Pet Tips

Tip 85 – Dog urine burning grass

Most dog owners are aware that dog urine can damage the grass on their lawns. This happens because dog urine contains concentrated amounts of nitrogen which discolours or ‘burns’ the grass. Although the earth (and possibly fertilizer) under the grass also contains nitrogen, the extra amount from dog urine upsets the balance and can burn the grass. Both male and female dog urine contain nitrogen. However since female dogs squat and urinate directly on the grass (instead of urinating ON objects like males usually do,) the problem is often mistakenly thought to be a female problem.

There are plenty of products on the market that your dog can ingest to alter the chemistry of its urine and benefit your lawn. Although some do work, there are other alternatives that don’t involve ‘medicating’ your dog for something that it does naturally. You should also be aware that many veterinarians feel that some of these products are downright dangerous for your dog.

The simplest way to solve the problem is to treat the grass, not the dog. An effective and free treatment is water. All that you need to do is take a hose and give the affected spot a good watering. The extra water will dilute the nitrogen helping your grass to stay green. If the damage is severe from past urination, just dig up the grass, soak the spot with water, and then put down new grass or new seeds.

Next its time to train your dog to eliminate in the same area. Choose an already damaged spot on your lawn and let your dog always go on that same spot. Alternatively you can place a decent sized amount of loose dirt, grass, gravel or stone on a part of your lawn and train your dog to eliminate there. Lead your dog to that area, wait for it to urinate and PRAISE him/her with treats the first few times. If your dog seems like it only wants to go to where you don’t want it to, say “NO!” and bring it to the right spot. Praise Praise Praise when they go in the right place. You WILL have to go out with your dog at the beginning to make sure they eliminate where you want them to. Seek the advice of a trainer if you are having problems and cannot deal with the situation yourself.

It is important to realize that grass burn stains CAN be due to other problems with the grass itself that has nothing to do with your dog.

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