Why does dog urine kill the grass? The simple answer is nitrates. Urine is naturally rich in nitrogen, and high concentrations of nitrogen can cause burns to the grass. Salts and other compounds found in dog urine can also contribute to this damage.
There are several factors that favor this lawn disease. Usually, female dogs urinating on the lawn is more damaging to the grass, because they empty their bladders in one place. Male dogs raise their leg, so the urine dissipates on a larger area.
Big dogs store more urine and thus the amount of nitrogen released in the grass is also higher. Also prone to cause this lawn disease are young, active dogs, fed with a protein-rich diet.
Heavily fertilized lawns already have the amount of nitrogen they need, so the extra amount coming from the dog’s urine is already too much. Also, lawns that are stressed are much more susceptible to degradation, as are newly planted lawns or those that suffer from drought or disease. Asking how to bring back dead grass from dog urine is the first step to a greener healthier lawn.
5 effective ways to prevent dog urine stains on your lawn:
- Fertilize the lawn less in areas where the dog urinates
- Water the areas deeply, to dilute the nitrogen concentration
- Encourage your dog to drink more water
- Replant the affected areas with a urine-resistant grass (perennial ryegrass and fescue)
- Feed your dog a food supplement that fixes and neutralizes nitrogen in the urine