One of the first concerns of many pet parents is to find a home with a yard for their dog. Once they have it, they quickly learn how hard dogs can be on fences, landscaping, plants, and lawns. Training can minimize this damage, but one thing seems unavoidable – ugly yellow, brown, or dark spots all over your lawn caused by dog urine.

Dogs must eat a diet rich in protein. A byproduct of metabolizing that protein is urea nitrogen. When the dog urinates on your lawn, it’s ‘burned’ by an overdose of nitrogen and soluble salts.

“Symptoms of dog urine damage include an area of necrotic tissue surrounded by a margin of a very healthy, dark green grass,” says Cornell University’s Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic. “Often damage is most noticeable after snow cover is removed from an area that has been used regularly by dogs.”

Reducing Lawn Damage Caused by Dog Urine

There are ways to reduce the damage caused by your dog’s bathroom habits. Give them a try and let us know how they work!

1. Begin with a healthy, hydrated lawn and it will recover more easily from exposure to dog urine. Keeping the grass longer (2-3 inches) also offers some protection. If dark spots are an issue (see below), try using a timed-release nitrogen fertilizer during active growth.

Brown grass spot with dark green ring around it from nitrogen in dog urine.

If you look closely, you’ll see a dark green border around the damaged brown spot above. This is also caused by nitrogen in your dog’s urine.

2. Keeping your dog hydrated is an important key to overall health, but it will also dilute urine to lessen the damage it causes. Encourage your dog to drink more, but we don’t recommend products that are promoted to increase water consumption using salts or other ingredients.

3. If your dog is supervised in your yard, you can use either a hose or watering can to rinse spots after your dog urinates.

4. Establish a bathroom spot and train your dog to urinate only there. Try using ground cover that’s resistant to urine damage, artificial turf, gravel, or mulch that allows drainage and reduces odors. Consider surrounding the area with shrubs and fragrant flowers.

Sweet Peas climb a trellis around a dog potty area.

A quick solution is to install trellises and plant fragrant climbers like Sweet Peas around the bathroom area.

5. If you don’t have room for a designated area, you can at least train your dog to pee in one designated spot to save the rest of your lawn.

Natural Supplements to Reduce Lawn Damage

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Natural supplements are available that may help regulate your dog’s nitrogen levels through a healthy urinary tract, improved digestion, metabolism, and assimilation (without attempting to change pH).

Natural supplements given to dogs to help reduce lawn damage from their urine may include:

  • dl-Methionine is an essential amino acid that regulates nitrogen levels in the body.
  • Yucca may help reduce the blood’s urea and ammonia levels which, in turn, reduces their concentration in the urine.
  • Cranberry extract supports a healthy urinary tract.
  • B Complex Vitamins like B1 (thimaine mononitrate), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), and B12 (methylcobalamin) support protein and fat digestion, nitrogen metabolism, and nutrient assimilation.
  • Probiotics provide beneficial bacteria to ensure proper digestion.
  • Digestive Enzymes improve the efficiency of the digestive system, which reduces the waste products.

Some brands combine several of the above natural ingredients into one convenient supplement. For example:

Only Natural Pet Lawn Protect Dog Urine Burn Supplement bacon flavored soft chews

Pet Naturals Lawn Aid soft chews for dogs

Note of Caution: Consult with your veterinarian before adding supplements to your pet’s diet.

Have you successfully saved your lawn from the damage done by dog urine? Please share your experience or questions in the comments below.

Related Reading

5 Science-Backed Natural Supplements for Vitality in Dogs

Vet Recommends These Foods for Dogs with a Sensitive Tummy

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