Yesterday, a customer asked me about ways to balance a dog’s ph to alleviate the issues of dead spots in the grass where the dog urinates.  I didn’t know the answer.  Which is great, because I love to dig and learn.  ?  So here’s what I learned today.

First, it’s actually not a ph imbalance, it’s not acidic urine.  It’s excessive nitrogen being removed from their bodies.  Nitrogen is the result of protein breakdown through normal digestive processes.  Dogs and cats have a large protein requirement for survival and the amount of nitrogen produced will vary based on the individual animal’s size and metabolism.

There are a few things worth noting:

1. The problem seems to be more prevalent in females.  This is really quite logical when you think about it.  Females generally squat and go in one place while males tend to lift their leg and go on an object.

2. The problem is generally more noticeable in larger dogs simply because they have more urine.

3. Some types of lawn are more susceptible to nitrogen burn (the very-common-for-our-area Bermuda being one of them), as are lawns that are stressed due to drought.

There are a lot of homemade remedies and products out there that claim to solve the problem.  But for the most part, these “remedies” are based on the theory that the ph is out of balance.  Here are some ways to really solve the problem:

1. Feed a species appropriate, highly digestible diet.  If your dog is being fed what their body is designed to digest, nature will do its thing.

2. Ensure your pet has adequate water intake.  Water naturally dilutes the nitrogen, making it less potent.  You can do this by ensuring they have access to water at all times, by changing their diet to include raw or canned foods, or by giving them frozen treats (great for summertime!).

3. Train your dog to go to the bathroom in an area that is not your lawn (pinestraw, mulch, etc.).  Not only will it save your grass, but it will be much easier to know where they went so you don’t step in it.  ?

Hope you learned something new today too, and keep asking questions!  I love to learn!