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Soft, lush grass feels good beneath naked toes, and there’s nothing quite like inhaling the clean smell of cool, green grass. What’s not so nice is battling brown, urine-burned spots on the lawn. Several supplements claim they decrease the effects dogs’ urine has on grass. They come in forms of liquid, pills, and treats. No more yellow, dead, and dry patches.
I have researched these supplements, spoke with people who have used them, and discussed them with my vet. Here’s what I found out.
How do the Supplements Work?
Nitrogen in urine is the evildoer when it comes to grass. It burns and kills.
Grass burn supplements work by acidifying urine, altering its pH, and reducing nitrogen. Many happy customers say they wouldn’t live without it. Others say it doesn’t work. I guess it depends on the dog. My vet is among the naysayers.
Are the Supplements Safe?
I love grass just as much as the next guy, but grass is not worth more than my dogs’ health. If my grass was more important than my dog, I should give my dog to someone who felt otherwise. Peeing is natural. Nitrogen in pee is natural. Altering a dogs’ pH, the natural function and balance of chemistry, for any reason other than medical necessity is not okay. Putting stuff into a dog’s body for the sake of grass is not okay.
This process can be extremely dangerous for dogs with metabolic disorders and other kidney and liver issues. You may not even be aware of these issues until your dog has had them for some time. Anyone who chooses to use these supplements should never do so without veterinarian supervision.
How Can You Keep a Nice Yard Without Supplements?
To fight the good fight without supplements, you can do several things.
- Install a patch of gravel in your yard and train your pup to do business there. Just like any other potty training, use a leash, perseverance, and patience. It works.
- Avoid using nitrogen-rich fertilizers on your lawn. Not only are they toxic to your dog, they exacerbate the problem.
- When you can, rinse the grass immediately after your dog pees. Saturate the area with water to dilute the urine.
- Install artificial grass. Get the look and comfort without the maintenance.
- Try xeriscaping or hardscaping. Save your dog’s body, save on your water bill, and save time and frustration that comes with lawn care. Many beautiful yards have stone pathways, potted plants, and patches of fragrant and vibrant flowers and shrubs. Consider beautifying your space with cobblestone patios, fire pits, and crushed-gravel seating areas. Go here for some inspiration.
Tread carefully with anything that changes your dog’s natural balance. Always talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog any medication. Consider the many alternatives to supplements. Please, put the well-being of your dog before the greenness of your grass.