OK, I’d heard this so lots of times that I believed it: female pet dog urine kills the lawn and male pet dog urine does not. I actually thought about this today and realized this is absolutely ridiculous. So I made a decision to do some research and see whether this is true or not. someone has to stand up for the lady dogs.
All I knew before looking into this additionally is I grew up with female dogs, and they turned our lawn yellow wherever they went to the bathroom. I don’t know about Ace, who is a male, because I live in an apartment or condo and walk him in areas where 20 other dogs go to the bathroom. Yeah, that lawn takes a beating.
So, I know pet dog urine can turn lawn yellow, but is it really only the female dogs at fault?
Do male dogs kill the lawn or just females?
I came across the research of Dr. Steve Thompson, DVM, of Purdue University. Thompson said it is the high amounts of nitrogen in a dog’s urine that cause the lawn to turn yellow. because of dogs’ high-protein diets, their bodies naturally use a lot of nitrogen to digest their food. So much nitrogen on the lawn in one spot is what kills the grass, he said.
I’d typically heard that a female dog’s pH level is different than a male’s, and that is what kills the grass. Not true. The nitrogen levels have nothing to make with a dog’s pH level, Thompson said.
According to Thompson, female dogs typically kill a lot more lawn than the males because male dogs normally urinate a little in lots of areas. females tend to squat in one place (unless you are a male mutt named Ace who squats like a girl). all of that nitrogen in a small area is what kills the grass. The males, on the other hand, are a lot more likely to kill off bushes because they will continually “mark” certain spots again and again over several weeks.
For a lot more information: how to stop pet dog pee from killing your grass
One way to stop a pet dog from killing off your lawn is to train her to go to the shower room in one small area of your yard, maybe a corner in the backyard. A lot of dogs choose to go to the shower room in one area on their own, but it might not be an area you want them to use. Others will just go anywhere and everywhere.
You can train a pet dog to go in one area by using a similar concept to housetraining a dog. walk her on a leash to that designated area whenever she goes outside. then reward her when she goes to the shower room in the ideal area. This will take a lot of time and consistency for a few weeks, but the pet dog will eventually get into the routine of going in that corner.
I have also heard of people actually pouring water over the patches of lawn ideal after their dogs pee. This probably works, but seems a little crazy and obsessive to me. I don’t know about you, but I am not going to follow my pet dog around with a bucket and pour water over the lawn after he pees. If I actually had a yard of my own, I think I could deal with a few yellow spots.
What about you? has pet dog urine destroyed your lawn?