Here’s the scoop on doggy urine and lawn damage

2 dogs running on lawnWe pick up poo to help keep yards clean and lawns looking lush.

What can you do about the other type of doggy deposits and the #1 reason your yard could have yellow spots?

Here are some tips.

Easy, short-term fix
Water it down. Hose off the grass to dilute the nitrogen in urine that kills grass.  If there’s no hose in the immediate area, keep a spray bottle filled with water handy. This requires you to be outside whenever your dog is, so it’s not the most convenient solution.

Cheapest and probably best long-term solutionPotty spot
Spot training—This is like house training only now you’re training your dog to pee in just one area outside. This takes a little time and commitment, but it does work. Here’s what the ASPCA suggests.

  • Prepare an area of the yard. It could be a spot with no grass or a spot with the most burned grass. You could top it with pea gravel or mulch (not cocoa mulch, make sure your mulch is pet friendly ) to help designate it as the spot for bathroom breaks. Place a visual cue in the area like a large rock, garden post, bird bath, etc.
  • Go outside with your dog during the training period. Show your dog the designated area. Use a command as a cue to pee. Choose something that’s short and just for this purpose: Go here. Hurry now. Pee.
  • Stop him from peeing where you don’t want. Praise him when he goes where you do want and give a small treat. You can reward your dog in other ways, too: play in the area or let him sniff and explore the immediate vicinity if he likes that better.
  • After a couple weeks, use a long training lead to help your dog learn to go in the right spot on her own. Go outside and let your dog take the lead—don’t guide her if she heads for the right spot. If she veers off course, lead your dog to the designated spot and give the command.
  • Final step—teach your dog to go to the designated spot when you’re not with him. Watch from the door when your dog goes out. If he goes in the right spot, praise him and give a treat. If he heads somewhere else to pee, go out, get his attention and lead him to the correct spot. With some repetition, your pooch will perfect this behavior.
From the Puppy Rescue in Harrisburg

From the Puppy Rescue in Harrisburg

Other ideas
Dilute the amount of nitrogen in urine.
Get your dog to drink more water or other healthy liquids. I’ve read articles that say to mix tomato juice in with dry food or add some to the water bowl.

Tomato juice is supposed to help reduce the level of nitrogen in the urine or the salt in the juice makes dogs thirstier, which makes them drink more and dilutes their urine. Check with your vet before trying the tomato juice idea.

Consider dietary changes.
If burn spots are a big issue in your yard, ask your vet about changing your dog’s diet. Some dog food is higher in protein and lower in carbs, which apparently makes it more digestible and results in less nitrogen in urine.

Don’t give your dog any supplement that claims to be a solution for lawn burn without first consulting your vet. Some of these products may not be as healthy as described.

Is the grass always greener in your neighbor’s yard? They probably have a cat.

9 Responses to Here’s the scoop on doggy urine and lawn damage

  1. Avatar
    Arlene November 12, 2015 at 06:32 #

    This would be a disaster for dogs that like to eat rocks, and many do!

    • Grady Moorer
      Grady Moorer November 16, 2015 at 15:47 #

      The rocky pee area is one option, usually with some training a dog can stop eating rocks. May want to talk you your Vet for information, maybe blood tests to assure the pup isn’t missing something in it’s diet.
      It could be they just like the feel od rocks in their mouth.
      Good luck with that

  2. Avatar
    Shellie June 5, 2016 at 20:38 #

    wonderful Idea…does one still need to scoop the poop or will it disappear into the gravel?

    • Grady Moorer
      Grady Moorer June 9, 2016 at 19:22 #

      It’s always best to scoop the poop. There are many bacteria as well as the Parvo virus in dog poop. It isn’t fertilizer.

  3. Avatar
    Connie March 20, 2018 at 18:36 #

    I have unusual situation my little dogs have to be confine to concrete pad because me being in a rental house. I made cabana same size as concrete pad used old.pice carpet but it needs to go to dump could I do this.on concrete?

    • About Grady Moorer, your hometown Scooper
      About Grady Moorer, your hometown Scooper March 21, 2018 at 08:47 #

      Connie, Thanks for the comment. A water wash down should help, having the carpet gone will also help. Be sure to protect your neighbors from the run off. As mentioned in the blog the best thing is to wash down right away so the urine doesn’t sink in the concrete.
      There are some products on the market that help with odor, read the box before you buy, and check for reviews on line. Not all products are equal
      Good luck,

  4. Avatar
    Lawrence January 1, 2019 at 04:41 #

    Great post.

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