I love my dogs. They’re my fur babies. My loves. I think most dog owners feel the same way, and dogs do, too. After all, they’re ecstatic to see us every time we come home — even if we were only gone 10 minutes. But pet ownership does have its drawbacks, and most them are out in the backyard. I’m not talking about poop (but let’s face it — nobody loves cleaning it up). I’m talking about those yellow spots you get in your lawn from where your sweet pooch has — well — peed. Let’s find out how to take care of those, shall we?
1. Know the Cause
Many people assume it’s the acid in dog urine that causes the spots, but that’s really not it. It’s actually excess nitrogen. Nitrogen is a result of your dog’s body breaking down his high protein diet. Your dog needs the protein, but your lawn doesn’t need the extra nitrogen.
The best and cheapest way to prevent those spots is to go outside with your dog, and keep your hose or watering can handy. Right after they do their thing, dilute their urine with water. It doesn’t take a lot, just a quick sprinkle. You’ll dilute that nitrogen enough that it doesn’t burn your lawn. One watering can full of water could last you several days of dog pee.
3. Build a Doggy Bathroom
Okay, not really. But you could take a small spot of your yard and lay mulch or artificial turf, then train your dog to use that spot. You could even place some shade and some potted plants around to make the experience more spa-like. Hey, you’d appreciate that, wouldn’t you? 😉
4. Use Tougher Grass
If you ever lay new sod or plant new grass from seed, remember which types are more resistant to these stains. Fescue and perennial ryegrass stand up to it the best. Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most sensitive to urine.
5. Avoid Anti-Stain Supplements
Those supplements that claim to prevent your dog’s urine from burning your lawn don’t really work. Most claim to change the pH of the urine, which isn’t the problem (it’s the nitrogen, remember?). Nothing can change the nitrogen level, and supplements that alter the pH of your dog’s urine can actually cause kidney or bladder damage. Other supplements contain a lot of salt, which causes your dog to drink more water, thereby diluting his urine. But does that sound like a healthy way to eliminate what is actually a minor, cosmetic problem in your yard? Now, go outside with your pooch and let her enjoy some quality potty time, but don’t forget your watering can.