Have you been staring at your lawn wondering where all the unsightly yellow spots are coming from? Well, we have it to break it to you, but you may have a bad case of ‘doggy business’. It may surprise you to know that dog pee can kill plants and grass, ruining your impeccable lawn in the process.
So, the answer to the question is a resounding yes, dog urea stains grass just like many chemicals found in kennel cleaners.
And, we have a feeling you’re not going to like the answer to the question – “can plants die from dog pee?”. But, before you start picturing pouring cement on your green turf, we have good news for you. We’re here to answer all your queries about the killer qualities of dog pee, and some great tips to help you overcome the problem. So, let’s get the show on the road.
Does Dog Pee Kill Plants and Grass?
We know we’ve already told you that dog urine is the culprit behind brown/yellow spots and certain dead plants. But, now let’s talk about the mechanics of it. Why is that important, you ask? You need to understand what chemicals in your furry pet’s urine are causing damage so that you can tackle the issue accordingly.
First off, understand that your paw-some friend doesn’t know that its pee is wreaking havoc all over your backyard. It’s not like your pooch is deliberately trying to sabotage your rose bushes. Nonetheless, the main green killing component in your dog’s pee is urea. Simply put, urea is a compound that forms after the ingestion of proteins. So, humans have urea in their urine as well. The problem is that dogs need a protein-rich diet to stay fit, and the more protein they consume, the more lethal their pee becomes to plants.
Did you know that urea also contains nitrogen – which is used as fertilizer? But, like they say too much of a good thing can be bad. Similarly, too much nitrogen can end up harming your grass. This means, apart from the urea, the volume of your canine’s urine is also a factor when it comes to dead plants and grass. Of course, large dogs tend to urinate more, but female dogs are known to pee all in one place.
Another issue is that canine urine salts can end up affecting the pH of the plant’s soil and making it too alkaline. This goes on to damage the plant’s roots and can contribute to its destruction. To recap, the top three problems causing components in dog pee are – urea, excessive nitrogen, and alkali.
How to Stop Your Dog From Peeing on Plants?
Now that we’ve understood why dog pee can kill plants and grass, let’s talk about how you can neutralize dog urine in the yard. If you allow your pet to run around freely in your garden, as you should, you can’t control where it pees. But, we’ve brought you some excellent alternative ideas that you can employ without curtailing your pooch’s freedom. Here’s what they are:
Make a ‘Pee’ Area
One great way to neutralize dog urine grass spots is by designating a no-go zone. For instance, if your dog takes care of business in one area of the yard, then your garden will be safe from your pet’s pee-related chemicals.
You can easily designate a pee-area by covering a certain area of your yard in sand, soil, and gravel. You can also place urine resistant grass and plants near the area so that the near-misses don’t do damage either. Shrubs and herbs like carpet bugle, peppermint, rosemary, etc. are all included in the list of dog resistant plants.
However, make sure that the plants that you decide to use near the pee-zone are safe for dogs. Some plants like daffodils, aloe vera, and asparagus fern are known to be poisonous to dogs. Finally don’t use nitrogen-rich fertilizer near the designated pee-zone to avoid an excess of nitrogen build-up. The easiest way, obviously, is to just buy an indoor dog potty. Here are our favorites.
Another great way to save your greenery from your dog’s pee is by fencing off your garden. Consider this solution a one-up on the designated pee-zone idea. When a dog has to go, it has to go. And that’s why fencing your lawn will give your green turf the protection it requires from your doggy when it doesn’t behave. Fencing is also a great way to save your garden from additional fixes – such as grass treatment for dog urine or urine neutralizing salts called gypsum. As an added bonus you can consider purchasing a dog fence window to allow your dog to see other areas of the garden without tarnishing your greenery.
Feed a Good Diet
Some doggy experts think that changing a canine’s diet can help decrease the amount of urea in their urine. It is possible, your pooch may be unable to digest the type of protein its currently eating. It’s worth trying to switch your canine’s protein from chicken to beef, or beef to fish.
Some people also recommend supplements that bind nitrogen or assist your doggo with digestion. However, before you think about giving your pets any supplements, don’t forget to consult with your vet first. A vet will be able to guide you properly about whether or not such a supplement is required. You can also consult your vet about dog rocks for urine.
Dog Pee Killing Plants and Grass – FAQ
Hold up a minute, folks. We’re not finished yet. Don’t forget to go through our scintillating FAQ section to get more info on how to treat dog urine spots on grass.
There are several ways you can neutralize dog pee on grass. One of the easier methods is urine dilution. After your dog has done its business on grass or plants, simply douse the area with water from your garden house. Diluting the area with water helps prevent damage to the plant by adulterating the amount of urea. Another method of neutralizing dog urine is by dousing the scalded area with a mixture of white vinegar (1/2 cup), water (1 cup), and baking soda (2 Tbsp).
If the cause of grass scald is the pH factor of your dog’s pee, then sprinkling dolomite lime may help. Dolomitic lime comes from calcium and magnesium carbonate. But, you should be aware that lime will help only when dog pee has made the pH of your soil more acidic. If your soil is very high in alkali, then sprinkling lime on grass spots will not help much.
Generally, the major cause of the grass-root burn is an excess of urea (nitrogen) in your dog’s urine. And it is possible to revert the damage. If you’re trying to grow new grass in a scalded spot, then first off, you need to make sure the pH level of the soil has returned to normal. Once, you’re aware of the pH level, you’ll be in a better position to decide how to treat the soil.
There are treatments available in the market for soil that’s too acidic or alkaline. And, you can pick the appropriate treatment based on your needs. Once the soil’s pH level is appropriate, you can start applying the seeding mixture.
Does dog pee kill grass? Absolutely. Dog pee contains high levels of nitrogen which can damage grassroots. Many people recommend baking soda as a natural, chemical-free way to repair your lawn’s yellow spot. When baking soda is mixed with water, it forms an alkaline solution and can help balance the soil’s acidic pH levels.
You can dissolve a cup of baking soda in approximately a gallon of water to neutralize dog pee on grass. Another benefit of neutralizing dog pee with baking soda is that it acts as a deodorizer, which reduces the chances of your dog peeing again in the same spot.
Believe it or not, there are certain herbs and shrubs that are naturally dog-urine resistant. And, what’s even better is that such plants are quite easily available. A few such shrubs and plants include Basil, Oregano, Kinnikinnick, Wintercreeper, etc.
Dog urine can absolutely damage certain plants you have outside. Consider implementing some of our suggested solutions in order to save your garden.