How To Stop Dog Urine From Killing Grass & Eliminate Outdoor Odors

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Dog squatting to pee in dead grass (caption: How To Stop Dog Pee From Killing Grass)Is your lawn littered with yellow and brown patches? Or does your backyard smell like a porta-potty? Your yard may be suffering due to your dog’s urine, but it doesn’t have to. We’ve got solutions for the peskiest of problems so you can restore your lawn and enjoy your outdoor living.

Article Overview

Why Does Dog Pee Kill Grass?

Dog urine has high concentrations of nitrogen. Some nitrogen is healthy for your lawn — in fact, many lawn fertilizers contain low concentrations of nitrogen. But too much nitrogen essentially burns the grass.

Female dogs can cause more damage because they typically squat in one spot, while male dogs mark their territory in multiple areas and around trees, bushes and other upright objects.

5 Tips To Prevent Dog Urine From Killing Grass

There are several things you can try to prevent those unsightly brown spots from forming.

1. Use A Leash

Taking your dog out to pee on a leash gives you control. This way, you can keep her from urinating in the same spot every time.

2. Train In A Designated Area

Lulind Dog Fire Hydrant Garden StatueTraining your dog to go in a designated area can take time but can also save your lawn. You might want to consider creating a pile of gravel as the pee spot or choose an area of the lawn that’s not so visible. You could also put a pee post in your yard, like the Lulind Dog Fire Hydrant Garden Statue or the Simple Solution Pee Post that’s infused with pheromones to attract your dog.

3. Encourage Your Dog To Drink More Water

Drinking more water helps to reduce the concentration of nitrogen in urine. It’s also healthier for your dog.

4. Use A Dietary Supplement

PetHonesty Green Grass chewsYou might want to consider feeding your dog a dietary supplement that balances the pH and nitrogen in urine, like PetHonesty Green Grass chews or Zesty Paws Stay Green Bites. These supplements include natural ingredients like cranberry, probiotics and apple cider vinegar to keep your dog’s digestive system healthy and reduce the amount of nitrogen in your dog’s urine.

Caution: Most of these supplements contain DL-Methionine to neutralize the urine. This ingredient can be harmful to dogs with pre-existing liver and kidney disease.

5. Spray Water On The Area

Although not as practical, you can also spray water on the area right after your dog pees. This can help dilute the higher concentration of nitrogen on the grass.

Personal Experience

Michelle S., the co-founder of Canine Journal, was able to control the smell her dog was causing outside. Read about her experience below.

Our dog Barley has the WORST smelling pee of any dog we have ever had! Our yard was starting to smell pretty bad, quickly. The only things I could find online were to water the yard more to dilute and wash it away and to add lava rocks to the dog water. Most other options are not natural and less appealing…plus they don’t get the best reviews.

But we found PetHonesty Green Grass chews which includes probiotics, and it has worked great! We have been using it for four months now and we no longer have a smelly yard plus our grass is staying green and healthy.

How To Fix Grass Where Dog Pees

Now that you’re hopefully on the path to prevention, you’ll want to patch up those old brown spots. Here are some tips to get your lawn lush again.

Paint

LawnStar Dog Spot Repair Grass Paint Are you throwing a lawn party or trying to sell your house and need a quick fix? Simply spray LawnStar’s Dog Spot Repair Grass Paint to mask those blemishes. One bottle covers roughly 50-75 square feet, and it’s safe for kids, pets and plants. It’s not a long-term solution but a great fix when you’re in a bind. Users say the tint color looks natural, and it holds up after rain.

Repair

Scott's EZ Seed Dog Spot RepairIf you only need to repair a few scattered spots, a lawn repair treatment can help. Some treatments, such as Scott’s EZ Seed Dog Spot Repair, contain seed, mulch and a special salt neutralizer that helps repair dog urine damage down to the root zone. Scott’s even has several formula options for different kinds of grass.

Replant

If most of your lawn is suffering or you’re not having much luck keeping your dog from peeing everywhere, you may want to consider replanting with more urine-resistant grass. Fescue and Ryegrass stand up best against urine, while Bermuda and Kentucky Bluegrass are the most sensitive.

How To Get Rid Of Dog Pee Smell Outside

Escolite UV FlashlightIs the odor of dog pee putting a damper on your outdoor fun? The first step to eliminate dog urine smell outdoors is to locate the source(s). If stains aren’t visible, using a blacklight at night can help you spot where the urine is.

Enzymatic Cleansers

Enzymatic cleaning products, like the highly-rated Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator, work by using natural microorganisms (“good” bacteria) to break down the bacteria in urine that causes odors and stains. Simple Green is non-toxic and is safe for use on grass, artificial turf, gravel, concrete, brick and many other surfaces. It’s also helpful in removing poop odors outdoors.

Check out this video to see how you can easily rid your yard of pet odors using Simple Green.

Home Remedies

If you prefer, you can try a homemade yard odor eliminator.

  • For grass, sprinkle garden lime on the area. This helps both to eliminate the odor and neutralize the urine to help restore your grass.
  • For grass, use an oscillating sprinkler daily on the affected areas. The water will slowly dilute the urine, so it seeps into the soil.
  • For non-grassy surfaces, sprinkle baking soda on the area. Let it sit for an hour, so it absorbs the urine smell. For cement areas, use a scrubbing brush to scrub the area before letting it sit. Rinse with fresh water.
  • If the urine has dried on a porous surface, like cement, mix bleach with water and pour it over the surface. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before hosing off the area.

Removing Indoor Pet Odor & Stains

If your problem isn’t limited to the outdoors, be sure to read our article on how to get dog pee smell out of carpet. This article gives you many handy tips on removing wet and dried urine stains, as well as several effective products that you can use to rid your carpet and floors from odors and stains.

Do you have any tips on tackling dog urine problems outdoors? 

About The Author:

Sally holds a BA in English from James Madison University and began her 25-year writing career as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She’s been a pet parent since college years (and spent her whole childhood with pets). Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Now as a parent of two teenagers, she’s made sure to raise her daughters to learn how to love and care for pets (and other animals) in the most responsible and loving ways. As a result, she and her daughters now have 5 rescued dogs and cats who essentially rule their home! Sally has also volunteered over the years to help raise funds for various animal nonprofit organizations.

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