Avoiding Lawn Burn from Dog Urine

Why does it burn the lawn?

Dog waste is very high in Nitrogen.  This is usually because diets high in protein produce waste that’s high in Nitrogen, and too much can burn the grass.  This can especially be a problem with lawns that are already receiving regular fertilizer applications.  If the lawn is already receiving a prescribed amount of nitrogen, dog waste can push levels to a dangerous level.  That’s when grass burn can happen.

How to confirm it’s grass burn

The roots of the turf will tell you the difference between a burn problem and possibly a grub, or other, problem.  Burnt grass still has a solid root system if checked within a reasonable timeframe.  You may have a grub issue if the root system is weak and easily comes apart.

How to prevent burnt grass

Diluting the area with water immediately or soon after the animal deposits the waste is the best preventative measure.  This will usually bring nitrogen levels back down to a manageable amount.  A few cups of water or hosing the area down works great.

How to repair

Spot seeding is the most popular immediate solution but, sod may be needed if the root system has deteriorated.  Some warm season grasses need to be re-sodded each instance though.