Last Updated on February 9, 2022 by Grow with Bovees
If you are a dog owner, you may find that your normally green lawn has a few brown or yellow spots.
Brown grass is a common issue on home lawns among dog owners, and it comes from dog urine.
Lawn burn caused by dog urine, usually looks like a brown or dead area on your green lawn.
The patch is often caved in and no wider than about 3 inches, and it commonly has a green grass ring surrounding it.
There are a few methods you can do in order to get rid of these dog pee spots. But, the question is, is baking soda one of the ways to fix dog urine spots on lawn?
Continue on to learn whether baking soda can be used on grass to neutralize dog urine.
Dog urine contains a high concentration of salts as well as significant quantities of nitrogen.
Large nitrogen levels on grass, cause the grass blades to burn and eventually die. It is the same thing that happens when one uses too much nitrogen rich fertilizer, which can cause fertilizer burn.
Even though some concentration of nitrogen is good for grass seed growth, when there is too much nitrogen present on grass turf, it hinders the absorption of enough clean and fresh water via the roots, limiting healthy grass growth. The grass will have to take on more nitrogen than it can handle, and it will be deprived of vital oxygen, which in turn results in the grass leaves starting to dry out and turn brown.
Is Baking Soda the Answer To Neutralizing Dog’s Urine?
Using baking soda on your lawn to neutralize dog urine spots to try and fix this lawn problem is not the answer. It is, in fact, considered an urban legend and will do your already browned grass more harm than good.
Another word for baking soda — which is a common condiment found in the kitchen — is sodium bicarbonate. Like the name states, it is a salt, much like that found in dog’s urine.
One does not have to be a genius to know that one salt cannot neutralize another salt. Therefore, you will find that baking soda will not have a positive effect on the browning of grass blades due to concentrated urine.
Due to its alkaline nature, it can — even when very low concentrations are applied — be dangerous to your entire lawn and harm it severely, leaving only a few green spots.
Baking soda is, on the other hand, great to use when wanting to get rid of unwanted weeds, but always be careful of surrounding plants and grass. To avoid damaging the surrounding soil and plants, flush the surrounding area thoroughly with clean water.
Even though sodium bicarbonate is not ideal for use on brown spots caused by a dog’s urine, there is still hope, as there are a few other methods that are great to use and will surely cure lawn disease, bringing it back to its normal lush green self.
Ways To Fix Dog Urine Spots on Grass
Continue on for a short overview of different methods to fix dog urine spots.
Proper Lawn Mowing
If you mow your entire lawn properly and keep the length of the grass leaves at a height of 2 to 3 inches, the turfgrass will be able to handle more stress, preventing lawn disease. Just remember that a grass line that is higher may also mask dead or spotty grass, hiding damaged lawn.
Avoid Resuscitation Of Damaged Lawn
If dog pee spots are so severe that they have caused severe lawn damage — dead lawn spots — do not try to fix them. Rather, dig up the areas where there is grass damage along with the grass’ roots and plant new and fresh more robust types of grass seed.
Examples of dog-friendly lawn and more robust types of grass seeds include fescue or ryegrass. Let the grass grow and continue by watering the area of new grass well.
Water Urine Lawn Spots Thoroughly
Water the areas where your dog has urinated properly. It is a simple solution and will help to dilute and spread the nitrogen content and acidity from the pee spot deep into the soil, avoiding damage on lawns or worse, dead grass.
A good rule of thumb is to add three times the amount of water that you usually would to the affected area in order to avoid additional lawn trouble or urine damage.
Train Your Dog
Another way to prevent risk of lawn damage due to dog pee, is to train him or her to urinate in a designated area of your garden or her own yard, like a sand patch, for example. Laying dog-friendly grass types such as artificial lawn and using natural wood mulch are also great options.
Don’t forget to reward your dog with a goodie if he listens and urinates on the place where you tell him to.
Myths About Spots On Lawns
Apart from some misinformation regarding baking soda, there are also a few other misconceptions about dog urine spots on grass. Continue on to learn about the truth of these myths.
Brown Spots & Alkaline Dog Urine
As a lover of gardening, you might know that pH levels in turfgrass — if they are too high or too low — can be damaging to your grass.
But as mentioned above, it is the high level of nitrogen concentration present in dogs urine that creates brown spots on your grass if they urinate on it and not the pH level of their urine.
Even though grass enjoys a fair amount of nitrogen — which also happens to be an essential plant nutrient — the amount that it gets from dog urine is too much, and the grass blades are unable to handle it, causing poor growth and even plant death.
Only Female Dogs Cause Spot On Lawn
This is a common misconception. Female dogs have a tendency to squat down near the grass. This leaves a smaller but more dense urine patch on the grass. Due to the high concentration on a small area, the grass is more likely to burn when a female dog urinates on grass.
Adult males tend to lift one leg when they urinate. This means that the urine is more spread out, making it less dense on the urinated spot. Also, male dogs prefer to urinate against things such as lawn gnomes, tree stumps, or flower beds rather than on a piece of flat lawn.
Dog Food Supplements Prevent Brown Spots On Green Lawn
Adding different dietary supplements to your dog’s food that are said to work to prevent dog urine spots, is not a solution. These supplements are made to make your dog drink more water or for the purpose of decreasing the alkalinity of the dog’s urine of the dog’s urine.
As mentioned above, it is the concentration of nitrogen and other salts in the urine that causes dog spotting, so changing the alkalinity will not make a huge difference.
Only Certain Breeds Cause Dog Urine Damage
This, too, is a myth. It does not matter which breed of dog urinates on your lawn, the lawn damage remains the same no matter what dog you own.
Different dogs simply have different concentrations of nitrogen in their urine, but this has something to do with their health or diet, rather than their breed.
Curing Dog Spots With Household Products
In some instances, it is believed that dog pee damage can be fixed by sprinkling different household products onto the grass. These products include dishwashing detergent, gypsum, baking soda and other random products.
Baking soda — as mentioned above — along with gypsum are products that contain a lot of salts, which ultimately would make your lawn situation worse.
Dishwashing liquid — even though it may help to enhance water movement through the soil — is considered a type of detergent, and it may contain chemicals that end up burning your grass blades even more, so we suggest you avoid using this product, although dish soap can be used on lawns as a pesticide.
In the end, the best thing you can do for a greener lawn is to water the urinated area properly. Deep watering dilutes the nitrogen and helps it seep into the soil.
This concludes this article about lawn spots caused by dog urine. As you can see, it is not the end of the world when this happens.
The most simple solution to maintain a beautiful lawn or to prevent lawn damage, is to treat the spots immediately by deep watering them and also keep your dog hydrated and in good health.
Remember that baking soda is not the answer to regain a lush lawn and should not be sprinkled on urine on grass. It may, in fact, harm your once healthy lawn even more.
Now you know the answer to the question, “will baking soda neutralize dog urine on grass?”, you can go ahead and try the alternative methods that won’t cause further damage to your lawn.
It is great to use when you want to get rid of pesky weeds, but be careful that you do not sprinkle it on surrounding plants or grass.