How to Stop Yellow Spots in Lawn from Dog Urine

The nitrogen in dog urine can burn your lawn.
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When your dog urinates on your lawn, a yellow spot of burned grass may form in that location. The spots are caused by the salts and high nitrogen content of a dog's urine, byproducts of the body's metabolism of protein. Nitrogen is an important component of fertilizer, and in small amounts it benefits your lawn. In larger amounts it causes damage, burning the grass roots and creating unsightly spots. You can take steps to end these spots by changing your dog's habits and her diet.

Step 1

Water the area that your dog has urinated on with a garden hose to dilute the nitrogen in it. You must do this within eight hours after she has urinated to prevent yellowing of the grass, recommends the Aggie Horticulture website.

Step 2

Spray the spot your dog urinated on with a lawn care product containing special enzymes or microbes to prevent yellow spots and counter the nitrogen in the dog's urine. These ingredients dissolve the damaging chemicals in the urine to prevent lawn spotting.

Step 3

Reseed your lawn with urine-resistant grass such as fescue or perennial ryegrass. These grasses tend to stain less than other types of grass because of their nitrogen-resistant roots.

Step 4

Provide your dog with plenty of water to drink. Encourage her to drink the water by adding a small amount of low-sodium chicken or beef broth to it. You can also add a bit of the broth to her food to increase her water intake. The water will dilute the nitrogen in her urine, reducing the yellow lawn spots.

Step 5

Feed your dog a canned food diet instead of dry dog food. Canned food has a higher water content than dry food. Choose a premium dog food, usually found in pet supply stores or a veterinarian's office. Such dog foods contain easily digestible proteins. This decreases the nitrogen in your dog's urine, as nitrogen is a byproduct of protein digestion.

Step 6

Designate an area in your yard, away from your lawn, where your dog is allowed to urinate. Cover this area with mulch to protect nearby plants and grasses. Bring your dog to this area and give her a vocal command, such as "potty," to associate with urinating. Feed her a treat and praise her verbally when she urinates in this area.


  • Speak to your veterinarian before using any products that claim to change the acidity of your dog's urine. These may adversely affect your dog, especially dogs with conditions that require dietary management, such as kidney disease.


  • Fence neighborhood dogs out of your yard.

  • Use low-nitrogen fertilizer on your lawn so you don't worsen the existing spots with extra nitrogen.

  • Certain grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass and Bermudagrass, tend to be more susceptible to urine burns.

Items You Will Need

  • Garden hose
  • Lawn care enzymatic product
  • Urine-resistant grass seeds
  • Low-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • Mulch
  • Canned dog food
  • Dog treats


About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

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