House training your dog is not always an easy task. Unfortunately, once you have gotten your dog trained to urinate only outside – dogs do what they must, where they must ( a pristine beautiful green lawn is a human invention and one that is far beyond the grasp of the canine brain). The brown spots caused by urine are simply the result of too much of a good thing–specifically, an over concentration of nitrogen, which burns grass.
The soil beneath a highly fertilized lawn already contains large concentrations of nitrogen–and a little more, courtesy of your dog doing his duty, is enough to push the grass over the edge causing those unattractive brown spots. Female dog urine is not more potent than that of males. It causes more trouble simply because females tend to squat and urinate all at once in one spot, so those spots become more concentrated. An ounce of prevention goes a long way ! By turning on the hose and flooding the spot with water if the deed has just been done, even within a few days, should head off any damage, and before long the grass will grow back as good as new.
In lawns where the damage has been in place for a while, it becomes necessary to dig out the damaged turf and flush the soil with plenty of water to dilute the excess nitrogen. You can then start from new by reseeding or replacing the spot with new sod. My husband has done this a few times, once, when we had 1/3 of the total lawn in various spots eaten by grubs and again when our son put down weed killer by accident when he failed to read the bag thinking it was fertilizer!
The best thing you can do for your lawn is to water the areas the dog uses most frequently (especially during the hot dry times of summer). The water will dilute the urea, which contains high levels of nitrogen. Grass needs nitrogen, but the urine also contains salts that burn the grass. Excess nitrogen can cause high, overly green areas, that don’t match the rest of the lawn. Urine damage has nothing to do with acid, so canine dietary supplements that alter the urine’s pH have no effect on the “burn” spots. Encourage your dog to drink more water – this will dilute the urine naturally.
Another beneficial thing for your lawn is to apply lime on the lawn which will balance the pH in the soil. Lime sweetens soil; it brings it back to a basic level, that most plants thrive in. The amount of lime will depend upon the area being treated. Follow the directions on the bag.
Once you have repaired the brown spots, you can prevent the sod loss again by taking your dog for a walk at least three times a day. This will keep your dog from using the same spots in your lawn over and over as dogs, being clean animals, have a tendency to eliminate in the same areas.
My Final Thoughts
A wonderful idea is to set up a potty-spot in the back of the yard, on a thick bed of compost — which has high levels of beneficial bacteria which will also prevent odors as well. By giving him his own “area” to use as his personal potty space and ushering him to it on leash will have him develop a good habit over time. You can and should reinforce this potty area with a potty “word” ( we tell our pup to” go potty”) and lots of praise, and, if you have dog motivated by food, with a treat as soon as he eliminates there. And, in no time you will have a dog trained to eliminate on command in a specific spot of your choosing – and no more dead spots scattered throughout your yard !
I would love to hear your comments, feedback stories and ideas.
Scoops is a pooper scooper, dog waste clean up and pet waste clean up service located in central New Jersey – Check us out at www.ScoopaPoop.com/contact-us