If your dog goes to the bathroom outside, that’s bound to do some damage to your grass. Your best course of action is to reduce the potential for urine-related lawn burn, limit your pup to a certain area of the yard, or take steps to counteract the urine after the fact. Keep in mind that urine can damage not just grass -- it's detrimental to plants, flowers, bushes and trees.
Dog urine is high in nitrogen, which in small doses is actually good for your grass. But in concentrated quantities, nitrogen can produce yellow spots on your lawn. You can reduce the acidity in your pup’s pee by giving him an over-the-counter commercially produced vitamin supplement designed to reduce urine acidity. Check with your vet about which brand to use prior to trying it -- some formulas are high in sodium, which can be dangerous for dogs with heart conditions.
Many pet owners swear by adding ketchup or tomato paste to their dog’s food as a way to reduce the acidity of yellow-grass-producing urine. However, like commercial supplements, you should discuss this approach with your vet first. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or is on medication of any kind, tomato products could irritate his gastrointestinal tract or impact his medication’s effect.
Increase Water Intake
Diluting your dog’s urine with extra water can help reduce the strength of it, less damage to your grass and plants. Wet canned food can also increase your pup’s water intake and further dilutes urine. Keep in mind that female dog pee can actually do more harm than males when it comes to producing yellow grass spots -- male dogs lift their legs and spray their pee far and wide, while females squat and leave a concentrated deposit in one place. Meanwhile, you can dilute urine on the grass another way that doesn't involve any form of supplementation.
Hose It Off
You can help protect your grass by watering it down after your dog uses the bathroom. This can be a viable option if your pup regularly goes to the same location in your yard. Another alternative is to direct your pup to a single spot without grass, or to a secluded location around your home where yellow grass spots won’t be as noticeable.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.