Brown spots from dog's tinkle

Old 03-27-18, 05:08 AM
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Brown spots from dog's tinkle

Over the winter, I've noticed that I'm getting a brown spot in the lawn from every time my dog relieves himself. (This wasn't happening in the fall - when he was only 4 months old. I'm assuming it's a "mature dog" thing). Anyhoo, will the green come back once the grass starts growing again? What's the best way to lessen the impact in the future?

Old 03-27-18, 05:36 AM
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The green should come back, does he use the same spot every time?
Old 03-27-18, 06:10 AM
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You could check the pH of those areas to see if they've become more alkaline than the surrounding areas.

I once had two adult intact male dogs living on a postage stamp lot (65' X 100'), and I controlled the damage to the lawn by simply rinsing those areas more frequently and thoroughly with a garden hose to keep the soil in balance (a pH of ≈ 6.8), and this worked except for a few spots where I had to apply some diluted household vinegar,.

The most difficult aspect of this would probably be getting a true reading of your lawn's pH. I had an inexpensive gauge with probes that could simply be inserted into damp soil. Your Garden Center (or eBay) might sell such an item:

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That same Garden Center may recommend a soil additive, like aluminum sulphate, to acidify (or balance) the pH of those stubborn spots in your lawn. Sometimes, just the passage of the Spring Rains through the soil takes care of it. At least you're acting to get control of the issue before it gets out of hand.

Last edited by Vermont; 03-27-18 at 07:28 AM.
Old 03-27-18, 06:18 AM
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Dog urine is very high in nitrogen. Although nitrogen is beneficial for a healthy law, the urine contains too much nitrogen. This results in burning similar to what you'd get if you spill fertilizer. As it dissolves the grass will recover from the outside in. You can accelerate this somewhat by heavy watering. Also fescue is more tolerant so you can plant more of that.

Lessening the impact is easiest by getting the dog to urinate someplace else like your neighbor's lawn - which is how my neighbor is handling his problem.
Old 03-27-18, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions.

We have three acres, but I don't have the discipline to march the dude way out back simply to distribute the nitrogen more evenly. The "potty area" is maybe 30' x 30'.
Old 03-27-18, 09:09 AM
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If he is using a small area, I would simply resign myself to that area not having good grass and be thankful the rest is good.
Old 03-27-18, 09:48 AM
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Two big dogs here, yes the high levels of Nitrogen kill the center spot of grass but the surrounding halo will grow very green.

After a few weeks it will start to grow in from the edges and blend in!

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