With 24% of households in the UK owning dogs, it’s obvious that a lot of us are smitten with our furry friends. However, there can be major downsides to owning a furry friend. One of the ongoing issues is the battle between canines and the garden lawn. Dog urine is any gardeners nightmare, with it turning patches brown almost overnight, leaving unsightly patches behind. If you have multiple dogs, you can quickly find yourself with a dead lawn.

Of course, not all dogs urine does this, adding another layer of mystery. Lawns tend to turn brown due to the level of nitrogen present in a dog’s urine. This can be contributed to dogs with a higher protein diet, with the level of nitrogen present in the urine going up in comparison to the quantity of protein being consumed.

This does not mean you should swap your dog to a lower protein, lower quality food, as this could impact your dog’s health. It is also important that you do not put fertiliser down on the brown patches of grass, as this is also high in nitrogen and will continue the damage being done.

The best way to protect your lawn from the brown spots caused by dog urine is to give it all the TLC it needs to resist the nitrogen. Focus on the soil pH levels, a watering schedule, aeration, fertilisers, and the type of grass you have.

You could also consider using a leash on your dog to control where it urinates, or water the lawn after the dog urinates to dilute the nitrogen on the grass. You could also consider swapping to a different, high quality dog food. Sometimes this can help, as it might alter the pH or nitrogen content of the dog’s urine. Talk to your vet about which diet is best for your dog.