine. Yellow spots occur in only the most severe of dog urine damaged spots. However, brown spots on your lawn can come from other sources than dog urine related issues including being too acidic, over or under watering of the grass and certain types of fungi appearing in the lawn. Once again, the problem with this myth is that it isn’t relevant, like the breed or gender of your dog, to how their urine affects the grass.
Dog Urine Spots Can Be Prevented With Food Supplements – FALSE
Again, there is some basis in fact within this myth. You can change the diet of your dog and it will affect their urine. However, there is no safe supplement that will completely eliminate nitrogen from dog urine. Many supplements are available that claim to bind with the nitrogen in dog urine but these contain harmful chemicals which can lead to disease in the kidneys and liver of your dog amongst other potential health issues. However, the quality of protein in the diet of your dog is another issue that can affect the impact that dog urine has on lawns. Low quality protein is more difficult for dogs to digest and can result in a higher nitrogen content in the dog urine ending up on your lawn. However, especially in young dogs, even a low-protein diet will not always prevent lawn burn; therefore we do not recommend changing the diet of your dog in order to prevent dog urine spots on lawn.
Dog Urine Damage Can Be Cured By Applying:
Baking Soda - FALSE
Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is a salt and while Nitrogen is the main issue with dog urine damaging lawns, the salts in dog urine are also part of the problem, and therefore baking soda, as a salt, is liable to compound the problem. This is most commonly associated with being able to eliminate the smell of dog urine in the grass, not fix patches of discoloration.
Gypsum - FALSE
Gypsum, similarly to baking powder, is a salt and could compound the problem instead of fixing it.
Dishwashing Detergent - FALSE
Detergents are wetting agents which can help water and concentrated salts move through the soil in your lawn. However, this only works theoretically and in reality some dishwashing detergents can burn grass plants and worsen the problem similarly to salts above.
Other Household Products – FALSE
Many home remedies have been suggested for dog urine spots on lawn all over the internet. Unfortunately, none of them seem to entirely deal with the problem, the only way to truly neutralize the effects of the urine is with water, and following your dog around with a hose to watch where it urinates isn’t the most desirable solution.
Dealing With Dog Urine Spots
There are a variety of ways, including watering the patches shortly after the dog urinates, to deal with dog urine spots on your lawn. You can train your dog to use only a single portion of the lawn to limit the affected area, or aerating the lawn, though this is a method which takes a great deal of effort. However, for treatment of affected areas we recommend using our See Spot Run Lawn Protection products, including our easy-to-use hose sprayer and ready to mix concentrates.
What Can Be Done With The Dog?
As we spoke about it earlier, the diet of your dog cannot cure the issue, but another option is increasing the amount of water your dog drinks, which can also be done by primarily feeding the dog wet food over dry food. However, we recommend not adding anything claiming to help with dog urine spots on lawns besides extra water without first consulting your veterinarian.
The yellow and brown spots your dog is producing on your green lawn are causing you some stress. You can take steps to fix this before it gets worse. The first thing you should do is neutralize the area with a suitable dog urine neutralizing agent. This will help resolve the urine spots on the lawn and ensure that your dog is not causing any more damage.