One major problem many dog owners face is dog urine lawn damage. Dog urine contains a high percentage of nitrogen that causes yellow and brown spots on a lawn. The urine can eventually burn the grass and create unsightly patches in your lawn. Although grass needs some nitrogen to grow, a dog urinates in one spot and causes a concentrated amount of nitrogen in a small place. Female dogs cause more damage than their male counterparts since they squat to urinate in one spot, while males urinate on trees, shrubs or walls by lifting their legs.
Whether your dog or your neighbor's is to blame, follow these steps to treat lawn damage and prevent it from happening in the future.
Step 1 - Douse the Area with Water
Saturate the area the dog has just urinated on with water from a garden hose. Make the flow fast and strong. You can follow this step up to eight hours after the deed happens. Hosing helps dilute the concentration of nitrogen at that particular spot and distribute it more evenly.
If you have not been quick in flushing the spot, you may notice yellow spots appearing. Spray a liquid neutralizer made specifically for this purpose on the spot to prevent the grass from immediately dying. The natural enzymes in the neutralizer speed up the breakdown process of urine and help the grass grow back faster.
Step 2 – Remove the Burnt Grass
If your grass died completely, you need to reseed it. Since dog urine penetrates into the top layer of soil, you need to remove at least the top two inches, along with the burnt grass.
Step 3 – Add a New Layer of Soil
Add a new layer of topsoil or dirt to the area where you want to grow fresh grass. You can mix just a little bit of lime to the topsoil to help neutralize any remaining soil particles containing urine.
Step 4- Reseed the Area
Reseed the area, preferably with urine-resistant grass, which is a little tougher and not as susceptible to dog urine lawn damage as other types of grasses are. Perennial ryegrass and fescues are types of grass commonly grown by dog owners. Block this area off with chicken wiring, rope or light fencing to keep your dog away until the grass grows back. Remember to water the grass regularly to ensure healthy growth.
You can also dig out the burnt spot and replace it with a piece of sod.
Provide your dog an alternative to using the lawn. Train it to use a particular corner of the yard you have covered with mulch or gravel, which not only prevents odor but can also be replaced easily.