how to deal with dog urine spots. . .

maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)April 12, 2010


I go thru this every year. I have three female dogs, and the grass doesn't stand a chance.

In the past, I'd try to remove as much of the dead grass as possible. Then lay fresh soil down and re-seed. But trying to keep them off of the grass until it had a chance to grow was next to impossible.

I've also bought sod and cut away the affected areas and laid the sod on fresh soil, but trying to get the new sod to match the old grass as far as level goes, wasn't easy either.

I'm not above doing the hard work to repair the dead grass, I just hate to do it every year.

I read here adding sugar to the dead area will help it recover??? Is this true? Even when the grass is obviously dead?

Any advise on this would sure be appreciated. . . TIA.


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For some reason, my dog doesn't kill the lawn with her urine so I've never used sugar. However, it should work. The reason is that the urine is a source of N and sugar is a simple source of C, so it offsets the N. This does require that you have healthy soil, so it probably works best in a lawn that is fertilized organically (or at least partially organically).

Some people have some success watching the dogs and immediately watering the spots so that the urine is diluted.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 1:27PM
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The better hydrated the dogs, the less damage as well. If they can come and go as they please, maybe try larger (or multiple) bowls to encourage them to drink more.

I've also read of (and had) success with the immediate watering of the area afterwards.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 2:02PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

It may seem like an off the wall question but how often do you fertilize? It seems that soils low on fertility are the ones hit with this problem.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 2:59PM
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maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)

All good advise, thanks. . .

I have a water bowl full of water at all times, so the dogs can drink as much as they want, I don't know how I can force them to drink more.

I don't have this problem in the summer time when I water the lawn on a regular basis, only in the winter. But in the winter I can't dilute the urine with water, as we have a well and it all gets taken apart in the winter.

I fertilize in the fall, and again this time of year, and that's about it.

More fertilizer might help in the future?? Hmmmm. . .

thanks again,

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:07PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Fertilize on Labor Day and Thanksgiving (or maybe Halloween for you up there). Twice in the fall is better than once. Fertilize in the spring on Memorial Day, not now. Wait until the grass has had its initial flush of spring growth. Even down here in South Texas the grass has not finished the initial spurt.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:18PM
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Like others said, you can try diluting the dead spots to wash away the nitrogen, it may come back on its own or you'll have to put new seed down. I know that up here we can't dilute the pee spots during the winter when the ground is frozen and there's snow on the ground but like I said if you soak the spots now it may come back. I have the same problem but I just let her go in one spot out front during the winter.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 4:36PM
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