Those familiar yellow spots on the lawn which often burn and kill the grass and are surrounded by a bright green ring are well known to dog owners. Many of us have learned to live with these spots and simply allow the lawn to repair itself, and others still struggle trying to find a cure. So let's have a look at these urine burns and our options of dealing with the problem in our lawn care routines.
Overall, it really isn't a serious problem, and while we can use our efforts to reduce the problem it really must be seen as part of what we have when we have a dog. It's really a small price to pay for a lifetime of happy memories, companionship and the joy our dogs give to us and our children.
Why Dog's Urine Burns Lawns
The burning effect from dogs urine occurs when a female dog squats on a lawn and urinates, the urine of the dog is highly concentrated in Nitrogen, and it's this Nitrogen in such a high dose that burns the lawn. The least affected area around the outside of the spot benefits from a low level of Nitrogen which in turn creates a green ring.
The female dog is most usually responsible due to the fact that it squats to urinate, and when it does urinate it usually relieves the entire contents of its bladder, whereas the male dog most often will lift its leg to urinate on trees, shrubs and pretty much anything else, and usually releases small amounts of urine in any one occurrence.
Reducing Urine Spots On Lawns
Dogs urine is high in Nitrogen because it's body converts it's high level Protein diet equally into high Nitrogen urine. Reducing Nitrogen in dog's urine, and thus reducing lawn burn can be achieved in several ways.
A more balanced diet is the first place to start, this includes adding vegetables and rice into the dogs food, broadening its diet away from just dog food to include many other leftover foods from the family. The quality of the dog food is also important, the cheaper dog foods have a very low quality protein component which increases the conversion of Protein into Nitrogen, whereas many higher quality dog foods have higher quality protein which is more readily used by the dog instead of converting it to Nitrogen.
Readily available clean fresh water is important at all times as this will help dilute the protein in the dogs system.
Regular exercise is also important as it helps the dog to use up and burn the Protein it gets from its food. The more protein which is used by the dog, the less Nitrogen is converted in the dog's system.
Lastly, there is training, most dogs can be easily trained to relieve themselves in a particular place in the yard. There are many places to find out how to train dogs this way including books, training schools and the internet.