Does Dog Pee Kill Grass?

Do you have a small lawn and your dog peeing on it is causing damage and killing the grass?

Yes?

Okay, you’re in the right place.

Today you’ll learn how to prevent your dog’s pee from killing your grass.
And you’ll even see how to stop those brown and yellow spots.

Quick-Guide: How To Prevent Dog Pee Killing Your Grass

  • Use the most urine resistant grass: tall fescue or perennial ryegrass.
  • Avoid using bermuda grass.
  • To stop the urine spots on your lawn you’ll want to water the lawn right where your dog peed. And you should do this right away and especially after their morning pee (as that is the most concentrated pee). The goal here is to dilute the urine as much as possible so it doesn’t harm the grass and soil.
  • You can use a hose or water jug. Dump the water on it – don’t be shy. A half gallon (2’ish litres) should be good.
  • During the day when your dog pees simply follow them outside and dump water where they peed.
  • Another great option is to train your dog only to pee in one corner of the yard and have that corner something other than grass.

Watch this video for further tips:

Why Does Dog Pee Kill Grass?

It’s a common question asked by dog owners: does dog pee kill grass? The answer is, unfortunately, yes.

Dog urine contains high levels of nitrogen, which can be harmful to grass. When too much nitrogen is present in the soil, it can cause the grass to be yellow and die.

How To Identify Urine Damage

Grass lawn damage from peeIf you see that your lawn has started to yellow and die in spots, it may be due to dog urine.

You can see in the image the yellow spots amongst the nice green grass.

The smaller the lawn and bigger the dog the more likely to have these burn spots.

Water the lawn where your dog peed each time and you will minimize these spots.

Consequences Of Excess Nitrogen Compounds In Surrounding Soil

Too much nitrogen in the soil can turn the grass yellow or brown. It can also lead to other problems such as root damage and leaching.

How To Prevent These Spots

  1. Make sure your dog is well-hydrated so that his urine is less concentrated.
  2. You can also try to train your dog to urinate in a specific area of your yard that’s not as visible or important to you.
  3. There are some grasses that are more tolerant of dog urine than others. Tall fescue and ryegrass are best.
  4. Water the lawn where your dog peed after each pee to dilute it as much as possible.

Does Diet Matter?

Yes, a dog’s diet can affect the amount of nitrogen in their urine. Often, there is not a simple answer here because changing the diet to fix one issue will cause other issues.  Talk to your veterinarian about which type of food would be best for your situation.

Does Gender Affect Damage?

Yes. But it is because male dogs often will pee on trees or fence posts and not directly on the grass. Female dogs will usually squat down to pee directly on the grass.

How Often Should I Water My Lawn If I Have A Dog?

If you have a dog, it’s important to water your lawn regularly to help prevent damage from dog urine. It is best to spot water where your dog peed to save on water and maximize lawn protection. .

Does Water Intake Affect Pee Damage?

Yes, one of the things you can do to help prevent dog urine damage is to make sure your dog is well-hydrated. When a dog is well-hydrated, his urine is less concentrated and thus less likely to harm the grass. You can encourage your dog to drink more water by always having fresh water available and by taking your dog to pee as regular walks or runs. You can also use a pee post for him.

Common Questions

Q: Will dog pee kill my grass if I have a lot of dogs?

A: Yes, too much nitrogen in the soil can cause the grass to be yellow and die.

Q: Is there anything I can do to stop my dog from peeing on my grass?

A: You can try to train your dog to urinate in a specific area of your yard that’s not as visible or important to you. You can also try to make sure he is well-hydrated so that his urine is less concentrated.

Q: What type of grass is most tolerant of dog urine?

A: Tall fescue and ryegrass are the most tolerant. Talk to a professional lawn care company about which type of grass would be best for your situation.

Further Reading

  1. While we’re on the topic of dogs – have a read of our other dog and grass guides: why dogs eat grass and why dogs roll in grass.
  2. Since you obviously care about having a healthy lawn – be sure you have the best lawnmower available to keep it trim and attractive.
  3. Whether you’re looking for more information about lawn care or lawn mowing we mad a hub of all our answers to common lawn questions.

About your guide: Jamey Krames is a NALP certified Lawn Care Manager and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about power equipment for 12 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, Wirecutter, HowStuffWorks, iFixit, MSN, Realtor.com, and more. He owns 194 acres in the country (and mows 50 acres of it) but lives on 1/4 acres in the suburbs. He currently owns and uses 6 different lawn mowers and has hands-on tested nearly 30.