If you are a proud dog owner, you might not be quite as proud of your patchwork lawn due to your pups’ toilet time antics! But you can turn your polka-dot lawn back into a sea of lush green grass again!
What causes dog urine patches?
Regardless of whether your dog is male or female – all dog urine contains a chemical called nitrogen that can burn your lawn. Coincidentally, nitrogen is often found in lawn food products/lawn fertilisers to help make your grass extremely green. However, nitrogen will also burn your grass if you don't water it in thoroughly!
If you are thinking, ‘Hold on, I haven’t watered those dog pee patches to make them green!’ then you are probably right – our very common UK downpours have probably taken care of that for you. So, if your dog uses your lawn as their bathroom, there is a very good chance you have some very green patches of grass or dead and yellow ones.
Female dog pee myth
Burnt patches on your lawn are more common with female dogs as opposed to male dogs. This is because female dogs squat to pee, therefore concentrating the nitrogen in one area, whereas males spray their pee in multiple areas around the garden. But in reality, it doesn't really matter if your dog is female or male since either using your lawn as a toilet will cause the grass to burn!
My dog pee patches are very green
You are in luck if your dog's pee patches are very green! Either you have been watering these areas well, or your lawn has received plenty of recent rainfall. Although you have avoided the dreaded burn patches, your super green and thick patches may still look slightly out of place and pale in comparison (pun intended!) to the rest of your lawn.
To get your lawn one uniform colour, your quickest fix will be to apply a nitrogen-rich lawn food such as our Oh So Green. This lawn food works fast to get the rest of your lawn back up to speed with your dog pee patches, so it becomes all one colour again. Another way to thicken up your lawn is to overseed. Our Tough Stuff Lush Lawn seed is hardwearing and fast-growing, so it will transform your lawn in no time!
My dog pee patches are dead and yellow
If there has been no recent rainfall or you forgot to water where your dog has gone potty, your grass may suffer from yellow dead patches. These can look unsightly in your garden, and you may wonder if there is a way to revive them. Unfortunately, if they get to this stage, you must repair these patches from scratch.
Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: Remove the affected grass by digging it out
- Step 2: Use topsoil to fill areas where grass has been removed. Do not use compost in this area
- Step 3: Sprinkle our Tough Stuff Lush Lawn on top
- Step 4: Keep the repaired patch moist for six weeks after sowing by watering every day; if rainfall occurs, you can skip this
How to prevent burnt grass patches
You can avoid burnt grass patches by firstly watering your lawn after your dog uses it. This will help lessen nitrogen's effect and keep your grass from burning. The best way to do this is by using a garden hose or a watering can – it is unlikely that a sprinkler will water these patches enough to reduce the chance of burning. You can also cordon off an area for your dog to use regularly. You may find that certain products like dog rocks are suggested for reducing dog urine burn patches, but we recommend consulting your vet first before taking any action.
Dog resistant grass
At icanlawn.com, we believe honesty is the best policy – so we won’t tell you that dog-resistant grass exists! Your best course of action for avoiding burnt pee patches on your lawn is to water them right away. Of course, this takes a little extra effort, but your lawn will thank you for it in the long run – and it also saves you from having to do any patch repairs!
For further reading, we have a guide on how to dog-proof your lawn.