Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by Woody Pet
Why does dog pee kill grass? The answer may be surprising
Grass. The green stuff that decors most houses’ gardens. That turf that can be amazing for playing football, a nice place to play with kids and pets or to give some natural and clean look to a home.
You would see especially in the United States how many people take care of their yards with all sorts of tools and products to keep them ever green and beautiful. But when it comes to pets, dogs can be a special worry to grass.
Why though? Why does dog pee kill grass? It is pretty strange that almost the same liquid that comes out of us while we “take care of business” could be so harmful for the green grass in the garden when it comes from a dog. Let’s see if it that is actually a true worry and, if it is, what can we do about it to avoid it.
Can dog pee kill grass?
The answer is a short one here. Yes, the dog pee can kill grass. But you may be wondering why does dog pee kill grass?
There is a myth on the reason for dog urine killing grass stating that it has to do with urine acidity. While that sound like a logical explanation for the problem, it is not true. The actual causes of lawn burn include alkaline urine (the pH should be between 6.0 and 6.5) and the nitrogen excreted in dogs’ urine.
As carnivores, dogs take lots of proteins in their diet. Once in the body, protein is broken down, with the process giving off nitrogen-laden by-products. These are excreted in urine. When your dog urinates on the grass, the nitrogen is transferred to the lawn. This may be beneficial to the grass.
However, when the urine is too concentrated or is availed to the same spot way too frequently, grass burns occur. A similar effect is seen when nitrogen fertilizer is poured in excess amounts.
So yes, it is possible for your dog’s urine to damage the grass in your lawn. This manifests itself in brown or yellow spots. You should, however, keep in mind that other factors such as lawn grub may be to blame for the discoloration. The key is to know how to accurately determine if your dog’s urine is actually responsible for killing the grass.
How to prevent dogs from killing grass?
While we establish that dog pee does kill grass and why, there are some ways to prevent dogs from killing grass.
First up, using a deterrent that would tell your dog: Please, do not pee here! Some of them can be in sale on your local pet shops like a pee post (a large yellow stick that can lure your dog into peeing in that exact area) or a citrus spray to deter your dog from peeing in that zone.
Sometimes, it is in reverse (just like the case of the pee post). You would want to use something like a pet loo, which is a squared patch of very convincing grass that would be a good place for your dog to pee on, and be especially good for training.
Using something like dog rocks could be useful. This consists in some rocks that would remove some of the contaminants in the water that your dog drink to make its urine less harmful to grass.
And last but not least, caring more about the grass hydration and fertilization could be also helpful. More water in the area where your dog peed would help to mitigate the harmful effects of too much nitrogen in the soil. And try not to over fertilize your garden for that same reason.
Why do some dogs pee on people?
If you, after answering why does dog pee kill grass, think that dog’s pee was covered, you may be a little wrong. What if your dog decides not to kill the grass with its “radioactive” pee, but bath you or a friend with some of said liquid? It would be quite embarrassing and discomforting but why do some dogs pee on people?
Sometimes it is visuals. Your dog can’t distinguish between a piece of furniture or a person’s leg and “spray it on” with its scent. Remember that your dog can’t see in colors and that may be a disadvantage that could lead into this situation. Funny, but not funny.
When your dog gets way too excited to see you or any of your friends and family (probably more so if it has not seen them in a while), it may happen that it would pee itself without even noticing, even when it does not do that normally. The same is true when your dog is nervous about somebody or something.
The last things are related to their territorial behavior. Territorial marking and resource guarding behavior are some of the cutest, yet uncomfortable behaviors a dog may have. If a dog pees you or your friends and family (and probably many other things at home), it would be its way to tell you are into its territory and you are theirs, as part of its territory. Training can help to reduce the peeing on people.
To wrap things up: Why does dog pee kill grass? In short, it is because of its high contain of nitrogen and other components. While nitrogen alone can be actually helpful for the grow of plants, too much can be very harmful to the point of burning (not catching on fire, but drying quite a lot)
You can minimize the effects of dog pee by making it mix with water, either by keeping a close eye on your dog’s hydration or by caring more about your yard’s irrigation and fertilization. Remember, too much of something, even if it is water, is also bad.
Finally, dogs that pee on people. Those guys could be bad guys, but for the wrong reasons. A good training (telling it where to do its business) could go a long way, but that could not help when emotion is involved. A dog that hasn’t seen someone in a while can pee itself just for that reason so, don’t be harsh on it.