How to stop your dog’s urine ruining your grass lawn

Are you a frustrated gardener faced with constant brown patches on your lawn thanks to your four legged friend? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

There are 3 reasons your dog’s urine damages your lawn:

  • The Ph level or your pet’s urine
  • The concentration of the urine
  • The nitrogen load of the urine

Things you can do to prevent damage to your lawn include:

  • Feed your a dog a moisture rich meat based diet – meat is acidic which is perfect for carnivores. A healthy dog’s urine will actually act as a fertiliser for your lawn.
  • Avoid cereal based/dry food diets as they cause urine to become alkaline and consequently burn the grass. Alkalized diets can also lead to illnesses such as urinary tract infections, cystitis or even stones requiring surgery.
  • Don’t over fertilise your lawn – lawns receiving heavy fertilisers are already receiving the near maximum levels of nitrogen. Your dogs urine could easily tip the balance causing damage. Note a high-meat raw diet does commonly increase nitrogen levels in the urine (compared to a kibble diet) since its a byproduct of protein breakdown – hence it acts as a fertiliser but could over-fertilize your lawn
  • Check the Ph of your dogs urine to make sure it is in the correct range. The correct range is 6 – 6.5, which they will achieve on a raw diet. You can get your dog checked by your vet, or get your own Ph strips from your vet or pet store and collect your own sample.
  • Train your dog to urinate in a designated area of the garden. There are some products out there called pee posts containing pheremones to help guide dogs. You can plant some urine resistant ground covering in these spots like clover.
  • Dilute the urine by pouring water on the spot.
  • Sprinkle lime or gypsum on the spot to neutralise the area and encourage regrowth.
  • Encourage your dog to drink more

MYTH – Just female dogs kill the grass with their urine.

The truth is there is no difference in the urine Ph levels between sexes – what we believe is that because females squat, the concentration is much greater whereas males tend to spread it around from spot to spot.

Dr Bruce Syme BVSc (Hons), Founder of Vets All Natural.

Dr Bruce Syme is a practicing vet and expert in natural pet nutrition, has spoken at the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, and provides regular comment on TV and Radio.

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this article are based upon the opinions of Dr. Bruce Syme, unless otherwise noted. The information is not intended as medical advice, it simply shares the knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Bruce and his community. Pet health care decisions should be based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified pet health care professional.
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