How do you protect St Augustine Grass from Dog Urine? [Step by Step Guide]

Dogs are admirable pets. It is fun to see your pet playing on the lawn, but dog urine can be dangerous for your grass. St Augustine grass grows very well. Hence, it is an excellent choice for pastures and ranches. Dog urine includes a high concentration of nitrogen and other ions. It either burns or damages the color of the grass.

Some grass like Fescue and Ryegrass can bear the urine of dogs. If nothing works out, choosing such grass for your lawn can be advantageous. Let us check, How do you protect St Augustine grass from dog urine?

As per the University of Florida IFAS Extension, St Augustine grass will recover fast from dog urine. Although, it is crucial to know how to save grass from dog urine. It is always better to avoid the dogs from urinating on your lawn. You should immediately flush the area if a dog pees on the grass. If your dog has already urinated on the grass, there are various ways to solve it. This article outlines the techniques to protect and repair your St Augustine grass from your dog’s urine.

St Augustine Grass

St Augustine Grass Lawn

St Augustine is turfgrass that grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is warm-season grass. An area like South-eastern and Central America grows St Augustine grass as a lawn grass. It is a popular lawn grass in Florida because it has low maintenance. The grass grows and spreads very quickly. St Augustine grass is dark green and has flat blades as leaves. It makes it dense grass, and the lawn looks lush green.

It is scientifically called Stenotaphrum secundatum. Stenotaphrum has seven different species of turfgrass. This species of Stenotaphrum is perennial. It has good cold tolerance in comparison to other warm-season grass. The best temperature for the growth of St Augustine is 23 °C to 37 °C. 

This grass grows well in sandy soil. Shadow areas are no problem for the St Augustine grass. Additionally, it is salt and drought-resistant. Its primary nutrient requirement is nitrogen. There are 11 cultivars of St Augustine. The tolerance capacity and growth depend on various cultivars. Palmetto, CitraBlue, and more are famous in America. Some of these cultivars can recover quickly from dog pee compared to other turfgrass.

The favorable pH of soil for St Augustine to grow is 5 to 8.5. The dog’s urine can affect the pH of the earth, and the harsh chemical in the urine can be harmful to St Augustine grass. The urine can decrease the soil’s pH by making it acidic for grass growth.

Dog urine causes nitrogen concentrations and ammonia levels to rise in the ground, which causes the grass to burn. This condition causes spots on the lawn. On the other hand, if the soil lacks nitrogen, the dog’s urine may act as a fertilizer. 

Effects of Dog Urine on Grass

Following are the possible effects of Dog Urine on grass

  • Dog urine contains urea, ammonia, and other nitrogen-containing molecules. These substances increase soil nitrogen levels and decrease pH levels.
  •  A grass growth requires nitrogen, but too much nitrogen can harm grass. Severe cases of dog urine damage result in brown spots, which are areas with dead and dying grass. Dry grass or already weak and stressed is most at risk for this type of dog urine injury. Whenever pieces of brown grass appear, water the area deeply and repeatedly to remove the urine salt from the surrounding soil.
  • Because dog urine has a high nitrogen content, the patches may seem greener than the surrounding grass. It is especially true when the grass lacks nitrogen due to less fertilizer. All your grass can be the same rich color if you have the extra nitrogen you need.
  • The urine affects the pH of the soil. It will result in yellowing of blades, or the grass may even burn. If you notice the spots of brown or yellow grass on your lawn, the blame can be on the pee of your pet.
  •  The urine consists of a high amount of salts which can increase the electrical conductivity of the soil. It will disturb the soil water balance and ultimately affect the health of the grass. 
  • If your dog is a female and squats while urinating, it will cause more adverse effects on the spots the dog has urinated. While male dogs usually pee on an object can be your fence or bark of the tree. Only partial pee will reach the ground decreasing, the harmful effect of pee. 
  • The impacts of dog urine spots on the grass will also differ from species to species because large species produce more pee. 

How Do You Protect St Augustine Grass from Dog Urine?

Following are the ways to reduce the consequences of pee on the grass.

  • You can prevent the fertilization of your lawn. It will eradicate the excess nitrogen compounds in the soil. 
  • Immediately flush the spot where the dog has urinated. St Augustine grass will not need dethatching. Add some topsoil or compost to protect the grass.
  • If your dog drinks more water, this will reduce the concentration of the chemicals in the urine. Diluted N- computed and salts will have less impact on St Augustine grass. 
  • The diet of your dog has a lot to do with the effect of the excretion of your dog. Food with high protein or processed food will secrete more nitrogen in the urine.
  • Providing prebiotics and probiotics will reduce the nitrogen secretion in the body. It improves the filtration of nitrogen in the large intestine with the help of healthy microbes.
  • One more thing you can do is train your dog to not pee on the lawn or pee in some specific area. Keep some space, especially for your dog, and avoid growing grass there.
  • Fencing your yard to prevent other dogs from damaging your grass is an option you might want to consider.
  • Regularly watering the garden area will not leave spots in the grass and spread the urine.
  • Use the urinal post as a Simple Solution Pee Post. Pee posts release pheromones that attract dogs, encouraging them to urinate in or near them. To prevent them from growing old, use an orange spray.
  • Sometimes, urine and citrus posts require constant care and monitoring when your pet is outdoors. If your time is limited, consider using an indoor pet toilet like PETMAKER Indoor Restroom for Pets.
  • Allow your lawn to grow slowly. Raise the height of your grass and cut the grass as high as possible without being uncontrollable or unhealthy. How much you have to cut depends on your type of grass. When the grass is tall, the roots are deep. Straw with strong roots may survive urine burns. Tallgrass will block urine areas from appearing better than short grass. With tall grass, you may not notice spots even if they are present.

Here are the steps to cure the St Augustine grass lawn affected by the urine of dogs.

  • Remove the grass if it is dead grass.
  • You can treat the soil with lime to balance the acidic pH. Let the lime work on the affected area in the yard.
  •  A thin layer of sandy soil mixed with good compost might help the space with damage.
  • Water the region and keep your dog away from that area.
  • Sprinkle your area with a natural wood mulch to blend well, and the dog can urinate somewhere other than your lawn. Dogs frequently respond well to the extra attention and praise that comes with utilizing their particular habitat. Avoid using mulch made from the holes of cocoa beans, even if they smell good with chocolate. Cocoa beans can be dangerous to your dog if they examine that smell and see how things taste, and you probably will.


St Augustine grass is sensitive to dog urine. You might notice some spots on your lawn if your dog often pees in the backyard. The patch might be green or brown. Green marks indicate that your ground lacks nitrogen, while brown can be due to the burning of the grass. You can train your dog to pee somewhere, minimizing damage to your lawn.

Adult male dogs often cause a few spots, as they rarely urinate in a well-drained pond. Instead, they roam your yard, using explosive urine to mark their location. But if you have a puppy, an adult dog, or a female, you will probably have at least a problem with urine spots. Fortunately, they are treatable.