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Science-based gardening information for Colorado communities from CSU Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Green Industries of Colorado.

1503 – Dog Spots   arrow

What causes dead spots in the lawn?

Straw-colored grass or dead spots with dark green borders are common in lawns where dogs are present. The concentrated salts in the urine of dogs, particularly female dogs, cause these spots.

Dog spots

How can I prevent dead spots from dog urine?

Some dog owners follow the dog and wash the spots with a garden hose. This solution is rather labor-intensive but the idea is to dilute the urine. A better solution would be to train the dog to go to a specific area off of the grass. Perhaps the dog could use an unplanted area or a graveled area, or the corner of the property designated for the dog’s use.

What reverses the effect of dead spots?

Water is the only thing that can reverse the effects of dog urine on grass. Some may suggest using baking soda, dish washing detergent, or products claiming to dissolve or leach the salts. They have not proven to be effective and will be ineffective and may compound the problem.
Dog spots

What can I do if I cannot revive dead spots?

If the damaged grass can’t be revived, it may be necessary to reseed or resod. If that is the case, the damaged spots should be heavily watered with a hose for a few days before reseeding or resodding.

For more information, see the following Planttalk Colorado™ video(s).

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