It is finally summer and you want to spend as much time as possible enjoying your backyard. You have parties planned, a new swimming pool to use, and a garden to tinker in.
There is one major stumbling block to your plans, however.
The backyard looks like a patchwork quilt with all the urine-burned spots from where your dog peed all spring long. Burnt, yellow grass is all that remains in these spots and since she did not stick to just one spot, the burned spots are everywhere in a haphazard design.
Why Dog Urine Burns Grass
Dog urine burns grass because of the high nitrogen and ammonia levels in the urine. Intact (unsprayed) female dogs have the highest levels in their urine then spayed females, unneutered males and finally neutered males cause the least amount of damage.
There are products on the market that are reported to lower the nitrogen levels produced by altering the dog’s chemical balance. This method may work but no one knows the long-term effects of using these products. Most of these products are not veterinary recommended and are a cause for concern in general.
Better Ways to Remove Pee stains in your Lawn
Although grass needs nitrogen to grow and flourish, too much of a good thing causes the grass to turn yellow and die off. Early detection of the problem can save the grass from dying entirely and speed up the healing process.
Diluting the nitrogen is one way of saving the grass. Besides diluting the nitrogen, watering your lawn on a daily basis keeps moisture within the soil to help whisk the urine away from the roots. Think of this as a flush of sorts.
Instead of lowering the nitrogen level in your dog’s urine, neutralizing it at the point of content works to a large degree. There are several products on the market that bind and neutralize nitrogen as it is absorbed into the ground and prevent the grass from dying entirely. Under normal circumstances, these sprays last for around a month to six weeks and are easy to apply by connecting the bottle to a hose and then hand watering the area. They work as a fertilizer as well and one product even contains green dye to immediately hide the yellow spot!
If it is too late and the grass is already dead, reseeding the area will bring it back to life. Before reseeding, break out the sprinkler for an extra long soak of the area to flush out the nitrogen in the area. Then rough up the ground a bit, spread the seed and then pat the seeds into place. Keep the area well watered and soon grass will sprout. It is vital you keep your dog off this area as the new growth is extra sensitive and easy to burn once again as well as the damage caused by heavy paw falls.
If you have sod, cut the damaged area out of the lawn and then replace it with a piece of fresh grass. This is a quick fix but it can make the lawn look like a green patchwork quilt – only marginally better then the green and yellow quilt.
Last Option on Removing Pee Stains in your Lawn
Training your dog to pee in one area is the last on the list of preventing urine burn. Fence off or make one area her washroom and train her to only go in the spot. In time, it will look awful so make it an area that is not conspicuous to visitors or gravel the area so no one can see the urine burns.
The most concentrated urine in both nitrogen and ammonia is either the first pee of the day or after she has been in her crate for a while. Instead of letting her into the yard, put a leash on your dog and take her to the sidewalk for these bathroom breaks. Find an area in your immediate neighborhood that is graveled and use her pee as a natural weed killer. Encourage her to drink water the remaining time so that she pees frequently with little to no concentration of nitrogen or ammonia.
Urine burns in the lawn are not the end of the world. Diligence on watering the lawn and limiting her bathroom area are effective ways to prevent the patchwork look.
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.