If your home has a grass yard and you have a pet, then you are fully aware of those yellow spots that appear all so frequently in your lawn.  While the yellow spots in the grass are unsightly, some pet owners just chalk them up to owning pet.  Take my wife and me for example, we have a male chocolate lab that we absolutely adore, but he loves to do his business in certain areas of our lawn. Unfortunately for us, those spots always seem to appear in the space of the yard that everyone sees the most.  In fact, he loves that section of our yard so much that our grass is starting to look like it has alien crop circles all around it.  I tried all the usual tricks to combat the spots like watering them often and putting extra fertilizer on them.  However all of that was to no avail.  So I decided that I had to do something about this and opted to take a few minutes to stop and think about these dead lawn spots.  When I did so, two questions jumped to the forefront of my mind.  The first was, "what is it about dog urine that causes those dead spots?  The second question most importantly, "how can we get we rid of them". 

How does dog urine turn grass yellow?

Nitrogen, while an essential component to any healthy lawn, an overabundance can easily be a hindrance to your lawns natural health.  High concentrations of nitrogen have been linked and shown to turn your grass a yellowish or brownish color.  Unfortunately, pet urine is extremely high in nitrogen as well as other compounds like salt, alkaline and acidity.  This toxic combination is perfectly constructed to burn out your grass and give you those yellow spots.  

Is female dog urine worse than a male's?

It is often thought that female dogs have a higher concentration of nitrogen in their urine and therefore cause more yellow spots in the yard.  This idea is both true and false.  Pets that are spayed or neutered are shown to have the same urine composition.  However what is different between females and males is the method into which the urine is soaked into the grass.  While male dogs often lift a leg and spray the urine out, a female dog squats and therefore the area of grass being wet is receiving a higher concentration of the urine. 


Preventing the grass from turning yellow

So what can we do to combat the yellow grass and restore our lush lawn to its natural beauty once again?  One method is to heavily water the urine soaked area.  The idea behind this method is to dilute the urine soaked area with good clean water and wash out the toxic nitrogen, salts, alkaline and acidity.  While this method does help in preventing the yellow spots from appearing, it is not a proven method in the least.

How to fix the yellow spots

If the yellow spot has already set and has burned out your grass, the only thing left to do is to repair it.  While the method to repairing a yellow spot is not complicated, it will require you to pay a little attention to detail. 


Step 1 – Remove all the dead grass.  At your local hardware store, find yourself a 3, 4 or 5 finger thatch rack.  This rack will aid you in removing all the dead grass from the spot and expose the hard soil below. 

 Step 2 – Loosen the hard soil in the base of the spot.  An even better idea is too also add a little lawn soil as well.  The idea behind this step is to properly prepare a bed for the new grass seed or piece of sod.

 Step 3 – Sprinkle the fresh soil with your choice of grass seed.  As a great short cut, choose a brand and style that already has the seed, fertilizer and covering all in one.

 Step 4 – Water the spot immediately after preparing it.  In addition to that, you have to water the repaired spot daily to give the seeds the wetness it needs to grow. 

 Step 5 – As the grass begins to grow back in the repair spot, be sure not to run the lawn mower over it for a few weeks.  As the lawn mower moves over a repair spot, the blades will remove seeds, fertilizer and additional coverings from being able to continue to work and grow.

 If you follow the 5 steps above, you should be growing beautiful grass to replace those yellow spots in about 2 weeks.   


Sir Harold Hillard GardensCredit: Ziad