How to stop dog urine killing grass

Billy Connolly plays harmonica for his dogs

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With summer rapidly approaching, many are getting their gardens in tip-top condition ready for the warmer months. But dog owners may be disappointed to find their lovely green grass has been replaced with patches of yellow, where their beloved pets have decided to pee. But worry not, there are ways you can keep your grass happy, while still letting your pets out in the garden to do what they have to do!

Why does dog urine kill grass?

The reason dog urine can damage grass is due to chemistry.

Specifically, dog urine contains nitrogen as a result of the breakdown of proteins.

Often nitrogen contributes to healthy grass, with nitrogen often featuring as an ingredient in lawn treatment products.

However, a high concentration of nitrogen can have the opposite effect on grass.

This is why when dogs pee in the garden, the nitrogen in their pee can ‘burn’ the grass.

It’s these chemicals in dog urine which can make luscious green grass turn yellow and patchy.

Other animals may also burn grass with their urine, such as cats and wild animals.

How do you stop dog urine from killing grass?

Dogs need to be let out to pee, so inevitably dog urine will have some effect on grass.

However, there are ways people can minimise the impact of dog urine on their gardens.

The veterinary charity PDSA advises of a number of ways people can stop dog urine from burning grass on their website.

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One method is to water down the affected areas after your pet has peed, using a watering can or a hose.

This helps to dilute the urine and lessen the effects of it on the grass.

‘Pee posts’ are also available, which when stuck in the ground may encourage male dogs to pee against them rather than all over the grass.

You may also be able to train your dog to pee in one area, so the damage is confined to a small and unnoticeable part of the garden.

The PDSA explains: “You could use positive, reward-based training to teach your dog to pee in one specific spot.

“This means rewarding them when they go where you want them to, but ignoring it if they go anywhere else (you’ll probably want to water down these accidents!).

“Never punish your dog for peeing in the ‘wrong’ place as this could put them off peeing outside altogether!”

For patches of grass which are already burned, there are plenty of lawn solutions available which when applied to grass can help it to thrive again, just make sure it’s pet-friendly.

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