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Lawn Care and Dog Spots

What Causes Dog Spots?

Dogs have a high amount of salt and ammonia/nitrogen in their urine. The combination of salt and ammonia/nitrogen burns the lawn, just like over-fertilizing can burn a yard. The size and sex of a dog can make a difference. Urine from larger dogs and/or female dogs will typically cause more damage than urine from smaller or male dogs.

A Corgi dog lying on grass looking up.
There is a saying: “You can have a beautiful lawn or you can have dogs.”

What Do Dog Spots Look Like?

You will have circular, yellow-brown spots in your lawn that range from 8”-10” in diameter. Sometimes the spots run together to create large dead patches.

Dog urine spot on lawn.

Can Dog Spots Be Avoided?

If you have a dog you will probably have to deal with dog spots at some point in time. There are a couple of ways to prevent dog spots.
  • You can thoroughly water the dog spot immediately after your dog has gone to the bathroom to leach the urine through the soil. This is typically not practical, though. But all hope is not lost. If this is not an option for you then the best thing you can do is keep your lawn watered consistently because the surrounding grass will eventually fill in the spots.
  • Re-establish the area by laying down pieces of sod or over-seeding the area.
  • Some people have had good luck with training their dog to go to the bathroom in a non-turf area or in a certain part of the lawn.
  • There are treats for your dog that you can buy at pet stores that are specifically formulated to neutralize their urine and reduce ammonia and nitrogen levels in your pet’s urine. Results may vary

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