Dog urine

terryb - 5November 20, 2000

I have a new lawn and a new dog. They are not getting along! Every place she pees the grass is dying. Any solutions? Thanks!

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Diane - 5

Terry: Yes, unfortunately, it's the female of the species that has acid for pee. You'll get many suggestions especially dealing with diet. I believe, however, that you can only deal with the problem by dealing with the problem.
No kidding, I have two lhasas, brother & sister. She goes where she does and he follows (always) and does on top of hers. I have no brown spots. I swear. Now, I'm not suggesting that you go out and get yourself a male. That's just the facts ma'am.
What I have found though is if you treat the area where they go most with an extra portion of lime in the spring and the odd handful thru the season can help. Extra watering can also benefit. Regards

    Bookmark   November 21, 2000 at 4:19PM
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Ellen - 8b

hi Terry
I have heard adding tomato juice to dog food would help,
not much a couple of tbls each day.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2000 at 7:04PM
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Al Derrick - USDA 9 Sunset 15

Everytime this question is posted the one solution never suggested is training the dog to use the area you designate. Al

    Bookmark   November 30, 2000 at 7:17PM
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I too used to have this problem...but 4 years ago we brought home a new puppy and when I purchased "Him" I mentioned to the breeder "Here goes the lawn again" and she said all you have to do is water the grass with a watering can on the spot right as soon as he is finished...Sounded too simple so we started it from day and never have a yellow spot unless one of kids lets him out and is too lazy to water it...Just go with the dog...and pour a stream on water over top...magic..never turns brown or yellow...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2000 at 6:29PM
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Diane - 5

Al: How do you train the neighborhood dogs?
As dogs will, they go where other dogs do doo doo.

Once it was in their belly, now lies here oh so smelly
sometimes soft, oft times firm,
always with flies, and full of worm,
it can be round, it can flat, and can be where you sat
the pooch, a friend inded, but he cant read
so, next time he does go poop, please oh please
bend and scoop.

Happy Holidays

    Bookmark   December 17, 2000 at 4:40PM
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chloe - US Ore. 7

Young dogs and adult dogs that don't get excercised at the park or outside of the home environment will not get along with lawn.
take your dog out for walks or runs with other dogs
supervise the dog when on your lawn
first pee of the morning is the most acidic
lime twice a year
teach the pup to go on an area of the yard where you have laid straw. refresh the straw, pick up poop every day. my dog dont mind a bit.

Please don't give tomato juice or other stuff the dog, it's ridiculous
some grass seeds are a lot tougher than others, talk to Pro. grass people.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2000 at 11:23AM
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How do you train a dog to go in one place? I have two males, one Husky/Malamute and one Shih-tzu, and my lawn looks terrible!! I am not sure I understand what others were saying about females urine being more acidic because the males seem to be making tons of yellow/dead spots! So, any ideas on how to train a dog to go #1 and #2 in certain areas would be appreciated!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2001 at 3:01PM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

It takes a lot of time to train your dog to "go" in a certain space, but it is certainly possible (just like I train my dogs *not* to eliminate in my garden beds). The most important thing is consistancy on *your* part - and you have to go out with them, *every time*, with the dog on lead (I have three dogs, so trust me, working with one at a time is easier!).

First, clean all the messes up out of the yard and water, water, water to remove as much smell as possible. Move a couple of the messes to the area you want them to use so the scent is only in that area. Then take them out on lead, directly to that area, and stay there until they eliminate (1/2 hour after mealtime is best). When they do "go", praise them like they are the absolute best dog in the whole wide world and you can't believe how smart they are, let them off lead and have a play session in the rest of the yard for a few minutes before going inside. Do this everytime they need to go out for a good month or so, and they'll become pretty reliable. The trick is *not* to let them make a single mistake, and to always have play sessions no matter how short afterwards as a reward for them. This will also help them to eliminate immediately when you go out, instead of taking thier time, because they know as soon as they eliminate, they get playtime.

You need to make sure you keep "thier area" pretty clean - no letting messes pile up for days, and you will need to water if there's grass (put down rock or bark, and it won't be such a problem). Dogs will find a "new spot" if their favorite is too dirty. And Kim's right - diluting urine will help a lot, as long as you get it right after they "go".

Tomato juice, while good for a dog's general health, won't help. My dogs get tomatoes/sauce as a regular part of thier (home-cooked) diet, and it really doesn't help the lawn any. :-)

Hope this helps! :-)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2001 at 11:13AM
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Kim 5

Yes I too had that problem one summer called the breeder I bought my shih tzu from and she said "water" the spot the second he is done and POOF no more brown the whole family is trained ..take the dog out..pick up the watering can...Try it!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2001 at 9:40PM
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Janet NC7

We recent brought a dog into our life and while at the pet store the other day I notice a bottle of stuff that is put on thier food to eliminate this problem with the yard. It neutralizes the acidity according to the clerk at the store.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2001 at 9:37AM
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I agree with Ellen,
We put about 1/4 cup of tomato juice in our dog's food once a day (he is a 70lb yellow lab)and now our grass is lush again. He really likes it too.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2002 at 11:22AM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

Before you add anything to your dog's food, check with your vet first. Not every dog's stomach can tolerate tomato juice. (I know my dog couldn't.) There are products on the market specifically made for this problem. But again, clear it with your vet first. My friend had the same problem and her vet helped her - but can't quite remember what it was he suggested.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2002 at 2:58PM
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singleton165 z5 NH

I give my dog a tbsp of tomato juice every morning(he LOVES it, and it doesn't upset him), the yard is fenced in, so following him around with a watering can wouldn't be practical for us. Although I wouldn't mind training him to go in one section of the would make it easier for the kids to do their weekly cleanup!(hee-hee, my kids aren't old enough to mow the lawn yet, so they get to clean it up before I mow it)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2002 at 11:20PM
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Any non-toxic solution I can use for the problem of dog urine on my sidewalk; to chase them away! Unfortunately somepeople have no manners! Thanks in advance

    Bookmark   April 27, 2002 at 12:42PM
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fjdenigris(z5/6 CT)

I have a male, pouring water on the spot never worked for us. We do have a "spot" for him, but he doesn't always use it. There is only one good solution. Anybody want my dog?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2002 at 3:46PM
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Had a wonderful wolf/dog mix many, many years ago and he actually "fed" a lemon bottlebrush by constantly peeing on it! That plant flourished!!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2002 at 6:14PM
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I have the same problem - and fixed it by adding this special supliment to her diet - my yellow spots have gone away 95%. You can buy them at or at

    Bookmark   May 10, 2002 at 4:36PM
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You have grass in your yard? :)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2002 at 6:24AM
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I can't pour water over the "snow"! My 12-year old Irish Setter is starting to show some changes in his bladder. As soon as he hits the snow, he lets it go. Can't make it to the kennel. I have a yellow path Winter through Summer from the back door to the kennel. I guess I just tolerate it because I can always replant grass. His love & affection is worth more to me.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2002 at 12:25AM
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I can't add more to the great advice here already, just wanted to say that it isn't only female dogs that have lawn destroying urine. The reason you notice the problem with female dogs is that they not only squat to pee, but they release all the contents of their bladder in one spot.

Males, on the other hand, release small amounts usually against something, like a tree trunk or shrubs or the corner of the house, where there usually isn't any grass. They release only small amounts because it's their instinct to mark their territory, as much of it as possible.

I've known some males that lift their leg against the air and pee in the middle of the lawn. They do just as much damage as any females I've know.

Also, to help "heal" the spots that have gone brown, the bes solution is a pitchfork and water. Just poke holes in the brown area, then let the hose run on it till it's soggy. Repeat a few times and before you know it, new, green grass will follow.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2002 at 6:10PM
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Nelz(z5b/6 NW PA)

My dog would burn grass out so fast, it was brown before he was done peeing. About 4 of 5 days later, the ring around the spot was LUSH green, and tall. This was from the nitrogen breaking down to a useable level, and leaching away from the delivery point.

A routine urine test, at a routine vet visit, revealed a urinary tract infection. Once cleared up, very little to no browning has occurred.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2002 at 3:16AM
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suzi73(Western OR)

What about the male dog damaging plants in the yard? My dogs (2 neutered males) like to pee against things like my clematis and hydrangea. I chase them away when I catch them at it, but they are still outside 10 hrs a day while I am at work. The only other thing I've found is putting a short fence around the plant but I hate to obstruct my view of the plant that way. Has anyone tried or found a product-like a spray or something to actually repel the dog from a certain area?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2002 at 11:30PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I can send you a bag of my special dog spot remover for $5. Or you can make it yourself. Scatter a handful of table sugar on each spot and water it in. In about 10 days you will see grass starting to regrow. In about 30 days you will see tall green grass on the former dead spot.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2003 at 1:25AM
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Here is a great mixture to use on your lawn to renew spots follow my instructions carefully. Must be during the heat of summer
1 Sprinkle Baking Soda on the spot. 1 Cup
2 Sprinkle Some Sugar on the spot. 2 Cups
3 Sprinkle some baking powder on the spot 2 tbs
4 Crack two eggs on the spot
5 1 tsp of vanilla
6 Half a cup of flour
Water the area.

1 month the spot will be green again beside the spot will be six cupcakes

    Bookmark   April 16, 2003 at 4:54PM
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I have an area of my backyard that my two dogs have taken over as their personal place to pee. Naturally, the bermuda grass is now dead in this area and will not come back. I could flood it from now until doomsday and it would still be dead.

Is there anything I can plant here as a ground cover or otherwise that won't die from dog pee?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2003 at 11:26AM
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I enjoyed reading all the information, but it was mostly about grass. Does anyone know what I can do about a "supposedly" dying tree caused by my dog's urine? I love my dog so please no abuse solutions. Someone told me that baking soda would neutralize the acidic urine but they didn't know what ratio of baking soda to water to use. Can anyone help?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2003 at 7:48PM
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I too am having trouble training my dogs to NOT go in the flowerbed. I have 3 dogs and 2 places that they like to go. Both are okay with me b/c they are out of the way and 1 is on the wood chips. The prob is my one old fat dog likes to go on the flowerbed. We have small fencing up but need to put in something else.

I agree that training your dog is the idea. But, you must put in the time to do so.

BTW, neighborhood dogs are only kept out with a fence or your vigilance with a water hose lol.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2003 at 11:46AM
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blustrat95(Zone 6 NJ)


Try adding lime around the base of the ailing tree and maybe some frequent watering. That's all I can think of for that problem.
I had a customer a few years back that added a tsp of baking soda to his dog's water every time he filled the dish and he swore by it.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 4:56PM
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pinetreebranching(7b South Caroli)

Why not just limit the dogs to non planted areas? It seems pretty silly following a dog around with sprays,buckets,etc.waiting for them to urinate.That would be very time consuming. I was thinking of getting a dog now that daughter has gone to college but now I am not going to.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2003 at 11:52PM
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mediadiva(Zone 7)

Love the water the pee idea.. lol

On a side note I am pretty sure that diet can effect how acidic the dog's pee is. So for those who say the male/female thing it may be true but it may just depend on the DOG, and its diet. I have always had male dogs and my parents yard never had a pee spot. Only today when i co-worker mentioned it i got worried because it was with SOD in particular we were talking about.

Some cleaner dogs NATURALLY will go along treelines and in the back of the yard. My sheltie in VA does that, he hardly ever goes inthe center of the yard, only if you rush him cause its raining or something.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2004 at 12:01PM
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terryincs(z5 IL)

My MALE dog is one of those who grew up with females and just squats and pees like a girl. So all my grass is dead where he likes to go. I have tried water and it works when I can go out to where he is, but during the winter I don't go following him! Also, we have water restrictions and I hate to flush the areas. He will only pee on the grass, not the beds or mulch. Maybe this summer I should try to get him to go in one spot behind the beds so it doesn't sghow as much. He is pretty smart :) Has anyone used gypsum?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2004 at 5:39PM
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I thought that the neighbors were harvesting my tomatoes while I was at work until I came home on day for lunch and let my dog out......she ran over to the tomato plant and started picking ang eating the tomatoes as fast as she could while looking at me with a guilty look....I have never had a problem with brown spots, and I now use cherry tomatoes as a traing treat!!! She alos loves grapes!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 4:14PM
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Eithne(z5 IA)

Diet affects how much urea a dog's urine contains. Protein over the level that the dog's body needs for repairs raises the urea content of the urine. If your dog is healthy and killing off the lawn, try a diet with a lower protein content.

I make my dogs' food myself and have never had a problem with their pee killing off the grass, even when I had as many as six female dogs using the same lawn. I didn't water their spots or take any other precautions.

Tomatoes in moderation won't hurt a healthy, normal dog. However, grapes have caused toxicity problems in dogs. The problem is most often associated with raisins (which are concentrated grapes) but dogs that eat large amounts of fresh grapes have also had the problem.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 6:29AM
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BarbC(8 coastal SC)

I don't see how adding tomato juice to a diet can reduce the acidity of the pee, as tomato juice is acidic itself, and would most likely INCREASE the acidity of the urine, if anything (Simple chemistry - what goes in must come out)
You also don't want to make their pee any less acidic, as "sweeter" urine can encourage bladder infections. Not good for Fido.

Remember the age-old human "cure" of cranberry juice for bladder infections? It works (somewhat) because it makes the urine more acidic, which reduces the chance of bacteria "sticking" around in the urinary tract. Acid kills bacteria (They use vinegar, of all things, to clean feeding tubes) Anything acidic, including tomato juice, would technically have the same effect to some degree - INCREASING the acidity. And know how sugar in the urine can encourage infections in diabetics? "Sweet" urine is very NON-acidic, thus INCREASING the chance of INFECTION. You DON'T want to reduce the acidity, either. Your dog's body works in much the same way as yours. You may be saving your grass and killing your dog in the long run. You MAY be doing him real harm by trying to "sweeten" his urine. Live with it, and quit trying to change your dog's internal chemistry. Dog's urine probably burned grass long before humans ever starting planting grass on purpose. Its the way it is for a reason. The post about high-protein diets is probably most correct of all of the above. You can safely reduce the protein content *somewhat* without harming the dog. Go for a mixed food, such as one with rice added as filler. (a note here... as a Low Carb fanatic, I can assure you that a high-protein diet DOES actually change the urine chemistry... might be good for us humans - *and I am not looking for an off-topic argument here* - but we pee those ketones into a toilet, not on the grass - I hope - but we also drink extra water to dilute it all) The watering can idea is good. The training methods are good. The designated area is good. Maybe even the lime, sugar or baking soda (don't know). If you can't find a solution in any of the above, then resign yourself to dead grass. What's more important, anyway? Man's best friend, wins over replacable grass anyday, I hope.

Besides, one issue that has not been addresses here... urine contains ammonia compounds... ammonia is nitrates... EXCESS nitrates (as in concentrated urine) BURN PLANTS - including the indestructable stuff we call grass. Overfertilize your yard and see what happens. Have you tried giving him more water? Could be that the urine is too concentrated due to inadequate fluid intake? Ever noticed how much darker and stronger your own urine is when you have had too little fluid intake? Your dog's body works the same way. If you are peeing yellow, and it has an ammonia-type odor, you haven't had enough to drink and EVERYTHING your kidneys put out is VERY concentrated... every compound your body sees as "waste", that is. - which is reduced to an ammonia-like...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2004 at 9:32AM
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solargal(z4/5 VT)

We don't have our own dogs, but several that visit regularly. In our case, the male is the offender - the female has the courtesy to go and pee at the edge of the driveway where she won't ruin anything, but Fluffy, who is dumb as a rock, likes to pee on and ruin my plants. Somewhere - perhaps on one of these forums? - I read that filling 1 and 2-liter soda bottles with water and laying them on their sides by the plants scares off the dogs - something about the reflections in the water, maybe? I removed the labels so nothing would hide any of the reflectiveness. Anyhow - it's worked so far - now just need to remember to bring out the bottles when the dumb dog is coming to visit!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2004 at 2:57PM
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ReddKatt(Z 7a-6b MD)

You need to take care in giving some dogs tomato juice. As it is part of the nightshade family, some animals can be sensitive to it. Older animals with arthritis or animals with injuries, the tomato juice will aggravate their condition.
The three best ways I have found with my two female dogs to keep my lawn from being killed:

1. Pour water where they have urinated
2. Sprinkle plain sugar where the urine spot is. The sugar will add back to the grass what the urine has taken out.
3. Try to contain the dogs to a limited area to eliminate in.

The sugar and water tricks work! Yes it means you have to know where the dog went, but try it where the grass has yellowed and watch it turn green and lush again!

Forest Hill, Maryland

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 10:49AM
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Thank you for the sugar tip. I have a 1 yr old lawn and a 3 yr old Lab. They do not go well together. The sugar WORKS. BLESS YOU...


    Bookmark   March 27, 2004 at 1:54AM
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My problems is that I live in an apartment and my neighbors let their dog urinate in my garden. There is a large bare spot about a yard in diameter and my plants didn't come up there--I was out early and saw my neighbor let her dog out and just stand there while the dog peed in my garden. I have asked them not to let their dog do that--she also leaves other deposits, the landlord has talked to them, etc. I don't want a Hatfield/McCoy situation and I don't want to fence off the garden though the mean part of me has thought of getting an electric wire fence. Shame on me.I'll try the remedies; but I'll miss my delphiniums.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2004 at 1:08AM
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kab121170(z5 Indiana)

WHy don't you train the dog to pee on your compost pile? Mine does. I always need more "greens."

They tend to use the same spot. When you first let the dog out in the morning or when you come home, lead the dog to the compost pile and praise him/her for the nitorgen contribution.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2004 at 7:36PM
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My male dog has two designated targets in the backyard garden--a viburnum and a penstamon. Both plants are *very* traumatized but might survive if quarantined. Am thinking about fencing them off and re-directing the dog to another spot. Can't imagine that there are many plants that would be resistant to constant marking, but if there are, I'd love to know about them.

The current Sunset shows a dog-friendly garden w/a piece of sculptural driftwood as a designated marking spot. Has anyone had success with this approach?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 9:56PM
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jannie(z7 LI NY)

I used to make cat food from this recipe: one 6 oz.can meaty cat food, one tall can cheap cat food, tomato juice and garlic powder. Cats loved it, and it was supposed to acidify their urine and stop urinary infections. Didn't smell too good, though. And remember it's for cats, not dogs.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 9:07AM
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murphyl(Metro Detroit)

Quoted from above:

"I thought that the neighbors were harvesting my tomatoes while I was at work until I came home one day for lunch and let my dog out......she ran over to the tomato plant and started picking and eating the tomatoes as fast as she could while looking at me with a guilty look....I have never had a problem with brown spots, and I now use cherry tomatoes as a training treat!!! She also loves grapes!"

Yours too, huh? :) Our female Lab has even figured out a way to increase the harvest: she stands right in the middle of the tomato plants, and while she's scarfing tomatoes off the plants in front of her, her tail is going a mile a minute and knocking tomatoes off the plants behind her. She then turns around and eats the "windfalls." However, she does brown the lawn, so we've set aside a spot for her to use and just put a few inches of woodchips there every year. Nitrogen from the dog urine accelerates the chips' breakdown, so there's usually an inch or so of fresh compost there every spring.

As for grapes being toxic to dogs: it's not grapes per se, it's the chemicals grocery-store grapes are treated with. (I can't remember the source off the top of my head, but there was an anecdotal report of toddlers and young kids with insatiable grape habits developing kidney and liver problems as a result of pesticide ingestion. I'll try to find the report.) Drying, of course, concentrates the nasties. Organic grapes and raisins - no problem.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 10:10PM
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susanargus(z7 NoVA)

Our dog drinks a *TON* of water, and the areas where he pees are lush, dark green grass, twice as tall this spring as the rest of the grass at first mowing. As long as the pee isn't too concentrated, it will be fertilizer!

We walk him twice daily (over a mile total) so the majority of the pee is spread around the neighborhood, and he's more inclined to drink more water - continuing the cycle. That's good for our health, his heath, and the lawn's health.

I wonder if the tomato juice "cure" is just so they ingest more salt, making them thirstier.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 1:15PM
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We had a female and she ruined my lawn. I watered as much as possible but it took a long time for the lawn to recover. I read about brewers yeast and tried it with good results.I purchased it from , just sprinkle on food and the dogs love the taste. My male pees on my shrubs and the urine burns them turning the leaves brown around the base I can usually take the hose to it and things get better pretty quick.
I did not know about applying lime, I will have to try that .....

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 8:28PM
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lotter(z5/6 swOH)

I had this problem with our two retrievers - both male. After talking to our vet, I changed their food to NutroMax Lamb and Rice and never had another yellow/brown spot. As a result, my neighbors all switched their dogs to the same food and none of us have urine burns in the lawn anymore.

Amazing - such a simple solution - I mean, you feed the dog anyway, right?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 4:50PM
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jenathegreat(z9 Houston, TX)

I think lotter is on to something. Growing up we had 3 females and 2 male dogs over the years. (1 shi-zu, 1 poodle 3 schnauzers - but not all at the same time!)

Never ever had a brown spot. Not one.

The first dog, the shi-zu, had some serious health problems and could only eat lamb and rice dog food. As the other dogs came along, there was always an older dog who only ate lamb and rice, so they always had that.

You could still tell where the dogs peed, because you could see it was greener there, but that's not a bad problem to have, eh?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2005 at 3:20PM
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heathrjoy(Z6 PA)

I'm just planning my garden and I agree w/ everyone who has said to teach the dogs to go in a specific place, on mulch or whatever. I know that can be hard to do, some dogs are stubborn and set in their ways, and some of us don't have a lot of time.
I also agree with whoever it was, a thousand posts ago, that said to clean up the old "dumping" area and hose it down to remove smell. Then, in the new area where you want them to go, move some of their old messes into that area so they get the scent. This is how I housetrained all three of my dogs and it worked great. When they'd go in the house I'd show it to them, tell them no and then take "it" and the dog outside. Once "it" was on the ground I'd praise the dog like they had done "it" there. They got the point quickly. I would assume it would work the same way with retraing them where to go...that's my plan anyway!! :)

I was going to try the tomato sauce, but after reading all of this I'm just going for the mulch. My dogs would probably like the tomatoes better!!!! LOL

Thanks for all the tips!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 5:51PM
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I came upon this thread in a search and I'm astounded at some of the advice being blindly thrown around here!

I do soil agronomy/disease research for a living and my fiancee is in the animal care field.

Let me clear up some misconceptions:

1. Nothing you feed your dog will solve the problem of it's urine burning your grass.
2. It's not acid that causes the burning, it's UREA (same thing that burns your lawn if you apply too much high-nitrogen fertilizer)
3. There is no difference in male and female urine; at least in ways that would affect the burning of your lawn. Females pee in one spot while makes spray it all over which is why females tend to burn the grass easier.

There are three easy ways to prevent this:

1. Train your dog not to pee on your lawn (heh! Good luck)
2. Dilution. The ones who suggested dumping copious amounts of water on the pee area are correct. Dilution is the solution.
3. A healthy lawn. A lawn with a high concentration of microbes will not only break the urea in the urine down to ammonium - nitirite - and then nitrate(which is bliss for your grass), it will allow for your lawn to bounce back easily from any stress at all.

Fertilize your lawn with compost. Use store bought fertilizers high in potash and phosphate and water often to achieve this (there's enough nitrogen in the compost).

Tuff turf is a good strong grass consisting of (I believe) Kentucky Bluegrass, creeping red fescue and one other type of hardy grass.

So to recap: Spending more time on keeping your grass healthy or dilution of the pee area are the ONLY ways to keep the urea from your male or female dog's urine from burning your grass.

Hope this helps clear up any confusion.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 2:52PM
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I have a female Cockapoo and her urine made the grass grow greener and more lush. I got her last Feb, she was 5 mos old.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 5:22PM
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I am teaching my dog to pee in a certain area by unrinating in that area too, wow my pee makes the grass grow green and like crazy. So now I just go out and pee right over the spot she pees in and walllah!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 3:52AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

If you can housebreak your dog, you can teach it to go when and where you want to.

Do you think dogs that show or compete go when or where they want? Nope, they are all trained to go on command. Either on pads the owners bring or a designated area.

Many dogs that go RV'ing are also trained to go on command in designated areas.

Male dogs marking isn't relieving themselves, it is marking territory and you don't have to let them do it when you are walking them. Doesn't hurt them one bit to pay attention to you and walk at your side.

My grandmother lived in a mobile home park in the 1970's in Phoenix and at the back of the park was a gravel area with a scoop and a garbage can. Every dog in the park was trained to wait to go until they got to their area.

You can easily have an area of gravel or wood chips in your yard and train your dogs to go there.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 7:06PM
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Haha! This is a very entertaining article. I am a biochemist, and I can tell you that some of you are right on the money and some of you should be working at Disney Land's imagination division.

1) All plants require a nitrogen source to be able to grow. This is why fertilizers contain nitrogen. Nitrogen is often the limiting factor in plant growth, and so therefore is the most important component in fertilizers. Just simply "nitrogen" does not exist. Nitrogen is found in the natural environment (and fertilizers) in the form of ammonium, nitrate, urea, and the atmosphere contains nitrogen gas (which is harmless to humans).

2) Plants convert nitrate and ammonium into amino acids (which are the building blocks for protein). Fertilizers most commonly contain "ammounium nitrate" but also contain urea.

3) When we URINATE, our bodies are getting rid of excess UREA (the end-product of protein metabolism). All of us, humans and animals alike, excrete urea in our urine. Bacteria in the soil (bacteria are present in ALL soil, and sometimes bacteria are referred to as "microbes") breaks down urea into ammonium and nitrate, which is fertilizer for the plants. SO THEREFORE, UREA (UNINE) IS GOOD FOR PLANTS.

4) So why does some urine kill plants, while other urine causes plants to flourish? Urine, by nature, is acidic. Too much acid will "burn" your lawn and kill it. Have you ever noticed how when you urinate yourself, sometimes it is dark yellow and sometimes it is clear? If you drink a lot of water and are well hydrated, your urine is dilute (diluted). But if you haven't been drinking much water and you feel somewhat dehydrated, your urine is often dark yellow (concentrated). I am not a veterinarian, but I have had several dogs in my life. Based on my own observations, dog urine seems to always be concentrated. This does not mean your dog is dehydrated - it just means that dog physiology is different than human physiology. If you pee on your grass when your urine is concentrated, it will burn the grass (female dogs tend to let it all out in the same spot; burning the lawn with their concentrated urine). If you pee on the lawn when your urine is dilute (male dogs tend to spray a little here and a little there), it will not burn the grass, but a day or two later, after the microbes break down the urea into ammonium and nitrate, it will fertilize your grass and cause it to flourish.

5) Your compost pile will be GREATLY enriched if YOU urinate on it, or train your dog to urinate on it, concentrated or not. Since the compost is not alive, you do not have to worry about it being burned by the acidity of urine.

6) I was laughing my head off when I read the comment above where the guy said he started peeing himself on the lawn every day. (It reminded me of a cartoon) I am not going to lie - I have urinated on my vegetable plants and fruit trees in my backyard before. Try to not urinate on the leaves though -...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 7:39PM
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My dog won't do either No 1 or No 2 in my front or back yard. But then we take 1-3 walks a day, for a total of 1 to 10 miles.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 6:53PM
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buyorsell888 wrote:

If you can housebreak your dog, you can teach it to go when and where you want to.

-- But as Diane (see above) might have written, I'd be interested in how one can teach a neighbor's dog when and where to urinate.

Do you think dogs that show or compete go when or where they want? Nope, they are all trained to go on command.

-- What about their handlers?

Either on pads the owners bring or a designated area.

-- Maybe dogs can also be trained to dig up ruined sod and plant new sod in its place?

Many dogs that go RV'ing are also trained to go on command in designated areas.

-- My dog doesn't have an RV license, but he does use rest stops whenever he drives long distances.

Male dogs marking isn't relieving themselves, it is marking territory...

-- Um...maybe that's why it's called "marking"? That said, who's to say a dog isn't killing two birds with one stone during any one urination, both relieving himself and marking while he's at it?

...and you don't have to let them do it when you are walking them. Doesn't hurt them one bit to pay attention to you and walk at your side.

My grandmother lived in a mobile home park in the 1970's in Phoenix and at the back of the park was a gravel area with a scoop and a garbage can. Every dog in the park was trained to wait to go until they got to their area.

-- Maybe mobile home park residents can achieve this level of organization and discipline, but it may be a bit much to expect such enterprise from a typical homeowner.

You can easily have an area of gravel or wood chips in your yard and train your dogs to go there.

-- I'm not sure the homeowners association will allow such a gravel or wood chip area by the street, which is where the neighbors' dogs urinate on my lawn.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 10:24PM
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Laughing my head off

This blog is worth of a comedy tour! I have never laughed so hard before as when I read through these threads.
KUDOS to all of you. You just made my day by making me forget how bad my lawn looks due my dog pee!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 7:19PM
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I give my dog Brewers yeast everyday for fleas that seems to work for me but sure not for the yellow grass spots..

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 12:32PM
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Can someone please help me with the putting sugar on the spot to get my lawn back? Not sure on some of these postings when they talk about it, are you suppose to put sugar on it everytime they pee??? I always had male dogs and now i have a 6 mo. old female who is runing my lawn...HELP!!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 1:10PM
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I recently got an email from this article and I had completely forgot about it.

brenten: Go out a pour some table vinegar on your lawn and let me know what happens (hint: nothing). Table vinegar(ph 2.4) is more acidic than urine (ph 6.0 in healthy individuals) and you would need a ton of it to kill your grass the way urine does.

You are correct about the dilution statements though, however as I said in my post above, it's the dilution of the urea that determines whether the grass burns or not.

All the other methods (sugar, cupcakes, feeding your dog yeast, etc) won't do anything very helpful for your grass, it'll just attract ants or increase the amount of protein in your dog's urine.

A healthy lawn with a good root system and a large amount of nitrifying bacteria (found in compost)is the only solution to this annoying problem.


Try this: Apply a compost-based fertilizer and water your lawn more. Those with problems, post back in 6 weeks and tell me how your urine burned spots are doing.


Not so practical alternative: To increase the amount of nitrifying bacteria in the soil in your lawn you can apply a cheap brand of dog food to it (yes, I said dog food).

Cons: (many)
- your dog will spend too much time outside in your yard
- Your dog will become fat
- More dog poo to pick up
- it's expensive
- it will attract wild animals to your yard
- your grass will grow so fast you'll need to cut it twice a week

- You will only need to apply it once a year (slow release)
- Dog food (especially the cheaper stuff)contains lots of meat by-products which are the ground up parts of chickens and cows we don't eat like feathers, bones, etc(yuk). These contain proteins and amino acids which are harder to break down. Since your lawn is a mini ecosystem, it strives to maintain a balance, more complex nitrogen sources means more nitrifying bacteria to maintain this balance. More nitrifying batteria means that the burning forms of nitrogen in uring will be converted to nitrates faster and not get the chance to burn your lawn.

A better method that dog food would probably be meat-and-bone-meal. But it would be expensive to put it on an area as big as your lawn.


If you don't believe me:
I work for the largest brewery in the world now, but when I made my original post I had worked for a federal government research facility in soil science for 6 years. I worked on a side project for two of those years developing ways to stop the burning of grass by fertilizer over-application and, you guessed it, dog urine spots. One of the products I had a main part in developing was patented and sold in the market as a once a year product that would reduce dog urine spots. Last I heard the parent company had downsized the division responsible for this product (product was called "Renew"), and I'm not sure if it's available still or not.

So I'll leave it up to you if you want to...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 1:11PM
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One other note:

This thread is so old, I wonder if the original poster's dog is still alive and peeing on his lawn?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 1:16PM
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terryincs(z5 IL)

Good post, Pete. Yes, I and my dog are still around and my yard is now older but still brown. Part of the problem is that I live in CO high country and we have not gotten much rain over the past few years. My lawn is sparse at best anyway and the dog makes it worse. I have learned to live with it and don't get too concerned anymore. The only problem is I am getting ready to sell the house and it would be nice if the lawn looked good. I have dug the majority of it up and put in xeric flower beds. The best thing I found from all of this was to flush the spots right away, but I'm not going to be a slave to my dog's eliminations! Good luck to everyone else!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 4:46PM
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This post is old but has some valid points to it. Let e real though. If you are having this problem it is easy to understand what is causing it. There is too much nitrogen in the urine. You need to find ways to dilute the nitrogen in the urine or water down the spot where your dog urinates before there is damage to your grass. I got a lot of good info from it will give you a good start and some ideas. I thought I would pass it along.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 9:18AM
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Does anyone have success with training their dog to go in a designated area of the yard? I have tried in the past, but she refuses to go anywhere EXCEPT on grass. When i take her out for a walk to pee instead of letting her go in the yard, we have to walk to a park or find some area with grass in the walkway median on the parkway nearby. I've had her tied to a 15 food lead in the backyard while I was outside with her and waited, and she just laid around, enjoying the sun. The second I let her off the leash, she went to pee in the grass. If I shoo her back into the designated area when she gets ready to pee on the grass, she just goes and lays down in the sun again without peeing. I even bought a 4 foot strip of sod to lay down in the designated area but she refused to pee on it.

I eventually always just let her pee in the grass because I'm worried she's going to give herself a bladder infection. Once when we went on a weekend trip and the only people who could take care of the dog lived in manhattan -- my dog didn't pee for TWO DAYS because there was no grass nearby. They walked her for an hour at time... she didn't even want to pee in the dog park because it was wood chips and not grass. She'll poo anywhere but she is soooo picky about where she pees.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:26AM
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Lola Nadine

Can girl dog pee burn your skin?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 8:11PM
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Ah, but has anyone had any luck finding what will grow well in the spot the dog has chosen to go on regularly (besides moving the compost pile to the chosen spot)?

I think Tom asked earlier in the thread: what does grow well with excess acidity? Our dog was happily using a spot of English Ivy for her business. Eventually, even the ivy died. I plan to try Mediterranean Heather (an acid loving evergreen) on one side, and an application of lime on the other (to see if the ivy doesn't reestablish itself).

Any other ideas? Cheers!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 12:46PM
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Derek(z9 So/Cal)

You guys are a bunch of idiots from Al to Zack....... Tom. Juice or a diet, wow

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 3:43PM
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I found a product suggested in previous post on this site that works great. I have two big dogs and the female was laying waste to my yard. I tried TurfPro and it really worked. See the link below to the post from 2006 where I first heard of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to rid grass of dog urine spots

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 9:28PM
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This is the best article I've seen so far

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Article

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:53PM
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I planted 5 mums at the base of my new deck last fall. They did not survive. Then I planted 5 marigolds this year. They all died. They just "wilted". Then I removed them and dug a hole where I was going to plant them and put in a bunch of my compost. They died again but I grew tomatoes and cucumbers. I pulled them up, removed the dead marigolds, dug a LARGER hole for each plant and put in Miracle Gro potting soil and tried again. Two of them also died. The 4H Extension ofc thinks it could be a fungus. My husband thinks it is dog pee. What do you think? What shall I do?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:10AM
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I researched this because my grass did NOT have anymore pee burns and was super green and wondered what happened. I found two university agriculture dept websites addressing the issue of dogs' urine and lawns. I put the link to one of them below. Please read it before you try tampering with your dog's diet. The pH of a dog's urine should be around 6.5~7.0 and these two websites state it's NOT the acidity of the urine that effects the burn, it's ONLY a matter of increasing the dog's water consumption to diute the nitrogen. I feed the dogs canned food mixed with water because one of my dog is suseptible to calcium oxalate crystals/stones. Be warned they will need to pee sooner and more frequently. Changing a dog's urine pH by giving it tomato juice or baking soda or whatever can lead to calcium oxalate stones (less than 6 pH) or struvite stones (more than 7 pH), so unless you want a big vet bill, don't do it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Colorado State Master Gardening Program

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:01PM
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I've never had problems with the grass where my dog's green and you wouldn't be able to tell where her "spots" are (yes she always goes in the same area no matter which "business" she's taking care of...and no I didn't train her). I guess it helps that her urine is as clear as water, which sure is nice when there's an occaisional accident in the house. No stains, no awful odor. But she drinks lots of water throughout the day. After my sister got a dog and I saw how concentrated his pee was I could see why it would kill plants and grass....the smell is bad enough to kill me! ;-)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:25PM
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For an immediate solution to brown patches on your lawn spray Natural Green Grass Patch restore the brown to green instantly allow to dry will not wash off lasts up to 20 weeks all natural green colourant non toxic bio degradable safe for kids and pets I like it so much I import it into the UK for your nearest stockist contact our Mother company in Arizona -

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 6:21AM
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We live in a desert so lawns are rare in our area. My husband made an island of lush green grass. He planted an edge of rose bushes around the north side of the island. It blocked our girls (2 dogs) view of the neighbors back yard. I noticed that one of the rose bushes in the middle was dying. Just the one particular rose bush. So I started to pay more attention to that rose bush. I noticed that one of my girls was constantly peeing as close to that rose bush as she could get. When it was time to pull the rose bush up (it died) sure enough, the girls were able to watch what was going on in the yard behind us. Then they went back to using the back corner of the yard (gravel) to pee.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 3:42PM
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We use Dog Rocks - google them, think you can purchase online, they are fantastic. We didn;t want anything too medicinal, as don't think it's necessary (as it's not the dogs fault his pee burns!) and we wanted something hassle free as we simply don't have time to be contstantly following daisy around with a watering can! Haha! they have definitely done the trick. No more dead grass for us.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dog Rocks

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 7:27AM
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I'm going to echo the previous post. Dog Rocks really do work. The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote:

Dog Rocks come all the way from Australia and come in quantities of 200 grams in little recycled brown bags. The number of actual rocks can vary but you use all of them at once and one bag of rocks will do the job for about two months. All you do is rinse them, put them in your dog's water bowl and in about 4-5 weeks you'll see an incredible green difference in your lawn. No new yellow patches and by now, the old patches will have grown in with fresh new grass.

How do they work? By filtering out impurities like ammonia, nitrates and tin from the water which are the real culprits (not your beloved pooch) in lawn destruction. I was a little concerned about how they'd affect Emily, my corgi, but my research said they've been in use for years and in fact, Emily has been just fine and we've used them for two years now.

Do an Internet search for Dog Rocks to find a local distributor. Enjoy your lush green lawn!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Oh dear folks. It isn't the URINE that is burning the grass, it's the toxins in the food they are eating. I live on a acre of pristine grass with two dogs and 5 more who visit regularly. They all eat real food, no preservatives, GMOs, additives, fillers, grains, .. I have never had one spot on my grass in 15 years. Look at the source. Try reading in the nutrition section to get a new view point. What comes out of the dog is merely a reflection of what is going in. Detox those dogs and get them eating food, not trash and toxins in fancy bags.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 6:56AM
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Disagreeing regarding the Female/Male species when it comes to the yellowing of grass when they urinate. I have 2 male dogs, both a small breed. I have had one for 3 years and the other for just over a year. I have struggled with this grass issue every year. I came onto the site hoping to find a solution to the problem. I know there is a product we can purchase to add to their water so it will help but i was hoping there was a home remedy for it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 2:07PM
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Oh, my, I have to disagree with those that say it's the female that turns grass yellow. I have two female bichons, litter mates (what was I thinking? Lol) but I can tell you they do NOT turn the grass yellow. I have watched them over and over and I know where they always go..what I do see is male dogs running loose, urinating on my lawn...most of them are large breeds...labs, etc. And I know they are the guilty ones because I watch where they go and sure enough in a short while, the grass is yellow....BIG spots!! Much larger than any size my dogs could possibly do.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:03PM
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Here is a piece of a article by Healthypets.--

The Three Reasons a DogâÂÂs Urine Burns the Grass

There are three primary reasons why dog urine burns grass: alkaline urine pH, the concentration of the urine, and its nitrogen load. The most important of these factors is urine pH. The best way to find out which is the causative factor in your dogâÂÂs situation is to drop a urine sample off at your vet for a urinalysis.

Concentrated urine has more solutes (particles) than dilute urine, which can affect grass health. The reason many people believe female dogs kill more grass than males is because females typically squat and pee in one spot (depositing a whopper load of solutes), whereas males tend to urinate in smaller amounts as they wander from spot to spot.

In my experience, urine nitrogen can affect grass health, but only when the nitrogen load is very high. Normal nitrogenous waste excreted in urine should not kill the grass. But if a dogâÂÂs urine pH is in the correct range and his urinalysis shows a high nitrogen level, some pet owners have had success reducing urine nitrogen levels with products like Dog Rocks.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 4:35PM
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"Dog Urine Damage on Lawns" - Colorado State University Extension

This short article looks like the best info available in my five minute search on the internet.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 4:47PM
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After 5 years...still astounded that anyone thinks it has anything to do with what the dog eats. It's soil chemistry. Person A has dogs and no burnt grass. Person B has dogs and burnt grass. Person A brings their dogs to Person B's house. Person A's dogs burn Person B's grass.

Reason? Person A's soil has a better balance of organisms that nitrify urea into NO2 and NO3 and thus, a healthier lawn.

This is the only reason...treat your lawn, not your dog. Apply a VERY small amount of urea to your lawn....try a small patch first to make sure you get it right and don't kill your entire lawn. once this is done, your grass will look sick but will bounce back, in a month, do it again. Your grass might not even look sick after this time. After a month, do it again...your grass will probably green up and grow like a forest the following week.

Mission accomplished, you have increased the number of nitrifying organisms in your lawn 1000 fold and won't have burnt grass anymore. If you have weak grass already, don't do this. Get it strong first with topsoil, overseeding, and fertilizer with higher 2nd and 3rd numbers. It could take a patient.

Credentials: Years of research on this exact subject for a lawn fertilizer company.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 1:50AM
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