If you have a dog and have noticed brown patches of dead grass in your yard, you may be wondering why it happens and what to do. Dog urine can kill grass and make your lawn have as many spots as a leopard. Here's why dog urine kills grass and what you can do to have a healthy lawn without changing your dog's diet.
Dog Urine Contains Nitrogen
Many people believe that dog urine is acidic and that is why they believe the urine kills grass. However, this is not true. What actually kills the grass is nitrogen. Now, you may be wondering how nitrogen can kill grass when nitrogen is used as a fertilizer. This is an example of when too much of a good thing is not good. High concentrated amounts of nitrogen kills grass even though nitrogen is used as fertilizer.
Nitrogen is in dog urine as the result of proteins from their diet being broken down. Most dog diets are high in protein due to their foods being derived for a carnivore diet. However, this does not mean you should consider replacing your dog's diet with one that is vegetable-based.
Dilute Nitrogen by Giving Your Dog More Water
Nitrogen in your dog's urine can be diluted by giving your dog more water. However, just as horses, you can lead a dog to water, but you cannot make them drink it. Try to increase your dog's need for water by making your dog exercise. Exercising your dog will increase their need to quench their thirst, which will lead them directly to the water bowl. Make sure to keep their water bowl filled with fresh water at all times.
Dilute Urine by Installing a Sprinkler System
Another way to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the urine is by watering down the peed-on areas in your yard. While you could follow your dog around with a watering can to make sure no spots are missed, this may be challenging, particularly in the wee morning hours when your dog first goes outside to relieve themselves.
Instead, install a lawn sprinkler system and set it to sprinkle the lawn for you. If you let your dog out in the yard at regular times, incorporate a timer to turn the sprinkler system on soon after each regular potty time. Alternatively, turn the sprinkler on each time your dog returns indoors so the urine in the lawn will be diluted.
Contact a landscaping company, like Boehm Landscape Inc, for more help.