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 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 if safe.
- Teach your dog to eliminate in a designated area. (This requires you to be there to teach)
Some types of grasses are more sensitive to excessive nitrogen then others. So research a more tolerate grass for your area. Lawns that are watered regularly tend to not be affected by dog urine.