Equipping You To Lead, Care and Relate to Your Dog

                  to Achieve Control & Cooperation.

Lawn Burn

Lawn burn is caused by nitrogen in dog urine. Nitrogen in small quantities fertilizes the lawn, excess nitrogen burns the lawn. This is why you may see a dark green ring around the yellow spot on the lawn.

Female dogs generally cause more burn spots because they urinate in one small spot which kills the lawn. Male dogs will often lift their leg and urinate on vertical surfaces which can minimize the amount of urine in a small spot on the lawn. Male dogs can kill small plants due to the concentration of urine they leave on them.

It stands to reason that the larger the dog, the larger the amount of urine deposited in one location making lawn burn more likely.

Lawns that are heavily fertilized will burn with even a small amount of added urine.   


What can you do to prevent lawn burn?

  • Water the lawn to dilute the urine
  • Feed a higher quality food that has a higher digestibility so the proteins are able to be used by the dog and not converted into nitrogen
  • Exercise your dog more so that the body will consume the protein in the food so less nitrogen will be created and deposited onto the lawn
  • Feed a lower protein food
  • Teach your dog to eliminate in a designated area (This requires you to be there to teach)

There are numerous supplements available for dogs that claim to eliminate lawn burn. We have observed eight dogs on a lawn supplement and found that it did not work on any of them. Based on our own observation we do not recommend these products. We are also not convinced that there are no long-term health issues with taking such supplements. 

Some types of grasses are more sensitive to excessive nitrogen then others. So research a more tolerate grass for your area.

We have come to the conclusion that the main reason for lawn burn is that the soil holds the urine at the roots of the lawn thereby burning the lawn. This is especially prevalent with new sod lawns that are placed on packed soil. We have tried numerous soil conditioners to help break up the soil for better drainage. We did not see any substantial difference after using these products. We found that the products did not migrate below the root line to break up the hard pack soil.

We have observed at a local park that the lawn does not tend to burn even after repeated urine deposits. It is our conclusion that the soil was prepped in such a way as to provide good drainage below the root line of the lawn.