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Thread: Preventing Brown Spots on Lawns - Any Effective Lawn Treatments?

  1. #1

    Default Preventing Brown Spots on Lawns - Any Effective Lawn Treatments?

    Our back lawn is starting to look pretty bad - brown patches everywhere due to girl dog pee. When I see her pee I water it in to dilute it and that's fine, but 9 pees out of 10 I'm not right there.

    What can be done? Would sprinkling dolomite on the lawn help? Is it the acidity of the urine that does the damage, or the urea, or the salts?

    I don't want to put stuff in her water that will change her physiology, as that sounds a bit dodgy.

    Thanks for any lawn home remedies!
    Who's Ya Doggy? Dog Breed Guide. The best on the internet!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    I have four large dogs and no brown spots on my lawn, but I feed RAW......What you feed is usually the problem. And with some dogs it is the conversion of what they eat
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Dog rocks. Commercial product. It is some kind of volcanic (??) rock that you place in the water bowl. It worked for me.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  4. #4


    Unfortunately once grass is dead it can not be brought back to life at all, no amount of dolomite or ag lime will do this, watering the urine in as fast as you can may help disperse and dilute the concentrated nitrogen though, but as stated is not really practical.

    You can alter the pH of your dogs urine though, by Apple Cider Vinegar in a bowl of water, dog rocks, raw natural diet etc, pH is best neutral but again to actually know what it is you will have to test the dogs pee regularly by the dog peeing on a pH indicator, so not so practicle either

    Nitrogen burn by urine is exactly the same as fertilizer burn, next time you see that brown spot check how healthy the grass around the edge of that scortch mark is compared to the untouched lawn It is often greener and healthier.

    Find the most hardy toughest grass available resistant to high nitrogen content and sow some seed over your lawn is my best advise. Sorry scortching is a curse to dog owners with lovely lawns .
    Last edited by Beau; 09-05-2011 at 07:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011


    I have used dog rocks in the past and found them to be great and never had any side effects happen to the dogs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Bundaberg QLD


    I'm not sure where you are but Buffalo grass such as Sir Walter and other brands are used in schools up here now as it repairs itself quicker by growing outwards rather than upwards. It is expensive but if a neighbour or friend has some just pull up some runners with some roots and plant it. It will take a while but now is the time of year for good grass growing (in QLD anyway).
    I have done this about a year ago and now 90% of my lawn is Buffalo. It wont stop the spots but it will cover them up quicker.

  7. #7


    Buffalo is certainly better than that couch grass! I cant stand that stuff, it breeds Bindiis like fleas lol.

  8. #8


    Dog Rocks here too. Can't recommend them enough!

    Welcome to

  9. #9


    I do feed raw (which means more nitrogen in the urine, not less) and her water is filtered through a paramagnetic basalt water filter (which is similar to Dog Rocks' main ingredient) and the grass is Buffalo. The lawn is still covered in drown patches in dry weather.

    I am puzzled by the use of Dog Rocks, to say the least. On their (very amateurish) web site they claim:

    "Dog RocksĀ® filter out impurities from water such as Tin, ammonia and nitrates. These impurities are usually passed out through urine, and when your grass comes in contact with these elements it is burned, resulting in a dead, yellow patch on your lawn."

    If this were true, then watering your lawn with tap water would burn it!

    It is an absurd claim. A total failure of logic. Absolute bunkam.

    If Dog Rocks work at all, it is certainly by some other mechanism.

    The claim is ridiculous because the level of Nitrogen in fresh or even tap water is TINY - a few ppm. If it were higher, it would be toxic. By contrast, the level of Nitrogen in urine is huge - 1% in humans and no doubt far higher raw fed dogs. So the amount filtered out pre-ingestion by Dog Rocks, or by paramagnetic water filters, will be negligible from the lawn's point of view - so tiny, in fact, that it would be impossible to measure.

    Almost as peculiar is that the Dog Rocks people offer a document on their web site - 'Lawn Burn Explained' - by McGill University that gives no support to Dog Rocks at all!! It says:

    "The concentration of nitrogen in the dog's urine depends on the type of dog, its sex and what the animal eats. ...diets high in protein can cause nitrogen concentration in the urine since protein breaks down to release nitrogen compounds.

    ... So how do you prevent the appearance of these unsightly patches? There are two ways - change the nitrogen concentration of your dog's urine or focus on the lawn. You can start by changing the dog's diet. Feed the dog food with lower protein content so there is less protein and subsequently less nitrogen in the urine. ... Or you can deal with the lawn directly by spraying the patches with water or treating them with gypsum pellets... You may also want to designate a certain area of the yard,...

    Finally, if all else fails and you simply cannot tolerate those yellow spots any longer, there's one last option. You may want to consider getting a cat."
    Further, Dog Rocks claim their product "does not change the pH balance". I question this strongly because I have used paramagnetic basalt rock for re-mineralizing the garden and it is very alkaline. This is not necessarily a problem, but the claim may be wrong.

    In short...
    - Dog Rocks probably does no harm, provided the company is not hiding any ingredients, and may even be quite healthy for the dog.
    - Dog Rocks cannot possibly work in the manner claimed by the company! Even a junior high school chemistry student could confirm this, which makes the company look incredibly bad.
    - If Dog Rocks work at all, it is by some other mechanism, or due to undeclared ingredients. The web site, unfortunately, is not explicit about the product ingredients.
    - The absurdity of their claims makes it clear that they have no idea what they are doing. I would not trust such people with the health of my dog, even if the product perhaps works, somehow, for the grass.

    Last edited by Finley; 09-12-2011 at 10:11 AM.
    Who's Ya Doggy? Dog Breed Guide. The best on the internet!

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  10. #10


    Its the nitrogen that kills it, as someone has said.

    You can change their diet, or change your grass. Apparently clover lawns LOVE nitrogen! And its a beautiful ground cover. Not that hard wearing, but you can deal with that in ways...
    I haven't tried it yet, but I have a bag of clover seeds and innoculant in the fridge ready to try!


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