How to Prevent Grass Burn From Dog Urine

by Jamie Tedder on Jan 25, 2024


Getting your dog to pee outside successfully brings a sense of pride. It also means fewer accidents in the house. However, as your dog establishes a preference on where to do their business, you start to realize an unwelcome consequence.

Whether you have male or female dogs, their pee can potentially damage your grass, resulting in unsightly dead grass or yellow patches on your lawn. While it may seem like an inevitable part of pet ownership, the truth is that you can proactively take measures to prevent dog urine damage. These may include introducing a dog grass pee pad to keep them from relieving themselves directly on your lawn.

How Dog Pee Kills Grass

The appearance of dead grass on your lawn, where your dog often pees, is attributed to the high nitrogen levels from urea in your dog's urine, which results from digesting proteins. The effects of dog urine on your lawn are similar to that of nitrogen fertilizers. While a small amount of nitrogen fertilizes the soil and contributes to lush, green growth, excessive concentrations in a small area repeatedly can lead to grass burning.


What Does Dog Pee Damage Look Like?

Aside from dog urine, many things can cause yellow or brown spots on your lawn, including fungal diseases and pests, to name a few. But dog urine damage can be distinguished by a ring of dark green grass around the edges.

The nitrogen and salts in the dog's urine can burn the grass they come in contact with. The surrounding grass may have lower urine concentrations and can be fertilized, resulting in lush, green growth. Interestingly, in some cases, a patch of grass affected by dog urine may appear greener than the rest of the lawn, signaling that your soil may need more nitrogen and the dog's urine is inadvertently acting as a fertilizer.

5 Tips to Prevent Dog Urine Spots on Your Lawn

Rinse your lawn. Dog urine kills grass—only when you let it. One way to keep your lawn green is to hose down the affected grass every time your dog pees to dilute the urine. You'll want to use about twice as much water as there is pee to flush the nitrogen and salts from the soil.

Fertilize your lawn less. Well-fertilized lawns may already have enough nitrogen, and even small amounts of nitrogen in dog urine can exceed their tolerance, potentially leading to grass burn. Consider fertilizing less in areas your dog frequently visits for relief.

READ: What Happens If You Apply Too Much Fertilizer for Grass?

Increase water intake. Your dog's water intake affects the nitrogen concentration in their urine. Naturally, the more water they drink, the more diluted the nitrogen in their urine will be. Encourage your dog to drink more by placing a few extra water bowls around your home or adding more water to their wet food.

Adjust your dog's food. The diet also influences the nitrogen content in a dog's pee. Processed proteins, common in commercial dog food, produce more urea and, consequently, higher nitrogen levels in the urine, posing a higher risk of lawn damage. Consult your vet to help you make informed decisions about adjusting your dog's diet or introducing dietary supplements to prevent potential lawn damage.

Designate a pee spot on your lawn. Training your dog to pee in a designated spot is a more practical solution than trying to follow them with a hose every time. Choose an inconspicuous area, like the back corner of your lawn or someplace covered with gravel or mulch, to encourage consistent and controlled bathroom habits for your dog.


Train Your Dog to Pee on a Grass Pad & Prevent Dead Patches

Alternatively, you can train your dog to stay completely off the lawn during bathroom breaks and encourage them to pee on a real grass pee pad instead. The benefits of designating an area where your dog can relieve themselves are two-pronged: it reinforces positive potty training habits while saving whatever is left of your yard.

Instead of artificial grass, Gotta Go Grass uses natural grass, facilitating a seamless transition to pee pads. Our grass packs are paired with a durable plastic tray to hold the grass refill in place and effectively contain moisture, preventing seepage into the surrounding areas.

The beauty of using grass pee pads for dogs also lies in their versatility, as they are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. You can place them on top of your grass to recreate the familiar experience your dog associates with bathroom breaks. Transitioning to this method may take patience, particularly if your dog is accustomed to having free rein in your yard. But, the payoff is a lush and undamaged lawn—a worthwhile result for you and your canine companion.



Preventing grass burns from pet urine takes a proactive approach for dog owners seeking to maintain a healthy green lawn. By understanding how dog urine damages your lawn, you can protect your green cover and minimize the occurrence of unsightly yellow spots and brown patches.

Raising your dog and looking after their health goes hand in hand with preserving your lawn's health, ensuring a pet-friendly space and a lush, green environment.

Take the first step in protecting your lawn from urine damage by exploring a variety of indoor and outdoor grass pads for dogs at the Gotta Go Grass website.

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