Having a beautiful lawn is something we all would love to have, but keeping our lawn green and healthy can be an even greater challenge when you have a dog. Your beautiful lawn can go from looking like a well-manicured golf course to a patchwork of dead spots in no time flat. In the following article, we will go over how to neutralize dog urine on grass, and how to prevent the damage dog urine causes from happening in the first place.
What Neutralizes Dog Urine
The first thing you have to understand is why dog urine kills grass in the first place. Dog urine is naturally acidic which means it has a pH of less than 7.0. In some cases, if your dog is on a high protein diet their urine can have a pH as low as 5.0.
This low pH urine is the main culprit when it comes to causing dead spots on your lawn. Most grasses prefer to be at a neutral pH of about 7.0, while some grasses can tolerate a lower pH.
When most grass species are exposed to a liquid that is too acidic it essentially burns their roots. Once the roots have been damaged the grass will start to turn yellow and will eventually die.
To neutralize dog urine in soil so you can protect your grass you will need to add an alkaline substance like lime to the ground. Applying lime to your lawn is one of the most comprehensive ways to neutralize the acids naturally found in a dogs urine. If on the other hand, you don’t want to lime your whole yard, you can increase the pH of your dog’s urine by changing their diet.
How to Prevent Yellow Spots on Lawn from Dog Urine
There are a few things you can do to prevent your lawn from being damaged in the first place. As the old saying goes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the long run, it is much easier to prevent dog urine from killing your grass then trying to fix it after the damage has already been done.
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Dog Urine Resistant Grass
If you are starting a new lawn or if the damage from the dog urine is very bad you should consider seeding your yard with a urine resistant grass. Starting with a dog urine resistant grass will make it much easier to keep your lawn in tip-top shape.
Tall Fescue grass Kentucky 31 (Check Price at Home Depot) is the best all-purpose dog urine resistant grass around. This grass grows well in warm southern and cold northern climates. And it will spread quite quickly to fill in any dead spots if they do pop up.
The reason Tall Fescue grass Kentucky 31 is so resistant to dog urine is that it can tolerate a relatively low pH. Tall Fescue grasses can handle a pH as low as 5.6 which is right around the pH of dog urine. That makes this grass the perfect choice as the first line of defense in the fight against damage caused by dog urine.
One of the best ways to neutralize dog urine is for the soil to have a higher pH. This can be achieved by liming your lawn every year in order to buffer the soil. And lime has the added benefit of adding calcium to your lawn which is a vital nutrient grass needs even if you don’t have a problem with dog urine.
Adding Fast Acting Lime Plus AST (Check Price at Home Depot) to your lawn can neutralize dog urine as soon as the urine hits the ground. Adding a high-quality lime like this to your lawn every year will help protect your lawn from dead spots, and it will give your lawn a much greener appearance.
The fast acting nature of this lime also means it will start protecting your lawn much faster. Unlike most dolomitic lime out there this one won’t take weeks or months to increase the pH of your soil. That means your lawn will be protected from low pH dog urine much faster than it would if you just used regular lime.
This lime can also be used to treat dead spots that have worsened over time. If you want to use it as a spot treatment just sprinkle the recommended amount over the spot and then gently water it in. This will help raise the pH so the grass can fill in the dead spot once the soil’s pH returns back to normal.
One of the easiest ways to prevent dog urine from destroying your grass is to make some changes to your dog’s diet. The pH of a dogs urine can be modified by feeding a dog more alkaline foods. Doing this will stop the problem at the source so you won’t have to do any extra yard work.
NaturVet GrassSaver Dog Wafers (Buy Online) are specially formulated to protect a lawn from the damaging effects of dog urine. These treats are made with Dicalcium Phosphate, B-Vitamins, and Amino Acids. All of these ingredients play a role in keeping your lawn safe from your pet.
The Dicalcium Phosphate in these wafers will help increase the pH of your dog’s urine since it is an alkaline compound. And the B-Vitamins and amino acids will provide your dog with added nutrients that will help keep them healthy and fit.
If dead spots aren’t your only issue and urine odor is another problem these wafers have you covered there as well. These wafers contain Yucca which is known to control the odor of dog urine and fecal waste. If you feed your dogs these treats every day, you will have all your bases covered when it comes to making your yard a much more livable space.
Dog Rocks (Buy Online) are a convenient way to increase the pH of your dog’s urine by altering the pH of their water. All you will have to do is drop these natural igneous rocks in your dog’s water bowl and they will start to raise the pH of the water.
Dog rocks can be especially helpful if it is hard to switch up your dog’s diet for any reason like if they have a sensitive stomach or they are resistant to change. Altering the pH of their water will be almost completely unnoticeable to them. And it will ensure that the pH of your dog’s urine remains elevated with every drink they take.
Once these rocks have sat in a dogs water bowl for at least ten hours they will start to increase the pH of the water. As long as you keep your dog’s water bowl full they will keep working, just make sure they don’t dry out or they will take some time to start dissolving again. And as an added bonus these rocks will also last up to two months submerged in water before they need to be replaced.
How to Bring Back Dead Grass from Dog Urine
If your lawn is already damaged and you need to repair it there are a number of options available. Your first option is to use a lawn repair formula to recondition the soil in order to bring the grass back to life. If your lawn is very damaged your second option is to reseed the dead spots with a dog urine resistant grass.
Earth’s Balance Dogonit Lawn Rejuvenator is perfect if you just have a few dead spots that need to be addressed. Dogonit lawn repair treatment comes in an easy to use spray bottle so you can use it anywhere on your lawn even in hard to reach spots.
Dogonit lawn rejuvenator will help flush the harmful substances from your dog’s urine out of the soil with just a few sprays. If you already have a dead spot you can bring it back to life by spraying it daily until the grass shoots back up. If you spray it on the area your dog just urinated on you can even prevent dead spots from showing up.
Another great thing about the portability of this product is that you can take it with you on walks. Doing this will make you a good neighbor since you won’t be leaving yellow spots in your wake wherever your dog stops.
If you have a large lawn that is covered in dead spots then See Spot Run Lawn Protection is what you want. Not only will See Spot Run fix damaged grass it will protect your lawn from any future damage.
The first thing See Spot Run does when you spray it on your lawn is flush out the acid in the soil that has built up over time. Doing this will allow the surrounding grass to spread back into the dead spots which will make the lawn look better with just this regrowth alone.
The second and probably more important thing See Spot Run does is prevent any further damage from occurring to your lawn. It does this with a special blend of microorganisms that break down urine in the soil. These microorganisms consume the damaging elements in a dogs urine and break them down into less harmful by-products.
Using this two-step approach of flush and protect this spot gone lawn treatment will turn your grass green in no time flat. And you will have the added benefit of a greener lawn since the microbes actually fertilize the grass as they do their job.
EZ Seed Dog Spot Repair is how to fix dog urine spots on lawns if everything else doesn’t work out. This spot repair comes in a convenient shaker bottle that will fix up to 100 dead spots on your lawn. And the best thing about this grass seed is that it is a Tall Fescue which is one of the most dog urine-resistant grasses you can find.
Each seed is coated with a neutralizing agent to help recondition the soil wherever the seed is dropped. What that means is that as the coating dissolves it will increase the pH of the soil below the seeds so your new grass will actually have a chance to grow.
The coating on these seeds is also very absorbent since it has the ability to hold six times its weight in water. This will help ensure the grass seed actually germinates even if you were busy and couldn’t get around to watering the lawn or if you simply forgot.