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4 Tips to Prevent Brown Spots Caused by the Dog in Your Lawn

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4 Tips to Prevent Brown Spots Caused by the Dog in Your Lawn

In this quick guide you will learn the 4 best tips to get rid of brown spots in the lawn caused by your dog.

It’s true, there are very few drawbacks to owning a dog. 

Dogs provide unconditional love, companionship, and even protection!

Unfortunately, the green lawn sings a different tune—a sad one at that. 

Ugly, brown spots caused by the loving creature’s #1 bodily function often make themselves known.

So, how do you prevent dead spots in the lawn? And repair those brown spots made by your dog?

Let’s find out!


Why does dog pee kill grass?

Get this, brown spots in the grass are actually caused by nitrogen in the form of ammonia, not by the perceived “acid” in dog urine. 

Simply put, the brown spots are due to the break down of protein from your dog's diet.

Since dog diets are high in protein, there will always be high levels of nitrogen—similar to nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizers purchased at the local Seed & Feed store. 

Small amounts of nitrogen are good for the lawn, but too much will kill the grass.

According to the American Pet Products Association, 62% of US households have a dog

That translates to over 73 million dogs that call the lawn their personal throne. That's a lot of bathroom acreage for man’s best friend.

To counter all of the brown spots across the nation, below are the 4 best tips for keeping the lawn looking healthy and green.

Tip #1 Dilute with Water

Watering the lawn area immediately after the dog has done its business can help dilute the nitrogen. 

Running the hose for just 10 seconds over the spot will help lessen the probability of the nitrogen killing the lawn. 

Get this! You can also "pre-dilute" your dog. 

How? Encouraging your dogs to drink more water will dilute the nitrogen internally. 

BE AWARE! This technique will cause more trips outside and could yield to an accident in the house if your dog is left alone for longer periods of time.

Tip #2 Build a Dog Pen

Constructing a non-grassy designated area will certainly prevent brown spots in the lawn.

A few examples of materials that can be used:

  • Gravel, 
  • mulch, 
  • cement or pavers,
  • or artificial turf area in the yard makes it pee-proof. 

How do you potty train the dog to use his new area?

It may take a little time to train the dog to use that area, but it is totally possible. 

Positive reinforcement and praise goes a long way, leading to the dog automatically heading to that area when it’s time to go. 

Pro Tip! You can make these areas visually appealing to humans by placing potted hostas, ferns, or other greenery around the area.

Tip #3 Plant a The Right Type of Grass

Having the right kind of grass can also contribute to how easily and frequently these brown spots show up. 

For example, fescue and ryegrass are the most resistant to nitrogen due to the genetic makeup of the roots.

Where as, Bermuda and Kentucky bluegrass do need nitrogen to thrive, but are very sensitive to the time of season that they get “fertilized.” 

Unless the dog is only allowed to go outside during the spring and summer. Bermuda and bluegrass are very sensitive to nitrogen and most susceptible to brown spots.

Tip #4 Fertilize Less

Dressing the lawn with less fertilizer will reduce the chances of brown spots; especially the areas that the dog does urinate on

Even small amounts of fertilizer may contain enough nitrogen to kill the lawn when used in combination with the dog’s contribution. 

If fertilization is needed, only areas outside of the dog’s peeing perimeters should be fertilized.

So is there a foolproof way stop brown spots in the lawn? 

There is one...

Building the dog a designated area is the only option that has the highest probability for success

It may take a little time to train the pooch, but it can be done.

Bottom Line on Brown Spots Caused By Dogs

It’s possible that keeping your lawn free of brown spots could take a back seat to making sure your dog does not exercise his rights inside the house.

Additionally, multiple tips may need to be implemented concurrently for the lawn to stay healthy and flawless. 

Either way, these steps should help you enjoy a brown, spot-free lawn.

Now, have you ever wondered why your cat eats grass?

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