Asked on Jul 06, 2016

Dog pee destroyed new sod!!

Judy
by Judy
+38
Answered
We knew when we moved into our new home the backyard needed redone. We put new sod down, and within two months the dogs pee destroyed it. Now we are at a loss what to do to this area. Any suggestions? The dogs stay.
q dog pee destroyed new sod, gardening, landscape, plant care, This is how the lawn area looked when we moved in
This is how the lawn area looked when we moved in.
q dog pee destroyed new sod, gardening, landscape, plant care, This is how it looked after the sod was put down Pretty and green
This is how it looked after the sod was put down. Pretty and green.
q dog pee destroyed new sod, gardening, landscape, plant care, This how it looks now after a couple months of dog pee
This how it looks now after a couple months of dog pee.
  23 answers
  • Jorja Love Jorja Love on Jul 06, 2016
    I feel your pain. I am on my 5th lawn restoration in 12 years because my 2 large dogs scratch and kick up chunks of sod every time they pee as if they are 2 big cats in a giant litter box. I have roto-tilled, added amendments to the soil, fertilized, and composted prior to seeding or sodding and I water almost every day in the spring and summer but they still make one parts look like your after pic. Also, that large shady tree in your yard could be adding to the problem. I trim my trees back to allow a little more sunlight into the yard. I have been told to deeply water the areas where they go but I still have the same issue as you in the shady area. Nice yard by-the-way. Post a pic of your dogs sometime, we'd love to see your landscape artists ;- ().

    • See 3 previous
    • Charlotte Charlotte on Jul 10, 2020

      Training your dog is the only long-term solution, OP.


      I love my dog so much but it constantly did the things that irked me most. It would chew on things that it shouldn’t or jump up and down out of the blue. Whenever I put on the leash, it would pull on it. Whenever it was out of the house, it would continue digging on the ground - I wish I could tell what it was looking for down there. The same goes for all the nasty urine.


      All the things it did left me feeling depressed as if I failed it monumentally.


      But since I discovered Brain Training for Dogs and applied the system offered, it now behaves the way a beautiful dog I always expect of 🐶

  • Carole Carole on Jul 06, 2016
    Artificial turf if you want that green look. Find the brand that is dog pee and pet proof. They do exist. Check online. No mowing, stays green all year round and you can hose the dog pee now and then to keep it from smelling. Look up pet friendly artificial turf. If I had the money to redo ours, I would go artificial. Also saves water as you don't need to waste water on trying to keep it green. Good luck.

    • Judy Judy on Jul 06, 2016
      Thanks Carole, that is a great idea to know they make the kind for dog pee. I will look into it.

  • Jane Jane on Jul 07, 2016
    I actually found on a website for animal vitamins, there are vitamins to give your dog to take the killing properties of grass. I gave it to my dogs until my grass was healthy. Now, I go out & water down the area that they seem to go to, I am guessing it dilutes the urine on the ground, which does seems to help also.

    • Judy Judy on Jul 07, 2016
      Great idea, I will look into the vitamins. Thank you.

  • Gra7121557 Gra7121557 on Jul 07, 2016
    Water your sod well to help it survive both the drought in CA. and the concentrated urine ! Water dog spots well immediately after also if possible . We have many dogs and our lawn survives well if it is well hydrated ! Good luck !

  • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Jul 07, 2016
    I agree about keeping the grass hydrated but there is special grass seed that is for hard to grow areas. I got mine at the local hardware store with a great recommendation from one of the workers. He also had dogs as I do. The grass seed that he recommended for me only needs to be watered for the first couple of days and then it will take off by itself. I would also only do a portion of your yard at a time letting the grass get established and keep the dogs off of it until it does. Then do another section and another if need be. I do not remember the name of seed it was so do not ask me. The only thing I did not like about it was that it was not a soft grass but my dogs did not care and it was their section of the yard which was at least 50x40 fenced in.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Jul 07, 2016
      I had 3 dogs there and other than a spot or 2 it remained in grass. One thing about that grass though, you have to stay ahead of it. In the spring start cutting before you think you need to because it would suck up any rain and grow like no tomorrow. I would look at my 2 acres of main lawn and say nope, I do not need to mow but that would not be so in the dogs yard. And it came in very very thick. I only wanted it for the paths that the dogs made around the yard and a couple of other spots. It took over pretty much all of the grass in their yard.

  • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Jul 07, 2016
    I agree about keeping the grass hydrated but there is special grass seed that is for hard to grow areas. I got mine at the local hardware store with a great recommendation from one of the workers. He also had dogs as I do. The grass seed that he recommended for me only needs to be watered for the first couple of days and then it will take off by itself. I would also only do a portion of your yard at a time letting the grass get established and keep the dogs off of it until it does. Then do another section and another if need be. I do not remember the name of seed it was so do not ask me. The only thing I did not like about it was that it was not a soft grass but my dogs did not care and it was their section of the yard which was at least 50x40 fenced in.

  • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Jul 07, 2016
    I agree about keeping the grass hydrated but there is special grass seed that is for hard to grow areas. I got mine at the local hardware store with a great recommendation from one of the workers. He also had dogs as I do. The grass seed that he recommended for me only needs to be watered for the first couple of days and then it will take off by itself. I would also only do a portion of your yard at a time letting the grass get established and keep the dogs off of it until it does. Then do another section and another if need be. I do not remember the name of seed it was so do not ask me. The only thing I did not like about it was that it was not a soft grass but my dogs did not care and it was their section of the yard which was at least 50x40 fenced in.

  • Christine Rezler Christine Rezler on Jul 07, 2016
    Try going into your local Lowe's garden center and ask for Pulverized Gypsum. It helps to neutralize the acid in dogs' urine and repair those spots so grass seed can grow there.

  • Kellie Kellie on Jul 07, 2016
    I have THE same exact problem and it drives me crazy beyond belief!! I have finally gone over the edge and throw down bird seed and clover seed mixed with my grass seed. After tilling up the dirt (grr) and dead grass....put the seed mixed with the other "stuff", covered lightly with some soil and water like crazy. If you don't mind a non perfect lawn....lots of interesting green things come up from the bird seed - wth they eat my grass seed anyway, then it's not a big deal. Personally after 18 years of large dogs (females are know to cause more damage since they urinate closer to the grass) I am at this point just happy to have green between my flower beds and not a huge dirt path! And the clover and whatever comes up from birdseed, the honey bees love it. So THAT to me is very important! We have to conserve our bee population! So anyway..happy having my weird -at-least-it's-green "lawn". But since lately they've to an area on the patio (ugh, hosed down non stop!) and side of the house pathway, who knows I may get a real yard! Or just kill everything and gravel, hard scape! Going to try the vitamins definitely! I've also sseen special stones, markers that thebsmell encourages them to urinate in one area. I do not know anyone that's used it so I've not tried being a Doubting Thomas! Good luck!!!!!!

    • Judy Judy on Jul 07, 2016
      Hi Kellie, I'm glad I'm not alone in this battle. I loved reading your story, you have a good sense of humor. With all the help from Hometalk we are looking into the right grass, and a place for a dog bathroom!

  • Janice Victoria Hart Janice Victoria Hart on Jul 07, 2016
    You can buy dog rocks to put in your dogs water that will neutrilize the acid in their water . It is the female dog that does the damage with her pee because she will pee all in one go in one place whereas dogs like to spread theirs all over, marking territory, cocking their legs, it is the male dogs that will kick their feet and destroy the turf. If you want to keep the dogs which obviously you will then I would either gravel the area or pave it. Much less hassle.

    • Judy Judy on Jul 07, 2016
      I have been tempted to take what is left of the grass out and put down gravel. With the help of Hometalk we are going to looked the right grass, and put down gravel or pee rock for the dogs bathroom in another area.

  • Jan Beaver Jan Beaver on Jul 07, 2016
    It looks to me like you have another problem....too much shade. Even without the dog pee you might have a problem keeping the grass in good shape. Mondo grass does well in shade and doesn't need to be mowed.

    • Judy Judy on Jul 07, 2016
      Jan, you are right. With the help of Hometalk we are going to look into the right grass, and create a dogs bathroom in another part of the yard. I've never heard of Mondo grass, sounds interesting. Thank you.

  • Jadez Jadez on Jul 07, 2016
    if you can designate a spot just for the dog to do their business that would save a part of your yard. i built a dog pen with limestone gravel as base and they do their business there for the most part as they do seem to like going in the same area. i have tried those "dog rocks" and didn't think they worked all that well

  • Jorja Love Jorja Love on Jul 07, 2016
    Hi There. Labs? Yes and No. The one on the left is Maggie May (smaller) is an Italian Greyhound Beagle mix and June Bug on the right (larger) is a Chow-German Shepard Lab mix. My ladies. I did not fence my yard after I put down the seeds but I do discourage them from over using it and aggressively kicking up the sod. You’ve got little dogs so they may not need a whole lot of room to run so a garden fence might be a good idea. Mine are large and need all the room for exercise. As far as the vitamins are concerned…you really should consult your vet before giving vitamins that would alter the PH level of their urine. I would be concerned about causing kidney or other health related problems in them. Your vet or vet technician would have a better solution and advice. I don’t know, some dogs just have a less acidic urine and their owners beautiful lawns. I hope this helps and you have a wonderful day as well.

    • Judy Judy on Jul 07, 2016
      It sure does help, thank you I will talk to my vet first. My Rat Terrier name is Maggie. The Brittney's name is Odi. Don't we love our dogs.

  • Loretta Marie Loretta Marie on Jul 07, 2016
    To much Protein in the dogs (male or female) urine will cause yellow spots.

  • Diane Diane on Jul 07, 2016
    Sprinkle gypsum (can buy it at hardware store or feed store) on yard every other week or so. This will neutralize ("sweeten") the dog urine in the yard. You could also try to put "pea gravel" in one corner of the yard and train your dog to use that as the "bathroom". Once a week wash the gravel off with the garden hose.

  • Charly Charly on Jul 07, 2016
    I have 3 dogs. I have a dog yard. The grass in the dog's yard is greener than the rest of my yard! And I have the rest of my yard professionally treated. No chemicals of any kind is applied to the grass in the dog's yard. Your problem is too much shade and the wrong one kind of grass/sod. You also have to weed and feed your lawn. You can't just put it down and say okay grow and be pretty.

    • See 1 previous
    • Janice Victoria Hart Janice Victoria Hart on Jul 09, 2016
      The female pees all in one go the male sprinkles here and there hence more acid to burn the grass when the female goes

  • Kellie Kellie on Jul 08, 2016
    Hahaa! Thanks Judy. Hate typos and when the errors even after proof reading! I hope we win the Battle of the Dirt Yard!!

  • Kellie Kellie on Jul 08, 2016
    Yup. *then NOT when !!!!!!

  • Charly Charly on Jul 09, 2016
    I forgot to ask you, Judy, are your dogs spade and neutered? Especially the males! Actually their urine is more acidic than a females. But irregardless if they are or aren't fixed, that is not your main problem. You have too much shade in your yard and the wrong kind of grass for shade. You can thin out your tree branches to let more sunlight in and you can plant the right grass. When you put down the sod, did you water it in everyday? Sod needs a deep watering everyday until it takes root. Visit or call a nursery, and I'm not talking about a Big Box Store Nursery, and ask them what grass is best for your yard. Good luck, darling.

  • D fuhrman D fuhrman on Jul 25, 2016
    previously i had a dog whose pee burnt the grass but the grass was still there but brown. if i'm seeing the picture right you have bare spots. are you sure it's the dog's doing? and of course the dog stays. i think maybe something else is going on...but i'm not gardener.

    • Judy Judy on Jul 25, 2016
      I would say the pee and not enough sun light has destroyed it!

  • Cathe Cathe on Jul 26, 2016
    My female spayed dog's pee burns the grass ( in the sun ). I know several people with the same problem? My veterinarian suggested medication for it, but was quite expensive. This actually is a problem with some dogs. If it looks like it's burnt, that's probably it & not the wrong sod or lack of sunlight !

    • Judy Judy on Jul 26, 2016
      Hi Cathe, that's what we were thinking but there is a lot of shade that could be a problem too! I've decided to make that area a garden with plant beds and walk-ways.

  • Suzanne Suzanne on Jul 24, 2018

    I see you pretty well say water your grass immediately when they peee,but my problem is we do not own a dog ,,,it is the neibourhood dos that cause our yellow spots,,,,even

  • Redtumley Redtumley on Apr 17, 2020

    We had the same issue with our male dog. The issue is the high nitrogen content in the urine which causes the grass to "burn" or turn yellow. What we did was got a mini pee post hydrant for him to lift his leg on. Then we purchased a pheremone spray and sprayed it on the hydrant which made him want to pee on it and when he did we gave him a treat. Although I think he would have peed on it anyway since its upright. Then once he was peeing on it everytime he went out we just moved it to back corner of the yard. So while the grass does get a bit "burnt" around the edges of the base of the hydrant where it drips down, it's pretty much out of sight. Here's a helpful article: http://www.smartdogguide.com/a-dog-fire-hydrant-potty-is-your-lawns-best-friend/


    If I had a female I think I'd create an area made of rocks as bathroom space. That way I could easily spray it down with the hose.