Lawn enforcement! How to stop dog urine killing grass

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  • Getting your new pup to pee outside is a big win for many dog owners, but you might soon be noticing bare patches on your lawn – and wondering how to stop dog urine killing your grass.

    If you’ve got a dog, chances are you’re the outdoorsy type. And, if you love being outside, you probably enjoy whiling away hours in the garden. Whether you love tending to plants or simply relaxing with a book, it’s always pleasing to look out over a lush green lawn. But alas, the gardens of many pooch-loving people are blighted by brown spots in the grass.

    But what’s going on here? Well, your pup could be an unwitting culprit if your lawn is also the place he does his business – we’re talking number ones here – because dog urine can kill off your grass to leave unsightly brown patches in your garden.

    Why does dog urine kill grass?

    Dog owners commonly believe that urine acidity is the death knell for their lawns, but this isn’t actually true. Your pup’s pee contains urea, a form of nitrogen formed by the breakdown of proteins by the digestive system. The canine diet is protein-rich, so it stands to reason that your pooch’s piddles are high in nitrogen.

    Here’s where it gets interesting – if your lawn is deficient in nitrogen, your dog’s toilet spot might actually be producing a much darker, more verdant green. If you want to achieve this delightful hue over over your full lawn, try using a pet-safe fertiliser (like this one on Amazon). Always pay close attention to, and follow, the directions for use on any garden product.

    However, if your grass is already at peak nitrogen content, any surplus applied will ‘burn’ the grass away to form a brown spot. But really, when it comes to stopping dog urine killing grass, prevention is better than a cure.

    How to stop dog urine killing grass

    1. Water

    Stay vigilant during your doggy’s trips to the loo and water the piddle patch as soon as he’s done. This will dilute the urine – and with it the nitrogen content – and reduce its effects. It might be simple, but it can be astonishingly effective. Keep a hose or filled watering can handy for when your dog wants to relieve himself and don’t be stingy. When all’s said and done, you need to go for it – thoroughly wash that wee away.

    2. Optimise toilet training

    See if you can teach your pooch to pee consistently on the same spot in your garden to help reduce the scale of your lawn management. Even better, try to get him comfortable with going for a wee on a patch of gravel or concrete. This will take plenty of positive reinforcement when he behaves as you wish and it can help to keep him on a lead during the training process so he can’t wander off. You could also try introducing a voice command that you only employ for this exact reason to help teach him what you want.

    If your dog’s really not happy to pee on a grassless toilet, you might be able to compromise with a real or artificial grass dog toilet (like this one on Amazon), which is also a great tool if you’re house training a dog in a flat.

    Puppy toilet with artificial grass | Amazon
    Can be used indoors, in porches, on patios, balconies, in backyards or apartments.

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    3. Walk him first thing

    It’s easy enough to release your hound into the garden while you make your morning brew – it buys you some chill time pre-walk. However, if you can muster the fortitude to get out on a walk before that first cuppa of the day, that’s one or two fewer wees on your lawn. It might seem like a lot of effort, but over time that’s a lot less dog urine killing grass!

    4. Don’t wait to hydrate

    Wait, won’t encouraging your dog to drink more just increase the number of toilet breaks? Well, maybe, but it’s always best to ensure your dog is well hydrated. Plus, you get the added bonus of diluted urine to protect your grass, too.

    How to get more water into your pup’s system? Try adding a little water to his food bowl ration, giving him ice cube (making sure the size of cube is appropriate for your pooch) or freezing treats.

    Chew King Chill Fill | Amazon
    Fill this fun toy with wet or dry food and water, freeze it and watch your pooch be entertained.

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    5. Fertilise intelligently

    Scale back your fertilising efforts in toilet spots favoured by your canine companion so you don’t overload them with nitrogen.

    Always check the bag on any fertiliser you buy for instructions for use. Furthermore, you should ensure the bag is stored safely, and well away from your pet. Many fertilisers, particularly mineral and granular fertilisers, are toxic when ingested and can irritate the skin. If you opt for such a product, it’s usually advised you water the lawn thoroughly after application and keep your pet off for at least 24–72 hours. Even when using fertilisers that are formulated to be pet-safe, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

    What can I feed my dog so his urine doesn’t kill grass?

    Highly-processed proteins produce more nitrogen when digested, so you could look at switching to a low-processed dog food, like these best grain-free dog foods or best cold-pressed dog foods.

    You can also get feed supplements and water additives to help combat the nitrogen content of your dog’s urine by binding with and neutralising the nitrogen molecules. That said, it’s best practice to check with your vet or a qualified canine nutritionist

    Pooch & Mutt Adult Complete Dry Food | Amazon
    This grain-free complete food contains nutrients from natural sources and contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

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    Peterals Natrual Lawn Protecting Minerals | Amazon
    See improvements in four to six weeks with this all-natural, pet-safe mineral additive for your pooch’s water bowl.

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    Will grass grow back after dog urine?

    If the grass is just starting to yellow, you could salvage it by watering and keeping your dog off the yellowing patch. There are also patch repair kits you can use in a last-ditch effort.

    If the patch of grass is brown, it’s already dead, and will need to be pulled up and reseeded. You might want to try some hardier grass seed in any areas that need reseeding, such as perennial ryegrass or fescue.

    Envii Neuturine – Dog Urine Neutraliser | Amazon
    This easy-to-use treatment uses natural and beneficial bacteria to treat areas of your lawn affected by dog urine.

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    Lawn UK Ultra Hard-Wearing Grass Seed | Amazon
    This hardy grass blend is tough enough for whatever your family can throw at it!

    View now

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