He’s at it again. The dog is urinating in the exact same spot—the perpetual dog urine spot that stays brown year round thanks to its status as a doggy potty.
Stubborn brown spots in your grass are a common problem for dog owners. Pups instinctually do their business the same area each time, and the repeated exposure to dog urine kills the grass.
This can be a frustrating issue, but there’s no need to pick between a gorgeous lawn and your furry friend. Dog urine spots are treatable and preventable.
In this article, we’ll dive into exactly why dog urine spots occur—and how to fix them once and for all.
What Causes Dog Urine Spots in Grass?
Dog’s urine is naturally slightly acidic (6 to 6.5). However, the dry kibble most dogs eat alters the pH of their urine, causing it to become alkaline. This shift in pH is one reason why dog urine can cause brown spots in your yard.
Another contributing factor to burn spots is nitrogen. Dog urine contains a lot of nitrogen, which actually fertilizes plants in small amounts. However, in large or concentrated amounts, excess nitrogen chemically burns plants.
This is why it’s not uncommon to find brown spots ringed by lush, green grass: the grass that got hit directly with urine died, while the grass that only received a little exposure got fertilized.
Salts and trace minerals from dog pee can also build up in the soil over time, contributing to dead spots as well.
How To Prevent Brown Dog Urine Spots In Grass?
Although brown “dog spots” can be frustrating, they don’t need to be permanent. There are ways to treat and prevent brown patches of grass from marring your lawn.
These methods are all effective, but it’s worth noting that many of them require constant vigilance, time, and upkeep to work. To multiply their effectiveness, you can combine multiple methods, (though that multiplies the time and effort required as well).
Feed Your Dog a Species-Appropriate Diet
Dogs are naturally carnivores, and their bodies are designed to subsist primarily on meat. As a result, their urine is acidic. As long as the pH is normal, dog pee will fertilize the lawn and shouldn’t cause any problems.
However, if a dog is fed a diet with more grains or carbohydrates (found in many brands of dry dog food), the pH balance shifts and the urine becomes alkaline.
Alkaline urine will damage the grass, so one of the best ways (albeit an expensive one) is to feed your dog a diet of fresh or canned food and reduce or eliminate dry dog food with potatoes, grains, or other carbohydrates. This will ensure their urine is less acidic and less likely to cause burn spots.
Rinse Grass With Hose
By spraying the lawn after your dog does her business, you will dilute the nitrogen and salts in the urine, preserving the life of your lawn.
While hosing will prevent brown spots, it’s certainly not ideal to monitor your dog every time she goes out to pee so you can hose it down (especially in the dead of winter).
Train Your Dog To Go In A Specific Spot
Although it does take some time and effort, dogs can be trained to do their business in a specific part of the yard, away from the grass. Some people choose to confine the doggy do-do to a mulch- or gravel-covered area for easy cleanup.
The downside is that you have to invest the time and vigilance to train the dog to only pee in a single spot, as well as money and space for the mulched or graveled area.
Walk Your Dogs Away From The Yard
Most dogs will go while out and about, so this is a simple solution that will reduce the amount of dog urine your grass is exposed to.
The downside is that you have to walk your dog multiple times a day, rather than just letting him play outside. And you have to prevent your dog from creating brown spots in other people’s lawns as well!
Increase Water Intake
By encouraging your pooch to drink more water, you can dilute the potency of the nitrogen in the urine. This will make the pee less damaging to your grass.
While this method probably won’t stop all brown spots on its own, it can be effective if you combine it with another method.
Install A Dog Run With Artificial Grass
A dog run is a dedicated, fenced area of the yard just for Fido to run and play. Many homeowners make a dog run along the length of a fence, giving the dog a long space to run and burn off energy. Dog runs are ideal for dogs that are escape artists, or for owners who enjoy entertaining outdoors, but want the pup contained.
A dog run also provides a dedicated space for your dog to urinate in one area without threatening the health and beauty of your yard.
There are a number of options for the ground cover in a dog run:
- Natural grass
- Wood chips
- Paving Stones
- Rubber padding
- Artificial Grass
Of all of these options, artificial grass is the lowest maintenance; it doesn’t need mowing, fertilizing, or watering. Its permeable backing allows the urine to pass through, and it also matches the natural, green grass of the rest of the lawn.
Replace Lawn With Pet-Safe Artificial Grass for Dogs
A permanent, surefire solution to brown spots in your grass is to replace your lawn with an artificial grass installation. This will allow your dog to use any area of the yard, and you won’t have to worry about dog urine spots ever again.
Artificial grass has many benefits beyond avoiding brown patches, as artificial grass:
- Requires little maintenance
- Saves water
- Prevents flooding
- Prevents muddy paws
- Is safe for pets & kids
- Increases property value
- Is environmentally friendly
Ideal Turf’s artificial grass for dogs has a 100% permeable backing that allows pet urine to pass right through the turf with zero absorption. Its industry-leading Cascade Backing System drains 1,500 cu/in of water per hour, eliminating the need for deodorizers and ammonia absorbing additives.
That’s ten times higher than other turf backings, and the turf fibers are antimicrobial, preventing the buildup of bacteria and odors from dog urine. No matter how many dogs potty on the artificial grass, it stays lush and green all year.
Wrapping Up How To Prevent Dog Urine Spots From Ruining Your Lawn
While there are numerous ways to mitigate the damage dog urine can do to a well-kept lawn, most require a significant ongoing investment of time and energy. If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to prevent dog urine spots for good, installing a dog run and/or artificial grass is your best bet for a long-term solution.
Artificial turf holds up to the chemical impact of dog urine, no matter how many dogs you have or if they go in the same spot every time.
As an added bonus, because you don’t have to mow, fertilize, weed, or water artificial grass, you’ll have more time and money to spend on your favorite four-legged friend.
If you and your pooch would benefit from an artificial grass installation in your Texas yard, get a free estimate today! We’ll ensure that you have a dog run or artificial grass pet area that your family and beloved dog will enjoy for years to come, from the best artificial grass company in Texas.”