The Q&A Archives: Pet Killing Grass

Question: Our newly adopted 9lb dog evidently has too much of something in his urine that is causing our grass to die. What can we do to stop this problem? Can we treat the lawn or the dog or both? We do not want to get rid of the dog. We need help! Thank you.

Answer: Dog urine contains concentrations of salts, so it has probably thrown the soil pH off a little. I suggest raking about an inch of compost into the area. The compost contains soil organisms that can help balance to the soil biology and chemistry. Depending on the grass species, new blades may sprout in the renovated area, but you can always put down a little seed to get it going again. If your dog usually uses your lawn for relief, douse the area with a hose to dilute the effect of the urine soon after the fact. Although there are special dog foods with additives that are supposed to neutralize the urine, most people find they don't work all that well. You might consider training the dog to go in one specific area so that a majority of your lawn stays nice and green. Wish there were an easy answer, but people with pets generally have to put up with spotty lawns! Enjoy your new pup!

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