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How to Remove Dog Pee Spots from Your Lawn

When it comes to grass, Fido can take a real toll on it in one of two ways: he can either kill it or promote its growth wherever he does his business. Learn how to get rid of dog pee spots once and for good. 

Depending on the nitrogen content of your dog’s urine, the grass he pees on will either dry out, turn brown, and die, or it will thicken up and become lush and green in patches–often while the grass around it doesn’t look quite as healthy. Obviously, the “burning” of the lawn from nitrogen rich pet urine is the bigger problem, as no one likes brown patches all over the yard they worked so hard to upkeep. 

Make Sure It’s Your Dog

This is going to sound obvious, but before you decide that your dog is ruining your lawn, make sure that your dog’s pee is actually what’s causing the problem. There are other diseases that can occur in lawns that mimic the pattern your dog may urinate in, so it’s important to eliminate those as a potential cause. 

Understand the Mechanism 

Pet urine contains nitrogen, which, in excess, can cause brown “burn” spots in your lawn. On the flip side, it’s also what is primarily used in lawn fertilizers–so that’s why some dogs actually leave the yard looking more lush instead of burned out. The key is in the amount of nitrogen deposited by your dog. A little extra nitrogen will leave your grass looking gorgeous– and too much will kill it. 

Larger dogs, specifically females, are more likely to cause “pee spots” because they void in one place and, obviously, void more than smaller dogs do. 

Simple Solutions

The most simple solution to prevent and remove dog pee spots in your lawn is to spray the location where your dog has urinated with water right after they’re done voiding. A quick spray with a garden hose will dilute the urine and help to spread the nitrogen around so that it doesn’t cause a burn out effect on the grass. 

Make sure your pooch is eating a diet that meets but does not exceed its protein requirement. Excess protein in your dog’s diet can make their urine more nitrogen-rich, thus increasing the need to remove dog pee spots from your lawn. To determine your dog’s protein needs, consult your veterinarian. 

In addition, there are supplements on the market that can help to make your pet’s urine less likely to burn out your grass. Check with your vet to see if there is a product he or she might recommend for your dog. 

Long Term Solutions

Replanting your yard with a type of grass that is more resistant to urine and nitrogen can be a good way to decrease your need to remove dog pee spots from your yard. Perennial rye and fescues tend to be most resistant to higher levels of nitrogen and pet urine. 

You may also wish to train your dog to only urinate in a specific area in your yard, if possible. This will at least eliminate the need to remove dog pee spots anywhere but in an isolated area. 

In addition, refrain from fertilizing your lawn if you notice that your dog’s urine is causing burnout spots. The combination of nitrogen both from the fertilizer and the dog’s urine may be too much for your lawn to handle, thus causing burnout.