Information about lawn burn caused by pets

Please read the informative information below in regards to Lawn Burn caused by pet urine.  Obviously at times this cannot be helped but please try and walk your dog along the wooded area to urinate in the wood line or pine straw area. Your HOA spends a large amount of money trying to keep the lawns looking green and lush along with replacing sod each year. Please help do your part by reading the reasons and suggestions below.

Lawn burn is a common problem that occurs when your dog’s urine damages the grass in your lawn. If you have ever had to deal with this problem, you know how frustrating it is and how difficult it can be to prevent. There are many home remedies that promise to correct this problem, but most of them are ineffective and a few of them can actually make the situation worse. This article will describe the cause and contributing factors of lawn burn and give recommendations for preventing this problem in your own yard.

Understand the cause

Lawn burn is caused by the nitrogen in dog urine. Because dog urine is very high in nitrogen-containing waste products, when the dog urinates, it is similar to pouring a nitrogen-containing fertilizer on the lawn. A little nitrogen is good for the grass, but an excess causes damage. The prevention of lawn burn involves trying to reduce the amount of nitrogen coming into contact with the grass.

Contributing factors

There are several factors that make lawn burn more likely to occur:

  • Female dogs are more likely to cause lawn burn than males because females void their entire bladder in one location instead of lifting their leg and marking, like males.
  • Large dogs deposit more urine so they increase the quantity of nitrogen in one location, making lawn burn more likely.
  • Dogs fed a very high protein diet are more likely to produce a urine that causes lawn burn. Nitrogen is one of the substances excreted when protein is broken down; the more protein, the more nitrogen and the more chance of lawn burn.
  • Heavily fertilized yards are already receiving near maximum levels of nitrogen. The additional amount of nitrogen in dog urine may be all that is needed to put these lawns over the edge and cause lawn burn.
  • Lawns that are stressed are more susceptible to damage. Lawns that are suffering from drought, disease, or are newly sodded or seeded are more susceptible to lawn burn.

Solving the problem

Successfully treating and preventing lawn burn often requires a multi-step approach.

  1. Saturate the urinated spots with water. After the pet urinates, pour several cups of water on the spot to dilute the urine. A watering can works well.
  2. Feed a high quality dog food that does not exceed your pet’s protein requirement. High quality foods also have more digestible protein sources that are more completely utilized by the pet and create less nitrogenous waste in the urine.
  3. Encouraging your dog to drink more water will help dilute the urine and decrease the risk of lawn burn. Small amounts of low sodium broth in the drinking water may help increase your dog’s water intake.
  4. Train your dog to urinate in a location that is less visible. This approach is very effective for owners who do not want to add supplements to their dogs’ diet.
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