Most of the time, having a happy lawn and a happy dog are two goals that can be accomplished simultaneously. But when you hear that female dog urine is more deadly to grass than male urine, your eyes bug out, you consider inventing doggie diapers, and your pooch stares at you wondering if you’ve officially lost it. Park the panic for a moment while we look into whether that rumor is even true.
First off, give your female dog a break: her urine is no more destructive than her brother’s. Dog urine – both male and female – contains nitrogen and has an alkaline pH of 6-6.5. In fact, at this normal pH level, a little bit of dog urine can actually be good for your lawn.
The problem, though, is when your dog’s urine rises above a pH of seven. Not only can this cause health issues with your dog, but the acidity can also cause burn spots in your grass. (Side note: if your dog’s urine has a pH level below six, it can also cause health problems. Get some pH strips from your vet to test your dog’s urine.)
So is this idea about female dog urine being worse for your grass than male dog urine entirely false?
While the urine itself doesn’t vary between genders, the manner in which dogs urinate does. Female dogs tend to unload their bladder all at once in a single spot, opposed to males who move around and mark their territory while they urinate. This means that the nitrogen load in one area is more concentrated with females, thus causing more grass damage.
Fortunately, there are some tricks and solutions to help with burn spots:
- After little Max (or Maxine) relieves him or herself, dump several cups of water onto the spot to help dilute the nitrogen.
- Encouraging your dog to drink more water will also help.
- And if all else fails, train your pooch to take its bathroom breaks in a spot of the yard that is hidden from view or no one really cares about anyway.
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