How to Neutralize Your Lawn From Dog Urine Damage


Training your dog to urinate somewhere other than your lawn is the only certain way to protect your lawn from dog urine damage, but when it damage occurs, flushing the lawn with water, mowing it higher, and light fertilizing can quickly restore your lawn's appearance. This means you usually can reduce the impact of your dog's urine on grass without buying a lot of products to counteract the damage.

Lawn Treatments for Urine Damage


  • Do not try to adjust the acidic, or pH, level of your pet's urine by serving your pet apple cider vinegar or tomato juice to reduce lawn damage because it is not the pH level that causes lawn damage, it is the nitrogen in dog urine that causes the problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Tap water
  • Spade (optional)
  • Grass seeds (optional)

Step 1: Mow the Lawn

  • Mow the grass on the mower's tall setting instead of cutting it close to the ground. 
  • This lets the urine flow down the taller blades of grass instead of soaking and pooling on the short-cut blades of grass.

Step 2: Pour on Plenty of Water

  • Pour or spray a generous amount of water on the area where your dog urinates each time it happens. 
  • Rinse the grass as quickly as possible after elimination to prevent damage from pooled urine resting on the blades of grass.
  • Tap water is the most effective thing you can use on your grass to clear up dog urine damage.     

Step 3: Apply Nitrogen-Based Fertilizer

  • Apply a light dose of nitrogen-based fertilizer to the entire lawn, but avoid the area affected by dog urine. 
  • Fertilizing the brown spots with nitrogen-based fertilizer won't clear up the brown spots, but it can help mask the affected area while you work to reduce the nitrogen levels where the dog urinates and while you put effort into regrowing the damaged grass.  

Step 4: Reseed the Grass

  • Dig up the soil under the brown spots, soak the dirt with fresh water then reseed the affected area of your lawn. 
  • This is a last resort to try if the other efforts do not work in your yard.

Things That Don't Work

According to the Colorado State University Extension office, some other ineffective, but sometimes recommended products for neutralizing dog urine damage on lawns include dish washing detergent, gypsum and baking soda. These do not work because baking soda and gypsum address alkalinity issues, which are not the problem, while dish detergent can burn the blades of grass.

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