Lawn Gone to the Dogs
When my dogs "sprinkle" the lawn, they leave behind large, burned-out spots. Why is this, and what can I do to protect my grass?
—Betty King, Baden, Pennsylvania
This is a major frustration of dog owners trying to grow the perfect lawn. Your dog's urine is high in nitrogen, and the concentrated applications burn your grass just like overfertilization. Well-fertilized lawns are most susceptible to this type of damage.
Water the areas where your dog urinates to dilute the nitrogen and reduce lawn burn. Some gardeners feel that commercial dog urine neutralizers help, while many do not.
Surrounding grass will fill in small areas as the urine moves through the soil, but you may want to keep some grass seed and a little topsoil handy to repair larger areas.
Consider training your dog to use one section of the yard. Cover this with wood chips, and avoid the frustration of dog-damaged grass.