I have seen bottles of supplements in the pet food shops, and online, that profess to alter the PH of a dog’s urine so that it does not burn out your lawn. Does anyone know if these products actually work and are they safe to administer to your pet? I would appreciate feedback from anyone who has tried these products or researched them for safety.
My neighbor used one of them & she said it worked. Sorry, not much help.
My only thought would be that if your dog’s urine is burning out your lawn wouldn’t that mean that your dog’s PH is already off? Not sure, just thinking aloud. You can test his urine yourself I believe with a PH urine testing kit. You can order it on line. Less costly than having your vet check the urine unless you’ve recently had your dog at the vet for routine annual physical where they would check the urine anyway. Though I’m not sure if they check PH level or are just checking for bacteria. Adjustments to the ph level would depend on what it is? You wouldn’t want to go to far one way or the other.
Marie’s neighbor may have already known what her dog’s ph level was.
Urine “burn” on lawn is not a urine pH problem… it is a urine nitrogen problem! It is no different than if you “spilled” fertilizer on the lawn. Lawns that already have a high nitrogen load via frequent owner fertilization are at a higher risk than a poorly fertilized lawn.
Teach your dog to eliminate in one location, or water the area well after your pet eliminates or if you fertilize you could try to decrease the overall fertilization schedule. Because I don’t fertilize often the lawn grows lush and green wherever my dog urinates!
This is an article by Dr. Karen Becker on Healthy Pets. It refers to ph levels and nitrogen levels in urine and the importance to keep in balance to not cause burning in your lawn.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by Dori.
Hi Howard and Dori,
The idea that urine pH plays a role in lawn burn was actually tested a long time ago. (Apparently Dr. Becker missed that publication.) It was published in 1981 and titled appropriately enough “Lawn Burn from Dog Urine. pH was one of the variables tested and it was found not to play any role in lawn burn. “The pH of urine has no effect on lawn burn”. Interestingly enough the authors reported that dl-methionine did decrease lawn burn because it acts as a diuretic and decreased urine concentration. Salt as a diuretic was a bit more effective.
You can read the publication here: http://www.myxyz.org/phmurphy/dog/LawnBurn1.pdf
I wouldn’t recommend adding things to your dog’s diet. I found these 2 articles that have a lot of information and suggest that if feeding a high protein food lowering the protein may help by decreasing the nitrogen load on the lawn. It sounds like a reasonable hypothesis but I can’t find that idea tested anyplace. I’d think urine concentration plays the largest role and watering the area after the dog eliminates probably the most effective measure to take.
Hi Dori and Howard,
Actually, it has been known for a long time that urine pH doesn’t play a role in lawn burn. It was one of the variables tested in the paper published in 1981 titled appropriately enough “Lawn Burn from Dog Urine” : ) Apparently Dr. Becker wasn’t aware that the idea that pH burns lawns had been tested and found not to be valid The author writes ” The pH of urine has no effect on lawn burn” The pages loaded out of order but you can find it here: http://www.myxyz.org/phmurphy/dog/LawnBurn1.pdf
I found it interesting that the author found that dl methionine had a diuretic effect when added to the diet and it is a diuretic effect and not a pH effect that can help mitigate burn. Salt though was just as if not more effective.
I don’t advise adding things to diets though for lawn burn, except for water. I did find it interesting that in two articles that discuss the nitrogen load as the reason for lawn burn it was proposed that if feeding a high protein diet that lowering the protein level in the diet would decrease the amount of nitrogen needing to be excreted and may help mitigate lawn burn. It is an interesting thought but remains untested. Would make for an easy and good science fair project!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.